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Iraq War 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now? Josh Rushing (U.S. Marines spokesman)

Jessica Lynch. Tommy Franks.  'Chemical Ali.' Tony Blair. Hans Blix. Ten years ago, as the war in Iraq began, these were names on front pages everywhere. Find out what has happened to them – and 10 other headliners associated with the conflict – since.

Al-Jazeera via AP

Josh Rushing of Al-Jazeera English is seen this publicity image released by Al-Jazeera TV.

Josh Rushing (U.S. Marines spokesman)
Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks was not the only military spokesman to attract attention in Iraq. While Brooks was the smooth mouthpiece for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marines relied on the skills of a young Texan, Captain Josh Rushing, to explain their point of the view to the Arab press, in particular al-Jazeera, the Gulf-based TV channel often criticized for offering the unfiltered views of terrorists and for sometime harsh coverage of the U.S. administration. 
Articulate and credible, the 33-year-old Rushing appeared to be the perfect choice for the task — until the release in early 2004 of the documentary “Control Room,” in which he became the unwitting star. In the movie, Rushing defends U.S. troops and never directly criticizes the war, but more and more finds himself questioning the honesty of his commanders in the U.S.

This questioning led to conflicts with the Pentagon and, eventually, his resignation from the Marines, with Rushing telling Time magazine that he was troubled by the “politicization” of the military command and what he described as U.S. TV networks being “co-opted” by the Bush administration.

If the Pentagon was surprised by Rushing’s dissension, it — and media outlets everywhere — were shocked when in September 2005 it was announced that Rushing was joining Al-Jazeera. In particular, Rushing signed up to work for Al-Jazeera English, which launched in November 2006 and is carried on several U.S. cable systems.

In a time when American media has become so nationalized,” Rushing said in a statement on Al-Jazeera’s website, “I’m excited about joining an organization that truly wants to be a source of global information. I witnessed during the war how the U.S. media was co-opted by the U.S. government’s messaging. I am proud to be part of a news network that believes in the power of the un-spun truth.”

Rushing told Time that he looked closely at Al-Jazeera and found nothing to stop him from joining.  “I’m not condoning everything they do,” he told the magazine, “but the Arab media is a key part of national security and how to deal with Arab world. The network has long been the only one in the region with a point-counterpoint approach, where many others are ‘point-point-point.’ Al Jazeera, for example, regularly has Israeli spokespeople on.”

In June 2007, Rushing released his first book, “Mission Al Jazeera: Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth.” According to his Web site, JoshRushing.com, the book “blends [his] personal story with a unique behind-the-scenes look into the controversial Al Jazeera networks – media the West can no longer afford to ignore.”

He is now a co-host on Fault Lines, a current affairs program on Al Jazeera English. He is also contributor for the Huffington Post and the Al Jazeera English newsblog.