Video: Is government honest about attacks on troops?

Image: Jim Miklasszewski
By Jim Miklaszewski Chief Pentagon correspondent
NBC News
updated 9/29/2006 4:29:09 PM ET 2006-09-29T20:29:09

WASHINGTON — An explosive new book, now just days away from store shelves, is making news before arriving on the market.

"State of Denial" is the work of journalist Bob Woodward, and according to advance publicity materials released to the media, it alleges that attacks by insurgents in Iraq are worse than Americans have been led to believe.

It's no secret that the Bush administration has tried to put the best face on the war in Iraq, but Woodward claims it's a deliberate attempt to deceive the American people about the worsening state of the war.

Woodward claims President Bush and the Pentagon are concealing key intelligence that predicts the violence in Iraq will only get worse in the coming year.

Woodward also tells CBS' '60 Minutes:' "It's getting to the point now where there are 800-900 attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces."

U.S. military officials have stated publicly that the level of violence in Iraq is on the rise, and confirm the number of attacks in Iraq is about 120 per day — nearly 900 per week — but that also includes attacks against Iraqi security forces and civilians, not only U.S. forces.

In fact, the Pentagon's quarterly report on violence in Iraq publicly released last month shows nearly 800 attacks per week from May to August 2006 against all targets.

Video: What's really going on in Iraq? But in his interview with '60 Minutes,' Woodward says: "Now there's public and then there's private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know. Why is that secret?"

Woodward also reveals that President Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger often meets with President Bush, advising him to stay the course in Iraq.

According to Woodward, "Kissinger's fighting the Vietnam War again, because in his view the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will."

Thursday night, Pentagon and military officials dispute Woodward's figures on attacks against Americans, and strongly deny any attempt to hide the truth.

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