Monday, December 01, 2008

How many security agreements are there ?

An Islamic Party leader made remarks to AlHayat that indicate an important clause in the published security agreement has been invalidated by a separate, unpublished agreement.

Here is the clause in the published agreement relating to the treatment of Iraqi prisoners held by the US forces (official White House text):
Upon entry into force of this agreement, the United States Forces shall provide to the Government of Iraq available information on all detainees who are being held by them. Competent Iraqi authorities shall issue arrest warrants for persons who are wanted by them. The United States Forces shall act in full and effective coordination with the Government of Iraq to turn over custody of such wanted detainees to Iraqi authorities pursuant to a valid Iraqi arrest warrant and shall release all the remaining detainees in a safe and orderly matter, unless otherwise requested by the Government of Iraq and in accordance with Article 4 of this agreement.
[Article 4 talks about "coordination in the conduct of operations against AQ and other terrorist groups, outlaw groups, and remnants of the former regime"

The first step under the terms of this agreement, in other words, is for the US to turn over to the Iraqi government all the case files, then the government issues arrest warrants in some of the cases. In the other cases, the prisoners are to be released, unless the Iraqi Government requests that they continue to be held.

But in today's AlHayat we read this:
Omar al-Kabouli, a leader of the Islamic Party, told AlHayat that "the Iraqi government agreed with the Americans, under pressure from the Accord [coalition of Sunni parties] that [the Americans] would release most of those held in America prisons over the coming six month period without turning over their case-files to the Iraqi authorities, in order to guarantee that they would not be exposed to harassment or liquidation. He added: "The releases will be programmed, and the majority will be completed within six months, so that this matter will be closed in final form by the middle of the coming year."
Clearly, the agreement appears to put the sovereign Iraqi government in the driver's seat, reviewing all files, issuing arrest warrants in some cases, with the possibility in other cases of instructing the Americans to keep on holding them anyway. But via what must be a separate agreement, this Islamic Party leader says the Americans agreed not to give the Iraqi government the case-files, the reason being to protect these people the reasonable fear of being harrassed or killed by the agents of this sectarian government.

So (following on the prior post here) the question is what other separate agreements might there be that either invalidate parts of the published agreement, or add to it in important ways, replacing in this way the facade of bilateral agreement between sovereign states with the reality of sectarian manipulations, in which the US could now be bound up in new and undisclosed ways.


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