Tuesday, January 11, 2005

How to make friends and influence people ... Republican style

Courtesy of the Washington Post:


The work on documents is not connected to weapons of mass destruction, officials said, and a small group of Iraqi scientists still in U.S. military custody are not being held in connection with weapons investigations, either.

Three people involved with the ISG said the weapons teams made several pleas to the Pentagon to release the scientists, who have been interviewed extensively. All three officials specifically mentioned Gen. Amir Saadi, who was a liaison between Hussein's government and U.N. inspectors; Rihab Taha, a biologist nicknamed "Dr. Germ" years ago by U.N. inspectors; her husband, Amir Rashid, the former oil minister; and Huda Amash, a biologist whose extensive dealings with U.N. inspectors earned her the nickname "Mrs. Anthrax."

None of the scientists has been involved in weapons programs since the 1991 Gulf War, the ISG determined more than a year ago, and all have cooperated with investigators despite nearly two years of jail time without charges. U.S. officials previously said they were being held because their denials of ongoing weapons programs were presumed to be lies; now, they say the scientists are being held in connection with the possible war crimes trials of Iraqis.

It has been more than a year since any Iraqi scientist was arrested in connection with weapons of mass destruction. Many of those questioned and cleared have since left Iraq, one senior official said, acknowledging for the first time that the "brain drain" that has long been feared "is well underway."

Good strategy, folks. Get people pissed off at you, screw them over so they have a reason to hate you (and perhaps hurt you), and in the meanwhile show others what they can expect for "co-operating" with you. And just to frost the cake, see if you can bollix the whole thing up a bit more by encouraging people to bail out of Iraq as quick as they can and leave it to descend into hell. . . .

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