The centerpiece on the L.A. Times front today is solid work -- a reconstruction of the deadliest battle for American forces in the Iraq war. Plans went awry and 18 Marines in one company died trying to enter Nasiriyah. Investigative reporters Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez spoke with 11 survivors, many of whom still have questions they would like answered.
They want to know why an Air Force fighter strafed their positions as they struggled to hold the bridge, killing at least one Marine and possibly as many as six.
The story jumps to two full inside pages, with photos from the battle, maps and capsules on the Marines who were killed.
The Times' Column One story by Edmund Sanders is on the ground in Baghdad with Americans trying to create a new Iraqi police force. The story begins with a 42-year-old Iraqi colonel being miffed about taking orders from a 23-year-old female U.S. Army lieutenant. Former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik describes traffic cops leaving their post when it gets hot and other realities: