Reporters on the Job

Keep on Truckin': Getting the story out (page 1) sometimes requires friends in high places. And at the frontline post in Fallujah, Iraq, where the Monitor's Scott Peterson has been in recent days, there's no higher place than the cab of Sgt. Barry Corse's seven-ton truck.

The trucks are the only military vehicles there with a cigarette lighter that delivers 12-volt power - a crucial asset for filing stories and photos. "I was lucky to knock on Barry's door," says Scott, of his fellow Washington State native. "Barry was laid-back, happy to let me plug in, and interested in watching the story- and photo-editing process."

Barry told Scott about his marriage plans: his wedding was meant to take place this weekend, but will now happen in November. He spoke of his two brothers, and his hopes after seven years with the Marines. Barry's parents checked out the Monitor website, and Scott's photos on the Getty site.

Scott says he enjoyed homemade cookies from Barry's mother, and a tin of real Pacific King Salmon. "We were in Fallujah, but that cab was like home," Scott says.

National Image: The scandal over photos of alleged abuse of Iraqi POWs by British troops - even if they prove to be fake - has spurred Britons to review their image of a military traditionally held in high esteem.

"People don't want to believe that the photos are real," says correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley (page 7). "Britons really believe that the military is one of the few national institutions that has preserved its integrity in scandal-ridden times. There's a perception of the military as having maintained discipline and integrity, despite being stretched thin."

So far, says Mark, people seem to be concluding that these particular poses may have been faked, but that the pressure of the mission in Iraq may have spurred young soldiers to have done the wrong thing at times.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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