In January, Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) traveled to Iraq with five other members of Congress. Upon his return, he described his experiences there in an editorial for the Manchester Union Leader — “Despite Difficulties, We are Making Steady Progress in Iraq” — in which he repeated the conservative talking point that the media is too negative in its reporting on Iraq:
One common complaint, though, is that Americans at home get too little news about the progress being made. These troops are concerned that the terror campaign and the media’s predominant focus on suicide bombs and IED attacks will do precisely what the terrorists want: undermine our nation’s confidence and resolve.
Here’s what didn’t make it into his op-ed. From today’s Boston Globe:
Rep. Jeb Bradley, R- N.H., and several other congressmen had a close call during a visit to Iraq this winter.
Word is just coming out that the military plane carrying the group had to dodge a shoulder-fired missile as it flew from Baghdad to Kuwait City in January.
Bradley told the New Hampshire Union Leader that shortly after takeoff from Baghdad, “the crew started taking evasive measures. They started swerving and diving the plane and sent off flares that distracted the missile.”
The C-130 was carrying Bradley, five other congressmen and four military officials.
Bradley said he kept the incident quiet because he wanted any news from his visit to focus on the troops. “The story was about them, not us,” he said.
That’s exactly the point. The story is about the troops. But their real problem is not slanted media reports, it’s the extraordinary dangers they face every day.