Monday, May 14, 2007
i'm a rabbit in your headlights:
Leila Feidel of McClatchy is doing work in this piece about insecurity within the Green Zone:

Embassy employees have been ordered not to talk about security concerns or precautions with reporters, but three State Department employees in Baghdad discussed the issue with McClatchy Newspapers. All three asked not to be identified for fear that they'd lose their jobs.

The officials also complained that important security precautions appeared to have been set aside during highly publicized official visits. During a March 31 visit from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a high-profile presidential candidate, the embassy lifted a requirement that bulletproof vests and helmets be worn at all times. When a rocket landed outside the U.S. Embassy while Vice President Dick Cheney and several reporters visited last week, no warning sirens were sounded.

"Where were the sirens then?" one official asked. "We don't belong here, and people are afraid to say it."

It's hard to overstate the psychological effect of the Green Zone as an oasis, where you can walk around without body armor, lingering in the courtyard of a hotel or reading a book on a bench near Ocean Cliffs. To lose that is to be in a state of permanent siege. Good to know that the only reason the siege is lifted is because John McCain needs some quality b-roll.
--Spencer Ackerman