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News, 23-30/7/03 (1) BUSINESS * U.S. to appoint consortium of banks to manage Iraq Trade Bank * U.S. Defense Department creates office to support Iraq reconstruction * Companies make first buy of Iraqi oil since end of war * Mobile phone battle breaks out in Iraq * Photo mystery still unsolved * Jordanians, Iraqis establish $50m 'reconstruction' firm * Bahraini company told to stop Iraqi service COLLABORATION * 3 on new Iraqi team get qualified welcome at UN * CPA opens recruitment centers for new Iraqi army * Centcom chief announces 7,000-strong militia * Iraqi party helping U.S. reassemble Iran spy unit * Iraq chooses rotating presidents REMNANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ * Qusay Saddam Hussein * Uday Saddam Hussein * Senior Republican Guard official captured by troops * Voice thought to be Saddam's calls on soldiers to rise up * Saddam's personal guards 'snatched in Tikrit raid' * Whimsical de-Ba'thification * Tape Hails Hussein Sons as 'Martyrs' BUSINESS RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY * U.S. TO APPOINT CONSORTIUM OF BANKS TO MANAGE IRAQ TRADE BANK RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 32, 24 July 2003 The U.S. will appoint an international consortium of banks by August to handle letters of credit for the newly created Trade Bank of Iraq, "The Wall Street Journal" reported on 22 July. The trade bank will help facilitate Iraqi ministries, including the Oil Ministry, in making big-ticket purchases abroad, according to the paper, which reported that purchases would likely average around $100 million a month to start. The trade bank is expected to eventually be managing transactions totaling billions of dollars per month, the "Journal" reported. Several banks are reportedly vying for the role. According to the paper, J.P Morgan Chase & Co. has teamed up with Britain's Standard Chartered PLC, the National Bank of Kuwait, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., and Poland's Millennium Bank in a bid to run the trade bank. That banking alliance will reportedly be competing against contenders Citigroup Inc.; and Deutsche Bank AG, which is expected to team up with a U.S. bank, according to the "Journal." Proposals offering the most competitive fees will factor into the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) choice, the paper reported. There will be one marked difference in the initial procedures of the winning consortium however. "Instead of receiving fees up front, the bank consortium will be paid after the transaction is completed, which shifts some of the risk to the banks," the "Journal" noted. Under the CPA-devised system, the Trade Bank "will issue letters of credit on behalf of Iraqi government agencies and affiliates looking to buy heavy equipment and other goods abroad. Upon delivery, the purchases will be paid for from an Iraq Central Bank account within the Federal Reserve Bank of New York." The winning consortium will not, however, be involved in financing future Iraqi oil sales. U.S. Treasury Department Adviser in Baghdad Peter McPherson said that the Trade Bank would be "a good first step to get Iraq back into the international financial world." McPherson contended that there is "no front-runner" for the deal, but told the trade paper that the winning bid will include banks from at least two different countries. Another Treasury official reportedly said that the Treasury Department has encouraged banks with an established presence in the Middle East to participate. The initial contract is expected to run for 12 months, the "Journal" reported, with a possible extension. One treasury official cautioned, however, that Iraqi commercial banks would be encouraged to begin issuing their own letters of credit as soon as possible. Treasury officials are also working with Iraqi banks to devise a payment system for the transfer of money between entities, and to set up a system for international transfers. Such a system, the newspaper noted, would rely on a currency exchange component. Officials are also looking into ways to restart Iraq's retail banking system. For additional information on the Trade Bank of Iraq, and the CPA's request for proposals, go to the CPA website (http://www.cpa-iraq.org/). (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY * U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CREATES OFFICE TO SUPPORT IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 32, 24 July 2003 The United States Defense Department is establishing an Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Representative to support reconstruction efforts in Iraq, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith announced on 18 July, according to a 19 July report by the State Department's "Washington File" (http://usinfo.state.gov). Feith told reporters at the Pentagon that the office would be staffed by all U.S. government departments and agencies involved in the Iraqi reconstruction project. It "will serve as a convenient portal" for businesses, universities, and nongovernmental organizations that interact with the CPA. "As we look forward to more involvement in Iraq by nongovernmental entities such as businesses, NGOs, and charitable groups, the existence of a convenient portal is all the more important," Feith said. A recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington (http://www.csis.org/) recommended the creation of a "strong office in Washington to support the CPA." (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001221428_iraqnotes24.htm l * COMPANIES MAKE FIRST BUY OF IRAQI OIL SINCE END OF WAR Seattle Times, 24th July LONDON BP PLC and Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. have each agreed to buy 10 million barrels of Iraqi oil under the first long-term contracts to be offered by Iraq since the end of the war, the companies said yesterday. Oil production in southern Iraq has increased substantially in recent weeks thanks to improved security at oil fields, pipelines and other facilities. BP and Shell each expect to ship 2 million barrels of Basra Light crude per month, starting in August and ending in December. The companies will load the oil on tankers at Iraq's Persian Gulf export terminal of Mina al-Bakr. Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization, the state-run monopoly that controls Iraqi crude exports, also agreed this week to sell 6 million barrels under shorter spot contracts to ChevronTexaco, Petrobras of Brazil and Switzerland's Vitol. These three companies have agreed to ship 2 million barrels each by the end of July, an Iraqi official said. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,630-756836,00.html * MOBILE PHONE BATTLE BREAKS OUT IN IRAQ by Dan Sabbagh The Times, 25th July ON TUESDAY this week mobile phones in Baghdad suddenly flickered into life and promptly created an unexpected headache for the Coalition Provisional Authority that now runs Iraq. At stake is the ability of the CPA to award contracts that stick, necessary if the authority is to encourage Western companies to invest in the reconstruction of the Middle Eastern country. The fledgeling service, which covers central areas of Baghdad only, is Iraq's first public mobile phone network. On its first full day of operation, it handled about 3,000 calls, representing a successful outcome of two months of covert planning and $5 million (£3 million) of investment by Bahrain's telecoms operator Batelco. Yet Batelco has no licence to operate a service and the CPA is not impressed. A system of licensing, which restricts the number of companies able to operate a mobile service, is the cornerstone of the industry around the world. The CPA says that Iraq, as per its order 11 issued on June 9, already has a telecoms licensing system and warns that Batelco is in breach of it. Another operator that tried its luck, Kuwait's MTC, has already abandoned a rival Baghdad service under CPA pressure. A spokesman for the provisional authority said last night: "There is a system of regulation here. We've already sent them (Batelco) a letter, warning that they are in breach of order 11. If they don't shut down their systems, then we'll take further measures. We know where their base stations are." However, Rashid al-Snan, Batelco's regional operations manager responsible for the Iraqi project, defends his company's actions on the basis of humanitarian opportunism. Speaking before the CPA's warning, he said: "Nobody has a licence. We were encouraged by calls for the rebuilding in Iraq, but we did not seek permission." Behind Batelco stands the London-based international carrier Cable & Wireless, a long-time business partner and 20 per cent shareholder. The British company is providing engineering support, including a satellite link between the Baghdad network and Bahrain, as the first leg in transporting international calls. A spokesman for C&W said yesterday: "We are supportive of Batelco's efforts in Baghdad, and we expect the company to apply for a licence in due course." Cable & Wireless, despite its recent financial troubles, remains an ideal partner for Batelco in Iraq. The British group's board members include a string of people with connections in the defence industry, led by its chairman Richard Lapthorne, a former British Aerospace finance director. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, the Secretary-General of NATO and former Defence Minister, is planning to join as deputy chairman next February, while one of his former advisers, Bernard Gray, is already a non-executive. However, none of the board members will relish what is already threatening to become a politically embarrassing conflict. In any event, the CPA already has other ideas. A few days before Batelco's coup, the authority issued a competitive tender for three regional mobile licences, and sought expressions of interest from operators around the world. Unlike other contracts, there is no requirement on bidders to have an Iraqi partner. Now, Batelco's arrival means that, rather unexpectedly, there is a company that is already trying to project an image of itself as an incumbent. It is wasting no time in doing so. Mr Al-Snan said: "We intend to fight for a licence. If we were forced to pull out, it would be very bad for the public, who are already enjoying a service." Surprisingly, he goes further and hints that if the company does not win the central region licence that covers Baghdad if would even consider defying the CPA. "We would have every right to continue providing our service to the public," he says. As of the end of this week Batelco was still planning to sell pre-pay mobiles to wealthy locals from Monday. The company says its tariffs will be the same as it charges in its home country and that phones will cost no more than $300. The company says that it has another $50 million to invest if it can. But the CPA's firm opposition presumably makes it unlikely that Batelco will get any further. If it was allowed to do so, it would raise clear questions about the authority's ability to control the business environment. Outside any work exploiting the country's oil reserves, the mobile licence contracts could end up being one of the most valuable business opportunities available in Iraq, although development of a sizeable customer base will take several years. In many developing countries, most obviously China, mobile has become big business, helped by tumbling equipment and handset prices. As a result it has become possible to develop lucrative franchises, which are more attractive to investors than building time-consuming and expensive fixed-line networks. The problem is that the Iraq licences which cover the north including the Kurdish area, the central Baghdad region, and Basra and the south are initially only of two years in duration, although they can be extended. Nor has any particular technology been specified. After a heavy lobbying campaign by both camps, the CPA will allow bidders to offer either a service based on the European GSM standard, which is widely used in the region, or the American CDMA standard, which, outside the United States, is widely used only in South Korea, China and Israel. That could lead to incompatible technologies being used in different parts of the country. Nevertheless, mobile phone penetration in wealthier parts of the Gulf region is taking off, and Iraq itself would clearly be at the back of the pack. In Bahrain and Kuwait, penetration levels are nearly 60 per cent, according to the research consultancy Baskerville, although in Syria the penetration is just 2 per cent. It would be possible to reach profitablity, although it would take several years. Stephen Pentland, a mobile phone specialist with Spectrum Strategy Consultants, said: "Western operators' rule of thumb is that you need one million customers to make it worthwhile to run your own network. Three networks over the country's 17 million population implies penetration needs to reach 20 per cent, which should be possible." It is not yet clear who will bid. European operators, many of whom are carrying heavy debts, are unlikely to show much interest. However, Vodafone, which is being very cagey about its own position, is likely to work with Kuwait's MTC, which has a long-standing marketing partnership. MTC- Vodafone, as the group likes to be known, already provides a private service to military personnel in the south of the country, in a deal that dates back to before the conflict. The near-dominance of US companies in other reconstruction contracts has led to speculation that American operators, which traditionally have very limited overseas investments, will get involved. Intriguingly, MCI formerly the disgraced WorldCom is providing a private service to the US military in Baghdad. MCI, which is badly in need of rebuilding its reputation, does not operate a mobile business anywhere else in the world. However, the most logical candidates to manage the licences are the Arab operators, such as Batelco. Yet, the Bahrain company's attempt to steal a march on its would-be competitors may turn out to be terminal to its chances. http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/columnstoryA5994A.htm * PHOTO MYSTERY STILL UNSOLVED by Billy Cox Florida Today, 15th July Palm Bay's Hank Brandli generated a buzz last month when the retired Air Force colonel suggested the United States had run a pipeline the length of Kuwait to siphon off Iraqi oil to help finance the war. Unfortunately, amid Washington's hall of mirrors, we're no closer to solving this mystery than when the story ran in June. Rewind: In 1976, near the end of a career of handling classified projects, Brandli produced an analyst's bible for the Air Force Weather Service, a book called "Satellite Meteorology." Although he left the USAF shortly thereafter, Brandli took his passion into retirement with him by computer-rigging his home with receiving dishes that allowed him to download unclassified images from American and Russian weather satellites whenever they passed over. On May 25, Brandli was riveted by some Defense Meteorological Satellite Program nighttime photos of Iraq and Kuwait. A north-south corridor of light -- not visible in a similar DMSP photo taken on May 3 -- had apparently been carved out of the Kuwaiti desert in little more than three weeks, all the way up to, and slightly inside of, the Iraqi border. Brandli failed to detect that same luminescent feature in photos prior to May 3. And after reviewing images he's studied after May 25, Brandli reports, "It's still there." The State Department seemed to be the go-to choice for answers about this river of light, but a spokesperson was in the dark and said to call the Coalition of Provisional Authority, the office in charge of rebuilding Iraq. But the CPA never called back. The U.S. Agency for International Development doesn't have any answers, either, and advises you to call the Defense Department. But the Pentagon media desk doesn't know anything about it, and urges you to call the CPA or U.S. Central Command in Tampa. CPA doesn't call back again. At CentCom, Lt. Col. Martin Compton is stumped. "There are a number of possible explanations. All kinds of things are moving into Iraq right now, and it could be something as simple as water," he says. "But if it's something going on in Kuwait, I wouldn't know where to tell you to go for that. We might not even be in a position to tell you even if we knew." You call the U.S. Commerce Department's Iraq Reconstruction Task Force in Washington. They refer you to CPA. CPA doesn't call back again. Surely the American Petroleum Institute in Washington would know something about new Iraqi pipelines running through Kuwait. But after reviewing the e-mailed images, API spokesman Bill Bush says a key colleague is skeptical that they're oil-related. "Presumably, if you're drawing oil out of Iraq, it would make more sense to go east toward the Gulf, where it could be unloaded," Bush says. But in Monterey, Calif., Bob Fett says "Hank got it right." Fett and Brandli worked together in Vietnam. Fett was the head of the Tactical Applications Department for the National Reconnaissance Organization, the spy-satellite program whose very existence was a state secret for 30 years. Fett, now a consultant for Naval Research Lab, provided a map showing how the lights line up into the region of Iraq's Rumaila oilfields. "It's been an impressive operation," Fett says. "(Construction giants) Halliburton, or Bechtel, or Brown & Root, were contracted to get the oil flowing out of Iraq as quickly as possible, and hundreds of workers have been going at it 24 hours a day, around the clock. They needed lights to work at night." Fett adds that the project, which runs south into the metropolitan glow around Kuwait City, doesn't have to reach the Gulf for it to be oil-related. "Why not bring it south where the infrastructure is already in place?" Bechtel and Halliburton didn't respond to messages. What's important is, Halliburton stocks are over $22 a share now. That's up from $12.62 last October. http://www.jordantimes.com/Mon/economy/economy5.htm * JORDANIANS, IRAQIS ESTABLISH $50M 'RECONSTRUCTION' FIRM Jordan Times, 28th July AMMAN (JT) Jordanian and Iraqi businessmen established a joint development and investment company on Sunday to assist in the reconstruction of war-ravaged Iraq. The Jordanian-Iraqi Investment and Development Company, with a JD50 million capital, aims at participating in the process of the reconstruction of the war-stricken country. Industry and Trade Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour, who attended the company's launching ceremony, stressed the government's readiness to provide all facilities and to streamline procedures to make the company's work a success. Khaldoun Abu Hassan, a former president of the Amman Chamber of Industry, disclosed that the company's activities will cover industrial, hotels, tourism, educational and other key economic sectors. The company will be based in Amman but is scheduled to open different offices in and outside the Kingdom. Federation of the Jordanian Chambers of Commerce President Haidar Murad said the company will participate along with other private sector institutions in projects to rebuild Iraq. It will also provide new job opportunities, he indicated. Iraqi businessman Anas Jabouri lauded Jordanian economic and legal legislation, saying they provide confidence in the country's economic environment. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/world/iraq/2003-07-29-bahrani-telco_x.htm * BAHRAINI COMPANY TOLD TO STOP IRAQI SERVICE USA Today, 29th July DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) The Bahraini telephone company that set up a cellular network in Baghdad without permission from the U.S.-led authority in Iraq has been ordered to cut off the service. Bahrain Telecommunication, known as Batelco, had begun service July 22, carrying calls for people with phones on the GSM network standard common in the Middle East and Europe. Batelco said it had spent nearly $5 million setting up the network and planned to give free phones to police, fire and emergency crews in Baghdad whose communications have been hampered by the devastation of the city's landline phone networks. "It's a pity that we had to stop. We really put in an effort and felt a cheer coming toward us from all over the world," Rashid al-Snan, Batelco's regional operations manager, told The Associated Press by telephone Monday from Bahrain. Al-Snan said Batelco received a letter from U.S. authorities two days after the service started, saying the company needed a license to operate in Iraq. Batelco responded with a request for a license, but was told to stop the service and that provisional authorities were still working out a licensing regime. Al-Snan said Batelco had not thought it needed a license to get started and had planned to apply once licensing began. U.S. authorities formally began seeking bids for three mobile phone licenses in Iraq on Sunday, telling prospective licensees they will be required to begin installation within 20 days of being hired. "We are more than willing to work within the regulations available we and will apply for a tender," al-Snan said. A spokesman for the provisional authority, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday that two companies that had been providing service without authorization in Iraq had been asked to stop because their operations interfered with the signal of MCI, the U.S. company that provides mobile service to officials from the authority, the United Nations and some government departments. (MCI is the service formerly known as Worldcom.) The spokesman in Baghdad did not name the companies. Beyond Batelco and the Pentagon funded MCI network in the Baghdad area, wireless service in Iraq was limited to Kurdish systems in the north and a temporary network in the south set up jointly by Kuwait's private Mobile Telecommunications and Britain's Vodafone. A Mobile Telecommunications official in Kuwait said Monday that its joint project had not been ordered to shut down. The official said it had permission from U.S. and British military officials and was providing service to U.S. and British forces. However, civilian GSM users in Baghdad who had been getting signals from both Batelco and MTC-Vodafone reported they had no service from either company by Sunday night. COLLABORATION http://www.iht.com/articles/103943.html * 3 ON NEW IRAQI TEAM GET QUALIFIED WELCOME AT UN by Felicity Barringer International Herald Tribune, from New York Times, 24th July UNITED NATIONS, New York: The UN Security Council has extended a qualified welcome to the new leadership of Iraq, hailing three members of the Governing Council there as informed citizens but not, as they had requested, as representatives of a legitimate government. Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that the formation of the new council was an "important step toward the full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty." His special representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, said, "We have now an institution that, while not democratically elected, can be viewed as broadly representative of the various constituencies in Iraq." One diplomat who attended the Security Council meeting said the council was "not going to argue about legitimacy," and instead would take a broad interpretation of the last Security Council resolution on Iraq, which acknowledged the authority of the U.S.-led force there. But if the three representatives of the new Governing Council in Baghdad were greeted with correctness rather than warmth, it did not stop them from casting themselves as the rightful heirs of the fallen government of Saddam Hussein and laying out their vision of Iraq's journey back to democracy and stability. In the Security Council meeting, Adnan Pachachi, a foreign minister in a pre-Saddam government, said: "Our primary goal is to shorten the duration of the interim administration." In a later news conference, Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group during Saddam's rule, took center stage, saying that the Governing Council "is united in its determination to claim full rights of government in Iraq and to work with the coalition authorities on issues that will restore total and complete sovereignty to the Iraqi people quickly." The group's itinerary mimicked that of any delegation of a legitimate government, beginning with a stop at the Iraqi mission on the Upper East Side where, the current chargι d'affaires said, they discussed finances. The group then made a public Security Council appearance, followed by private meetings with Arab envoys and later with the representatives of France, Russia, China, Britain and the United States. It concluded with a later afternoon session with Annan in his offices on the 38th floor. The U.S. delegate, John Negroponte, urged UN members to unite behind the new group, saying, "This Governing Council deserves the full encouragement and support of the international community, and especially this body." Largely unmentioned was the prospect of a new Security Council resolution, hinted at last week by Secretary of State Colin Powell, that would give the United Nations' blessing to a broader multinational force. Both India and Russia have made such a resolution a prerequisite for their participation in any force. Other council members, like the German representative, Gunter Pleuger, made it clear that they were eager to expand the elastic boundaries of the United Nations' current mandate, which limits the international body to assisting and advising, but not controlling in any way, the development of new legal and political institutions in Iraq. Vieira de Mello, the UN special representative, told the Security Council that the new Iraq council had "the credibility and authority" to be a partner, and said that the Iraqi citizens with whom he had met were unanimous in calling for the United Nations to have "an energetic, center-stage role" in putting Iraqis "back at the helm of their country." Iraqis "need to know that stability will return and that the occupation will end," he said. This view was seconded at the later news conference by Chalabi, who said that "we have asked very early on the coalition provisional authority for a timeline" for the transfer of power. Sketching out some principles likely to underpin the country's new constitution, Pachachi said he envisioned the emergence of a federal situation, a manner of governing in which authority is divided between national and regional institutions. He characterized that possibility partly as a response to pressures for some autonomy from the Kurds. RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY * CPA OPENS RECRUITMENT CENTERS FOR NEW IRAQI ARMY RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 32, 24 July 2003 The Coalition Provisional Authority announced the opening of three recruitment centers for the New Iraqi Army in a press release dated 19 July and posted on the CPA website (http://www.cpa-iraq.org/). The recruitment centers, located in Baghdad, Mosul, and Al Basrah are accepting applications from men between the ages of 18 and 40, according to the press release. Not all applicants will be accepted, however all former Iraqi officers below the rank of colonel were invited to apply. Excluded from the application process are "those persons from the former regime security organizations, intelligence organizations, Special Republican Guards, Special Security Organizations and Ba'ath Party security and militia organizations, and top-level Ba'ath Party members," the deputy commanding general of the Coalition Military Advisory and Training Team, Brigadier Jonathon Riley was quoted as saying in the press release. Riley added that the new army "will be the beginning and not the end of the new Iraqi armed forces which will defend the Iraqi nation, rather than a particular leader or regime." He said that each enlistee at first would be paid $60 per month after completing the first month of training. "At the conclusion of training, individuals will be appointed to ranks and assigned to positions of leadership according to their abilities and performance in training. Their pay will be increased according to their duties and responsibilities," he added. A fourth recruitment center is expected to open in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. "Over the next two years, nearly thirty battalion-sized units will be formed. If an individual is not identified for the very first unit to be formed, he may be identified for any of the subsequent units, after the first unit has been trained," the press release stated. "The Christian Science Monitor" reported on 22 July that U.S. officials handed out some 3,600 applications in the first three days of the recruitment drive. According to the paper, 12,000 troops will be trained during the first year. The Vinnell Corp. in Fairfax, Virginia, has won a contract for training the new army. Major General Paul Eaton who commanded the U.S. Army's infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, will head the training. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY * CENTCOM CHIEF ANNOUNCES 7,000-STRONG MILITIA RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 32, 24 July 2003 The head of CENTCOM, General John Abizaid, announced plans to create an Iraqi civil defense force -- a 7,000-strong Iraqi militia -- that will work alongside U.S. forces in Iraq, AP reported on 21 July. The militia will comprise eight battalions of armed Iraqi militiamen, each in turn comprising 850 members. Abizaid announced the militia during his first visit to Iraq since assuming his role as commander of CENTCOM earlier this month (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 4 July 2003). According to a 21 July report on nytimes.com, the militia would replace U.S. troops in guarding power plants, ammunition depots, and supply convoys. "Over time, it'll free up an awful lot of American forces," Abizaid told reporters. Conventional U.S. forces will train the militia. Special-operations forces normally carry out such duties, according to AP. The militia is expected to be operational within 45 days. (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/07/22/MN248282.DTL * IRAQI PARTY HELPING U.S. REASSEMBLE IRAN SPY UNIT by Neela Banerjee, Douglas Jehl San Francisco Chronicle, from New York Times, 22nd July Baghdad -- Relying on the help of an Iraqi political party, the United States has moved to resurrect parts of Iraq's once-feared intelligence service, with the branch that monitors Iran among the top priorities, former Iraqi agents and politicians say. The Iraqi National Congress, which is led by Ahmad Chalabi, the longtime exile who is now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, says its senior officials have met with senior members of the so-called Iran and Turkey branch of the Mukhabarat, or Iraqi intelligence, over the past several weeks. The party has received documents from the intelligence officers and recruited them into a reconstituted version of the unit, said Abdulaziz Kubaisi, the Iraqi National Congress official responsible for the recruiting effort. American officials, he said, are fully informed about what the party is doing. Iraqi intelligence officers who have been asked to rejoin the branch contend that the United States is orchestrating the effort. "As far as what we do, we are sending back information to the Pentagon, to people who are responsible," Kubaisi said. "They know the nature of what we're doing. There is coordination. We have representatives of (U.S. Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld (at the Congress)." But some Middle East experts said trying to revive the branch before a sovereign government is in place and working through a political party could backfire. "This sets a bad precedent because you don't have a government in place, and because Chalabi's party is a minority and doesn't represent the majority of Iraqis," said Edward Walker, former ambassador to Egypt and Israel under former President George Bush and now president of the Middle East Institute, "I think it will be highly controversial to rebuild the intelligence arm when there are so many unresolved questions about Iraqi intelligence from before." The effort to reach out to former Iraqi intelligence officials also appears hard to harmonize with the American drive to "de-Baathify" Iraqi society, given the prominence of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein in his government. A senior American official said concern about Iran was driving some of the discussion about moving quickly to re-establish an intelligence service. The official said the United States recognized that Iraq had a good intelligence apparatus focused on Iran because activities in the neighboring country might affect Iraqi security at home. People close to the Iran branch said the Americans had also expressed interest in reviving the intelligence service's Syria branch. Kubaisi also said the possibility that Iran might try to interfere in Iraq's affairs made the revival of the Mukhabarat's Iran branch a top priority. "There are political parties -- not the main seven ones -- who have alliances with Iran, who are flirting with it," he said. "I think the Iranians are interfering in Iraq's affairs. They've been meddling here for years." American officials in Washington and Baghdad maintained that reviving the Iran branch was only being discussed now. Senior U.S. officials in Washington said the question of when and how to re-establish the Mukhabarat was under active consideration at the highest levels of the government. They said that it had been discussed recently by the Deputies Committee, which represents the second-ranking official at national security agencies, and that the CIA had been designated the lead agency in the process. But people close to the Iraqi members of the Iran branch say recruitment efforts began two months ago, when the crisis over Iran's nuclear program flared, and continue now. Sabi al Hamed, a former Iran branch member in Zubayr, in southern Iraq, said two of his former colleagues had made contact with him two weeks ago and told him that they had been working with Americans. The Iran unit will begin working once the Governing Council settles in and the ministries are fully functioning, Kubaisi said. But the former Iraqi agents who had discussions with the Iraqi National Congress and with members of the Iran branch say the unit is already working in a building in central Baghdad. Kubaisi said Iran branch members were being vetted before being signed up. He and others close to the branch said none of the officers had been paid yet. "These are people we should attract and make use of," he said. "But they shouldn't be bad people. They should not have a criminal past, and they shouldn't be stained with people's blood." [.....] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3107887.stm * IRAQ CHOOSES ROTATING PRESIDENTS BBC, 29th July There is growing pressure for self-rule in Iraq Iraq's Interim Governing Council (IGC) has opted for a nine-member rotating presidency made up of representatives of the country's ethnic groups. The 25-member council - set up by the US-led coalition - said electing a single president was a priority when it formally opened on 13 July. But members could not agree on who that leader should be, so instead they opted for a rotating presidency system similar to that of the European Union. The council will now decide in which order the five Shia Muslim, two Sunni Muslims and two Kurdish representatives will serve Iraq's people. Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) spokesman Hoshyar Zebari said: "We have chosen a committee of nine members, and each member will serve as president for one month." Broad representation The Shia representatives are: Ahmad Chalabi, leading figure in the Pentagon-backed Iraqi National Congress Iyad Allawi, head of the Iraqi National Accord Movement Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, number two in the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq Ibrahim Jafari, spokesman for the Dawa party Mohammed Bahr al-Uloom, a liberal cleric. The Sunnis are former Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi and Mohsen Abdul Hamid, secretary general of the Islamic Party. The Kurds are KDP chief Massoud Barzani and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leader Jalal Talabani. The council can appoint cabinet ministers, formulate economic policies and is charged with producing a process to write a constitution that would pave the way for a general election. Council members said they might opt for the presidential rotation to proceed in alphabetical order to allay potential allegations of favouritism. REMNANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1004246,00.html * QUSAY SADDAM HUSSEIN by Charles Tripp The Guardian, 23rd July The younger son of Saddam Hussein, Qusay Saddam Hussein, who has died aged 37, was being groomed by his father as a fitting successor. As war loomed in 2003, it was Qusay whom Saddam Hussein placed in command of the central military region, charged with defending the heartland of the regime in Baghdad and Tikrit. Prior to that he had been entrusted with organising the personal protection of his father, as well as with overseeing Iraq's complex intelligence apparatus. He thus embodied the dynastic principle behind Saddam's rule of Iraq, as well as the practical principle of only trusting close family members with the key levers of power. He was 13 years old when his father became president of Iraq in 1979. Less volatile than his older brother Uday, and much less visible in the playgrounds of the elite in Baghdad, Qusay's qualities of systematic and ruthless intelligence had been recognised by his father who, it is said, saw in Qusay a reflection of his younger self. It was for this reason that in 1988 he was appointed deputy director of al-Amn al-Khass (the Special Security Organisation), a very powerful security agency in Iraq, closest to the president and responsible for his personal security. By 1992 he had become director of the organisation and his responsibilities had widened. Among these was the supervision of the concealment operations committee (COC), the body charged by Saddam Hussein with concealing as much as possible of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme from the eyes of the UN weapons inspectors (Unscom). Set up soon after the weapons inspectorate was established in 1991, its mission was to hide documents and equipment relating to Iraq's WMD capabilities, to lay false trails and to persuade the UN that Iraq had nothing more dangerous than its acknowledged conventional armaments. During the 1990s, initial ostensible cooperation with Unscom gave way to a game of hide and-seek, brought to an abrupt end when the activities of the COC itself looked as if they were about to be investigated in 1998. With the brief resumption of the weapons inspections under Unmovic in 2002 and 2003, the COC took up where it had left off, guided as ever by Qusay. By this stage, however, he had become even more powerful in the Iraqi state. He was commander of the Special Republican Guard. Its units had been formed in 1991 to defend the regime and to deter the regular army, including the Republican Guard itself, from trying to threaten the president. In 1996, following the abortive CIA/Iraqi National Accord coup plot of that year, Saddam appointed Qusay head of the special committee which brought all the branches of Iraqi intelligence together to investigate the conspiracy. In his thoroughness, his mistrust of all those he interrogated and his ruthlessness in dealing with suspects, he showed himself well able to handle the ferocious task with which his father had entrusted him. His use of exemplary cruelty and his contempt for those he had in his power were strongly reminiscent of the methods and attitude of his father, from whom he had learned his statecraft. He was able to deploy these qualities further when Saddam allowed him, also from 1996, to chair the National Security Council, the supreme oversight body, bringing together all of Iraq's five security and intelligence organisations, as well as the staff of the president himself. From this position, he was able to investigate all branches of the Iraqi state, to build up information on all the economic dealings of the Iraqi elite, including those of his brother and other members of the president's family, as well as to establish close links with key units in the Iraqi armed forces. His election in May 2001 to the regional command of the Ba'ath party signalled something that many in Iraq had long suspected: Qusay was being transformed into the crown prince of Iraq. However, as events demonstrated, this position was only as secure as the short lived dynasty itself. Qusay wed the daughter of a respected senior military commander. The couple, who later separated, had two daughters. A teenage boy killed with the brothers may have been Qusay's son. http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,1004244,00.html * UDAY SADDAM HUSSEIN by Charles Tripp The Guardian, 23rd July Uday, Saddam Hussein's oldest son, who has died aged 39, was a flamboyant character at one time thought of as his father's successor. But his erratic and violent behaviour soon dispelled these thoughts, even if he did manage to carve out for himself a distinctive and feared place in Iraq's clannish political world. Uday was 15 when his father became president of Iraq in 1979. He later claimed that his father had taken him to watch some of the executions of disgraced party members which accompanied his rise to power. Indeed, he boasted that his indulgent parent had allowed him to execute some of the prisoners himself as "training" for a party activist. Whatever the truth of this, there was little doubt about the violent streak in his character. His first public position was chairman of the Iraqi Olympic committee in 1987. He used the post to involve himself in a number of aspects of Iraqi public life, setting up a ministry of youth to promote himself and, ostensibly, the aspirations of a new generation of Iraqis. In the autumn of 1988, however, his temper got the better of him when he murdered one of his father's closest aides, Kamil Jajo, in a fit of rage. Saddam Hussein's anger and the fact that the murder was committed in public, at a party attended by many from outside the inner circle, meant that there was no attempt to cover it up. On the contrary, Uday was sent to prison, where he languished for a month or so until his father pardoned him, purportedly because of the overwhelming number of pleas for clemency. Uday was sent into exile in Geneva, but was soon expelled by the Swiss authorities for possessing an illegal firearm. He returned to Iraq in time for the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, where he and his associates were prominent in the extensive and systematic looting that accompanied the Iraqi occupation. It was after Iraq's expulsion from Kuwait in 1991 that he became more visible as a public figure in Iraq. In large part this was due to his ownership of Babil, a newspaper which was highly irreverent by Iraqi standards, criticising government officials, poking fun at the workings of the bureaucracy and filled with gossip about members of the elite. At the same time he saw the opportunities offered by his privileged position and by the economic restrictions of the sanctions regime. His smuggling and racketeering operations increased, extending throughout the Iraqi economy into the media, food processing, transport and - most lucratively of all - the covert export of oil. This led him into conflict with other members of the ruling family, most notably Wathban al Tikriti (one of Saddam's half-brothers) and Hussein Kamil al-Majid (a son-in-law of Saddam). Heading an organisation called the Saddamists Union, which provided perks for senior officials and spawned a militia of young thugs, called Firqat Fida'iyyin Saddam (Legion of Saddam's Fighters), Uday became an increasingly dangerous figure. When he shot and wounded Wathban al-Tikriti at another public occasion in 1995, he seems to have precipitated his brother-in-law Hussein Kamil's flight into exile. Upon the latter's ill advised return to Iraq in 1996, Uday was one of the family members who organised his murder. But in December 1996 his violent past caught up with him. There was an attempt to assassinate him as he drove through Baghdad. He survived, but was severely wounded and it took more than a year for him to appear in public again. When he eventually did so, he was obviously disabled, but this did little to dampen his ambitions to extend his business and smuggling empire. In May 2000 he ensured that he was elected to the national assembly, although his enthusiasm for the place fell dramatically when his father refused to allow him to be elected its speaker. Thereafter, he concentrated on self-enrichment, resentful of his younger brother Qusay's elevation to the role of heir, but powerless to prevent it. Mistrusted and indeed hated by much of the political world in Iraq, and regarded as unreliable by his father, Uday discovered the limits of parental indulgence. Uday had a $15m reward on his head as No 3 on the coalition's list of 55 most-wanted men from the ousted regime - only Saddam and the younger brother Qusay ranked higher. The brothers met their end during a firefight in Mosul yesterday, after US forces, acting on a tip, stormed the villa where they were hiding. They are survived by their mother and sisters. The fate of their father is not known. Uday Saddam Hussein, born June 18 1964; died July 22 2003 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001221428_iraqnotes24.htm l * SENIOR REPUBLICAN GUARD OFFICIAL CAPTURED BY TROOPS Seattle Times, 24th July BAGHDAD, Iraq U.S. troops captured a senior Republican Guard official yesterday. The head of the Special Republican Guard, Barzan Abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al Tikriti, was seized at an undisclosed location in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters in Baghdad. He was 11th on the U.S. list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis. Two of the top names on that list were Odai and Qusai Hussein, Saddam's sons who were killed Tuesday. Sanchez said the deaths of Saddam's sons are "definitely going to be a turning point for the resistance and the subversive elements that we are encountering." http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001221428_iraqnotes24.htm l * VOICE THOUGHT TO BE SADDAM'S CALLS ON SOLDIERS TO RISE UP Seattle Times, 24th July BAGHDAD, Iraq A new audiotape purported to be of toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, broadcast by an Arab satellite station yesterday, called on former soldiers to rise up against the American occupation. The speaker said the tape was made July 20, two days before Saddam's sons Odai and Qusai were killed in a fierce attack on a villa in the northern city of Mosul. The voice on the tape urged all of Saddam's former soldiers to take up arms against the Americans and not to cooperate with the Iraqi army being rebuilt by U.S. occupation forces. "Today I speak in particular to ... your military honor and appeal to the promise you made to the nation and to the people," said the voice, which sounded like Saddam. The CIA was analyzing the message but has reached no conclusions about its authenticity, said a U.S. intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Saad al-Bazaz, who was once close to Saddam, told Al-Arabiya the voice was Saddam's. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1058868185304&p=1012571727172 * SADDAM'S PERSONAL GUARDS 'SNATCHED IN TIKRIT RAID' by Peter Spiegel in London and Kim Ghattas in Baghdad Financial Times, 25th July US troops have captured as many as 10 Iraqis who are believed to have been members of Saddam Hussein's personal security detachment, during a raid on a house in the former dictator's hometown of Tikrit, according to a top American general. Major General Ray Ordierno, commander of the US army's 4th infantry division, which is responsible for securing the so-called "Sunni triangle" in central Iraq, said the raid came late Thursday night after an informant tipped off US soldiers that the officials were hiding in southern Tikrit. The operation netted 13 Iraqis, and Gen Ordierno said "somewhere between five and 10 of those" are believed to have been members of Mr Hussein's security detail. He said US troops were in the process of interrogating the officials, and it remained unclear whether they had been with Mr Hussein since he presumably went into hiding after the fall of Baghdad. Gen Ordierno said, however, that the capture, combined with the recent killings of his two eldest sons Uday and Qusay showed US forces were continuing to "tighten the noose" around Mr Hussein. He added that while the sons' deaths have had no noticeable impact on Iraqi resistance thus far, attacks on US troops in the region had been cut in half over the last month. [.....] http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/648/re13.htm * WHIMSICAL DE-BA'THIFICATION by Karim El-Gawhary Al-Ahram (Egypt), nd "A blow to the heart of the old system," is how American Civil Administrator Paul Bremer referred to the official policy of "de- Ba'thification" of Iraq which began six weeks ago. From that moment on, the three million former members of the erstwhile governing Ba'ath Party were prohibited from assuming positions within the new administration or public sector organisations. This, said Bremer, is hard evidence that the occupation forces are acting decisively against Saddam Hussein's former organs of power. It was estimated at the time that between 15,000 and 30,000 people working in state organisations and ministries were affected by this ruling. Many of the administrative staff who were given jobs after the war were subsequently let go. One of those affected was Mussana Qanaan, the former British-appointed Iraqi administrator of Basra, Iraq's second largest city. Qanaan quietly accepted the ruling, although he maintains he only joined the Ba'ath Party to protect his tribe, the Tamimi; his brother had been killed by Saddam's troops. Qanaan sees Bremer's decree as a "waste of human resources" as most technocrats and specialists in the country are former members of the Ba'ath Party. An American civil servant working in the US Bureau for the Reconstruction of Iraq agrees. "The decision serves only to render the state sector even more ineffective, but this is the price we have to pay to make sure that members of the Ba'ath are excluded from the organisation," he explained. Wamid Omar Nathmi, political scientist at the Nathmi(?) University, had never been a member of the Ba'th Party, "which is why I had always been marginalised," he stated, contradicts at the same time the theory that one had to be a party member in order to survive. "The party naturally attracted a lot of opportunists," he continued, "which is why each case must now be examined on its own merits." Any Ba'thist university employees, for example, who informed on students and may have been responsible for their arrest, says Nathmi, should now face the consequences, but not without proper investigation and a trial. He is against sweeping condemnation of Ba'ath members saying, "we should spend more time on the screening process than condemning innocent people." The US "de-Ba'thification" policy, continues Nathmi, is anything but consistent, and is implemented to varying degrees in each ministry. In the Ministry for Higher Education, for instance, 47 civil servants were dismissed simply on the grounds of having been party members. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, on the other hand, not a single senior civil servant was let go, despite the fact that all are former party members. "It's as if each American official has his own set of rules," is how the political scientist describes the confusing situation. Particularly annoying to Nathmi are the countless reports, over and above the usual rumours, that the Americans are keeping a section of the old Iraqi secret service intact. Saddam's own secret service agents, in particular, who were involved with Iran and Syria, are reported to have been recalled into active service. "If the occupiers deem it useful," said Nathmi, "then they work not only with the Ba'thists, but also with the Saddam's notorious secret service." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54-2003Jul29.html * TAPE HAILS HUSSEIN SONS AS 'MARTYRS' by Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post, 30th July BAGHDAD, July 29 -- A tape recording purportedly from former president Saddam Hussein and broadcast tonight on an Arab satellite television station acknowledged the deaths of his two sons in a battle with U.S. forces last week and suggested that other Iraqis should sacrifice themselves to resist the U.S. occupation. The audiotape could aid American efforts to convince skeptical Iraqis that Hussein's sons were indeed killed, which U.S. commanders regard as an important step in stemming attacks. But it also provided another reminder that the former Iraqi president remains outside the grasp of U.S. forces, despite a raid near his ancestral home early this morning that military officials said netted one of his top bodyguards and a trove of documents that could help identify possible hiding places. [.....] The audiotape claiming to be from Hussein was aired on the Al-Arabiya satellite channel, which is based in the United Arab Emirates. The station said it received the tape today. The speaker on the tape lauded Uday and Qusay Hussein as "martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the sake of God" and suggested that other Iraqis should send their sons to fight against U.S. forces. "Even if Saddam Hussein had 100 sons other than Uday and Qusay, he would sacrifice them in the same way," the speaker said in a measured voice that sounded tired but not distraught. The speaker, who appeared to be reading from a script because of the sound of pages being turned, acknowledged that Uday and Qusay had died in what he called "a brave battle with the enemy." U.S. military officials said the brothers were killed a week ago during a raid on a house in the northern city of Mosul. "They stood against the enemy, fighting for six hours in Mosul," the speaker said. "The enemy armies, with all their weapons, could not kill them until they used helicopters against the house." Iraqis familiar with Hussein's voice said the speaker used the same vocabulary and tone as other recordings deemed to be authentic by U.S. intelligence agencies. Al-Arabiya and another Arab satellite news channel, al-Jazeera, have broadcast four tapes purportedly made by Hussein since his government fell in April. The CIA said the first recording, aired by al-Jazeera on July 4, appeared to be real, providing the most definitive indication that he survived the war and is seeking to rally opposition to the U.S. occupation. The latest recording could help to convince doubtful Iraqis that U.S. forces did kill Uday and Qusay. Many people here have said they were not convinced by the evidence presented by the U.S. military thus far, which included medical records and graphic photos and videotape. If it is authentic, the 10-minute recording could be an effort by Hussein to gain sympathy and support among Iraqis who believe that he and his family ran away instead of fighting advancing U.S. troops. In the recording, the speaker repeatedly referred to Uday, Qusay and a person named "Mustafa" -- believed to Qusay's 14-year-old son, who was also was killed in the raid -- as martyrs. The speaker warned that other Iraqis would follow Uday and Qusay's example. "All of the young men in our nation are like Uday, Qusay and Mustafa, ready for jihad," he said. [.....] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk