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Spy Versus Spy

By Matthew Yglesias on April 15, 2007 at 3:43 pm

"Spy Versus Spy"

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Back in the day, the US security establishment had a clever idea. Back during Iyad Allawi’s administration we founded a CIA-funded “Iraqi” intelligence service under the authority of Muhammed Shahwani, a Sunni Arab ex-Baathist who, Allawi-style, had worked with the CIA in trying to foment anti-Saddam activities by members of the Iraqi security forces. After Allawi’s departure, Shahwani’s intelligence service marched on, in essence working for the American government rather than the Iraqi one. In response, it seems, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki founded a second intelligence service that would be loyal to him.

Spencer Ackerman remarks that the alternative intel service’s rise “will further entrench Shahwani. Waili serves as the manifestation of the fears that led the U.S. to install Shahwani in the first place: the return to a mukhabarat-style security structure, this one loyal to the Shiites instead of Saddam.”

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