Saturday, February 28, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 9

(See parts 1-8 below)

Most people in the United States would like to see the nearly 150,000 U.S. troops and 200,000 private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009. But the Democratic Obama regime is still not willing to immediately bring U.S. troops and private contractors in Iraq back home; and the Obama regime apparently plans to leave between 30,000 and 50,000 U.S. occupation troops stationed in Iraq as "military advisors" until January 1, 2012.

Yet if the Obama Administration officials responsible for authorizing the use of U.S. armed forces in Iraq--like U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton--had known more about Iraq's post-1950 history, perhaps U.S. troops and private contractors would not still be spending another Easter in Iraq in 2009?

According to this April 10, 2003 investigative report by UPI Intelligence Correspondent Richard Sale (on which the CIA declined to comment):

" …In the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years. His first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abdul Karim Qasim…In the mid-1980s, Miles Copeland, a veteran CIA operative, told UPI the CIA had enjoyed "close ties" with…Ba'th Party…In a recent public statement, Roger Morris, a former National Security Council staffer in the 1970s, confirmed this claim, saying that the CIA had chosen the authoritarian and anti-communist Ba’th Party `as its instrument.'

"According to another former senior State Department official, Saddam, while only in his early 20s, became a part of a U.S. plot to get rid of Qasim. According to this source, Saddam was installed in an apartment in Baghdad on al-Rashid Street directly opposite Qasim's office in Iraq's Ministry of Defense, to observe Qasim's movements.

"Adel Darwish, Middle East expert and author of Unholy Babylon, said the move was done "with full knowledge of the CIA," and that Saddam's CIA handler was an Iraqi dentist working for CIA and Egyptian intelligence. U.S. officials separately confirmed Darwish's account.

"Darwish said that Saddam's paymaster was Capt. Abdel Maquid Farid, the assistant military attaché at the Egyptian Embassy who paid for the apartment from his own personal account. Three former senior U.S. officials have confirmed that this is accurate.

"The assassination was set for Oct. 7, 1959, but it was…botched…Qasim, hiding on the floor of his car, escaped death, and Saddam, whose calf had been grazed by a fellow would-be assassin, escaped to Tikrit, thanks to CIA and Egyptian intelligence agents, several U.S. government officials said.

"Saddam then crossed into Syria and was transferred by Egyptian intelligence agents to Beirut, according to Darwish and former senior CIA officials. While Saddam was in Beirut, the CIA paid for Saddam's apartment and put him through a brief training course, former CIA officials said. The agency then helped him get to Cairo, they said…

"In Cairo, Saddam was installed in an apartment in the upper class neighborhood of Dukki and spent his time playing dominos in the Indiana Cafe, watched over by CIA and Egyptian intelligence operatives, according to Darwish and former U.S. intelligence officials…

"…During this time Saddam was making frequent visits to the American Embassy where CIA specialists such as Miles Copeland and CIA station chief Jim Eichelberger were in residence and knew Saddam, former U.S. intelligence officials said.

"Saddam's U.S. handlers even pushed Saddam to get his Egyptian handlers to raise his monthly allowance, a gesture not appreciated by Egyptian officials since they knew of Saddam's American connection, according to Darwish. His assertion was confirmed by former U.S. diplomat in Egypt at the time…"

(end of part part 9)

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