Exhibit A: April 9, 2004 State Department briefing
Can I ask -- change the subject to Iraq? I'm wondering if the -- your announcement today that you're lifting the ban on exports of lethal military equipment to Iraq, if that was timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.
MR. ERELI: I'm not aware that it was. I think it's, you know, something that's been in train, but I don't have any indication that it was timed for that.
QUESTION: Given the violence there, you think it's a good idea?
MR. ERELI: I think that what we're looking towards and what's motivating us is the looking forward to a transfer of sovereignty on June 30th and, you know, taking the measures necessary to be able to deal with a sovereign Iraqi author -- a sovereign government in Iraq, in the way that we deal with other sovereign governments.
QUESTION: Which means a --
QUESTION: So this isn't necessarily --
QUESTION: Which means a well armed or an adequately armed army and police force?
MR. ERELI: Exactly.
QUESTION: This is to authorize in case you need to send the Iraqi forces something. At the hearing you and I were at yesterday, and the Secretary spoke, you remember he agreed with the observation that the place is just -- you know, there are tons of weapons all over the place, that it's a very --
QUESTION: An ammo dump.
QUESTION: "It's an ammo dump," was the phrase. Do you really think they need more weapons in Iraq? Or is it what I think it might be, that should you find Iraqi security needs a Weapon A or Weapon B, this gives you --
MR. ERELI: This is -- this is an authority that gives us an added tool to -- in our bilateral relationship with the future Iraqi government.
QUESTION: All right. Can I ask you about something the Secretary said yesterday? And I hope I'll remember to ask every now or then, or maybe we could ask you to tell us about milestones. But he said two things about it.
In response to skepticism that Iraq would be ready for transition and whether the Administration is really making thorough preparations, and really to Senator Leahy, who wants more consultation -- he wants more than that, but let's put that aside for a moment -- he said he will, the State Department will be sending people to Congress to keep them informed, to brief them. And he said, you know, we're moving ahead with the excellent preparations.
I was going -- I could ask you if you could tell us about milestones when they appear. Have you chosen an ambassador? Have you decided where the embassy is going to be located? There was talk of a palace, of a leftover building. Can you point to -- I know it's only yesterday that he testified, but can you provide any details either of plans to brief Congress and examples of headway toward transition? Landmarks, milestones, things that -- I don't expect anything's happened since last night, but, you know, I'm looking for things -- you haven't chosen an ambassador, which doesn't necessarily mean you haven't done other things.
MR. ERELI: I think planning -- as we discussed in the last briefing on Wednesday, planning is proceeding, I think, pretty rapidly, pretty deliberately toward opening an embassy, toward making the arrangements to deal with a sovereign Iraqi government as opposed to a Coalition Provisional Authority.
As far as the embassy itself goes, I believe we gave a background briefing some time ago, several weeks ago --
QUESTION: Yes, I was there.
MR. ERELI: So you would know that there has been a site determined for where the embassy will be once sovereignty is turned over. As we discussed on Wednesday, we are advertising positions to staff the embassy and we are receiving more applications than there are positions, so that it would be safe to assume that the embassy will be, I think, well and ably staffed, to, you know, assume its duties and its responsibilities well before the June 30th date.
As far as milestones to point to, or actions, I think there have been a couple over the last few days. You have seen ministries, responsibilities for ministries transfer from the CPA to Iraqi ministers, whereas before, it was a Coalition Provisional Authority figure running the ministry with Iraqi advisors or Iraqi -- other Iraqis working there.
We have handed over control, or CPA has handed over control, for ministries to new Iraqi ministers. And they will be running the ministries. And this is a good example of things in train and in place before the June 30th date, so that when June 30th comes, they will have been up and running and doing things beforehand.
There was -- this has been done with the Ministry of Defense; it's been done, I believe, with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. There has been a new National Security Council formed and Mr. Senor, I think, spoke to that in his briefing today, where he announced who would be the head of this National Security Council, bringing together the Ministry of Defense, security services, to coordinate issues relating to security and stability in Iraq.
So you are seeing a number of actions in a number of areas, all leading to the same conclusion, that there is a process underway whose aim is to create a viable, sovereign authority that can assume control of Iraq on June 30th. I would also point out that Mr. -- Ambassador Brahimi is in Iraq putting together the structure, talking to Iraqis, with the aim of putting together the structure and the process, the mechanisms for a Iraqi -- interim Iraqi government that would take over on June 30th.
So these are all pieces of the machine moving forward that, I think, need to be looked at in their totality.
QUESTION: Adam, follow-up --
QUESTION: Follow-up on this --
QUESTION: Talks about --
MR. ERELI: Let's go -- in the front.
QUESTION: The Secretary yesterday said in his testimony that he hoped that as a result of agreements with the Iraqis and as a result of UN resolutions that may be passed, that there would be limits, constraints, on Iraqi sovereign powers when this new authority takes over.
One example that he gave a little earlier was that they hoped to negotiate an agreement under which Iraqi defense or armed forces would be under U.S. command. So they might have an Iraqi Defense Minister, but he's not going to be able to command his own troops.
And I wonder if there are other examples of where you hope that you will be able to constrain the sovereignty of this new Iraqi authority?
MR. ERELI: Yeah, it's not our intention to create a -- an Iraqi government that's operating with one hand tied behind its back. The intent is to create a Iraqi sovereign government that is fully capable and fully empowered to run the affairs of the country.
On the subject of the defense forces, I think this is primarily an operational issue; that, you know, it is our expectation that, at the invitation of the new sovereign authority, our forces are going to remain in Iraq to help provide security after June 30th; and that in the exercise of that responsibility and in the exercise of that duty, given the state of the Iraqi forces, it makes sense to put them under the operational control of the U.S. commander because that's where the capabilities lie.
But I would not -- I would look at it in those -- in that context.
QUESTION: Do you know of other areas, other than the military, where you're looking to limit the sovereignty?
MR. ERELI: No, I don't
Did you see it? Did you get it? Just as I posted several days ago, the United States IS NOT GOING TO TURN OVER full sovereignty to the Iraq people. Not even Chalabi. How can you be a sovereign nation with a foreign power in control of your military? Obviously, you can't.
Uncle Tom Powell gave three interviews the same day. Let's examine them.
Exhibit B: ABC interview:
Is the insurgency stronger than you thought it was? A great many people on the ground think so.
SECRETARY POWELL: What we've seen over the last few days is stronger than anything we had seen previously, and I must say it was more than I had expected to see at this time. But nevertheless, I think our commanders have got a handle on it, they understand it and they're going to be able to deal with it.
MR. JENNINGS: Do you think what's happened is a good thing in some respects? The insurgents have stuck out their heads, and now you get a chance to kill them?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, to some extent that is a good thing in that they've stuck their heads up and they're having their heads taken off. We will see in the days ahead what the effect of this week's activities have been. But it's important for us to get the security situation under control, all of these places back under coalition and Iraqi control, and get back on our plan to build up the security forces, get on with reconstruction, get on with the political process and not lose sight of what we've accomplished over the past year and what our objective remains to be. And that is, a despotic regime is gone, Saddam Hussein is in jail. The Iraqi people have a chance for a better life -- they want a better life. They have told us so. The polling tells us so. They don't want to see this kind of turmoil in their country. And I hope that they will increasingly make that view felt against these al-Sadr Shia criminals in the south, as well as the remnants in the Sunni Triangle.
MR. JENNINGS: What about Muqtada al-Sadr? People have been warning for months about this 30-year old rebel cleric. What's the plan now?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, the plan is to deal with his militia, the Mahdi militia as they are called, and increasingly defeat them and squeeze him. And we hope that he comes to an understanding in the very near future that he is not going to stop the coalition or the Iraqi Governing Council from moving forward.
MR. JENNINGS: Isn't that ridiculous?
SECRETARY POWELL: I wouldn't say it's ridiculous. I'd say that the Governing Council has been at work. Ambassador Bremer has been meeting with them on a regular basis, and Ambassador Brahimi of the United Nations is in the city now working with members of the Governing Council.
Ok, recap time. Iraq has no government other than the one America approves of. That's the simplest way to put it. So how can Sadr be an "outlaw"? How can he have committed a crime when as a citizen he has no say in the laws of the land? Where are these laws written down? If he gets arrested, what are the rules of court he must follow? Do you get me yet? The only "crime" Sadr has committed is protesting the closing of his newspaper by Bremer, an American, despite the fact Powell says we're there to bring the Iraqi people "a better life".
Exhibit C: CNN interview:
Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for joining us. Honestly, did you expect a year ago, when we saw that statue of Saddam Hussein go down in Baghdad, that a year later it would be as violent and as dangerous as it is right now for U.S. military personnel?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, but we knew that there would be those who would stick with the old regime, the old despotic regime that filled so many mass graves and caused such trouble. And those elements haven't been fully dealt with yet, but they will be dealt with.
Let's see, Sadr's father, an extremely respected Ayatollah (religious leader) was murdered by Saddam Hussein. And yet he's fighting the US because he supports Saddam?
Is there any wiggle room in the June 30 handover of sovereignty from the Coalition Authority to the Iraqis?
SECRETARY POWELL: We're sticking with June 30. We think it's the right date. We think it's achievable. Ambassador Brahimi, the United Nations representative, is in Baghdad now working with Ambassador Bremer and the coalition -- or the Governing Council to look at models of what this interim government might look like.
And so we're going to continue to drive ahead with that work. There's no point delaying it. While the security situation gets stabilized by our military forces, let's keep driving straight forward with our reconstruction efforts and with the political process.
MR. BLITZER: Is June 30 a goal or is that set in concrete?
SECRETARY POWELL: It is our goal, it is an achievable goal, and it is the goal that we're working toward.
Handover what to whom? That's the question NEVER asked of Mr. Powell. What will be handed over and who will it be handed over to? If the US "hands over power" to Chalabi and he in turn has the military totally under the power of the US, has anything been "handed over"? And if the US picked Chalabi (or whoever else), what's the difference between the US being in power and US-picked Iraqis?
Exhibit D: Fox interview:
Well, it's been a tough week, let's be clear about that. But I still believe that most Iraqis are with us, most Iraqis are delighted that Saddam Hussein and that evil regime are gone. Most Iraqis realize that the United States and its coalition partners are there to provide security, and after providing security, we're going to provide reconstruction activity and we're going to put this country on a democratic footing; and we're hard at work on that process.
We have these elements: the Shias in the south, some of them, anyway, under the leadership of Moqtada al-Sadr; and some of the Sunnis remaining up in the triangle who are resisting us. And it's been a tough week for us, but they will be defeated.
So who killed the 10,000 Iraqis who have died in the past year? Poisonous snakes? Who provided security for them? Who provided security for the 600+ American soldiers who have died and the thousands more who have been injured? WHO exactly is safe and secure in Iraq today? Anybody? Is Bremer safe?
Sir, yesterday you had given some indications that maybe this June 30 deadline might not come across quite as we planned, that Iraqis who wanted full and free control might have limited sovereignty. What did you mean by that?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, the fact is that after sovereignty has been returned to them, it's pretty well understood that the military forces of the new sovereign government would be operating under the direction of the coalition forces, because you have to have unity of command. You can't have two military forces operating independently of one another. So to some extent, they would yield some of their sovereignty to our military commanders. I think that's well understood from the conversations we've had with the current Iraqi Governing Council.
MR. CAVUTO: So, Secretary, does that mean that we are rethinking this whole 30th deadline?
SECRETARY POWELL: No. Not at all. And I don't think I said anything yesterday, nor has anyone in the Administration said anything to suggest that we are.
It was always understood that when the 30th of June came, and we transferred sovereignty at that time, our forces remain. We will have a large military presence there after 30 June. The Iraqi interim government will not yet be capable of providing security throughout the whole country, so the coalition will keep a large force in being after the 30th of June, and it will have working with it and under its direction those Iraqi security forces that are up and running on the 30th of June. That's a sensible way to approach the security problem.
Why exactly is that sensible? By the way, did you notice Powell doesn't tone down the words when talking to Fox News, because he knows their viewers don't give a shit if Iraq is a slave colony for Massah Bush and Uncle Tom Powell for the next 50 years. They're "just stupid Iraqis" right?
Exhibit E: NBC interview:
Candidly, Mr. Secretary, it's been a year now since the war ended. Aren't you surprised by the depth of the continuing anti-American feeling and the efficiency, really, of the insurgency to fight back against American forces?
SECRETARY POWELL: I didn't think it would be this intense, but nevertheless, I think it is controllable and manageable and we have the forces to deal with it. And I think we'll get behind this week that has been a tough week for us. And maybe if they came out to celebrate in their own warped way, this first year of liberty, this first year of freedom.
Remember what they are for: They're for dictatorship, they're for despotism. And remember what we are there for: We're for freedom, we're for democracy, we're for turning over sovereignty, we're for helping the Iraqi people reconstruct their country and we will stay the course.
Let's see, THEY are for "dictatorship". Why would al-Sadr be for dictatorship when Hussein killed most of his family including his father? Has Sadr ever said he wants to be the dictator of Iraq? Has al-Sistani and the other "remnant Sunnis" called for an imposition of a dictatorship? No. Actually all I've ever heard any Iraqi under the sun (including Kurds) call for IS democracy you asshole. Meanwhile Iraq currently has no democracy. So who is preventing democracy in Iraq, Sadr or Powell? Sistani or Bremer?
SECRETARY POWELL:We've accomplished a lot in the last year and I don't think it should be underestimated or people should have a feeling that we haven't gotten a lot out of the last year; we have. A dictator has been removed, a horrible regime has been removed, mass graves are no longer filled, and we are on the road to putting in place an Iraqi government that will be committed to democracy as reflected in the administrative law they passed, and we're going to help them, we're going to stick with it. But we're going to have to have the patience to deal with weeks like this and the patience to deal with better weeks that are coming.
Mass graves are no longer filled? You piece of shit maybe you ought to visit the morgue in Faloojah. I guess 600 graves to be filled in one week isn't "mass" enough for you.
Anyway, that's a brief analysis of the utter pile of horse manure that Secretary of State Uncle Tom Powell has been peddling to the American people over the weekend.
God help us all.
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