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    40 more years! 40 more years!..., 2008-06-10 20:05:02 | Main | if it flies, he can crash it..., 2008-06-15 19:39:19

    redlines in the sand:

    The National Security Archives has released documents revealing some of the early planning for the current US negotiations with Iraq over a long term security agreement. Like emails between CPA senior security advisor Frederick Smith and the CPA's general counsel Edwin S. Castle:

    A note of caution was raised in the correspondence: the U.S. did not know "how much we should expect from the Iraqi side. The GC members will be running for elections and will not want to appear to be appeasing the Coalition on tough issues such as jurisdiction." (The U.S.-appointed Governing Council (GC) had been set up in July 2003 to create the impression that sovereignty would soon be restored to Iraq.)

    On December 3 State Department lawyers disseminated an information memo on the agreement, to be used the next day for Bremer's briefing. It outlined "CPA's own current strategic vision for Iraq's transition to full sovereignty," utilizing three "basic documents": the "Fundamental Law," "Treaty Restoring Sovereignty", and "Security Agreement", the last comprising a military technical assistance agreement, an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, and a status of forces agreement (SOFA).

    [... Long list of violations of Iraqi sovereignty demanded by the US ... ]

    On December 11, 2003, prior to CPA lawyer Castle's planned visit to Washington, he received a memo from CJTF-7, conveying its "requirements for what we would like to see reflected in the final agreement." Attached were PowerPoint slides from CentCom listing its objectives, key provisions, and "redlines" (elements that in its opinion had to be, or could not be, in the agreement.)

    The first of the CJTF-7 requirements was "authority for the Coalition Force, without interference or permission", to, in order: "fight the GWOT, fight anti-coalition forces" and "ensure a safe and secure environment in Iraq."

    Other requirements in CJTF-7's list included a defined status for Coalition forces under international and Iraqi law; command authority; detention and interrogation rights; their own definition of the rules of engagement; complete freedom of movement; exemption from passport and visa requirements; exclusive criminal jurisdiction; use of public utilities; exemption from taxes and duties, and full diplomatic immunity for both Coalition personnel and contractors.

    According to its PowerPoint slides, the Central Command's objectives and "Key Provisions" were similar to those of CJTF-7, including unlimited authority to conduct military operations; exclusive use of facilities at no cost; freedom of movement over land and through air, space, and territorial waters; immunity for contractors from legal process; and exemption for contractors from visa requirements, vehicle and aircraft registration, and income taxes.

    Central Command's "red lines" included immunity for both U.S. personnel and contractors from international tribunals and foreign courts; priority use of public utilities; and exemption of U.S. contracts for goods, services, and construction from Iraqi jurisdiction.

    ...opposition from some politicians could be a facade intended to defuse public anger... If Iraq does acquiesce...

    More important: what if they don't? I don't want to cast aspersions on good ole American bribery and brute force, but there is a remote chance that what passes for an Iraqi government will cross one of those redlines.

    We're bribing even the Mahdi Army at this point - remember when amnesty was a redline? - if it all goes according to the less idiotic plan of just buying off armed resistance the only Iraqis we'll be having to "detain, intern, and interrogate" are the ones the do-gooding loyal opposition convinced themselves we were going there to save.

    It's nonsense either way: if the Iraqi government signs off it just goes to show that they don't represent Iraq - big surprise - and amount to a dearly purchased kleptocratic puppet state, and those militias on our payroll will be needing another amnesty somewhere further down the road.


:: posted by buermann @ 2008-06-15 16:39:10 CST | link





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