Israelis in Iraq? You bet.
Here's "an Abu Ghraib photo we didn't see on the front page of the New York Times."
The UK Guardian's Julian Borger wrote this report on the presence of Israeli "consultants" in Iraq on 9 December 2003.
Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday…"Jihadist prejudices?" Right.
"This is basically an assassination programme. That is what is being conceptualised here. This is a hunter-killer team," said a former senior US intelligence official, who added that he feared the new tactics and enhanced cooperation with Israel would only inflame a volatile situation in the Middle East.
"It is bonkers, insane. Here we are - we're already being compared to Sharon in the Arab world, and we've just confirmed it by bringing in the Israelis and setting up assassination teams."
"They are being trained by Israelis in Fort Bragg," a well-informed intelligence source in Washington said. "Some Israelis went to Iraq as well…
An Israeli official said the IDF regularly shared its experience in the West Bank and Gaza with the US armed forces, but said he could not comment about cooperation in Iraq.
"When we do activities, the US military attaches in Tel Aviv are interested. I assume it's the same as the British. That's the way allies work. The special forces come to our people and say, do debrief on an operation we have done," the official said. "Does it affect Iraq? It's not in our interest or the American interest or in anyone's interest to go into that. It would just fit in with jihadist prejudices."
And to flesh out that image Robert Fisk filed this report of the Independent on 26 May 2004.
The re-writing of Iraqi history is now going on at supersonic speedEarlier, on May 17, Justin Raimondo wrote:
…Just as the unsupervised armed mercenaries being killed in Iraq are being described by the occupation authorities as "contractors" or, more mendaciously, "civilians" - so the responsibility for the porno interrogations at Abu Ghraib is being allowed to slide into the summer mists over the Tigris river. So let's go back, for a moment, to the long weeks in which the Department of Bad Apples allowed its jerks to put leashes around Iraqi necks, forced prisoners to have sex with each other and raped some Iraqi lasses [and children] in the jail.
And let's cast our eyes upon that little, all-important matter of responsibility. The actual interrogators accused of encouraging US troops to abuse Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail were working for at least one company with extensive military and commercial contacts with Israel. The head of an American company whose personnel are implicated in the Iraqi tortures, it now turns out, attended an "anti-terror" training camp in Israel and, earlier this year, was presented with an award by Shaul Mofaz, the right-wing Israeli defence minister.
According to Dr J P London's company, CACI International, the visit of Dr London - sponsored by an Israeli lobby group and including US congressmen and other defence contractors - was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between US and Israeli defence and homeland security agencies".
The Pentagon and the occupation powers in Iraq insist that only US citizens have been allowed to question prisoners in Abu Ghraib - but this takes no account of Americans who may also hold double citizenship. The once secret report by US General Antonio Taguba refers to "third country nationals" involved in the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq.
General Taguba mentions Steven Staphanovic and John Israel as involved in the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Staphanovic, who worked for CACI - known to the US military as "Khaki" - was said by Taguba to have "allowed and/or instructed MPs (military police), who were not trained in interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by 'setting conditions' ... he clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse". One of Staphanovic's co-workers, Joe Ryan - who was not named in the Taguba report - now says that he underwent an "Israeli interrogation course" before going to Iraq…
[I]t is clear the torture trail at Abu Ghraib has to run much further than a group of brutal US military cops, all of whom claim "intelligence officers" told them to "soften up" their prisoners for questioning. Were they Israeli? Or South African? Or British? Are we going to let the story go?
[T]here is one country that seems the logical place to go for "expertise" in the "art" of torturing Arabs, and that is Israel. Those hoods the prisoners were made to wear, befouled by excrement (and probably pig fat), are an Israeli innovation, so to speak. Furthermore, tales of sexual humiliation are rife among Palestinians who fall into the hands of the Israeli police authorities. The news that the Israelis have been "advising" the Americans on the ins and outs of managing an occupation surprised no one, and the leaked report of General Antonio Taguba mentioned the presence of "third country nationals" at Abu Ghraib. If this was a program run amok, then wouldn't the hatred of Israeli "interpreters" for their Arab victims figure as a factor in all this?Now with war on Iran and Syria looming on the horizon, do you really think the Israelis are not already "in country" and raring to go?
PS: If you're interested, Action Report Online keep an updated dossier of news reports on the Mossad here.