12 May 2005

Iraq Moving Towards Open Civil War

An interview with Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh on the topic of the illegal immoral Iraq invasion, Abu Ghraib, the insurgency, and Ahmad Chalabi.

The overall status:

I have a friend who is a major player who went to Iraq recently. There's been a series, unreported, a series of missions in Iraq that have all been there to study the war -- where are we? -- and they’ve all come back pretty negatively. This guy came back and he saw the President months ago. And he said, “Mr. President, we're losing the war in Iraq.” And there was a sort of a three-second beat and Bush said, “You mean we're not winning.” And this guy said, “Hey, I told him what I had to say. If he wants to turn it the way he wants to, that's the way it goes.” You know, so he hears what he hears.

On Ahmad Chalabi:

Here's what I know about that. I know that King Jordan comes to visit America quite a bit – the United States. And the President likes him -- our President, George Bush, because he speaks good English. He went to a prep school here in America, and he's very pro-Western. And he sees the President, and he has told friends -- this is about nine months ago -- he was stunned. He was seeing the President. The President said, you know, “Your” -- whatever he calls him -- “I have a favor.” He said, “Of course, anything.” “I want you to pardon Chalabi.” And he was stunned, because, you know, how can he pardon Chalabi after what he had done. The money he stole was from old women and children, you know, little funds, and he was reviled, Chalabi. I have actually read -- I actually somebody in the intelligence community once gave me the transcript of his trial in Arabic. And we had it translated at The New Yorker. This time he was sort of out of vogue, and a story never emerged out of it, but the trial was devastating. I mean, they had him nailed. And he was smuggled out of the country. He probably was in cahoots, by the way, with various members of the royal family then during this stuff, you know, bribery, etc. In any case, he was stunned, and he didn't know what to say. He went back and he asked people in the parliament, who said, “Are you kidding?” So all I can tell you is that Abdullah is doing what the President of the United States, to his amazing shock, because this was after the stuff came out about Chalabi and his connection to Iran. This is probably a neo-con, a neoconservative play. I guess if you wanted to extrapolate it, I don't know whether -- if anybody cares, but I’m sure the White House would deny it and say it's not true, but I can categorically tell you this is Abdullah's story, this I do know. And he was stunned. And he couldn't do it then, so obviously, he thought time had passed. The idea that the President after Chalabi was in big trouble over his connections to Iran and being accused of leaking information whether rightly or not --

America is putting into power the same crew that we struck against.

Well, basically, what we have done since -- in the last year, is we have recreated the Iraqi Mukhabarat. This is the heavy-hitting secret police that Saddam ran. We have gone in and recreated many of the members, put them through a little acid test, made them vow that their allegiance – to what? – I guess, to America, or they're no longer Saddamites. In any case, this is our main force right now. This is the force that Allawi controls. This is a force, the former, you know, whatever the guys, whatever you want to call them, the former roughest guys that Saddam had are now working for us. They're our most prominent security force. And we have had really an amazing spectacle of the Secretary Of Defense, Rumsfeld, making at least two trips in the last five months, I think it’s three, but I know of two, I think it was three, though -- going in and basically -- once before the election was announced, and two more trips -- basically pleading on the inside for the two major factions, the Kurds and the Shia, I'm assuming some knowledge of -- I hope I'm not -- Iraq? -- you know, the country? and there's -- anyway, I don't want to kid you. But we're negotiating -- obviously the whole point of the election was to keep Allawi in play so that he could serve as a bridge, our man, between the Kurds and the Shia. And what he delivers is, of course, is the Mukhabarat.


Is it possible to change my handle that I entered?

I dont want future employees to type "trav1bailey" from my email, and the first thing to come up is this conversation.