US gov't warns slain soldier's mom off Iraq visit

If there is ever a trial for the Iraqi accused of murdering Spc. Patrick McCaffrey, the US soldier's mother is determined to be there. But the Bush administration has strongly warned her against venturing to Baghdad. "Given the overall security situation in Iraq, we hope that Mrs. McCaffrey will decide against traveling there at this time," Jeffrey T. Bergner, the State Department's legislative affairs chief, wrote in October to Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. The government will not arrange her travel, nor help ensure her safety there, Bergner wrote. Nadia McCaffrey has grown wary of the administration and the US Army because of the way she was informed about how her son died. In June 2004, the Pentagon said Patrick was killed in a conventional ambush. In June 2006, a team of officers returned to her house to say he was actually murdered by an Iraqi guardsman patrolling alongside her son. They blamed bureaucratic snags for the mistake and delay.