It is always interesting to see what is left out of a story. In the case of the targetted killings of Iraqi trade unionists and the intellegentsia, as far as these stories are reported in the American and European press, questioning who or what is served by these sectarian murders is carefully omitted, such as the capture of the two British SAS men, disguised as Sadr’s militia, their car packed with weapons, explosives and remote control detonators. Why were they dressed as members of the Mehdi army, what were they planning to do with the explosives and did they hope to stir up sectarian hatred? Such obvious questions were never aired in the Western media.British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car. “They refused to say what their mission was.

In today’s Guardian an article on clashes between Basra residents and the British army, following an helicopter crash in which 5 troops were killed explains that the tensions between the two sides arose last September after

British forces arrested two officials of Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to al-Sadr, raising tensions. About a week later, militiamen and residents clashed with British troops after two British soldiers in local clothes were detained by Iraqi authorities before being freed in a raid by British forces.

No mention of the fact that these British soldiers were SAS on a mission to “infiltrate” the Iraqi police as was reported by the disinformationalists at the time. The Guardian article is useful for the way in which it tries to obscure this earlier incident and to shift responsibility for the rage of local people to the Mehdi army.

The UK Independent writes

The two seized British undercover soldiers were gathering intelligence on one of the most menacing of the police/militia factions, “the Jameat” force within the force numbering several hundred, and suspected of abductions, torture and murders.

No mention of the explosives, the detonators, the disguise.

Max Fuller writing for Global Reseach unravels the role of UK and US in the murder of thousands of Iraqi academics and trade unionists.

What the mainstream Western media neglects to remind us is that following the occupation of Iraq, British and US intelligence went into overdrive to establish a new Iraqi intelligence apparatus.

They rightly saw this as the linchpin of their puppet state. Recruits were drawn from existing intelligence agents (presumably CIA assets) within the main political parties, all of whom had returned to Iraq on the back of US tanks, and hammered into a new organisation known as the Collection, Management and Analysis Directorate (CMAD).

CMAD’s first task was to draw up lists of opponents, who were to be the targets of a paramilitary unit drawn from the militias of the same political parties, working in collusion with US special forces.

Who these targets were is not known. It is known, however, that in the first year of occupation some 1,000 Iraqi professionals, including many teachers, were murdered, promoting a mass exodus.

While some reporters suggested that disgruntled students might be responsible for the massacre of academics, the pattern is better placed within the total levelling of Iraq’s cultural and political life — an apocalyptic Year Zero.

The fact that "disgruntled students" might be responsible is not accompanied by analysis that would enlighten the reader as to why students would want to destroy a generation of university lecturers and professors. It is also disquieting to find that CMAD is never mentioned. In tracing the establishment of the CMAD enough detail exists to infer U.S.A and U.K involvement in the formation of Iraq's death squads. As Max Fuller explains:

In fact, the entire intelligence establishment is a creation of the Anglo-American secret services (Los Angeles Times), which began building at least as early as the beginning of the occupation (Detroit Free Press), although it may be suspected that the process was conceived long before. The new Iraqi establishment was staffed by long-term CIA assets, such as General Mohammad Shahwani, who had been nurtured by the CIA since the late 1980s (Asia Times Online) and became director of the new National Intelligence Service (the Mukhabarat). Like Thabit and Flayyih, other old CIA hands, Shahwani had participated in attempted coups against the government of Iraq. Further agents (presumably existing intelligence assets for the most part) were recruited from Iraq’s main political groups, consisting of SCIRI, the Dawa Party, the two main Kurdish parties, the Iraqi National Congress and the Iraqi National Accord. These agents became the Collection, Management and Analysis Directorate (CMAD), whose principal job was to ‘turn raw intelligence into targets that could be used in operations’ (Detroit Free Press, op. cit.). Initially, ‘operations’ were carried out by a paramilitary unit composed of militia from the five main parties, who, under the supervision of US commanders, worked with US special forces to track down ‘insurgents’ (Washington Post). As the new Iraqi state apparatus developed, CMAD was split between the ministries of Defence and Interior, with an ‘elite corps’ creamed off to form the National Intelligence Service (Detroit Free Press, op. cit.). To oversee all three bodies, the National Intelligence Coordination Committee was established, headed, as National Security Advisor (appointed in April 2004), by Mowaffak Rubaie. This ‘leading Shiite moderate’ had been a spokesman for the Dawa Party in the 1980s when it was a serious terrorist organisation targeting Iraq, before moving on to help coordinate the Iraqi opposition from London (Asia Times Online, op. cit.). In London he worked with the Khoei Foundation, a pro-US charitable organisation that has distributed money for the CIA and is linked with the National Endowment for Democracy through Prime minister Jaafari’s advisor Laith Kuba, another long-term CIA asset (Village Voice).

 

These new intelligence agencies supply the data for the Interior Ministry to make arrests. A graphic and harrowing account of such arrests on 27 June 2004 was provided by UPI’s P. Mitchell Prothero, in what he describes as the ‘welcome arrival of frontier-style law enforcement’. Prothero described how local residents ‘seemed shocked’ as their doors were broken in and ‘men were dragged from their homes dishevelled and screaming’ by members of a SWAT team in central Baghdad. The raid had been planned for months by General Kamal’s intelligence agency within the Interior Ministry and the names of more than 100 detainees were checked against prepared lists (Washington Times). Prothero witnessed many of those detainees ‘worked over’ with metal batons and lengths of hose in the backs of vans, but the most serious abuse came later, within the Interior Ministry compound. On 29 June members of the Oregon National Guard swept into the grounds of the Interior Ministry and disarmed plain-clothed Iraqi policemen whom they had observed beating bound and blindfolded prisoners (Oregonian). The US soldiers began to administer first aid to the prisoners, who had also been starved of food and water for three days; many were clearly in a very serious condition. Steven Casteel was called to help deal with the situation (Boston Globe). After hours of negotiations, the soldiers unwillingly withdrew, leaving the victims in the hands of their torturers. Perhaps their ultimate fate will never be known, but as Casteel commented, ‘There’s always a pendulum between freedom and security’.

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