Rummy's Goons Helping Kurds Carry Out Political Kidnappings
Yep, Bush has liberated Iraq, and with the Kurds now having consolidated their power in the north, Bush has created a monster. According to Wednesday’s Washington Post in a Page One story, the Kurdish political majority are abducting their Arab and Turkmen political and economic opponents off the streets of Kirkuk and even Mosul, and are imprisoning them and torturing them. And under the banner of Bush’s pledge to spread democracy and liberty to the people of Iraq, guess who is helping these Kurd thugs do this?
That’s right, we are.
Police and security units, forces led by Kurdish political parties and backed by the U.S. military, have abducted hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmens in this intensely volatile city and spirited them to prisons in Kurdish-held northern Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, government documents and families of the victims.
Seized off the streets of Kirkuk or in joint U.S.-Iraqi raids, the men have been transferred secretly and in violation of Iraqi law to prisons in the Kurdish cities of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah, sometimes with the knowledge of U.S. forces. The detainees, including merchants, members of tribal families and soldiers, have often remained missing for months; some have been tortured, according to released prisoners and the Kirkuk police chief.
The abductions have "greatly exacerbated tensions along purely ethnic lines" and endangered U.S. credibility, the nine-page cable, dated June 5, stated. "Turkmen in Kirkuk tell us they perceive a U.S. tolerance for the practice while Arabs in Kirkuk believe Coalition Forces are directly responsible."
U.S. and Iraqi officials, along with the State Department cable, said the campaign was being orchestrated and carried out by the Kurdish intelligence agency, known as Asayesh, and the Kurdish-led Emergency Services Unit, a 500-member anti-terrorism squad within the Kirkuk police force. Both are closely allied with the U.S. military.
Even though it is the State Department that is expressing the concern here, and even though the officers in the field claim that they are not a party to this, American personnel are participating in these political kidnappings.
Jalal Jawhar, who heads the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, said some suspects were transferred to prisons in Irbil and Sulaymaniyah with the "complete cooperation" of the U.S. military.
Maj. Darren Blagburn, intelligence officer for the 116th Brigade Combat Team in Kirkuk, acknowledged that Arab and Turkmen detainees were surreptitiously transferred to Kurdish prisons without judicial oversight. He denied any U.S. role in the transfers and said they were necessary because of crowding in Kirkuk's jails.
One of these two is not telling the truth.
Jabbouri said he was seized during a raid on his house the night of April 30 in the Kirkuk neighborhood of Rashid. A former fighter pilot who now works as a colonel in the Iraqi Interior Ministry, he pleaded with the Iraqi police and their U.S. colleagues that he had been wrongly targeted by them. The Americans, dressed in civilian clothes and flak jackets, ignored him, he said.
Civilian clothes and flak jackets? Sounds like defense contractors to me, not our regular military. No wonder the military officers deny responsibility. But that doesn’t mean the Pentagon isn’t involved in political kidnappings in Iraq.