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April 12, 2007

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Swan


I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment, but I think this is important:

Re: the Iraq war in general

Ever since the months prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there have been a few reports in the newspapers that the Central Intelligence Agency was casting aspersions on the intelligence the White House was relying on to justify the war. The CIA has never given a position on whether the war is needed or justified or said that Bush is wrong to go to war. But doesn't it seem much more likely that the CIA is an extremely right wing organization than a left wing one? After all, even if the people working for them and at least a lot of the leadership really wanted a war for their own reasons, there are a lot of reasons for them to not want to tie their credibility to what they know is faulty information. They and their personnel, present and former, could use other means of promoting the Iraq war, and still be motivated to make the statements in the media. If the CIA got behind faulty information, they would have to make a choice between whether they would be involved in scamming the American people and the world once the military had invaded Iraq and no weapons were found- so: 1) Imagine the incredible difficulties involved in pulling off a hoax that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Imagine all the people you would have to be able to show the weapons to- the inspectors from the UN / the international community, the American press, statesmen, etc. Then imagine the difficulties of substantiating that story to people who would examine it- the lack of witnesses to a production plant that made the weapons or to transportation operations or storage of the weapons during Hussein's regime of them. 2) If the story fell apart upon inspection or the CIA tried not to hoax it at all, imagine the loss of credibility they would suffer. The CIA, it is safe to bet, does not want to be known to the American people as a group that lies to them to send them to war. Even within the CIA there could be disagreement among people about how involved they should be in promoting the war or the neo-con agenda more broadly, so the CIA would have to worry about lying to and managing its own people after trying so hard to get them to trust their superiors in the agency, and perhaps there simply might be too many people in the agency who knew enough about what was going on in Iraq to know if someone was deceiving people to promote this war.

So there is a lot of reason to be cautious against being seen as endorsing what they knew was false intelligence even if they were very strong supporters of going to war.

Granted, it’s certainly possible the CIA could have changed their minds about the war, as a lot of people have, and could now be trying to move the nation closer to withdrawal.

ljm

laith, one of our news programs said tonight that the green zone is now about equal in protection to anywhere else in Baghdad, since they sent the troops into the neighborhoods to set up sectors and live with the people. For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like the greez zone is any better than any other place in Iraq, except for the private security the companies and government officials have behind their walled compounds. I also heard on the news the suspected suicide bomber was believed to be a body guard of one of the Sunni politicians. Here they say it was caused by Al Qaeda, because some of the Sunni groups have been talking with the Americans and government in an effort to make peace and the Al Qaeda related people are retaliating to stop these negotiations. As for the bombing of the bridge, the same group is believed to be responsible. With the U.S. military spread out around Baghdad, it remains to be seen what might happen next. The strategy is supposed to be to sweep and hold neighborhoods to keep them secure, so perhaps the experience Sahar had at her house was a sweep and now her neighborhood is under patrol by Americans who are now living there trying to keep down the violence. The bigger strategy is that if these neighborhoods can be secured, then reconstruction to get back basic services like electricity will begin in earnest. Losing that bridge was a step backward for rebuilding infrastructure. I hope the strategy works well enough to get you electricity and stop the destruction of anymore vital structures. As for parliament, you never know, a few years ago a guy with a gun got into our capitol building and was shooting in Washington D.C. He wasn't a terrorist. He was a mental patient who wasn't taking his medication. These things seem to happen even in places you'd never expect. Be very careful and be safe over there.

Laura

Stateside the reports are that 8 people died, three of them lawmakers, and 20 were injured. In your column, are you reporting what the official statement is only....or is news shut down somehow so that more information isn't available? I also read that searches were conducted by hand today because a machine had broken down; Convenient? Human error? One report said that a Sunni lawmaker's bodyguard was the suicide bomber. Another that the dead lawmakers were all of parties not sympathetic to al-Maliki's administration....Rumors or....?

Rice minimized the incident, claiming that it's still "early." Four years is EARLY????? I ashamed to say that U.S. representatives can rationalize/excuse anything.

Is there no way for us (by us, I mean those of us everywhere who believe in loving our neighbor/lovingkindness/the golden rule/however you want to describe being just) to wage peace?

Stay safe dear McClatchey workers.

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"Inside Iraq" is a blog updated by Iraqi journalists who have worked for McClatchy Newspapers. They are based in Baghdad. These are firsthand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names are withheld for security purposes.

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