Saturday, October 25, 2003


He's no fan of the media either...
Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, the folksy West Texan who recently stepped down as commander of U.S. forces in Southwest Asia, said Friday the public isn't getting a complete or accurate account of the conflict in Iraq.

Franks chastised the media for under-reporting the rebuilding effort in Iraq while over-reporting criticisms of the intelligence community and the military.

Despite what he portrayed as unrealistic expectations of a swift conflict, Franks said the military has performed admirably and deserves the public's patience as it works to nurture democracy in Iraq...

"Have you noticed the tendency by the media to talk about intelligence failure? There has been no intelligence failure in our country. There has been simply inadequate (use) of our intelligence base," he said.

Still, he said, "our intelligence is not as good as we want it to be. It is not as good as it needs to be in order to wrestle the problems of a new millennium," he said.

Regarding the flap surrounding a leaked memo by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that candidly described challenges facing the modernization of U.S. forces, Franks said "good for him. What I'm disappointed with is that during this 12-month period that leads up to next November, we see such an overwhelming desire to lay it out -- in the media -- and begin to snipe and pick at, not always factually, what is meant by that" memo, he said.

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