Visit the Group News Blog operated by friends of Steve:

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


Helicopter attackers stopped.

This is good news.

The U.S. military has broken up a network of insurgents who were behind a string of deadly attacks on U.S. helicopters in Iraq this winter, the Army's top aviation officer in Iraq said.
A surge in fatal attacks on U.S. helicopters this winter threatened to hamper flight operations and generated headlines for insurgent groups.

Enemy fighters shot down six military helicopters in January and February, killing 23 servicemembers. Heavy machine guns were used in four attacks and small arms in one assault. A missile was used to down one of the six helicopters. Two private contractor helicopters were also shot down during that time.

The winter attacks were different. A group of loosely connected cells employed heavy machine guns and used terrain to their advantage. They had studied the routes regularly used by U.S. helicopters. "The difference (in these attacks) is they were deliberate military operations conducted in an ambush style against our aircraft," Simmons said.