Dec 15, 2005 — In Iraq, tribal Sheiks are often central figures for the U.S. military. Unit commanders meet often with sheiks to talk about local events and act as a mutual bridge between U.S. soldiers and Iraqis. Lately, a lot of the talk has centered on Thursday's elections. Freelance photojournalist Bill Putnam recently sat in on one such conversation. Captain Adam Lackey of the 101st Airborne Division spoke with a sheik in Bayji, in the area known as the Sunni triangle. Their conversation was far-ranging, from the Sunni sheik's surprising support of a Shiite candidate, to concerns over ballot rigging and Iran, to the sheik's desires for a secular Iraq. Putnam sent us this audio postcard.