Patterico's Pontifications


Patriquin Plan Working in Al Anbar

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 4:55 pm

The L.A. Times is catching up to a story I told you about six weeks ago (December 11), after reading about it on Teflon Don’s blog. It’s the story of a sheik in Ramadi who has been helping to turn things around there. As Teflon Don said at the time:

A local sheik came to the Army unit in charge of the sector he lived in, announced his desire to fight the insurgents, and asked for help in doing so. He was received with some healthy skepticism- many people in this part of the world will say whatever they think you want to hear in order to profit from you. To demonstrate his commitment, he organized his militia and began to attempt to quell some of the violence in the sector. Within days, indirect fire attacks against US bases from his area dropped to nearly zero over the next three weeks, from a former rate of multiple attacks per day. IED attacks and other insurgent activity was also down.

Today’s L.A. Times story has an interview with the sheik, Sheik Sattar Bazeaa Fatikhan. Teflon Don confirms that the interview is with the same sheik. Here’s a taste:

After Sunni insurgents killed his father and four of his brothers last year, Fatikhan declared war against the insurgency.

He convened a summit of about a dozen prominent sheiks. From that meeting came a document called “The Awakening,” in which Fatikhan persuaded all but one sheik to join him in opposition to the insurgency.

The sheiks pledged to encourage young men to join the police force and even the Shiite-led army. The document states that killing an American is the same as killing a member of their tribes. Since the gathering, Fatikhan said, the sheiks have “eliminated” a number of insurgents.

U.S. officials regularly visit Fatikhan, seeking his counsel, showing him the kind of deference one might expect for a leading government official.

For U.S. forces to court local sheiks is consistent with the “Patriquin plan” that I mentioned in my December post. And indeed, Capt. Patriquin gets a nod from the sheik:

Fatikhan ordered his followers to “adopt” the U.S. Army’s liaison to the tribes and give him an Arabic name, Wissam, which means warrior. After the officer, Capt. Travis Patriquin, was killed by a roadside bomb, the sheik ordered that one of the new police stations be named in his honor.

By the way, this is not a new idea. I mentioned it in April 2004. But according to Capt. Patriquin’s Power Point presentation, bureaucratic rules kept us from cooperating with the sheiks in the most effective way possible. Capt. Patriquin’s Power Point portrayed an American soldier named “Joe” who was stymied in his efforts to deal with the sheiks:

What’s that in Joe’s hand? Oh, a transitional authority law! It was written by the CPA (25 year olds from Texas, and Paul Bremer) and it says NO SHEIKS! ONLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT!!!

It appears that we are ignoring these ivory tower concerns and are making progress with the help of sheiks like Fatikhan.

Here is my favorite quote from the article:

Fatikhan, who wears tailored suits when not in traditional clothing, understands U.S. politics. He told a visiting journalist, “Please take a message to the Democrats: Let the American forces stay until we can hold Iraq together. Then we will have a party when American forces go.”

And we will have a party too.

(Thanks to Capt. Eric Coulson for the heads up.)

The Power of the Jump™: L.A. Times Implies That Cheney Leaked Plame’s Identity

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:57 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

“OK, team. We all know that Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame’s identity. But how can we suggest that the leaker was really Dick Cheney, without actually coming out and saying it?”

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the editors of the L.A. Times asking themselves that question, as they put together yesterday’s article on the first day of the Scooter Libby trial.

The article is titled Cheney’s key role in leak case detailed. That headline alone implies Cheney was behind the leak. The deck headline continues the misdirection: “A former aide testifies in Libby’s trial that the vice president directed the effort to discredit a CIA agent’s husband.” Everyone knows that the leak of Plame’s identity was part of that effort to discredit Wilson, so the implication is reinforced. And the lede sentence reads:

In the first such account from Vice President Dick Cheney’s inner circle, a former aide testified Thursday that Cheney personally directed the effort to discredit an administration critic by having calls made to reporters in 2003.

What about Richard Armitage? Richard Armiwho? The article professes ignorance of the identity of the real leaker, and continues to imply that Cheney was behind the leak:

Cheney dictated detailed “talking points” for his chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and others on how they could impugn the critic’s credibility, said Catherine J. Martin, who was the vice president’s top press aide at the time.

Libby is on trial on charges of obstructing an investigation into how the name of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, became public. The government says her identity emerged in conversations Libby had with several reporters. It is illegal to knowingly divulge the name of a CIA employee.

(Actually, no. It’s illegal only if it’s a covert employee.)

Not until Page A17 does the article finally admit — in passing, in the 15th paragraph — that the witness had no indication that Libby or Cheney actually leaked Plame’s name:

But Martin said that neither Cheney nor Libby had suggested that the identity of Plame be divulged as part of the game plan. She said that she had no knowledge of either actually doing so.

Coming as late as it does, this does little to rebut the clear implications of the headlines and first paragraphs that Cheney and Libby leaked Plame’s identity. Worse, the name of the actual admitted leaker, Richard Armitage, is not mentioned once in the story. Armitage’s admission is mentioned only at the tail end of a misleading accompanying timeline — one that also suggests, until the very end, that Libby was the leaker.

Business as usual at the L.A. Times, which has worked hard over the years to distort every aspect of this story against the Administration.

Thanks to Curt W.

P.S. The web version of the story is accompanied by this picture:


Cute. They’re not saying it, mind you — because there’s a question mark! That makes it okay — and so very objective!

Rutten Gets the Facts Wrong on Lyin’ Joe Wilson — Again

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 2:48 pm

Tim Rutten:

Wilson had been sent by the CIA to the African country of Niger to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein had been trying to obtain yellow cake uranium mined there as part of his alleged nuclear weapon program. Wilson reported that nothing of the sort had occurred and went public with that fact when Bush and other members of the administration falsely alleged otherwise in making the case for war against Iraq.


That’s not what the Senate Intelligence Committee Report says:

[Wilson’s] intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996-1997). Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999,(REDACTED) businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted “expanding commercial relations” to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that “although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq.”

In other words, contrary to Rutten’s claim, Wilson’s report contained evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger. As Captain Ed notes, Niger’s four exports are uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, and onions. The former Nigerien Prime Minister didn’t think Saddam’s delegation was after livestock, cowpeas, or onions.

So yes, Rutten has this absolutely wrong. But it’s not the first time.

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