Monday, January 31, 2005

Dateline Baghdad: NM Politico Ponders His Fate As War Rages, Plus: Leader Sanchez Backs-Off On Big Bill's Bonus For Guard, And: Some TV Talk 

New Mexico politico Vic Segura, a Major in the Air Force Reserves stationed near Saddam Hussein's old presidential palace in Baghdad, pauses from his duties and captures the drama and tension of the Iraqi situation in this e-mail missive with a Baghdad dateline:

"I am attached to Task Force 134 which was set up as a result of the prison abuse scandals. I work for Detainee Operations as their Administrative Officer. I work directly for a two star General. The headquarters is located in Camp Victory, which is close to Saddam's palace. Camp Victory is it's own safe zone. Safe here is relative.

A couple of weeks ago around lunch time I was at my desk and a loud explosion shook the building. I heard glass breaking. I sat there stunned for a few moments not sure what happened. I waited a few seconds to make sure there was nothing else coming in. I finally left my desk to see if everyone was OK. Thank God most people were at lunch. I ran into the General's Office and he was standing in the middle of the room. The glass from his office scattered all over.

To make a long story short, a 122 MM Rocket impacted about 30 yards from the building. It blew out most of our windows but no one was hurt. Luckily it hit in a lake behind our building so we didn't get the scrap metal. The water took the impact. I left for lunch 30 minutes later and my heart started pounding when I realized that if the rocket would have been 30 yards shorter, I would not be here. It took me about 5 hours to calm down."


Segura, an ABQ Westsider, has managed several political campaigns, including those of ABQ City Council President Brad Winter and run for a council seat himself. Despite the intensity of his present situation, La Politica still beckons to Segura who writes that he is pondering another city council run or, at the least, managing another campaign. Even in the war zones, the lure of La Politica does not diminish! May it ever be so. Good Luck Vic. See you in May.


Segura's dramatic e-mail raises the question: What happened to State Senate Majority Leader Sanchez's concern over Big Bill's plan to pay life insurance premiums for members of the NM National Guard?

Sanchez made hay over it on the Legislature's opening day. Well, it appears his concerns have been addressed. He tells the AP he was encouraged that there are no legal roadblocks, as he first thought. Even if here were legal concerns, this was not the bill Michael could do battle with the Guv on, not with the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq increasing and not with New Mexicans like Vic Segura putting in long hours in the embattled nation.


Heard on the street, but not confirmed: the return of Deanna Sauceda to KRQE-TV, channel 13. The anchorwoman held forth at the CBS affiliate in the 1990's and then headed north to Colorado to take a job with Intel. TV sources now say she may be poised for a return to the tube. No word yet on what her chores would be. As always, we'll keep you posted.

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