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‘Nazi’ files incriminate top Iraqis
The Sunday Times ^ | April 20, 2003 | Marie Colvin

Posted on 04/19/2003 4:07:54 PM PDT by MadIvan

HER dusty file was one of hundreds of thousands of documents stacked in a house in a wealthy neighbourhood of Baghdad. Asma Rasheed married a pilot, lived comfortably in the presidential compound of Saddam Hussein and directed a microbiology programme that was not supposed to exist.

Rasheed’s light blue folder has emerged from a huge archive seized by forces loyal to Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, which opposed Saddam. The archive — a dark who’s who of Iraq — reveals the tiniest details of blandishments and humiliations by a paranoid regime that shared the Nazis’ obsession with documentation.

In four days since arriving in Baghdad from the southern city of Nasiriya, Chalabi’s forces have captured the complete archives of the Iraqi army, the Special Security Organisation (SSO), led by Saddam’s younger son Qusay, and the Amn al-Amm, the Iraqi equivalent of MI5.

The archives had been removed from ministries and hidden in private homes. The military files were stacked floor to ceiling on metal shelves in the former home of Raifa Chalabi, the opposition leader’s sister. The house, in the wealthy al-Mansour neighbourhood, was confiscated by the regime two years ago.

The archive’s guards were not supposed to let this treasure-trove fall into the hands of the opposition. The next-door neighbour said they had returned every day last week to try to burn the house, but he and others had driven them off.

If she is still alive, Rasheed will not welcome the discovery of her file. The 52-year-old scientist worked in the research programme of the SSO, which was responsible for protecting Saddam’s inner circle.

Qusay also directed Saddam’s illegal procurement of weapons of mass destruction and, according to Rasheed’s file, appears to have hidden an entire research programme from United Nations inspectors.

Like other files, Rasheed’s reveals the extent to which the regime watched people. An interrogation record shows she was asked about her personal life and replied: “All my friends are Ba’athis (members of Saddam’s party)”. She was rated “good” on that evaluation.

The file of Lieutenant Colonel Hamid Lefta discloses that he was promoted because as head of the central prison of the Fifth Army he executed Lieutenant Colonel Nizar, Staff Colonel Hamid, Lieutenant Gazi and Major Muafaq. Their crimes are not recorded.

Then there is Sheehab Ahmed Moussa, whose photograph shows an unsmiling man of heavy brows and pudgy cheeks. Now 54, he joined the Ba’ath party at the age of 12 and got on well in the Iraqi military, rising to serve as a captain in a chemical weapons unit in the Iran-Iraq war.

Moussa passed his interrogation with flying colours. When asked: “Down to your third cousin, has anyone in your family been sent to prison or been forced to leave their job for political reasons?” he was able to answer: “No.”

He also answered “No” to the questions of whether anyone in his family, down to the third cousin, had been executed; married a non-Iraqi; lived outside Iraq; or belonged to any party other than the Ba’ath. At the end of his interrogation he signed a document agreeing to his execution if he had lied.

American officials will want to ask Moussa more questions. By 1996 he had risen to general manager of chemical production at the Al-Qaqa site in Iraq, one of those suspected of harbouring Saddam’s manufacture of chemical weapons.

He also travelled for the Iraqi regime: a document marked “top secret” reveals that in 1993, after the Gulf war and imposition of United Nations sanctions on Iraq, he visited Moscow. In 1996, the ministry of military industrialisation, the centre of Saddam’s illegal weapons programme, sent Moussa to China.

Chalabi’s discovery of the files followed work by an underground network begun in 2000 and called the Information Collection Programme, run by Aras Karim. The capture of the archives is part of what Chalabi believes must be Iraq’s next step: de-Ba’athification, which he likens to the denazification of Germany after the second world war.

“This is not about revenge,” Chalabi said yesterday. “The Ba’ath party set up a post- defeat strategy, with alternative headquarters and alternative organisations. Their task is to disturb public safety, prevent normalisation and convince the population that the Ba’ath is still here and that they are in charge. This must be stopped and the Ba’ath organisation must be uprooted.”

There is ample evidence to support his statement. On Friday, guards protecting the Amn al-Amm archive made a last stand, opening fire with Kalashnikovs on the men he had sent to seize it. Last night gunfire erupted again around Chalabi’s compound and one of his bodyguards was shot in the back.

Chalabi set up his headquarters last week at the hunting club in al-Mansour. His relationship with the Americans who control the country is one of love and hate. He has support in the upper echelons of the Pentagon, but mid-level officers who answer to Central Command in Qatar have thrown up obstacles at every step of his journey.

After being airlifted from northern Iraq by the American military, he and 600 fighters of his Free Iraqi Forces were stuck for 10 days outside Nasiriya in a flea-ridden, bombed-out airbase awaiting American approval to travel to Baghdad.

In the end Chalabi bought cars in Kuwait and drove to Baghdad in a sandstorm. Halfway through the eight-hour journey, an American officer called. “We are told you are headed to Baghdad,” she said. “We request: what are your intentions?” Chalabi answered: “I’m going home.”

Chalabi comes from a wealthy Baghdad family forced to leave the city in 1958. His baggage includes criticism that he is unknown in Iraq, is compromised by financial dealings in Jordan and is too lightweight a figure to lead such a brutalised country.

His first night in Baghdad, however, began another journey to what supporters believe will be his eventual election as leader of Iraq. He sat in the reception room of the hunting club, greeting local leaders, officers from Saddam’s former stronghold of Tikrit and men who had worked underground for him for years.

In a twist of irony that did not escape Chalabi, he sat at the head of a horseshoe of chairs, a place favoured by Saddam’s son Uday, who held monthly parties at the club.

Staff are full of the terrors inflicted by Uday, and American intelligence has photos of a party where men are shown apparently stabbing themselves and shooting others for Uday’s entertainment.

“It is a mix of megalomania and total depression,” Chalabi said of his home city. “Saddam left his mark everywhere: in the monuments, the militarisation of society, the total devastation.

“Iraqis have a sense of Iraqi identity. We need to make sure that Iraqis feel they have a stake in their country, in a democratic Iraq. The best way to do this is with a federal system.”

US forces, he believes, should stay for the first elections, which should be held in no more than two years.

The Americans are not sure what to do with a man who simply turns up and gets on with it. On the afternoon of his second day in the hunting club, two American tanks crashed through the metal gates.

With his hands in the air, Za’ab Sethna, an aide with an American passport, walked up to the agitated soldiers on the tanks as they aimed at Chalabi and his men. “We have orders to secure this compound,” the American yelled to Sethna.

“For us or from us?” Sethna yelled back. “Don’t know, sir,” replied the American soldier.

The home of Rasheed in Saddam’s compound is empty now, but her trail, and those of all who helped him in his tyrannical rule, is far from cold.

As with the Nazis, their obsession with documentation will help the people tracking them. Saddam’s followers have few places to hide.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1958; 1993; 1996; ahmadchalabi; ahmedchalabi; ahmedmoussa; almansour; alqaaqa; alqaqa; alqaqaa; amnalamm; amnalammarchive; araskarim; archive; archives; asmarasheed; baathparty; blair; bush; centralcommand; chalabi; chemicalproduction; chemicals; chemicalwarfare; chemicalweapons; chemwar; china; debaathification; denazification; embeddedreport; executedltcolnizar; execution; executioner; federalsystem; fif; freeiraqiforces; gazi; hamid; hamidlefta; icp; inc; iraniraqwar; iraq; iraqifreedom; iraqrussia; karim; lefta; ltgazi; majormuafaq; microbiology; microbiologyprogram; mmi; moscow; moussa; muafaq; nasiriya; nizar; personnelfiles; pilot; qatar; rasheed; russia; russiairaq; saddam; sethna; sheehabahmedmoussa; sheehabmoussa; sso; stabbing; staffcolhamid; tanks; uday; udayhussein; uk; us; war; wmd; zaabsethna
Hmmm.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 04/19/2003 4:07:54 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: hoosiermama; MeekMom; Dutchgirl; Freedom'sWorthIt; Carolina; patricia; annyokie; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 04/19/2003 4:08:10 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
I don't think the comparison in personality and style or thinking is comparable with the Nazi's, as Saddam's role model on that was Joseph Stalin, right down to the garb and mustache and personality following. Saddam was known to love reading books on Stalin, and sadly, is actually considered an expert on stalinism and Stalin himself. There are plenty of similarites between the Nazi's and saddam and co, including historical parrelels, and many numerious circumstances that were repeating before our very eyes, but regime wise, this is a little off.
3 posted on 04/19/2003 4:17:16 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant".)
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To: MadIvan
I knew it!


4 posted on 04/19/2003 4:29:30 PM PDT by ALS
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To: Sonny M
Nazi comparison made to avoid offending the socialists/communists in N.Korea, China, Cuba, and American Universities and news media.
5 posted on 04/19/2003 4:51:33 PM PDT by Remedy
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To: MadIvan
The lightning-speed dash to Baghdad by our troops prevented the destruction of masses of incriminating evidence we'll need in the war trials of the deck of cards and other Iraqi criminals.

Our forces were there before the thugs could even crank up their shredders or burn the millions of documents.

The strategy plans by Rummy, General Tommy & Company were brilliant in concept and implementation alike. Thank God for the adults-in-charge!

Damn, life is good!

Leni

6 posted on 04/19/2003 5:08:53 PM PDT by MinuteGal (THIS JUST IN ! Astonishing fare reduction for FReeps Ahoy Cruise! Check it out, pronto!)
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To: Remedy
You forgot assorted members of CONGRESS !!!!!
7 posted on 04/19/2003 5:09:08 PM PDT by Uncle George
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To: Remedy
Makes sense, especially, when you consider Saddam Hussein's full political party name. The Baath socialist party. They have since pretty much dropped use of the socialist label, but the ideology behind them baath both in syria and in iraq was founded on nationalism and socialism (this is why Iraq was, for the most part, secualer, socialists hate god). The Baath is syria still does claim socialism roots, and has kept itself a little bit closer to its origins then Saddam's did. However, in regards to religion, the Baath, have managed to maintain a more islamic image, as when you have a country full of terrorists who are islamofacists, it is not wise to stur the hornets nest, unless you intend to keep them on your side and do business with them, as Saddam always did.
8 posted on 04/19/2003 5:12:41 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant".)
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To: MadIvan
Staff are full of the terrors inflicted by Uday, and American intelligence has photos of a party where men are shown apparently stabbing themselves and shooting others for Uday’s entertainment.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "party animal."

9 posted on 04/19/2003 5:26:42 PM PDT by The Hon. Galahad Threepwood
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To: MadIvan
Chalabi will need to be watched. We need to bring in a broader political coalition to keep him in check.
10 posted on 04/19/2003 5:40:28 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: MadIvan; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom
The capture of the archives is part of what Chalabi believes must be Iraq’s next step: de-Ba’athification, which he likens to the denazification of Germany after the second world war.

Ahmed Chalabi is on top of this animal.

He knows the Ba'athists lie in wait and must be rooted out.

11 posted on 04/19/2003 5:51:56 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: MinuteGal
Our forces were there before the thugs could even crank up their shredders or burn the millions of documents.

The loss of records could have made it more difficult but the Iraqi bureaucracy was deeply entrenched.
Bureaucrats doing what they do best will help us in the end.

Damn, life is good!

Yep.

12 posted on 04/19/2003 6:31:49 PM PDT by sistergoldenhair (Don't be a sheep. People hate sheep. They eat sheep.)
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To: Sonny M
Comparisons with the Nazi regime are natural, as they were one of the few that have been thoroughly dissected. But what we are finding in Iraq is simply the common traits of a tyrannical government. The bureaucracy and careful record keeping that we find so puzzling is in fact the life's blood of a regime such as this.

You have to keep records, how else do you know who to shoot?

13 posted on 04/19/2003 6:38:42 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (AKA Princess Angelia Contessa Louisa Fransca Banana Fana Bo Bisca the Fourth.)
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To: MinuteGal
Yeah, but you wanna bet Kofi, Hans Blix (who couldn't find his arse in the dark with both hands) and the rest of the one world gang will continue to proclaim this is no proof of WMD?
14 posted on 04/19/2003 7:13:53 PM PDT by Vigilanteman
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To: MadIvan
bump
15 posted on 04/19/2003 7:25:18 PM PDT by green team 1999
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Saddam's uncle, Khayrallah Talfah, was involved in the pro-Nazi group which briefly took control of Iraq in 1941, before the British intervened.
16 posted on 04/19/2003 7:32:16 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: PhilDragoo
I heard on one of the cable channels today that it is believed the demonstrators are Republican Guard who burned their uniforms and now wear civilian clothing trying to create unrest!
17 posted on 04/19/2003 8:43:17 PM PDT by PhiKapMom (Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US)
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To: PhiKapMom
It's going to be necessary to track these people with bar codes, microchip implants or tattoos.

The regime won't simply evaporate--it will, as you indicate--assume protective coloration and continue its evil work.

18 posted on 04/19/2003 9:30:49 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: MinuteGal
Amen & thank God for the few good Leaders, and the many good supporters they have.
19 posted on 04/20/2003 12:45:12 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero)
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To: Remedy
Nazi comparison made to avoid offending the socialists/communists in N.Korea, China, Cuba, and American Universities and news media.

So true!!! In fact, the two nations most similar to Iraq in this manner of 'party fidelity' and political repression are North Korea and Cuba. In North Korea, whole families are sent to labor camp for the 'crime' of one family member who acts disloyally to the North Korean regime.

20 posted on 04/20/2003 9:49:48 AM PDT by WOSG (All Hail The Free Republic of Iraq! God Bless our Troops!)
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To: Remedy
if you ever really want to tick off liberals, don't use the acronym NAZI, use the full name "National Socialist Workers Party", it drives them nuts and creates alot of funny moments.
21 posted on 04/20/2003 3:34:26 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant".)
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To: PhilDragoo
Those files and archives should help lead his people to the ba ahtists for ba athist removal.
22 posted on 04/20/2003 10:00:53 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Sonny M
"if you ever really want to tick off liberals, don't use the acronym NAZI, use the full name "National Socialist Workers Party", it drives them nuts and creates alot of funny moments."

Good one.

23 posted on 04/21/2003 3:43:05 AM PDT by jjm2111
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To: jjm2111
And remember it is the Ba'ath Party Socialists
24 posted on 04/21/2003 4:41:26 AM PDT by 8mmMauser
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To: Remedy
Yes, the Stasi in East Germany kept much more extensive files on the population than their Nazi predecessors.
25 posted on 04/21/2003 4:59:47 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: MadIvan
In four days since arriving in Baghdad from the southern city of Nasiriya, Chalabi’s forces have captured the complete archives of the Iraqi army, the Special Security Organisation (SSO), led by Saddam’s younger son Qusay, and the Amn al-Amm, the Iraqi equivalent of MI5.

So who's got the records of the Mukhabarat?

26 posted on 04/21/2003 5:02:01 AM PDT by aristeides
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