Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Patrick Cockburn, Independent UK - The United States has spied extensively on Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi government leaders, the American investigative journalist Bob Woodward has revealed. "We know everything he says," the journalist quotes one source as saying, in his fourth book on George Bush's presidency. The U.S. administration's decision to spy continually on Mr. Maliki shows deep distrust of the Iraqi leadership by the U.S. The surveillance took place even while Mr. Maliki was speaking to Mr. Bush by video-phone once a week. . .

The prime aim of U.S. espionage targeting Iraqi officials has been to find out the true relations between the Baghdad government and Iran, though this motive is not referred to in Mr Woodward's book. Washington has been deeply suspicious of Mr. Maliki and his predominantly Shia government for maintaining close relations with Tehran even while the U.S. was threatening to go to war with Iran.

At one moment in 2006-7 U.S. officials in Iraq were complaining privately that they could not get enough information about more sophisticated and lethal roadside bombs killing American troops because so much of the U.S. intelligence effort was focused on the Iraqi government. "Hundreds of our people were doing nothing but listening to Iraqi officials," said a source.


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