Media Continues to Assist Occupation - 03.13.2006

I’m going to try starting a new series here. Blogs often are utilized as nothing more than gatherings of links to interesting topics and issues their authors find around the web.

I’m going to put some spin on this blog standard. The mainstream press continues to throw softballs to the occupation force and particularly to the Iraqi government. A classic example is the failure to really discuss the Badr Organization and it’s former leader, Bayan Jabr Solagh.

Yesterday this article was posted by Matthew Schofield of KnightRidder.

I’ll post a few excerpts here with my own commentary:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Senior Iraqi officials Sunday confirmed for the first time that death squads composed of government employees had operated illegally from inside two government ministries.

This confirmation turns out to be the release, finally, of a statement regarding 22 Shi’a agents of the Ministry of Interior who were apprehended at a checkpoint with a Sunni man who they were taking “for execution.”

“The deaths squads that we have captured are in the defense and interior ministries,” Minister of Interior Bayan Jabr said during a joint news conference with the Minister of Defense. “There are people who have infiltrated the army and the interior.”

Iraq’s Minister of Interior, Bayan Jabr, was involved with the Badr Organization inside Iran, which was constructed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard during the Iraq-Iran War between 1980-1988. The Badr Organization was known inside Iran as the Badr Corps or Badr Brigade. They were founded by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations:

It is the Iranian-trained wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the largest Shiite party in Iraq. During the U.S.-led occupation government’s crackdown on militia groups in 2003, the 10,000-strong militia changed its name from the Badr Brigade to the Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development and pledged to disarm.

Later in the artilce it becomes clear, the Iraqi government has owned up to death squads as a clear cover-up effort:

Interior Minister Jabr said that investigations into death squads were still ongoing in the Defense Ministry. He said the Interior Ministry had arrested 22 people, and subsequently released 18 as innocent after interrogation, detaining four for further questioning.

“Now we have sent them (the four) to the court because it hasn’t been proven that all four were involved,” Jabr said. “Although I did not have clear signs (of their guilt) I sent them to the justice ministry so that the law could be carried out.”

These 22 people were arrested in mid-February, nearly 1 month ago, and despite the clear actions of death squads following the bombing of the Al’Askariya shrine in Samarra, the Iraqi government still contends the role of death squads is minimal inside Iraq.

The failure of the media to hold accountable members of Iraq’s current government who are alleged or known to have committed warcrimes against Iraq, in the interest of Iran during the Iraq-Iran war of the 80s only exacerbates these problems.

It has repeatedly been rumored that the Ettalaat and Iranian Revolutionary Guard are operating inside Iraq. However, given the long history of ties between SCIRI, Badr and the Iranian government, it seems unlikely that the Iranian government would need to have a direct influence via their own citizens and agents.

And a final misstatement on behalf of KnightRidder:

The government had long denied the existence of such death squads. Sunnis had accused the Badr Organization, a Shiite militia supported by Iran, of being behind the killings, inside or outside of government ministries. Jabr is a senior leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a leading Shiite political party, and has close ties to the Badr Organization.

When Schofield in this case describes Jabr as having “close ties to the Badr Organization.” He commits a serious crime of omission. Bayan Jabr does not have “close ties” to the Badr Organization any more than President Bush has “close ties” to the Republican Party.

This is to say that Bayan Jabr Solagh, also known by the name, Bayan Baqer Solagh, was a high-ranking member of the Badr Corps prior to “resigning” in order to run for office within the UIA as a politician affiliated with SCIRI. It is also important to remember that any senior politician of the UIA could be seen as having “close ties to the Badr Organization” since the Badr Organization is a wing of the SCIRI!

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