Fox News' Fairytale Timeline Of The Iraq War

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Patti Anne Browne

A Fox News timeline stripped more than six years of the Iraq War from the record in order to link escalating violence in Iraq to decisions made by the Obama administration.  

This week an extremist group called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, and vowed to march on more top targets like Baghdad. In response, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for a state of emergency and appealed for U.S. military assistance by way of airstrikes.

The June 12 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom attempted to tie the escalating violence to President Obama and the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. As an illustration, anchor Patti Ann Browne laid out a timeline of U.S. engagement in Iraq, and eventual withdrawal -- a timeline that eliminated over six years of critical moments, agreements, and damaging scandals from the record: 

BROWNE: It's been a long battle to liberate Iraq. It was over a decade ago in October 2002 that Congress agreed to U.S. involvement in Iraq. That was followed by President Bush signing Authorization of Military Force.

BROWNE: Then in March 2003, shock and awe. The United States launching strikes against Baghdad after the deadline for Saddam Hussein's exile expired. 

BROWNE: Fast forward to 2007, President Bush announced the surge, the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Iraq. 

BROWNE: And then, the end. 2011. President Obama announcing the end of the Iraq War and saying troops will be withdrawn by the end of that year. 

Fox's timeline glosses over years of crucial events in the war. Noticeably absent:  

May 1, 2003: President Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq from the deck of an aircraft carrier, less than two months after U.S. troops entered the country and toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

January 25, 2004: Former CIA weapons inspector testified that the U.S. intelligence community failed to determine that the Iraqi weapons program was in a state of disarray prior to the U.S. invasion of the country.

April 30, 2004: Photographs emerged showing American soldiers torturing and abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. At least 11 U.S. military police personnel went on to serve prison sentences for the crimes.  

June 28, 2004: U.S. officials transferred formal sovereignty of Iraq to Iraqi leaders.

November 8, 2006: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigned amid growing criticism of his handling of the Iraq war.

November 17, 2008: U.S. and Iraqi Parliament ratified a status of forces agreement that mandated the end of 2011 as the date by which American troops must leave Iraq.

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