After Spying Revelations, Arab Newspapers Say Bush "Obsessed" with Eavesdropping

Human Rights

Arab press gave prominence in their Sunday issues to a report published by the Washington Post about spying operations allegedly conducted by the White House on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and several high-ranking Iraqi officials.

The United Arab Emirates al-Bayan newspaper said that the Bush administration has established a record of spying operations.

In its editorial, al-Bayan said that the U.S. administration did not exclude anyone from its operations, which included civilians and officials.

A new book entitled The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008 by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward claimed that the current U.S. administration has spied on Maliki's government and used new techniques to track down and kill insurgent leaders, which led to the fall in violence in the country.

According to the Post, "The book also says that the U.S. troop 'surge' of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months."

"Rather, Woodward reports, 'groundbreaking' new covert techniques enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq," the newspaper wrote.

Al-Hayat newspaper, a London-based and Saudi-financed independent daily, published an article by an Iraqi politician, Kamran Qarra Daghi, in which he wondered about Bush's achievements throughout his years in office.

The author said that Bush has etched his name into the Iraqi history after he had managed to oust the former regime of Saddam Hussein.

Meanwhile, Daghi blames Bush's administration for several mistakes, which he said could have been avoided.

"Bush shares responsibility because it was (he) who made the decision in his capacity as the president of the United States and the supreme commander of its armed forces," the author wrote.

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