Monday, January 22, 2007


Amid some key details about the brazen Iraqi insurgent attack on a provincial governor's office from this New York Times story --

Iraqi officials said the gunmen disguised their intent with uniforms, American flak jackets, guns and a convoy of at least seven GMC sport utility vehicles, which are usually used by American officials in Iraq.

Karbala’s provincial governor, Akeel al-Khazaali, said at a news conference that the local police at a checkpoint on the city’s edge waved the vehicles through because they believed the convoy held important Americans. At other checkpoints, the police said, the vehicles sped through without stopping. In one case, some of the impersonators fired their weapons, and when they reached the provincial offices, they simply attacked.

The police in Babil said the disguises were imperfect — officers at checkpoints saw that the men were bearded, they said — but sufficient to get the gunmen through a crowded, heavily patrolled city without being stopped.

.... One sport utility vehicle had a sign on its back window warning drivers to stay back, in English and Arabic, the authorities said, a close copy of those used on some official American vehicles. They said a bag of civilian American clothing, guns and body armor had been found in the vehicles.

is the lesson that the US military is now paying the price not just for its laxity in monitoring its equipment, but in the habit of it and its contractors of firing on anyone who challenges or gets too close to one of their convoys -- thus conferring a key advantage on anything that looks like one of their convoys.

UPDATE 26 JANUARY: The Pentagon is lying about the circumstances of the raid, including its level of sophistication and how the US fatalities occurred.

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