In his book, Frank Rich asks, are we being told the truth about what is currently going on in Iraq?
He responds: The problem in Iraq is that it is so unsafe. A very brave war correspondent for the Times said two weeks ago that 98 percent of the country—and in Baghdad in particular—reporters can't go to because it's just too dangerous. More reporters have been killed in this war than any modern war. At a certain point, a place like the New York Times or ABC News has to say, you cannot get killed for the story. That in itself tells us something that the country is so unsafe that we can't cover it. We rely on Iraqis to cover it and the Iraqis often are so frightened of being seen working for Americans that they won't reveal their identities to their own families as journalists.
Oprah: What do you think we're not being told, then?
Frank: I think what we're not being told is what's coming out anyway in secret reports from the Pentagon and CIA. We're near a civil war [in Iraq], if not at a civil war. A lot of it is not about insurgents and terrorists—a lot of it is, but a lot of it is about us being in the middle of a crossfire of a religious war that has nothing to do with why we went in there. And what we're also not seeing is that much of the reconstruction—the $22 billion that we spent to rebuild schools and hospitals—has been lost on waste, corruption or simply because it's too unsafe to build things.