New information on the Iraq War Deception
The LA Times reported on July 3 that according to US military sources the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad in April of 2003, was initiated by the US army not the Iraqi people. PR Watch provides a link to the US military source that also includes interesting reading on “lessons learned” from the US military campaign in Iraq. The statue deception was reported on by the independent press when it happened, but not by the corporate media. See the GRIID report Searching for the Smoking Gun pages 6-7.
War Contracts in Iraq a Failure and Unorganized
A new piece from the Center for Public Integrity shows that even after 1 year of doling out contracts to more than 150 American companies “much of the work continues to be uncoordinated within federal agencies and no agency seems to have a full picture of all the postwar contracts.” This bureaucracy is further supported by an article from Pratap Chatterjee from
War Profiteers about a company in North Carolina that received a $167 million contract to do democracy building work in Iraq. The article interviews several staffers hired by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) who admit that they completely failed in their task.
Lastly, a new report from the White House budget office says that only 2%
of the 16.8 billion allotted for Iraqi reconstruction last October has been spent. The White House report said none of the U.S. aid package has been spent onconstruction, health care, sanitation or water projects. Instead, the bulk of the money was spent on administrative needs.
Violence continues in Iraq despite “Handover of Sovereignty”
Despite the “handover of sovereignty” two weeks ago, Iraq continues to be plagued by violence. The past week saw numerous bombings and civilian and military targets by insurgents as well as U.S. troops attacks on Iraqis. There were several incedents of U.S. military killing Iraqi civilians this week, including the shooting deaths of a child and of a man on the way to his wedding. Five U.S. troops were killed by mortar fire in Samarra. U.S. efforts to work with Iraqi police in providing security are proving to be problematic at best. The Iraqi police are rather leery of being seen anywhere near U.S. troops. The Associated Press this week admitted that the Iraqi insurgency is much larger than the previous estimates of 5000.
New Iraqi Prime Minister Poised to Declare Martial Law
New Iraq Prime Minster Iyad Allawi has given himself sweeping powers to declare martial law. Allawi, a former CIA operative and appointed Prime Minister of a country without a parliament, could declare martial law but does not have an army to enforce it with. That job would fall to the U.S. military that is supposedly handing “sovereignty” over to the Iraqis. When asked about the possibility of martial law being declared in Iraq, President Bush responded, “The Iraqi people need to hear, loud and clear, they’ll have our friendship and our support, no matter how tough it gets.” Considering that martial law would give Prime Minister Allawi and the U.S. troops enforcing it the right to ban groups, to barge into homes, and to hold suspects indefinitely, Iraqi sovereignty might end up looking very similar to the preceding period of U.S. occupation.
Tony Blair admits the Obvious…
This week at an appearance before the Commons liaison committee Tony Blair was forced to admit that there are no WMD’s in Iraq. Said the Prime Minister “I have to accept we haven’t found them and we may never find them, we don’t know what has happened to them.” Although Blair admitted the weapons are not there now, he continued to suggest that the weapons did exist at some point, “They could have been removed. They could have been hidden. They could have been destroyed.” Next Wednesday, civil servant Lord Butler will deliver a report to Parliament on the intelligence the government received about Saddam Hussein’s weaponry.
…And Cheney keeps on Lying
Dick Cheney continues to lie about the connections between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein. After the Sept. 11 commission cited that there was no “collaborative relationship” between Al Qaida and Saddam, Cheney denied this and said he was privy to intelligence that the commission was not. Upon hearing Cheney’s comments, the commission stated “After examining available transcripts of the vice president’s public remarks, the 9/11 commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq prior to the 9/11 attacks.”