Coalition, Iraqi Police Extensively Infiltrated by Oppositionist Spies
Chris Marks of the Scotsman reviews the ways in which the Coalition military and the Iraqi police were extensively infiltrated by Baath agents. This was a story, the skeleton of which ABC news broke a couple nights ago. Some 162,000 Iraqis work in security-related positions, and many have not been seriously vetted. The US authorities found a list of names in Saddam’s brief case of major Baath spies inside the US command center!
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports from Washington that on his recent trip to Iraq, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was told by the commander of the 4th ID that every two or three weeks, Iraqis were found who ought not to have achieved the position they did.
It has been apparent to me for some time that the US military and the CPA had been infiltrated. I found it extremely suspicious, for instance, that my cyber-friend, Navy Reserve Lt. Kylan Huffman-Jones, was assassinated last August in Hilla when he went there as an intelligence officer to brief the incoming Spanish and other commanders who were taking over from the Marines in Najaf. There have been no other killings of Americans in Hilla to my knowledge, and someone just came up to him when he was stuck in traffic and shot him with a rifle. It was as though they knew, ‘this is the visiting intelligence officer.’ Then, it was clear that someone knew exactly where Paul Wolfowitz was when he visited Baghdad and his hotel was targetted for a rocket attack. And, the military intelligence HQ of the US in Mosul was car-bombed. How did they know that is what it was? There are lots of such incidents, and they are one reason I have advised my civilian friends against traveling to Iraq if anyone in the US military or the CPA was going to know their itinerary–the whole system seems to me to have been extremely leaky. And now we know for sure that it was/ is.
Dan Senor of the CPA attempted to quash speculation that the attack on Paul Bremer’s convoy near the Baghdad airport on Dec. 6 might be another such example of infiltrator-supplied intelligence used by guerrillas. But then, the leadership of the CPA surely wants to head off a stampede of US civilians out of Iraq now that it is known how leaky the enterprise is, and would want to make the event look random. Maybe it was, but we cannot know for sure.
It reminds me of Vietnam, where it became obvious after the war was over that a lot of South Vietnamese officers were secretly sympathetic to the VC and had passed them sensitive military intelligence to use against the US. Washington always underestimates the force of other people’s nationalism. I am sorry to say that I very much doubt that the list with Saddam is at all exhaustive. The only good news here is that people so stupid as to make such a list and share it with the most-wanted man in Iraq, for whom 160,000 Coalition troops, were intensively looking, might not have the smarts that the Vietnamese nationalists did.