Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1) the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2) in the public domain, with free use granted for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2006 - 2008 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Site contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
Just across on CNN. According to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, Iraqi police ran across “an insurgent group” on the road between Fallujah and Samarra and shot it out with them, wounding Abu al-Masri and killing one of his top associates. They have the associate’s body, but al-Masri got away.
How they knew for sure it was him, particularly amidst the fog of a gunfight, is anyone’s guess. But this would be a hell of a way to start the surge.
The U.S. military has no comment yet. Standby.
Update: My mistake — MOI hasn’t explicitly said that al-Masri got away. In fact, they’re refusing to comment on how they know he was wounded. Do they have him in custody?
Update: It turns out the MOI spokesman responsible for this story is none other than Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim-Khalaf, the same guy who gave us bad information about the alleged nonexistence of Capt. Jamil Hussein. Proceed with caution.
Stay tuned. Let's see how this shakes out.
Update: NBC claims he's in custody.
Sources tell NBC News that al-Masri is in custody.
Wouldn't that be something?
Update II: The quote from the NBC story above has now been removed (by them).
Murtha hopes to choke off the 4-year-old war in Iraq by placing four conditions on combat funds through Sept. 30:
The Pentagon would have to certify that troops being sent to Iraq are "fully combat ready" with training and equipment; troops must have at least one year at home between combat deployments; combat assignments could not be extended beyond one year; a "stop-loss" program forcing soldiers to extend their enlistment periods would be prohibited.
Looks like Murtha's proposal is a lot of bark without much bite.
(Well, maybe a wee bit. )
Two key Democrats in Congress disclosed Wednesday that they are digging through Defense Department funding mechanisms to find a method to choke off funding for the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities.
"We're looking at a schedule - a reasonable schedule - to close it down in stages," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said in a broadcast on National Public Radio. "We can limit the funds for it and that would shut it down."
...in the world now has one assignment: Find the most bitter, disgruntled troop you can and get an interview.
With the recent signing of a deal between the US and North Korea over their nuclear program, should we hail this as a success of diplomacy? Well, no and I'll tell you why.
The North Koreans are going to receive massive energy assistance and the unfreezing of the $24 million dollars in a Macau bank that was frozen by the US Treasury Dept. because of North Korean counterfeiting of US currency. So in return for the energy assistance and the $24 million dollars the North Koreans are going to suspend their plutonium enrichment program. This deal is basically the 1994 Agreed Framework all over again; the big difference this time though is that the North Koreans now possess any where from 6-10 nuclear weapons.
The complete and verifiable dismantlement of all their nuclear weapons and programs was agreed to be discussed in the future with no hard date. If the North Koreans completely dismantle their nuclear weapons and programs they will receive more energy aid and relations with the US will probably be normalized. The problem with this deal is that Kim Jong-il has no intention of giving up the nuclear weapons he now has.
The nuclear weapons Kim now has ensures regime security from an outside attack to forcibly remove the regime. Why would Kim want to give that up? Kim watched Saddam get hanged and knows that the US can never invade North Korea like it did Iraq as long as he owns the nuclear trump card. No amount of money and promises from the international community can buy regime security like a nuclear weapon. Additionally by possessing a nuclear weapon it is a source of prestige for the North Korean military that is responsible for keeping Kim in power. The possession of nuclear weapons is just as important domestically for Kim as it is internationally. I encourage everyone to read the Strategic Disengagment theory.
The next problem with this deal is that it does nothing to stop the covert uranium enrichment program that North Korea is suspected of having but has never admitted too. The existence of this secret program is why President Bush withdrew the US from the 1994 Agreed Framework in 2002. There is plenty of evidence to support the existence of a uranium enrichment program in North Korea and the biggest evidence of this is that Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan admitted to selling and delivering the needed equipment for a uranium program to North Korea (along with Iran).
So basically with this deal North Korea has essentially bought more time for itself. It gets to keep both it's nuclear weapons and it's uranium enrichment programs simply for suspending their plutonium enrichment program. The talks for full dismantlement will drag on for years while North Korea uses the hard cash and energy assistance from this deal to help speed up their ballistic missile program to where one of his nuclear weapons can be fitted on a warhead and be able to strike Japan or the US.
Why did President Bush bother withdrawing from the 1994 Agreed Framework and use all the tough talk against North Korea when he had no intention of carrying through with it? It is because President Bush has bigger fish to fry with Iran and wants to use North Korea as an example of the US successfully using diplomacy to end a nuclear dispute even though it is really a sherade. This deal is nothing but a building block to set the conditions for an eventual showdown over Iran's nuclear program.
President Bush has effectively passed the buck with the NK nuclear program to the next US presidential administration just as eagerly as President Clinton passed the buck to the Bush administration. The next blackmail demanded from North Korea will even be greater when they have nuclear tipped ICBMs pointed at Japan and Hawaii. At least the US is developing missile defense, that should off set the future blackmail some.
The worst thing about this deal is that it continues to fund a regime that has over 250,000 political prisoners in forced labor camps, while millions of North Koreans have perished from starvation over the last decade due to NK governmental negligence. I really hope setting the conditions to confront Iran's nuclear program is worth it.All done!
The trial court found a Syrian man guilty of entering the country illegally in violation of the Passport Law. On Feb. 2, 2005, MNF-I detained the defendant in an insurgent safe house. On multiple occasions the defendant provided accurate details of his illegal entry into Iraq along with another Syrian national. More specifically the defendant admitted to being a lieutenant in the Syrian Intelligence sent to Iraq to oversee a small group of foreign fighters that use mortars around Mosul and recruit Iraqis for suicide missions against MNF-I. On Feb. 4 the trial panel found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment.An awful lot of "foreign fighters" are being convicted in Iraq's courts these days. (And I do mean "awful lot")
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 11 security detainees from January 13 to 18, for various crimes including possession of illegal weapons, taking advantage of someone else’s legal documents and illegal border crossing.The following week:
Those convicted of passport violations, using someone else’s legal documents, illegal possession of special category weapons and entering the country illegally were sentenced from between one to ten years imprisonment.
Those convicted include six Iraqis and one each from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Syria.
Since its reorganization, under an amendment to CPA order 13, in April 2004, the Central Criminal Court has held 1,826 trials for Coalition-apprehended insurgents. The proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,580 individuals with sentences ranging up to death.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 15 security detainees from January 19 to 25, for various crimes including illegal possession of special category weapons, joining armed groups to unsettle the stability and security of Iraq and illegal border crossing.And the week after that:
The trial court found a Syrian man guilty of illegal possession of special category weapons in violation of Order 3/2003 and Article 10/First/A of the Passport Law and sentenced him to 21 years imprisonment. Multi-National Forces apprehended the defendant after his vehicle was pulled over for attempting to engage a MNF convoy. One insurgent was shot and killed when he threw a grenade that failed to detonate. MNF searched the vehicle and found numerous weapons including three RPG’s, two RPK and two PKC machine guns and armor piercing ammunition. On Jan. 22, the trial panel considered all the evidence and sentenced him to six years imprisonment for the violation of the passport law and 15 years for the illegal weapons possession for a total of 21 years imprisonment.
The trial court found a Tunisian man guilty of Article 194 of the Iraqi Penal Code for Joining Armed Groups to Unsettle the Stability and Security of Iraq. The defendant was captured by private security guards near a checkpoint in Baghdad. The defendant was driving a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) which had broken down on a bridge. Attempting to elude capture, the defendant broke his arm jumping from the bridge. On Jan. 21 the trial panel considered all the evidence and sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment.
Those convicted of passport violations, illegal possession of special category weapons and entering the country illegally were sentenced from between one to ten years imprisonment. Those convicted include 11 Iraqis and one each from Tunisia, Jordan, Sudan and Syria.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 14 insurgents from Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, for various crimes including possession of illegal weapons, possessing fake identification and illegal border crossing.And the first link above
The trial court found a Jordanian man guilty of entering the country illegally in violation of Article 10/1 of the Passport Law. On March 10, 2004 MNF-I conducted a targeted raid on a known safe house for foreign fighters where the defendant was apprehended. The defendant stated he came to Iraq legally, but to conduct terrorist activities. The defendant though could not produce the legal documentation. On Jan. 28 the trial panel considered all the evidence and sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment.
The trial court found a Yemeni man guilty of entering the country illegally in violation of Article 10/1 of the Passport Law. On Sept. 6, 2006 during a targeted raid MNF-I captured the defendant who was a leader of a five man IED cell operating in the Al-Ramadi Region. At the time of capture the defendant was in possession of a hand grenade and a false ID card. The defendant confessed to entering Iraq illegally to conduct terrorist activities. On Jan. 31 the trial panel found him guilty and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
On Jan. 7, 2004, a foreign fighter from Saudi Arabia was detained by Karmah Police for being a foreign fighter from Saudi Arabia. The defendant was detained for suspicion of having a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). Although that suspicion turned out to be false, the defendant admitted to being in Iraq illegally and claimed he walked to Iraq from Saudi Arabia. He was charged with violation of Article 10/1 of the Iraqi passport law. On Jan. 31 the trial panel found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Those convicted of passport violations, possessing and using false ID’s and illegal possession of special category weapons were sentenced from between six to 15 years imprisonment. Those convicted were 10 Iraqis and one each from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 13 terrorists from Feb. 2 - 10, for various crimes including possession of illegal weapons, possessing fake identification, violating terrorism laws and illegal border crossing.All done!
In total, the insurgents were convicted of passport violations, possessing and using false ID’s, possessing explosives, violating the anit-terrorist laws and illegal possession of special category weapons. They were sentenced to between six and 15 years imprisonment and death. Amongst those convicted were 10 Iraqis and three Syrians.
Update: More from Mosul...
Iraqi Army, 2-7 Cavalry take down insurgent operation; solve murder, uncover large weapons cacheAs Soldier's Dad noted yesterday,
MOSUL – Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division and A Co., 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, raided several buildings in northeast Mosul on Feb. 9 in response to intelligence received about a possible weapons cache.
2-7 Cavalry Soldiers arrived on site and began receiving small-arms fire from the upper floor of an adjacent mosque.
They managed to suppress the fire while the IA soldiers investigated. No additional fire was reported and the 2-7 troops continued their mission.
10 suspects were detained in the southern compound, five of which tested positive for explosive residue.
Millions of Dinar, worth thousands of dollars in U.S. currency, was also found in an underground storage room along with over 400 fake identification cards.
One suspect was detained in the northern compound, and a tunnel gave way to the discovered cache of ordnance and weapons.
The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment is now responsible for the entire area of Mosul in conjunction with a capable Iraqi army and police force.Of course, Mike Yon is reporting from Mosul again, too. All done!
Oh, now this is a gracious little speech by a college professor at Loyola...
Can you identify the source of this chastisement of American Democrats for lack of action on Iraq withdrawal?
"The people chose you [Democrats] due to your opposition to Bush's policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat."Answer below...
Al-Qaeda's deputy leader has described the US plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq as a gamble that is bound to fail.Been busy, so I don't know - is this getting much U.S. media coverage?
In an audio tape posted on the internet on Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri also criticised the Democratic Party for not changing US policies.
He said: "The people chose you [Democrats] due to your opposition to Bush's policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat."
He also said that “the people cooperating with the United States in Afghanistan and in Iraq would be abandoned by the Americans once they fail, the same way they did in Vietnam.”From an AP story headlined "Al-Zawahri calls for Muslim unity in audiotape".
ABC News highlights another comment:
Now It's Personal: Al Qaeda Calls Bush an Alcoholic LiarI suspect al Qaeda's real target here isn't Americans - it's those Muslims inclined to believe America might abandon them - or unsure of America's commitment. How they respond probably depends heavily on American congressional actions over the next few days. All done!
The latest taped statement from al Qaeda is an unusually personal attack on President Bush, in which al Qaeda's No. 2 in command, Ayman al Zawahiri, denounces Bush as "an alcoholic, liar and gambler with an addictive personality."
I think Mark Steyn has it right:
Sadr running around Baghdad: Iraq in bloody sectarian civil war.
Sadr fled to Tehran: Dangerous power vacuum in Iraq.
Sadr lying in a big hole in the ground underneath US ordnance dropped from a great height: Beloved martyr whose death will be a recruiting tool across the Muslim world.
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi troops have passed a key test by showing up at 70 percent strength or better for President Bush's "surge" in Baghdad, a senior U.S. general said.It's early, of course.
"This movement of these three brigades and two separate battalions into Baghdad to our way of looking at it has gone very well," Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, said in an interview.
"We've also learned more lessons from this one, and in future deployments, we'll make it even better," added Gen. Dempsey, the top American in charge of building up Iraq's security forces.
Update - Just a few early results:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told a Senate committee in January that the arrival of those Iraqi brigades by mid-February would be a litmus test of whether the Iraqi government was serious about securing its capital city.
(By the way, note the reference to "President Bush's surge"? That's the common media frame now. Will it still be his if it works?)
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 27 suspected terrorists during a series of coordinated raids targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network Wednesday morning.Iraqi Army Captures Weapons Supplier
BAGHDAD – Special Iraqi Army Forces captured a suspected weapons supplier and financier of sectarian violence conducted by rogue Jaysh Al Mahdi cells. The capture occurred during operations with Coalition advisers Feb. 13 in Raminiya, in northern Baghdad.Iraqi Army Captures Members of Kidnapping, Murder Cell
BAGHDAD – Special Iraqi Army Forces captured an alleged member of a rogue Jaysh Al-Mahdi militia during operations with Coalition advisers Feb. 13 in northern Baghdad. The suspects are believed responsible for kidnapping, torture and murder of Iraqi citizens and security forces in the area.Iraqi Army detains 10 after receiving small arms fire
KALSU, Iraq – Iraqi Army troops working with Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers detained 10 insurgents northeast of Al Haswah, Iraq, Sunday.
Soldiers or 2nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division working with Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment detained the suspects after coming under small arms fire near the village of Ubaydah. There were no casualties in the incident.
The suspects are being held for further questioning by Iraqi security forces