My "Dear Jane" letter: There's not even ONE embed available in all of Baghdad!
I'm writing a book. It's called Disaster: A Personal Journey Through George Bush's Middle East. I've got two alternative endings planned:
Alternative Number One: I return to Iraq and actually get embedded outside the Green Zone and write a whole bunch of fabulous articles about what's right and what's wrong in Iraq and help put an end to George W. Bush's bloody war on Iraq. Plus it will make a great ending for my book.
Alternative Number Two: I bombard the Public Affairs Officers in every unit in Iraq that I can think of and get turned down a ton of times, get told that there are absolutely NO embeds available to me in all of Iraq and consider filing a discrimination suit against George W. Bush for blocking Freedom of the Press. "Stillwater vs. Bush". I like the sound of that. Plus it will make a great ending for my book.
PS: Enclosed please find my embed request chronology plus correspondence with various DoD PAOs with regard to getting embedded:
May 2, 2007: I requested an embed for May by phone to CentCom Baghdad. I was told that my request was too late to be processed. I then requested an embed for June 16, 2007.
Approximately May 16, 2007: I again requested an embed for June. I was told by CentCom Baghdad that my request was too early.
May, 2007: I sent an embed requests to a PAO in Anbar province, cc-ing it to CentCom Baghdad CPIC (Combined Press Information Center). My e-mail was never answered.
May 22, 2007: I gave up on the Army and tried the Navy:
From: Jane stillwater [mailto: email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 7:44 PM
To: Garcia, Denise LT CUSNC N012
Cc: Captain Kunkel MNFI
Subject: RE: Lt. Garcia, a possible embed for me -- and more information
I haven't embedded with the Navy before -- have only been embedded
with the Army through CPIC. I write for a variety of media outlets including OpEd News, the Lone Star Iconoclast, the Berkeley Daily Planet and the San Francisco Chronicle. I am enclosing a copy of my embed application FYI and will also cc this e-mail to Captain Kunkel at CPIC.Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
May 25, 2007: The Navy sounded really helpful. I cc-ed my e-mail to CentCom Baghdad:
From: Garcia, Denise LT CUSNC N012
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 1:33 PM
To: Jane stillwater
Cc: Captain Kunkel MNFI
Subject: San Fran Chronicle Jane Stillwater
Please complete the attached embark form and return to me as a .doc attachment (meaning please don't embed it in an email).
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).