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Iraq

Could the Iraq war cost $1 trillion?

The New York Times reports that the Army yesterday moved "to stanch the furor over the mishandling of the friendly fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman in Afghanistan by censuring a retired three-star general for errors and deceptions and apologizing profusely to the Tillman family and the public for 'mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership.'"

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing today on Tillman's death, at which former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is supposed to appear.

Representatives from the anti-war conglomerate Americans Against Escalation in Iraq spoke with First Read yesterday to discuss their grassroots efforts to persuade as many as 41 targeted GOP senators and representatives up for re-election next year to vote for a "responsible" end to the Iraq war. These efforts will culminate on August 28 -- "Take A Stand Day" -- when the group's grassroots members will hold town halls asking these lawmakers to vote to change the course in Iraq. (So far, the group said that Virginia Rep. Tom Davis is the only targeted lawmaker who has said that he'll show up at his town hall.)

"The Republicans are in deep, deep trouble heading in 2008," said Tom Mattzie of MoveOn, who is serving as AAEI's campaign manager. "Help us end the war -- or face political extinction." Mattzie noted that his group has at least 41 people with cameras tracking these targeted GOP lawmakers, 130 staff members, and a budget of at least $9 million. It will also launch new TV ads later this month.