7 US troops were killed 4 of them in al-Anbar profince and the other 3 in Ninevah proince.
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that Sadrist spokesman Baha’ al-A’raji says that his bloc in parliament is not exploring new alliances with a view to unseating Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He said such a move would destabilize Iraq politically and economically.
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic to the opposite effect, that efforts are intensifying among parliamentarians to unseat Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The Islamic Virtue Party (al-Fadhila) is said to be talking to the Sadrists. Another effort is being made by the Sunni fundamentalist coalition, the Iraqi Accord Front.
Sidney Blumenthal exposes the sad story of how intrepid CIA operatives extracted from Naji Sabri, a member of Saddam Hussein’s circle, the information that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2002. But the operatives could only pass the information up their reporting line, to Tenet and Bush, who ignored it. One argument used to marginalize them and their hard won intelligence was to say it was contradicted by another source, Curveball, supplied by Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraq National Congress, who was then trusted by US and British officials but who was a drunk and a liar.
Fred Kaplan of Slate suggests that Cheney and Chalabi are the chief suspects in dissolving the Iraqi army. This is certainly correct, but I’d add a third leg to this stool, which is John Hannah and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the AIPAC think tank. Hannah, the former deputy head of WINEP, was one of two officials authorized to receive “intelligence” from Chalabi’s Iraq National Congress. That elements of the Likud Party in Israel to whom Hannah is close, and which had come to have special influence in WINEP, wanted the Iraqi army dissolved is just as plausible as the other elements of Kaplan’s canny theory of the thing. One of Fred’s more important insights is that Cheney, Chalabi & Co. over-ruled decisions already made by the Bush cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff– and that there has never even been an inquiry into this enormous crime. He also points out that the testimony of Col. Paul Hughes demonstrates conclusively that the Rumsfeld/ Bremer line that the Iraqi army just fell apart and could not have been reconstituted is plain wrong and also silly.
Check out Aaron Glantz’s blog, War Comes Home. Especially interesting is “Top V[eteran] A[ffairs] Official: Bible Study “More important than doing [my] job.” (Scroll down.)
Also, don’t miss Marc Lynch’s canny comments on Bush and Abu Rishah.