Tuesday, June 05, 2012

CIA considers thinning out Iraq office

Last night came news that the CIA was contemplating drawing down its presence in Iraq.   The CIA, still in Iraq?  Yes.  Last December, Ted Koppel filed an important report on Rock Center with Brian Williams (NBC).

MR. KOPPEL: I realize you can't go into it in any detail, but I would assume that there is a healthy CIA mission here. I would assume that JSOC may still be active in this country, the joint special operations. You've got FBI here. You've got DEA here. Can, can you give me sort of a, a menu of, of who all falls under your control?

AMB. JAMES JEFFREY: You're actually doing pretty well, were I authorized to talk about half of this stuff.

Yes, the CIA continued in Iraq after the 'withdrawal' (remember, the Pentagon always called it a drawdown -- the press and the White House insisted on using "withdrawal').  So you have the CIA, Joint Special Operations Command, the DEA and the FBI. As well as thousands of contractors, Marines to guard the US Embassy and 'trainers.'

Siobhan Gorman, Adam Entous and Ali A. Nabhan (Wall St. Journal) reported last night that the CIA was considering cutting its staffing in Iraq?  Cutting it all?  No.  Cutting it to 40% less than it was in 2011.  Why?  Maybe the clue comes from the Ministry of Interior's Hassan Kokaz who states of the US in Iraq today, "We have asked them to wear civilian clothes and not military uniforms and to be searched when they visit Iraqi institutions.  Perhaps they are not used to this."

Yesterday Baghdad was slammed with a deadly bombing.  Mohamad Ali Harissi and Ammar Karim (AFP) report that the day after 25 died (and estimates of over 100 injured), various leaders are calling for calm and that the violence was condemned by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler.  They can't note anything said by the US because neither the White House nor the State Dept because they issued no statement nor even noted the bombing or the deaths in the White House or State Dept press briefings yesterday.  This while claiming to maintain a "strategic partnership" with Iraq. 

Remember, focusing on Iraq requires focusing on Barack's failure.  Bush backed Nouri and Bush left office with record low approval rates.  Barack was elected as the anti-Bush.  But in 2010, when the Iraqi people voted for someone other than Nouri, Barack refused to support them or democracy and ensured that Nouri remained in office, the Iraqi Constitution and the democratic process be damned.  So instead, details trickle out, like the US death toll in Iraq.  (Yes, I did notice that it increased by one in the last two months.  I've gotten tired of pointing that out and expecting the press to ever address it.  They're little whores and the dead in Iraq -- on all sides -- don't matter one damn bit to them.  I assume it will increase by two or three more before 2013 rolls around.)

And don't expect any thing but fawning from the Democratic side of the aisle when Brett McGurk appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  They failed to properly vet Chris Hill.  They made it all about shooting down questions about Hill's lack of qualifications and McGurk would have to be more on the ball than Hill -- approximately 99.9% of the world's population is -- but he is woefully unqualified for this post.

The following community sites -- plus Ms. Magazine Blog, Iraq Inquiry Digest and CSPAN -- updated last night and this morning:

 We noted already that Debra Sweet's being awarded a well deserved honor.  I'm swiping this from Wold Can't Wait because she gets the award this week.  Congratulations to Debra for her award and for her never ending fighting spirit.

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