Truth in Media Activism: Letters to Editors

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July 27, 1999

To: The Wall Street Journal

Blowing Smoke While Trying to Clear It

Re. "CIA Details the Blunders It Made in Bombing of China Embassy," July 23, 1999 (by Neil King Jr.)

From Phoenix, Arizona

Ned Crabb, Letters Editor


New York, NY


Subject: A letter to the editor re. "CIA Details the Blunders It Made in Bombing of China Embassy," July 23, 1999 (by Neil King Jr.)

Dear Ned,

The Wall Street Journal can now join the CIA and the Pentagon wBGD_DMA_cityplan_011.jpg (92081 bytes)ith its own contribution to incompetence and confusion surrounding NATO’s bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7. Your July 23 report about the testimony of the CIA director, George Tenet, before the House Intelligence Committee, said among other things that, "blame for not catching the mistake, though, goes beyond the CIA. The most recent maps put together by the Pentagon’s mapping agency still had the embassy across the river in New Belgrade."

The Chinese embassy, the actual one; the one which NATO bombed, IS in New Belgrade, across the river Sava from the older downtown, where the old Chinese embassy used to be until about five years ago.

And as you can see from the enclosed map by the U.S. government mapping agency, which a former Pentagon contractor sent to the Truth in Media immediately after the embassy bombing, the Chinese embassy was clearly marked on it - in New Belgrade, of course.

Perhaps you should print a correction to the subject story, which blew more smoke into an already confusing situation while trying to clear it.

Best regards,

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Bob Djurdjevic


P.S. By the way, during this writer's recent trip to Boston (see S99-123, "Peace" 17, July 13), the TiM editor had a chance to meet the person who is the head of the IT function at the U.S. Defense Mapping Agency. We happened to be seated next to each other during a business luncheon.

"Oh, so you're the guy who bombed the Chinese embassy!", this writer exclaimed with a smirk on his face, immediately upon learning who his luncheon companion was.

"That's the only thing people remember - our one mistake," the mapping gentleman grumbled. "They don't remember the thousands of targets which we got right."

"Well, that's only natural," the TiM editor said. "When an earthquake strikes California, for example, people remember it. They don't talk about the thousands of days when the earth didn't rumble and move."

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