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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein



ran Sending Explosives to Extremist Groups in Iraq, Officials Say

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 11, 2007; 1:54 PM

BAGHDAD Feb 11 -- Iranian security forces, taking orders from the "highest levels" of the Iranian government, are funneling sophisticated explosives to extremist groups in Iraq, and the weapons have grown increasingly deadly for U.S.-led troops over the past two years, senior defense officials said Sunday in Baghdad.

Three defense officials from the U.S.-led Multi-National Force in Baghdad, laid out for reporters what they described as a "growing body of evidence" that Iran is manufacturing and exporting into Iraq the armor piercing explosives, known as "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs, that have killed more than 170 coalition troops, and wounded more than 620 others, in the past two years.

"Iran is a significant contributor to attacks on coalition forces," said a senior defense official in Baghdad, who like the two other officials spoke on condition of anonymity. He added that Iran is the only country in the region that produces these weapons.

The allegations against Iran marked the farthest that coalition forces have gone to make the case that Iran is working to attack U.S. and Iraqi troops. The revelations threaten to further enflame tensions between America and Iran.

So when the Stennis starts launching Alpha Strikes on Iran, what happens in Iraq. The Iranians would be free to toss weapons and bombs in the streets like candy.

How do US forces take on both the Shia uprising and the Sunni resistance?

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