October 23, 2006

The Nightmare Continues: From Central America to Iraq

From Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily:
Death squads from the Ministry of Interior posing as Iraqi police are killing more people than ever in the capital, emerging evidence shows.

The death toll is high -- in all 1,536 bodies were brought to the Baghdad morgue in September. The health ministry announced last month that it will build two new morgues in Baghdad to take their capacity to 250 bodies a day.

Many fear a government hand in more killings to come. The U.S. military has revealed that the 8th Iraqi Police Unit was responsible for the Oct. 1 kidnapping of 26 Sunni food factory workers in the Amil quarter in southwest Baghdad. The bodies of ten of them were later found in Abu Chir neighbourhood in the capital.


General Dulaimi has been trying for long to expose the organised criminal gangs that have been controlling the ministry since its formation -- a formation that was overseen by U.S. authorities.

Dulaimi says he does not believe that the Shia Badr organisation, a large, well-armed and funded militia, has complete control over his ministry. But most residents of Baghdad believe that Badr has complete control over the Baghdad Order Maintenance police force, and use this force to carry out sectarian murders. This force is one of several official security teams in Baghdad.

The force is led by Mehdi al-Gharrawi, who also led similar security units during the U.S.-led attack on Fallujah in November 2004.

"All criminals who survived the Fallujah crisis after committing genocide and other war crimes were granted higher ranks," Major Amir Jassim from the ministry of defence said. "I and many of my colleagues were not rewarded because we disobeyed orders to set fire to people's houses (in Fallujah) after others looted them."

Jassim said the looting and burning of homes in Fallujah during the November siege was ordered from the ministries of interior and defence.

"Now they want to do the same things they did in Fallujah in all Sunni areas so that they ignite a civil war in Iraq," said Jassim, referring to the Shia-dominated ministries. "A civil war is the only guarantee for them to stay in power, looting such incredible amounts of money."


A UN human rights report released September last year held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It reported that special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from Shia Badr and Mehdi militias, and trained by U.S. forces.

Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor on Iraqi security forces to then U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte supervised the training of these forces.

Steele was commander of the U.S. military advisor group in El Salvador 1984-86, while Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to nearby Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers.

The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras.

The CIA records document that his "special intelligence units," better known as "death squads," comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas.
It's almost impossible to find the appropriate words at this point, to express accurately how shockingly, profoundly immoral and unforgivably devastating our actions have been -- and continue to be.

Give up the fantasies.

Get Out Now.