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Injured Reporter, Clueless President

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 2:11 AM

CBS News Reporter Kimberley Dozier is not the first journalist to be injured while covering President Bush's adventure in Iraq, but she happens to work for the same company as I do.

Dozier underwent emergency surgery to remove shrapnel from her head and abdomen, and remains in critical condition.

Her camera man and sound technician were killed in the blast.

There's a certain irony to this occuring during the Memorial Day Weekend, when President Bush and his compatriots in crime are off making speeches about sacrifice (which few of them ever saw fit to make) and legacies (over 2,500 of them, so far, doin' a heckuva job, just a heckuva job).

They talk of turning corners and making progress, but pad their words with careful disclaimers about violence and losses to come.

And somehow, the negative burden of the war is somebody else's fault. The media. The liberals. America at large.

Bush is thinking of his place in the history books. He's busy comparing himself to men like Sir Winston Churchill, and former President Harry S Truman. Even his mea culpa routine with Tony Blair is but the latest attempt to stanch the bleeding from his plummeting ratings.

The problem with being part of an administration where the top people lie is that it inevitably casts doubt on even the simplest statement.

Like General Peter Pace's assurance that if there were, in fact, as many as two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians killed by United States Marines, then those men will face criminal charges.

Pace carefully qualified his words by saying charges would follow if the allegations as portrayed in the newspapers turn out to be valid.

But, as to why the Pentagon had no knowledge of the incident until February, he could only imitate Donald Rumsfeld.

"We do not know yet why we did not know," Pace said.

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