Tuesday, November 29, 2005

He doesn’t walk around Washington with a lot of airs like some of them do

The LAT on Iraqi death squads within the interior ministry, or possibly on the interior ministry within the death squads. A must-read. NYT on same.
Bayan Jabr, the interior minister, and other government officials denied any government involvement, saying the killings were carried out by men driving stolen police cars and wearing police and army uniforms purchased at local markets. “Impossible! Impossible!” Mr. Jabr said. “That is totally wrong; it’s only rumors; it is nonsense.”
Back in January, Newsweek ran an article suggesting that it was Pentagon policy to set up death squads, the Salvador Option. I believe Rumsfeld’s sole response, which he was allowed to get away with, was that he hadn’t read the story because he couldn’t find it in his copy, and he hadn’t heard of a country called El Salvador either, but he could deny the existence of “this so-called Salvatore -- Salvador option, I think it’s called.” No one seems to have revisited the issue with Rummy this week, although the Pentagon website does feature a story, “Iraqi Security Forces Steadily Improving, But Still Need Support.”

Bush, at a Jon Kyl fundraiser, addressed these concerns dead on:
We’re going to succeed in Iraq because our vision, and the vision of those in Iraq who believe in democracy, is positive and hopeful, as opposed to the vision of the suiciders and killers of the innocent. We’re going to succeed in Iraq because we’ve got a plan that will help the Iraqis not only develop a democracy, but a security force.

And on Jon Kyl: “Look, I don’t know how many U.S. senators there are that like NASCAR. (Laughter.) I view that as a pretty good sign, to have a United States senator who follows NASCAR. It means he’s down to earth. He doesn’t walk around Washington with a lot of airs like some of them do.”

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