The Iraqi war took an ominous turn this week when insurgents successfully downed a civilian helicopter with a missile, killing 11 highly placed civilians. If the insurgency begins to use shoulder-fired missiles against our military airplanes and helicopters, the war could turn ugly very quickly. Saddam's forces had several thousand anti-aircraft missiles prior to the March 20, 2003, invasion; are they beginning to use them now?
NEWS BRIEF: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents brought down a Russian-made helicopter carrying 11 civilians with missile fire north of the capital Thursday and said they captured and shot to death the lone crew member who survived. The dead from the crash included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats. The chartered flight was believed to be the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion two years ago."
This paragraph tells us that 6 "American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats" were among those killed. Later, this article stated that the aircraft took off from the heavily-defended "Green Zone", bringing to the forefront the question as to whether the Coalition has a mole on the inside giving the schedule of flights and who is on board, to the Iraqi insurgency. Several months ago, an anonymous American military officer was quoted as saying that one of the reasons we were going to lose this war was because the insurgency had completely infiltrated the Iraqi government and security services. If such a spy was working inside the Green Zone, it is not inconceivable that he or she would have access to such flight information.
But, as we continue through this news article, we see the identity of these American "bodyguards".
"The six Americans were employed by Blackwater Security Consulting, a subsidiary of North Carolina-based security contractor Blackwater USA, which had four employees slain and mutilated by insurgents in Fallujah a year ago. The Americans killed in Thursday's crash were assisting the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq ... The helicopter went down about 12 miles north of Baghdad. Associated Press Television News footage showed burning wreckage from the craft and personal belongings scattered across a wide area." (Ibid.)
These mercenaries from Blackwater Security Consulting are earning hefty six-figure salaries to bring their military prowess into this war on behalf of the Coalition Forces. In fact, one of the reasons Rumsfeld felt comfortable in the beginning about committing so few American troops was because he knew he had this private army ready to fight for the American side. These Soldiers of Fortune are greatly hated by the Iraqi people and by the insurgents, partly because of their effectiveness and their brutality.
Another part of this story reveals this hatred.
" 'Heroes of the Islamic Army downed a transport aircraft belonging to the army of the infidels and killed its crew and those on board in the regions of al-Taji north of Baghdad', the Islamic Army in Iraq group said in a written statement posted on the Web with a video purporting to show the shooting of the survivor. In the video, which shows burning wreckage and two charred bodies, militants come across an injured man wearing a blue flightsuit lying tall grass. "It's broken," the survivor says in accented English, apparently referring to his leg, as militants unseen except in brief glances ¡ª tell him to stand up. "Weapons? Weapons?" the gunmen ask him in Arabic and English as he stands uneasily.
They tell him, 'Go!, and he starts to hobble away, holding his hands up toward them. The gunmen then open fire, shouting 'Allahu akbar', or 'God is great', with the bullets hitting his body. They fire more shots into his body on the ground. The Islamic Army statement said it killed the survivor 'in revenge for the Muslims who have been killed in cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them'. It was apparently referring to the shooting by an American soldier of a wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque on Nov. 13 during a U.S. offensive in the city."
VI. Last week, a tragedy occurred as an Aid worker for the Human Rights Watch group was killed by a suicide bomber. For days after her death, co-workers lamented her untimely demise, saying they could not understand why the insurgency would kill someone who had labored so diligently for the average Iraqi citizen.
Suddenly, an explanation was given, and the finger of accusation pointed to the American military, in more ways than one.
NEWS BRIEF: "Aid worker uncovered America's secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths", By Andrew Buncombe in Washington, The Independent (U.K.), 20 April 2005
"A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces ... in an essay Ms Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was 'standard operating procedure' for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant."
During the time President Bill Clinton was in office, many journalists noted that many people in and around Clinton were turning up dead. At the time, we noted three basic reasons a person close to Bill Clinton might turn up dead:
The American military has been leaving a number of dead people in her wake, most notably journalists who saw something they were not supposed to see, or had filmed something they were not supposed to film. Enough foreign journalists have been killed that international attention is being brought to bear on this unseemly story.
Do you remember the story which broke with great fury in early March, when an Italian journalist who had been held hostage by Iraqi insurgents was suddenly released into the custody of two Italian secret service agents; they rented a car, hustled the Italian reporter into it and took off for the airport. The agents reportedly informed American authorities of their trip, and indeed, had passed through the final checkpoint at the airport when American troops opened fire on the vehicle.
One of the secret service agents threw his body over the journalist and phoned the Italian Prime Minister. He was on the phone with the PM when American bullets hit him, killing him almost instantly. The journalist survived. A story which appeared at that time quoted an Italian government official as saying, "'Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive', he added." (Newsletter for March 11, 2005, Paragraph VIII)
Thus, the American military has developed a reputation for killing journalists who pose a threat to their continued operation and/or a threat to the Public Relations War which the Pentagon has carefully crafted. One of the most important secrets the Pentagon needs to hide is the true number of Iraqi civilians we have killed. A British Think Tank study published late last year posted a figure of at least 100,000 civilians who have died at American hands since the invasion (Newsletter for October 30, 2004, Paragraph VIII)
Believe me, this is one story the Pentagon really wants to cover up. Therefore, it is a very big deal when a humanitarian worker obtains such solid information that American authorities not only are killing civilians, but are keeping track of those numbers, that she forces an American Brigadier General to admit that the Army followed a "standard operating procedure' for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant."
This information, should it go fully public, would terribly embarrass President Bush, who has long touted that he invaded Iraq for the purest of motives, i.e., to "liberate" them from Saddam, give them democracy and freedom. How much information did this aid worker actually obtain?
"She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between 28 February and 5 April, and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed.
"These statistics demonstrate that the US military can and does track civilian casualties', she wrote ... Sam Zia-Zarifi, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, the group for which Ms Ruzicka wrote the report, said her discovery 'was very important because it allows the victims to start demanding compensation'." (Ibid.)
Now we are at the crux of the problem, aren't we? Publishing internal records from the American military would not only prove highly embarrassing to the Public Relations picture we have painted, but it would also open the American government up to huge lawsuits from potentially tens of thousands of family members of the victims. Lawsuits also drag out in court for many months and sometimes years; therefore, the Public Relations disaster could last interminably.
Did the American government have anything to do with this suicide attack? We shall never know, but one thing is certain: the American war effort is better off because of this attack.
VII. Iraqi insurgents intensified their effort to kill national Iraqis supporting the Americans, and they very nearly got a "big fish".
NEWS BRIEF: "Iraq's PM Allawi Survives Assassination Bid", Swiss Info, April 21, 2005
"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's caretaker prime minister survived an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber on Wednesday on the eve of an expected announcement of a new government, as insurgent violence regained momentum. Iyad Allawi escaped unhurt when a suicide bomber in a car attacked his convoy as he headed home from a meeting on a new cabinet line-up ... The attack came hours after President Jalal Talabani announced that he hoped the new government would be finalized on Thursday -- more than 11 weeks after Iraq's historic elections. One policeman was killed in the blast and four were wounded, police said."
As Prime Minister serving the Americans totally, Allawi became hated when he "authorized" American forces to attack and virtually annihilate several Iraqi towns. Several months ago, some of his family members were briefly taken hostage to try to force him to change his policies as he inevitably realized that, at some time in the future, he might be the target.
That "sometime" occurred Wednesday, April 20, and Allawi was fortunate enough to escape with his life.
Others were not so fortunate.
NEWS BRIEF: "Blasts Rock Baghdad" Scotsman, 20 April 2005
"Three loud explosions rocked the Iraqi capital tonight, including a suicide car bomb which was detonated near a police checkpoint, killing one policeman and wounding two, and a roadside bomb that injured four Iraqis ... The other blast sent white smoke rising from the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the Iraqi government, embassies and US soldiers are located ... In central Baghdad, the powerful roadside bomb exploded as an Iraqi police patrol truck was driving past, wounding three policemen and a civilian walking nearby ... Three other car bombs exploded in Baghdad during the day today, killing a total of four Iraqis and wounding 13, police said."
NEWS BRIEF: "69 bodies found in Baghdad", International News, 21 April 2005
"Fifty bodies have been found in the Tigris river south of Baghdad while nineteen bodies have been recovered from a sports centre north of Baghdad ... President Jalal Talabani said the 50 bodies recovered from the Tigris river included men, women and children. Sunni militants kidnapped 50 Shiite people last Saturday from a town near Baghdad, he added."
Later news stories debunked the idea that these 50 bodies were part of the hostages supposedly taken by insurgents.
NEWS BRIEF: "19 Iraqi soldiers killed by insurgents", Khaleej Times, 20 April 2005
"Baghdad - Insurgents killed 19 Iraqi soldiers in the western city of Hadithah on Wednesday ... the soldiers were on their way to provide support to US troops when their convoy was attacked in the city 350 kilometres west of Baghdad. Nineteen National Guard members were kidnapped before being executed."
NEWS BRIEF: "Iraq group says it killed defence minister€™s adviser", Khaleej Times, 20 April 2005
"DUBAI - An Iraqi militant group was behind the killing of a senior Iraqi official this week ... Major-General Adnan Midhish Kharagoli, an adviser to the defence minister, was killed along with his nephew when 10 gunmen burst into his Baghdad home on Monday, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has said ..."
An Iraqi militant group claimed responsibility for the assassination of this senior Iraq official, saying "it was in revenge for the women and children's blood that flowed in Falluja while the infidels stood by mocking them".
The blood continues to flow in Iraq, with the fighting showing no signs of abating any time soon.
VIII. President Bush dug deeply into his supply of trusted insider advisers, nominating John Negroponte to be the first ever American Intelligence Czar.
NEWS BRIEF: "The Negroponte challenge", By B Raman, Asia Times, 19 April 2005
"US President George W Bush announced on Thursday his nomination of John Negroponte, an officer of the US foreign service who is currently the US ambassador to Iraq, as the first US director of national intelligence (DNI). He is to assume the post after he is confirmed by the Senate ... As recommended by the 9-11 National Commission, which submitted its report last year, Negroponte will oversee the functioning of all the national agencies of the US intelligence community ... "
We have spoken often about the "white-wash" nature of the 9-11 National Commission. After they finished their official investigation and issued their report, a Zogby poll revealed that they had single-handily convinced 50% of New York City residents that the government knew of the 9/11 attacks ahead of time and did nothing to prevent them (Read NEWS1956 for full details). The commission was so heavy-handed in the manner in which they treated real evidence and the real family members of the 9/11 victims that the government WAS complicit in 9/11.
Getting back to John Negroponte, he will head an intelligence behemoth which will begin to function in such a manner as to put American rights and liberties at risk. As the world heads toward its planned global crises, this intelligence department will have done its preparatory work on gathering information about the government's "domestic terrorists", dissidents and gun owners who will likely oppose the government as it suspends the Constitution so it can "deal with" the terrorist threat.
A quick check on John Negroponte reveals that he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) ["Who's Who of the Elite"]. Bush continues to use only approved Illuminist officials in his administration.
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