ABC's lead concerned Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric. Martha Raddatz reported that al-Sadr has fled Baghdad for Iran, according to her unidentified military sources. She offered two likely explanations: either he expected he would "get a JDAM dropped on his house" because of his anti-US militancy; or he faced a rift inside his Mahdi Army militia for refusing to be militant enough. Neither of the other two networks assigned a reporter to the al-Sadr story, although NBC's Andrea Mitchell followed up on her coverage yesterday of skepticism about the Pentagon's accusations against Iran for interference in Iraq. Even Chairman Peter Pace of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has "serious doubts" about Teheran's official role. Mitchell called his comments "surprising." Pace speculated that the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard might be operating in Iraq independently.
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