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Huge Explosions in Baghdad Possible Inside Job

UPDATE: Former Police Chief of Saddam Hussein Confesses to Finance Ministry Attack

CNN
August 24, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaVm1F-LFOI

Iraqi officials Sunday released what they called a confession from a man identified as a former Baathist police official, who says he helped organize one of last week’s attacks on government buildings in Baghdad.

In the videotaped statement, the man identified himself as Wissam Ali Kadhim Ibrahim, a former police chief in executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s government. Ibrahim said he received orders for the bombing of the Finance Ministry building from a member of Hussein’s Baath Party now living in Syria.

The release of the confession came as Iraqi authorities investigate whether members of the country’s security forces collaborated in Wednesday’s attacks. Iraq’s security forces have come under sharp criticism for failing to prevent the bombings, which have raised doubts about the capabilities and allegiances of Iraq’s army and police.

Wednesday’s suicide truck bombings at the Finance Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, as well as three other blasts, killed at least 100 people and wounded hundreds of others. It was the bloodiest day in the Iraqi capital since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities at the end of June.

Ibrahim’s statement did not mention the use of trucks or the bombing at the Foreign Ministry, Wednesday’s other major attack. In his statement, which was played for reporters and aired on Iraqi television, the well-dressed 57-year-old said he received orders from Sattam Farhan, who he said was a Baath Party leader in Syria. The goal of the attack was “to destabilize the regime,” Ibrahim said.

Some midlevel and senior members of the Baath Party sought refuge in Syria following the U.S. invasion that ousted Hussein in 2003. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked for the handover of some of those ex-officials during a visit to Damascus last week, Iraqi officials said.

Ibrahim spoke calmly and conversationally as he described his involvement in one the deadliest bombings in Iraq this year. He said the vehicle used in the bombing was put together in the town of Khalis, northeast of Baghdad, and said $10,000 was paid to a man who facilitated the passage of the vehicle through checkpoints from Diyala province — where Ibrahim was once a town police chief, officials said — to Baghdad.

Read Full Article Here

 

Iraqi FM: Baghdad bombings possible inside job

AP
August 22, 2009

Iraq’s foreign minister says those who carried out bombings that targeted government buildings got help to pull off the attacks, possibly from members of Iraqi security forces.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also says he regrets allowing the removal of a checkpoint and concrete blast barriers from near the ministry building.

The building was among two that were targeted Wednesday by truck bombs that killed at least 101 and wounded more than 500.

Zebari told reporters Saturday during a press conference in Baghdad that the attacks were well planned and executed.

He says the ministry is also looking into how the trucks carrying the bombs were allowed to pass into areas where they are banned from traveling.

 



Obama Tried To Stall Iraq Withdrawal

Obama Tried To Stall Iraq Withdrawal

NY Post
September 15, 2008

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

“However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open.” Zebari says.

Though Obama claims the US presence is “illegal,” he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the “weakened Bush administration,” Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a “realistic withdrawal date.” They declined.

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.

Supposing he wins, Obama’s administration wouldn’t be fully operational before February – and naming a new ambassador to Baghdad and forming a new negotiation team might take longer still.

By then, Iraq will be in the throes of its own campaign season. Judging by the past two elections, forming a new coalition government may then take three months. So the Iraqi negotiating team might not be in place until next June.

Then, judging by how long the current talks have taken, restarting the process from scratch would leave the two sides needing at least six months to come up with a draft accord. That puts us at May 2010 for when the draft might be submitted to the Iraqi parliament – which might well need another six months to pass it into law

Obama calls for US military draft
http://mparent7777-1.livejournal.com/1726422.html

Biden: Paying higher taxes patriotic for wealthy
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_el_pr/biden_taxes