A Contract to Find ‘Trustworthy’ Iraqi Workers
By Walter Pincus
Monday, October 15, 2007; A13
In August, the U.S. military requested bids on a new biometric credential system to provide identification cards for three Iraqi government ministries.
“Without a strong ID program, anti-Iraqi forces can enter controlled areas and disrupt electrical systems, petroleum transportation and processing facilities,” says a statement of work from the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq, which is seeking a “strong credential identification system” for 40,000 employees who work across Iraq for the Oil, Electricity and Water ministries.
. . . The winning contractor is to design the system and provide equipment that would work with the Iraqi fingerprint program and the personnel operations of the three Iraqi ministries. The contractor would also provide technical support, program management and training, but the ID system would be in the hands of Iraqis and U.S. government personnel.
In a government that can’t begin to weed out the terrorists from its police and army, the statement that ‘the ID system would be in the hands of Iraqis‘ pinpoints yet another American strategic mistake of enormous proportion.
It’s as if L. Paul Bremer is still making the calls, applying decisions that might make sense in a country under the control of civil law. Iraq can’t even control its parliament. As soon as it has been compiled and authenticated, this ‘list’ of ‘credentialed employees’ will be swiped and the names, addresses and family ties of every Iraqi who ever worked with or cooperated with the West will be on paper.
Then, while we are still there or for sure when we begin to leave, the death-squads will begin their business in earnest.
This is a decision that specifically needs sign-off by the Secretary of Defense before implementation. I would wager that Bob Gates has been busy elsewhere while this one slid by.