From Phoenix, Arizona
Ned Crabb, Letters EditorTHE WALL STREET JOURNAL New York, NY
Subject: A letter to the editor re. "CIA Details the Blunders It Made in Bombing of China Embassy," July 23, 1999 (by Neil King Jr.)
The Wall Street Journal can now join the CIA and the Pentagon with its own contribution to incompetence and confusion surrounding NATOs bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7. Your July 23 report about the testimony of the CIA director, George Tenet, before the House Intelligence Committee, said among other things that, "blame for not catching the mistake, though, goes beyond the CIA. The most recent maps put together by the Pentagons mapping agency still had the embassy across the river in New Belgrade."
The Chinese embassy, the actual one; the one which NATO bombed, IS in New Belgrade, across the river Sava from the older downtown, where the old Chinese embassy used to be until about five years ago.
And as you can see from the enclosed map by the U.S. government mapping agency, which a former Pentagon contractor sent to the Truth in Media immediately after the embassy bombing, the Chinese embassy was clearly marked on it - in New Belgrade, of course.
Perhaps you should print a correction to the subject story, which blew more smoke into an already confusing situation while trying to clear it.
P.S. By the way, during this writer's recent trip to Boston (see S99-123, "Peace" 17, July 13), the TiM editor had a chance to meet the person who is the head of the IT function at the U.S. Defense Mapping Agency. We happened to be seated next to each other during a business luncheon.
"Oh, so you're the guy who bombed the Chinese embassy!", this writer exclaimed with a smirk on his face, immediately upon learning who his luncheon companion was.
"That's the only thing people remember - our one mistake," the mapping gentleman grumbled. "They don't remember the thousands of targets which we got right."
"Well, that's only natural," the TiM editor said. "When an earthquake strikes California, for example, people remember it. They don't talk about the thousands of days when the earth didn't rumble and move."
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