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E-Bomb (EMP) Used On Iraqi TV Stations? 3-26-3
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The Pentagon refused to confirm Tuesday whether it sought to destroy or interfere with Iraqi television, after two channels in Iraq lost their signal temporarily due to strikes on transmitters. "We never discuss targets," information director at the Pentagon Bryan Whitman told reporters. "We take extreme efforts to make sure we minimize civilian casualties as we take out appropriate military targets that will help us achieve our objectives," Whitman said. The Pentagon spokesman refused to say whether an electromagnetic pulse, known as an E-bomb and aimed to paralyze computer and electrical networks, would be deployed in addition to precision guided missiles. Iraq's state and youth television channels -- the latter headed up by Uday Saddam Hussein, the oldest son of the Iraqi president -- stopped broadcasting late Tuesday after a new series of bombings pounded Baghdad. State television began transmitting again, alone, some 45 minutes later. CBS News reported Tuesday that the US Air Force had blasted Iraqi television with the experimental electromagnetic pulse device to try and knock off its signal and shut down Saddam's propaganda machine. The Pentagon does not acknowledge the existence of such devices aside from US military having non-lethal, electronic means. An official with the Central Command in Qatar, Victor Renuart, said Tuesday he did not think Iraqi broadcasts "affect us in a negative way." "I think people around the world understand that it is in fact ... not necessarily reality. "I think that certainly there are some who would believe everything that they see on the television, but I think we -- as we talk to leaders around the region, as we talk to leaders around the world, it is -- it doesn't seem to be a message that is taking as much as some might think," Renuart said. "We know they are practising deception and disinformation," he said. However, a senior Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, floated the scenario, "What if Saddam is using the TV for his commanders in the field? Let's not assume it just works as TV stations in France or the US." All rights reserved. © 2002 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.
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