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You know how I know Iraq is beyond repair?

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You know how I know Iraq is beyond repair?

Postby RugbyD » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:00 am

.....when the US is resorting to paying private contractors to break corrupt officials out of prison for probable use as a mediator.

Stratfor: Morning Intelligence Brief - December 19, 2006

Geopolitical Diary: Al-Samarraie's Second Prison Break

Former Iraqi Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samarraie broke out of
prison the afternoon of Dec. 17, reportedly with the help of an
American security company operating in Baghdad. It was
al-Samarraie's second prison break from the heavily fortified Green
Zone in the past two months.

Why would a U.S. security contractor help an Iraqi convict twice
break out of jail? There is no clear answer, but a few conclusions
can be drawn.

Al-Samarraie served as electricity minister under former Prime
Minister Iyad Allawi's interim government. Before that, he worked
in Chicago as a manager at KCI Engineering, where he built up
strong ties to the Republican Party before returning to Iraq after
the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The United States enlisted
al-Samarraie in the fall of 2002 to help create a State
Department-funded postwar strategy for Iraq.

Al-Samarraie also is a Sunni with Iraqi-U.S. citizenship who draws
his roots from Anbar province, the main hotbed of Sunni insurgent
violence, which made him an attractive candidate for a ministry
position. He cultivated an extensive network with prominent Sunni
tribe leaders in Anbar, and has worked with U.S. and Iraqi
officials to co-opt Sunni nationalist insurgents into the political
process.

But al-Samarraie also had dollar signs in his eyes when he took the
ministry position. Despite his critical links to the Sunni
nationalist insurgency, al-Samarraie was convicted on one of 13
corruption charges and sentenced to a two-year jail term in
October. He still has to face an Iraqi court for the remaining 12
charges for pocketing approximately $1.5 billion from phony
construction contracts, which could very well link back to his
business buddies in Chicago. Al-Samarraie's contacts in Washington,
however, apparently agreed to give him a "get-out-of-jail-free
card" in October, when a few armed American security officials
snuck al-Samarraie out of the courtroom through a tunnel from the
basement of the building and into a safe house in the Green Zone.
After he told Arab satellite stations that he was in U.S. custody,
U.S. officials reportedly returned al-Samarraie to the Iraqi prison
guards for unknown reasons.

Over the next couple months, al-Samarraie asked U.S. and Iraqi
officials to release him, saying Shiite gunmen would kill him while
in custody. Shiite militiamen apparently tried to kill him and
Allawi, who lives next-door to al-Samarraie, in September 2005; a
car bomb was found behind Allawi's house. A roadside bomb also went off in February near al-Samarraie's convoy in Baghdad, wounding three of his bodyguards. Even before he went to jail, al-Samarraie hired a private U.S. security contractor for protection.

After spending less than two months in prison, al-Samarraie's pleas
for freedom were answered Dec. 17, when a group of American
security officials arrived in two GMC vehicles at the jail where he
was incarcerated, held jail guards at gunpoint and then whisked the
convict away without firing a shot, said Judge Radhi Radhi, a
senior anti-corruption official in Iraq.

Al-Samarraie is evidently still important enough for U.S. security
contractors to get the go-ahead and break him out of prison once
again. His prison break comes at a time when Washington is
desperate for solutions to help alleviate the sectarian violence in
Iraq and bring some semblance of control to a foreign policy
blunder that has largely paralyzed the U.S. military and
government. Al-Samarraie may be a crook, but he also is a key
figure in the Sunni political bloc that could aid the Americans in
getting the Sunnis on board with a deal to co-opt more Baathists
into the political system.

Al-Samarraie could have been released as part of a political
bargain with the Sunni political leadership, or as a means of
re-enlisting him to act as a go-between for the Americans to deal
with the Sunni insurgents. Either way, we cannot help but notice
that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced on Monday that
his government has decided to welcome back former Sunni Baathists
who served in the Iraqi army under Hussein's rein. The
reintegration of Sunni Baathists is a major concession for the
Shiite-dominated and Iranian-influenced government to make, which
has a logical interest in ensuring that Sunnis are prevented from
reasserting themselves politically or militarily in post-Hussein
Iraq. Nonetheless, it appears that the Shia have taken a big step
forward by throwing out this concession to the Sunnis. And if
Washington wants this latest attempt at a political resolution to
bear fruit, it will have to enlist the aid of influential Sunni
mediators, such as al-Samarraie.
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Postby Callahan » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:29 am

This is so awesome. :-D

If only Hunter Thompson were still alive to write about this stuff.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:40 am

Callahan wrote:This is so awesome. :-D

If only Hunter Thompson were still alive to write about this stuff.


I've had that exact same thought many times.

Bill Hicks as well.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:53 am

I heard all hunger, disease, and crime has been solved in the United States
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Postby Coppermine » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:18 pm

acsguitar wrote:I heard all hunger, disease, and crime has been solved in the United States


Don't forget pestilence!
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Postby 3 run homer » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:23 pm

Coppermine wrote:
acsguitar wrote:I heard all hunger, disease, and crime has been solved in the United States


Don't forget pestilence!


Obesity :-o
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Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:48 pm

Coppermine wrote:
acsguitar wrote:I heard all hunger, disease, and crime has been solved in the United States


Don't forget pestilence!


Let's not forget death...while we're on the subject of naming the Four Horsemen.
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Postby Coppermine » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:08 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:
Coppermine wrote:
acsguitar wrote:I heard all hunger, disease, and crime has been solved in the United States


Don't forget pestilence!


Let's not forget death...while we're on the subject of naming the Four Horsemen.


Yeah, that's what I was going for... I don't think Obesity is one of the four horsemen, but I'm sure if they ever added a 5th, it would be between that and the horseman of heart disease.
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