Iraq: January 31, 2004


With the help of the CIA, a new Iraqi intelligence agency is being formed. Using former members of Saddam's government, and intelligence services, who fled Iraq before last year's war, and carefully selected current members of the recently dissolved intelligence services, the new organization will grow from a few hundred, to some 2,000 members in the next year. The main job of the new agency will be identifying terrorists (both Iraqi and foreigners) as well as members of organized Iraqi groups who are attacking coalition troops, aid groups and government officials. It is believed that some members of the new intelligence service are already at work. Screening former members of Saddam's intelligence services proved difficult. The Iraqi intelligence agencies (there were several) had a culture of violence and corruption. Their motto seemed to be "Whatever It Takes." Torture and murder were common, as was working closely with criminal gangs. To make matters worse, Iraqi intelligence tended to be sloppy, and prone to believe what they (or Saddam) wanted to believe. There were some very clever and capable people in Iraqi intelligence, but it's not known how many of these passed the "smell test" (did not engage in summary executions or lots of torture).


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