Iraq War Inquiry, Day Seven

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Today, Dec 4th, they’re already into day eight of the Inquiry with that covering “Military Planning” and “The view from London and Baghdad 2004-2007”.

But so far some of what has come forth has been that the administration, long before Sept 11 2001 were focusing on regime change in Iraq and probably looking for ways to justify their wants. On 9/11 Condi Rice mentioned not only al Qaeda as being suspected guilty parties to the attacks that day but also Saddam might have had a hand in them. This while the rest of the Country was intently focused on the devastating Deaths and Destruction and while the President was flying around the Country instead of directly back to Washington from the Florida visit when the attacks took place. Not three days later even President Bush was talking up possible Saddam’s guilt

Well yesterday it was Donald Rumsfeld turn on the wheel, the then growing darling of the U.S. press but soon to find out by many “you go to war with the secretary of defense you have!”. On day 7 we find out that while seeking backing from the Brits he was only conferring with Col. Franks in Florida and little to nothing with the Joint Chiefs or other Military nor Civilian connections in Washington. In other words, they testified, that back in the First Gulf War everyone was in the loop, this coming invasion of Iraq, while busy seeking reasons for, almost everyone was kept out of the need to know anything and the Brits were answering the questions of the State Department and others. As you’ll see in the cut of the transcript below.

Now remember We and the Brits, along with other NATO forces, had already planned then invaded Afghanistan, troops on the ground and an intense Guerilla Insurgency by the Taliban and supporters of had been started.

Iraq inquiry – live

Minute-by-minute coverage as Chilcot hears evidence from Admiral Lord Boyce and Sir Kevin Tebbitt

Today, for the first time, we’re going to hear from the armed forces. The Iraq inquiry is taking evidence on the military preparations for war and it will be quizzing Admiral Lord Boyce, the chief of the defence staff from 2001 to 2003. Boyce will be appearing alongside Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence from 1998 to 2005.

Snip

Sir Roderic Lyne starts the questions. He goes back to late 2001. Britain went into Afghanistan. As far as Iraq was concerned, the containment policy was beginning to “creak”. In the US people were beginning to talk about “doing Iraq” after Afghanistan. At what point did the MoD start thinking about the contingency of full-scale military action against Iraq and discussing it informally with officials in the US?

Boyce says that in the later part of 2001 he heard talk from the Americans about Iraq. “We absolutely did not want to get involved in such conversations.” No contingency planning went on in relation to Iraq. The MoD was heavily preoccupied with Afghanistan.

Snip

But it was clear that the “axis of evil” speech meant the Americans were considering military action. Tebbit knew from his own visits to the US that the neocons were pushing for military action. In the papers prepared for Blair’s visit to Crawford “we needed to consider that option”.

Snip

Tebbit says: “I think that was indeed that case.” In July 2002 everyone involved tried to make sure those conditions were being pursued. But the environment in Washington made this “hard”. The military planning track involved a dialogue between Donald Rumsfeld and the central command at Tampa. The Washington chiefs of staff were less involved. The system of “well-structured” discussions between the state department and the Pentagon and other agencies that had existed at the time of the first Gulf war was not evident this time round.

Boyce mentions the “dysfunctionalism” of Washington. He says that he would find himself briefing his American counterparts on what was happening in different parts of the US adminstration. Rumsfeld was not sharing information.>>>>>

Seems talk of Iraq’s oil was also being brought up, the reasons sound legit but could there be that underlining many still think was a big part of toppling Saddam, our oil was under the Iraqi’s sand.

Sir Kevin Tebbit gives evidence at the Iraq inquiry

Former permanent secretary at the MoD gives evidence at the Iraq inquiry, where he says Britain had to consider the oil in the north of the country when invading

Secrecy delayed Iraq war planning

The former Chief of the Defence Staff was told to remain silent on preparations for the Iraq War in case it harmed the UK’s chances of securing a UN Security Council resolution, the Iraq War Inquiry has heard.

“I was not allowed to speak, for example, to the chief of defence logistics,” said Admiral Lord Boyce, who was Chief of the Defence Staff from 2001 to 2003.

Snip

The Former Chief of the Defence Staff revealed that American officials, Donald Rumsfeld in particular, would not countenance the idea of Britain not being involved in the conflict without a UN resolution. “We know you say that, but come the day you will be there’ was the attitude,” said Lord Boyce…>>>>>

ONLY 24 HOURS TO SPARE IN RUSH FOR IRAQ

Tony Blair and his Cabinet gave military chiefs so little time to plan the Iraq war that some units were ready only 24 hours before the invasion, the inquiry into the conflict heard yesterday.

Former chief of defence staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce said ministers were worried deployment details would leak out, wrecking efforts to get a UN resolution requiring Iraq to give up weapons of mass destruction.

The issue was considered so sensitive he was ordered by the then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon not even to discuss war plans with the chief of defence logistics…>>>>>

Armed forces chief reveals Campbell role

Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street spin-doctor, asked the head of the armed forces to give Tony Blair a more “glass half-full” assessment of Iraq war preparations, it emerged yesterday.

Lord Boyce, the former chief of defence staff, told the Iraq inquiry that he was “taken aside” and asked to give more optimistic advice after warning the prime minister over military planning. The inquiry did not ask who urged Lord Boyce to offer more upbeat analysis. But he later confirmed to the Financial Times he was approached by Mr Campbell.

Lord Boyce told the inquiry that he had been “very frustrated” because he had been prevented from ordering kit and mobilising troops for the Iraq war as ministers feared “military signals” would “scotch” public support.

Snip

Lord Boyce said the military efforts were “anorexic” and “terribly underresourced” because senior US officials never prepared for the army to have a peacekeeping role. “I could not get across to them that the coalition would not be seen as a liberation force and that flowers would not be stuffed at the end of rifles,” he said…>>>>>

Americans knew us better than we knew ourselves

There was one gesture from Sir Kevin towards the end; a small, placating, slightly circular sort of gesture across his arm to Lord Boyce (who’d just said that the Yanks’ Iraq troop commitment had been “anorexic”). “We certainly encouraged them to have a maximum coalition effort,” he said before adding: “That perhaps is the way round it.”

There were some big things in yesterday’s evidence but it’s the little things that last. “That perhaps is the way round it” was a highlight for Sir Kevin Tebbit, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. It was very nearly a flawless performance – we still need a better way round the lack of a second resolution. He said it didn’t matter in the end because it was the result of “unreasonable behavior by the Security Council”. That needs more work. He’d been running interference on Lord Boyce, who’d had a number of frank things to say. “We kept telling the Americans how important to us the UN and Parliament were but there was a complete reluctance to believe us. ‘We know you have to say that but come the day you’ll be there.'” That’s what the Americans said – and how right they were. They knew us better than we knew ourselves….>>>>>

You get the jist of yesterdays testimony and for more you can find a growing slew of reports esopecially at outlets over the pond but even some here are taking notice. The Guardian has been doing alot of reporting and archiving those at that link.

One of many devastating issues developed as to the invasion and long occupation of Iraq not covered in the so called media, one would think there’s a want and need to keep it out of site, is the creation of millions of refugees, Iraqi refugees, within their own country or escaping to the neighboring countries, the cleansing of Iraq!

Iraqi Refugees: Women on the Margins

Many Iraqi women refugees, sheltered temporarily in Syria, bear the scars and trauma of extreme violence suffered in their homeland.  Ethnic and religious-based persecution tore apart previously stable communities in Iraq, removing these women and their children from their traditional support systems. Stripped of the normal protections of home and extended family life they exist on the margins of society.

Refugee widows and single women without the support and protection of male relatives face substantial psychological and physical risk.  When we were speaking with Iraqi refugees earlier this year, many single heads of families remarked on their ability to access Syrian public health care and education for their children and the kindness of many Syrians. Yet other refugee widows and single women expressed their unhappiness and fear over some of neighbors questioning their character and virtue, believing good women would not live alone…>>>>>

And, as mentioned above, while all this planning, quietly, was taking place as to invading Iraq and toppling Saddam we had troops in Afghanistan, Afghanistan where al Qaeda was hold up and the Taliban regime was protecting. As it seemed the focus even before the invasion of that country took place to get to the guilty band of extremist who carried out 9/11 was on and growing towards Iraq, the President was telling everyone we were going to get bin Laden Dead or Alive but we were going to get him.

He hasn’t been gotten and we’re well into our ninth year of occupying the country. And while everyone was focused on Iraq the Taliban and their supporters have only grown in numbers, we created the recruiting tools needed, especially the killing of innocent people, in Afghanistan and for the last few years across the border into Pakistan.

Here’s a light shined on that Country as we are set to send in more military troops:

Covert Black Ops: How to Create More Enemies

Especially when not overseen nor carried out by Military/Intelligence Personal but outside the Military and it’s Chain of Command as well as UCMJ and International/National Laws by Private Government Contractors!

Dec. 3: Rachel Maddow is joined by Jeremy Scahill whose cover story in The Nation magazine is about U.S. contractors working in Afghanistan, and Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s roots in the CIA.

The Secret US War in Pakistan

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so “compartmentalized” that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

Snip

The military intelligence source says that the drone strike that reportedly killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, his wife and his bodyguards in Waziristan in August was a CIA strike, but that many others attributed in media reports to the CIA are actually JSOC strikes. “Some of these strikes are attributed to OGA [Other Government Agency, intelligence parlance for the CIA], but in reality it’s JSOC and their parallel program of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] because they also have access to UAVs. So when you see some of these hits, especially the ones with high civilian casualties, those are almost always JSOC strikes.” The Pentagon has stated bluntly, “There are no US military strike operations being conducted in Pakistan.”

Snip

The military intelligence source also confirmed that Blackwater continues to work for the CIA on its drone bombing program in Pakistan, as previously reported in the New York Times, but added that Blackwater is working on JSOC’s drone bombings as well. “It’s Blackwater running the program for both CIA and JSOC,” said the source. When civilians are killed, “people go, ‘Oh, it’s the CIA doing crazy shit again unchecked.’ Well, at least 50 percent of the time, that’s JSOC [hitting] somebody they’ve identified through HUMINT [human intelligence] or they’ve culled the intelligence themselves or it’s been shared with them and they take that person out and that’s how it works.”

The military intelligence source says that the CIA operations are subject to Congressional oversight, unlike the parallel JSOC bombings. “Targeted killings are not the most popular thing in town right now and the CIA knows that,” he says. “Contractors and especially JSOC personnel working under a classified mandate are not [overseen by Congress], so they just don’t care. If there’s one person they’re going after and there’s thirty-four people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die. That’s the mentality.” He added, “They’re not accountable to anybody and they know that. It’s an open secret, but what are you going to do, shut down JSOC?”…>>>>>

Why they hate us: How many Muslims has the U.S. killed in the past 30 years?

Tom Friedman had an especially fatuous column in Sunday’s New York Times, which is saying something given his well-established capacity for smug self-assurance. According to Friedman, the big challenge we face in the Arab and Islamic world is “the Narrative” — his patronizing term for Muslim views about America’s supposedly negative role in the region. If Muslims weren’t so irrational, he thinks, they would recognize that “U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny.” He concedes that we made a few mistakes here and there (such as at Abu Ghraib), but the real problem is all those anti-American fairy tales that Muslims tell each other to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.

I heard a different take on this subject at a recent conference on U.S. relations with the Islamic world. In addition to hearing a diverse set of views from different Islamic countries, one of the other participants (a prominent English journalist) put it quite simply. “If the United States wants to improve its image in the Islamic world,” he said, “it should stop killing Muslims.”

Snip

Contrary to what Friedman thinks, our real problem isn’t a fictitious Muslim “narrative” about America’s role in the region; it is mostly the actual things we have been doing in recent years. To say that in no way justifies anti-American terrorism or absolves other societies of responsibility for their own mistakes or misdeeds. But the self-righteousness on display in Friedman’s op-ed isn’t just simplistic; it is actively harmful. Why? Because whitewashing our own misconduct makes it harder for Americans to figure out why their country is so unpopular and makes us less likely to consider different (and more effective) approaches…>>>>

Innocent civilians killed, especially in large numbers, all have relatives, friends and regional ties to their countries and neighbors, who survive them many being younger children or young adults, does anyone think they just say “Oh well it was a mistake and we forgive!!”, would you!

As well as these types of policies, silent or known, have grave ‘blowback’ on not only Military personal, in the occupied theater of operations, but also civilians anywhere from criminal terrorist actions!

1 comment

    • allenjo on December 4, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you.

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