Forget the 15 Brits. Open Season on U.S Dips.
Now letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s see if weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got this right:
As negotiations over the 15 captured Brits were going on an Iranian diplomat, who had been kidnapped in Iraq a couple of months ago, was suddenly freed and returned to his embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.
That diplomat, Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary at IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mission in Baghdad, is still not sure who kidnapped him. He was snatched off the street on February 4th, in broad day light in a predominately Shiite, middle class neighborhood of Baghdad.
The police managed to capture one of the cars involved. The four uniformed men inside claimed they worked for one of IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s many security forces. According to Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari that particular forceÃ¢â‚¬â€œand all the other ones contactedÃ¢â‚¬â€œdenied the men worked for them. So, of course, did the U.S, military and intelligence agencies.
Although the release of the detainee seemed to coincide with a thaw in negotiations with Iran, IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Foreign Minister claimed there was no link at all: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Really, it has no connection whatsoever.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(Question: If Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know who held the kidnapped diplomat, how does he know ShafariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s release had nothing to do with the fate of the 15 Brits? CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it both ways.)
Though Iraqi authorities continue to hold the four kidnappers arrested, they still claim they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know for sure who seized the diplomat.
But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not necessary to dispatch the four to Egypt or a secret American prison for water boarding. According to the Times, Ã¢â‚¬Å“others familiar with the case said they believed that those responsible worked for the Iraqi Intelligence Service, which is affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(For anyone betting it was not the CIA behind the operation, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a bridge over the Euphrates near Baghdad IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to sell you.)
You would think the first to rise up in outrage over the affair would be the thousands of American diplomats scattered around the globe. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s their vulnerable necks which have been put on the block by Dubya. But, compared with torture, secret renditions, targeted assassinations and the like, snatching a foreign diplomat is small change. Anyway, if the Iranians could take American diplomats hostage in 1979, why canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Americans do the same thing to Iranians today?
In fact, according to the de facto rules of the game being played by the Bush administration, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s open season on just about any American official overseas these days.