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Did John Negroponte organize the Iraqi death squads?

Eternal Hope, Daily Kos

negroponte_4.jpg

February 18, 2006

Remember John Negroponte, the last US Ambassador to Iraq? He was the man who organized right-wing death squads within El Salvador to wipe out dissident groups there. Now, there are reports that death squads of a similar nature are working in Iraq, killing off Sunni dissidents and people not deemed pure enough. I would not be surprised if this has Negroponte's handiwork, given his proven track record with this. A new blog, Iraqi Death Squads, is being set up to expose these death squads. This blog is being run by the same blogger who runs the site The Truth About Iraqis.

The Bush administration is not credible when they claim that democracy is flourishing in the Middle East. As long as they have John Negroponte, a man who thinks murder is a justifiable objective, working for them, they will not be credible when they make that claim. The painful reality is that the Iraqi Interior Ministry has gone on a rampage, arresting, imprisoning, torturing, and killing people whom they think are not ideologically pure enough. 20 years ago, something similar happened in El Salvador. I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

At the very least, the Bush administration and their defenders should have to answer questions about the role of Negroponte in all this. What did he do during his tenure in Iraq? Was he associated with the people who run the Interior Ministry?  Were taxpayer dollars used? We know that despite the fact that Iraq became an independent country. But we also know that the US embassy still has a large role in the formulation of their policies. Khalilzad, the current ambassador, tries all the time to broker deals between the various political factions in Iraq. So, it is only fair to raise the question of what Negroponte's responsibility in the killings is. If he had a role, then he should resign and be extradited to face charges of war crimes.

In the meantime, the latest news from Iraqi Death Squads is this:

Five bodyguards belonging to influential Basra financier Ghalib Abdul Hussein Kubba were also found laid out in the wealthy man's garden in Baghdad's western Yarmouk suburb, also with bullet holes in their heads.

Kubba and his son were apparently kidnapped by what witnesses described as busload of men dressed in official Iraqi commando unit attire.

Kubba is director-general of the Basra International Bank.

This was part of a conflict between the various political factions there:

Those belonging to Sadr's Mahdi army and those belonging to Badr do not necessarily see eye to eye.

Sadr is also rising up in influence in the Iraqi political arena. Apparently, he helped secure Jaafary's seat as prime minister earlier in the week.

This is all going to play out with the Iraqi civilian population caught in the crossfires.

And when were these death squads formed? Many were formed in Iraq, right under the nose of Negroponte. John Negroponte was a disaster as ambassador to Iraq, based on this evidence. If he cannot stop Iraq from splitting up and forming militant factions, then what is he doing as one of the people in charge of protecting our country?

And what passes the smell test even less is the fact that the only people investigating the Interior Ministry are - the people from the Interior Ministry:

I have a slight problem with this. The death squads were working from within the Interior Ministry. They could not have done so without some official help from the Ministry. And now the Ministry is investigating itself?

This, after the US detained 22 people from the Interior Ministry on a mission to kill:

A U.S. military official in Baghdad on Thursday confirmed a Chicago Tribune report of American officials finding evidence of an alleged death squad within the Interior Ministry.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said the 22 men detained at an Iraqi army checkpoint last month in the capital were Iraqi highway patrol officers. Of them, four were "planning to conduct a kidnapping and murder" of a Sunni man, he said.

And the CNN article refers to four more people tortured and killed by these death squads:

Iraqi police discovered four bodies Friday in the northwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Shula, Iraqi emergency police said.
All the bodies showed signs of torture, and the victims were shot in the back of the head, authorities said. None of the bodies had any identification on them, police said.

This is typical of what John Negroponte did in El Salvador - dehumanize the opposition to their military dictatorship as communists as opposed to people. This is what the Bush administration does all the time - kill civilians and then demonize them as terrorists as opposed to humans. And now, the Interior Ministry death squads have learned their lessons well from their masters - they demonize their victims as terrorists, strip them of their identity, and kill them. After all, in their books, these people are not human; they are terrorists.

People even here may argue that Negroponte is not legally guilty or that there is not enough evidence that he was involved. That is fine; I am raising questions, not making accusations. But it is clear that Negroponte is morally guilty and morally responsible. The similarity of the actions of the Iraqi death squads to that of the El Salvador death squads is too obvious for me not to raise questions. It is always a fact in any organization that the followers will imitate the leaders. Therefore, the blood of these people is on Negroponte's hands as it is on Bush's and Cheney's.

And these deaths reported are just the tip of the iceberg; Iraqi Death Squads quotes the original Chicago Tribune article that revealed their existence:

Allegations that death squads targeting Sunnis are operating within the Shiite-dominated police forces have been circulating since last May, when the bodies of Sunnis detained by men wearing police uniforms began turning up in garbage dumps and waste ground around Baghdad. Most of the victims had been tortured, and many were shot execution-style.

The killings started after the current Shiite-led government took office and appointed a new interior minister, Bayan Jabr, a leading official in the Iran-backed Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, fueling suspicions that the ministry's forces were waging a sectarian campaign against Sunnis.

Thousands of Sunnis have since been rounded up by Interior Ministry forces as part of a crackdown against the Sunni-dominated insurgency, according to ministry figures. Sunni political organizations say 1,600 of those detained by men wearing police uniforms have subsequently turned up dead.

The Bush administration may accuse the terrorists of disguising themselves as Iraqi police officers all they want - nobody will believe them given their massive track record of lying. This is a typical excuse - blame everything on the terrorists.

The million dollar question for Negroponte is what his dealings with Jabr were during his time in Iraq. If it can be shown that there were heavy connections between the two men, then it is totally possible that the Bush administration could have been involved in a systematic effort to create a state of perpetual limited warfare to frighten the voters into keeping them in power.

We know that dictators like to create a state of perpetual limited warfare to frighten the voters into line from Orwell. It is a known fact that the Bush administration wants to build 14 permanent military bases in Iraq. It is a known fact, as Jimmy Carter points out, that many people are planning for an occupation of Iraq that lasts 10 years or more. So, what better excuse for the Bush administration to create the need for them to be there 10 years or longer than to create conflict between the Iraqi political factions?

This is typical of the nanny state that the right-wingers have denounced for so long. One of Rush Limbaugh's favorite lines was that liberals wanted to create a culture of dependence in which people felt like they needed them to get them welfare so they wouldn't have to work. But now that they are in power, the Bush administration has become the very definition of a nanny state.

The more the Bush administration can create limited perpetual conflict, the more they can confuse the issue and say that the Big Bad Terrorists are over there and we can't let them come over here. The more they can create conflict, the more they can kill innocent civilians and then brand them as terrorists after the fact. The more they can create conflict, the more they can generate massive profits for Halliburton and other Bush cronies. The more they can create conflict, the more they can reward people in the Military Industrial Complex with new contracts. The more they can create conflict in Iraq, the more they can drive up the deficit and force Congress to release hundreds of billions of dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for their ever-more-expensive war.

So, the motive for creating conflict between the political factions is there. The proof, as I point out above, would involve seeing what kind of associations Negroponte had with Jabr and other such people.


:: Article nr. 20776 sent on 19-feb-2006 03:38 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=20776

Link: www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/18/20719/8545



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