Reporters on the Job
• Green Zone Passport: While waiting to hear back from editors in Boston about Thursday's story (page 1), staff writer Dan Murphy went to see some sources in Baghdad's Green Zone, the vast palace complex that used to be Saddam Hussein's and now houses the Coalition Provisional Authority. The trip was another reminder of the daily annoyances the occupation generates for many Iraqis.
The Green Zone begins less than a mile from Dan's hotel, but the drive to the entrance usually takes an hour. Wednesday, Dan had heard that the soldiers at the closest gate were letting people with US passports drive over the July 14th bridge - bringing the hour drive down to about 5 minutes. It worked. Dan was able to jump to the front of a 1/2-mile long queue. Roughly 10,000 Iraqis live inside the zone and spend about an hour waiting every time they come home to get their cars searched. "I was definitely happy to jump to the front of the line. But I got plenty of dirty looks while doing it," says Dan.
• Duck and Cover: Camp Fallujah has been relatively peaceful in recent days, says staff writer Scott Peterson, who is embedded with US Marines at their headquarters base a few miles east of the Iraqi city. But on Tuesday night Scott's dinner of beef stew and cheese salad was disrupted by a mortar landing in the camp. And then another.
Mortar and rocket fire were common there in early April, with some 15 to 20 rounds a day landing randomly throughout the camp.
"I strapped on my flak vest and helmet, and walked to the medical clinic in the dark, to see if there was anything to learn," Scott says. He was told that there were no casualties from the mortar attack. But he arrived just in time to see seven other "routine" cases of injured marines come in, from yet another ambush in Fallujah (this page).
David Clark Scott