Feb 08 2007

US Captures Shia Terrorist Traitor

Published by at 10:52 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

It seems the ‘surge’ will include a bit of a ‘purge’ as well. The US has apprehended a high level Iraqi government official on indications he worked with Shia Militia to kill his government coworkers and funnel money to their death squads:

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces raided the Baghdad office of a senior Health Ministry official on Thursday and detained him on suspicion of conspiring with the Shia militia, the U.S. military said.

A U.S. ministry spokesman identified the man as deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili, accused of being a key player in helping Shia militiamen infiltrate the ministry and kill several government workers.

Al-Zamili, a supporter of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, reportedly masterminded kickback schemes to funnel millions of dollars to Shia militiamen who are blamed for spurring sectarian violence in Baghdad, according to the Associated Press.

The man is clearly a traitor (which will make him a causa célèbre to the liberals in the US and EU) who could easily be hanged if found guilty. It would be a good example for others to note that this kind of barbaric behavior will not be tolerated in Iraq. There will be no excuses available for participating in assassinations. There is a lot more here, but clearly this guy was into mass killings.

One odd note on this, for those who have been paying attention to the blogosphere’s attention to the AP’s Iraqi source “Officer Jamil” and his unverifiable stories that made it into AP news articles. One of the things we noted here was the other unnamed Iraqi official who kept feeding wild death tolls to the press. The same basic modus operandi was in death tolls stories that seemed to inflate the actual deaths. Here is a small sample:

December 28: BAGHDAD – Police found 41 bodies in different parts of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, an Interior Ministry source said.

December 27:BAGHDAD – A total of 40 bodies were found, shot dead and most showing signs of torture, in different districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said.

Now look at this January 22nd article and its contents:

Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili said at least 78 people were killed and 156 were wounded, but police and hospital officials put the death toll at 88.

Could this man they have detained been a source for AP’s inflated death toll stories? In a bizarre twist this same man was denying the UN death toll figures for Iraq in mid January:

Estimates of the number of civilians killed in Iraq last year range from a government-reported low of about 12,000 to nearly three times that figure.

The most recent tally is from the United Nations, which estimates that 34,452 civilians were killed in the violence that is engulfing the country, compared with the 12,357 civilians reported killed in 2006 by the Iraqi government.

The UN relies on numbers from the Iraqi Health Ministry and the Medico-Legal Institute of Baghdad, according to Farhan Haq at UN headquarters. The report counted only civilians.

Hakem al-Zamili, deputy health minister, said the UN “might be taking the figures from people who are opposed to the government or to the Americans. They are not accurate.”

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a database often cited in media reports, relies on news reports in compiling its numbers. In 2005, icasualties.org, where the count is posted, began including civilians in numbers that had previously only counted security forces.

It seems he would know. In fact maybe he was telling the truth. So did this man not only funnel money to the death squads and help assassinate his fellow Iraqi officials, was he also part of a propaganda campaign targetting the Western media to inflate the death tolls? It would not be much of a stretch to imagine he was part of the effort to exaggerate the media stories and increase the death tolls estimates. He was well placed to make it happen. Pure speculation over coincidences. Thought it was interesting to note.

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