Footnotes of an America United

There were these footnotes to the story of America's war on terrorism.  

The Pentagon is declining to say much about whether or how many enemy troops are being killed by the U.S. bombing of Taliban front lines.

But the Christian Science Monitor, in reports from inside Afghanistan, quotes Taliban officers as saying casualties are mounting.  One Taliban fighter said, "I've already seen many friends killed or wounded on the front line.  We can do nothing but hide."

And the paper says a tour of a military hospital in Kabul revealed, "single rooms packed with 15 to 25 patients each, some of them laid out on the floor."  Doctors said they could not cope with the influx of injured soldiers.

National Public Radio is now saying that neither NPR nor its senior editor, Lauren Jenkins, would ever, "engage in reporting that would put in peril the lives of U.S. military personnel."   That statement by NPR Vice President Bruce Drake came after press coverage of what NPR editor Jenkins said, when asked by The Chicago Tribune if he would report the secret presence of a U.S. commando unit in Pakistan.

Jenkins said, "you report it," adding , "I don't represent the government.  I represent history, information, what happened."

The New York Times has now taken note of ABC News president David Westin's statement, which he has since reversed, that he had no opinion as a journalist as to whether the Pentagon was a legitimate target for a terrorist attack.  The Times story focused on the negative reaction from conservative in the media to Westin's original remarks.

One of Westin's fellow TV executives, Eric Sorenson of MSNBC, seemed sympathetic to Westin.  Quote -- "Any misstep and you can get into trouble with these guys and have the Patriotism Police hunt you down... These are hard jobs.  Just getting the facts straight is monumentally difficult.  We don't want to have to wonder if we're saluting properly.  Was I supposed to use the three-fingered salute today?"