CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Central Command Update
Aired April 4, 2003 - 04:22 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are a couple of hours away right now, two, three hours away, from the next briefing at CENTCOM headquarters in Doha, Qatar. That's where we find our Tom Mintier for a look ahead.
TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you just heard, Special Forces indeed are working in northern Iraq.
Also like to share with you a couple pieces of video, very extraordinary pieces of video that we received over the last two days. One was PFC. Jessica Lynch's rescue by special operations and the other was a raid in the last 24 to 36 hours on a palace outside of Baghdad.
Now these were Special Forces operations. You often don't hear about these. You almost never see them. And being able to see the pictures off the battlefield may be green and grainy and fuzzy, but these are special operations going in, in the case of the presidential compound, facing fire from the ground as the helicopter landed in the middle of the palace and then going room to room searching.
I had a background briefing today with a senior military official who deals with special operations, and it was the shortest background briefing we've ever had. It only lasted a half hour and it only took about four pages of notes in my notepad. But one of the salient comments that he made was that we need to win the war and win the peace as well. We need to be able to conduct ourselves on the battlefield and as -- just as quickly, set up a medical clinic. He also said that using basically the same technology and tactics that were used in Afghanistan, saying they worked well there, they're working well here. A very small force with high technology on the battlefield with the ability to use the other assets of the coalition partners.
I asked him directly about a reason for the operation on the palace yesterday and the extraordinary video that we were able to see, asking if he would share with us some of the reasons behind this operation. I got a two-word answer, no sir.
So a very interesting briefing, but saying that special operations were indeed involved in paving the road to Baghdad. And the -- and the best quote out of the whole thing was "if this was easy, they would call it golf." So special operations working in the shadows, not very many quotes, not very many things they were willing to talk about. But any time you get an opportunity to sit down with someone that is even involved in these type of operations, much less the video we've been seeing the last two days, pretty interesting.
On the Jessica Lynch hospital, asked about the possibility that she had been tortured or mistreated, saying that this was not the type of hospital that we normally consider any type of treatment in. So it'll be interesting to see what we hear later today, if indeed Jessica Lynch talks about this. But on the background, they wouldn't really discuss much about the conditions surrounding the hospital, except to say that it was not the kind of hospital that normal medical treatment in the Western world would consider -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Tom, good reminder, a briefing coming out of Lundstuhl Medical Center at 5:00 a.m. Eastern. You'll see that live here on CNN.
And remind us again the next briefing out of Doha, please.
MINTIER: The next briefing out of Doha occurs at 3:00 p.m. local time, 7:00 a.m. East Coast Time. And of course, as usual, we will carry it live on CNN. We do think that Brigadier General Vincent Brooks will be the briefer again and wondering how they can top the video of the last two days of the raid on the palace and the rescue of the American POW behind enemy lines. So the briefing here coming up in about two-and-a-half hours.
KAGAN: We will look forward to that.
Tom Mintier, in Doha, Qatar, thank you.
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