Monday, December 1, 2008

MID EAST

Raw Story - US officials told scores of firms offering security in Iraq that their personnel will lose immunity from prosecution under a new US-Iraq security pact due to take effect in January. The officials told reporters that they briefed delegates from 172 security contractors employing nearly 175,000 Americans, Iraqis and others in Iraq about the new rules under a pact set to replace a UN mandate expiring December 31. . . Under the changes, contractors "can no longer expect that they will enjoy the wide ranging immunity from Iraqi law that has been in effect since 2003," when US-led forces invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, according to the statement.

Jeff Stein, Spy Talk - When last seen in these parts, Iraqi exile leader Ahmed Chalabi was serving up phony defectors to the New York Times in a campaign to justify toppling Saddam Hussein. Some suspect Chalabi was acting on behalf of Iran, to get rid of its major nemesis, and has continued to do its bidding in Baghdad. So imagine our surprise when we found Chalabi's byline in the New York Times telling the U.S. to get out of Iraq. In "Thanks, but You Can Go Now," the Iraqi Zelig writes that "there are still those in Washington's corridors of power who want to reduce Iraq to being an American puppet state, like Jordan or Egypt, nations governed through a corrosive mix of covert intelligence and military support spoon-fed to a permanent oligarchy." He should know. Years back, the portly master intriguer fled Jordan after being charged with looting a bank.

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