October 8, 2006

Robert Fisk: The Age Of Terror

In his latest opinion piece "The Age of Terror," published in Monday (October 9)morning's edition of the British newspaper The Independent, Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk writes this about me:

"No wonder US Lieutenant Rick Francona noted indifferently in a report to the Pentagon that the Iraqis had drenched Fao in gas when he visited the battlefield during the war."

I have responded to him:

"Actually, I was a captain at the time, and don't think I ever used the term 'drenched' in my report back to the Defense Intelligence Agency. We were fairly certain the Iraqis had used nerve gas, making it the first time nerve gas had been used on a battlefield. I was certainly not 'indifferent' to Iraqi nerve gas usage. " Lt Col Rick Francona, USAF (Ret)

Overall, it's worth a read - it's long (6,770 words). Fisk has the reputation of knowing his way around Middle East topics, albeit a bit to the left. He has lived in Beirut for the last 25 years and speaks good Arabic.

I just wish he wouldn't put words in my mouth.