Record Watch in Baghdad

"Free Iraqi soldiers" have been stationed in some of Baghdad's official buildings to keep an eye on the remaining records. The Telegraph in London has published several scopes lately based on the reporters search of Iraqi records. One of the most sensational allegations to come out of this reporting is that an anti war MP has been receiving significant funds from Iraq. So far there have been no reports of US funds, although there were allegations before the war that former weapons inspecter Scott Ritter had been paid several thousnad dollars. An American TV network is alleged to have removed several boxes of records before the Free Iraqi forces were posted. Looters have also ransaked the buildings and in some cases set fires.

This appears to be a repeat of a failure in Afghanistan, where not enough was done to secure documents that would lead to finding terrorist. This is a different kind of war, where documents and data can lead to hidden cells and provide evidence of support for past terrorist acts. Some of that evidence has now been lost. Securing this data is far more important than protecting artifacts. While history is important and interesting, this data could help stop future terrorist attacks and provide evidence of responsibility for past attacks. It could save thousands of lives if mined by FBI and CIA operatives. Hopefully the free Iraqi forces can safe guard what remains.

At some point the TV network who carted off boxes of records will do a special on what was found, but there is no way of knowing if they are suppressing or destroying evidence inconsistant with their bias. It should at least be more interesting than wall to wall coverage of an apparently poorly executed murder of a pregnant mother, as trajic as that may be for her family.

"Elite"

Elite used to imply above average and special. In Iraq it apparently implied higher paid cannon fodder. The Republican Guard, which fought like Democrats faced with a national security question, was always described as elite. In the US The "Elites" usually means left wing media types and left wing academics. Calling them elite makes about as much sense as calling the Iraqi Republican Guard "eleite." They both have a resemblance to Democrats.

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