As of Friday, three Green Zone cafeteria workers had been detained for questioning but not charged. Some parliamentary guards were questioned but not held. An unnamed "senior" government official said a member of Sunni parliament member's security team may have participated in the attack.
They knew the attack was coming, they couldn't stop it, and they can't figure out who was behind it even though a group that calls itself the Islamic State in Iraq claimed responsibility for it.
The casual observer might conclude this indicates the Baghdad security plan isn't going so well, but that's just, as Donald Rumsfeld once said, "Henny Penny the sky is falling" talk. As Reuters noted, "Washington and some Iraqi politicians dismissed suggestions the attack signaled a failure of the U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in the capital."
So don't worry. Be happy. Go shopping.
Liars, Guns and Money
Lieutenant General Raymond T. Odierno, the number two U.S. commander in Iraq, said the Thursday bombing "has only strengthened the resolve of the government of Iraq."
Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh. Never mind pressuring them to get their act together with benchmarks and deadlines, I guess. Just set off a bomb in the Parliament building every week or so--that will light a fire under them.
Odierno also said that the Parliament bombing, along with a successful attack on a landmark Baghdad bridge the same day shows that there is a "long way to go," but he also pointed to "significant progress" being made in curbing the city's rampant violence.
As best I can tell, this "significant progress" consists of John McCain's tour through a Baghdad marketplace under the protection of 100 heavily armed U.S. troops and helicopters and snipers providing high cover. If we could cover every Iraqi family with a hundred troops to protect them, I reckon the success of the "surge" plan would be a guaranteed slamdunk.
Three weeks ago, according to the New York Times, Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie ordered a top-to-bottom search of the Parliament building that found 19 unaccounted for pistols. Mr. Al-Rubai was among the wounded in Thursday's suicide bombing.
The Times also notes that the image of the Green/International Zone as an "impregnable fortress" has been on the wane for some time.
Regular rocket and mortar attacks on the United States Embassy compound have killed a civilian and a soldier and wounded several others in recent weeks. And senior military officials said two suicide vests were found in a garbage bin in the Green Zone about two weeks ago.
Suicide bombers who take out Iraq's security adviser. Rocket and mortar attacks. 19 unaccounted for pistols. Suicide vests found in a garbage bin. All this and much, much more in the most "secure" part of Baghdad. If that's "significant progress," Gummy Bears are a cure for AIDS.
And yet, the neoconservative likes of Charles Krauthammer continue to echo the trumpet call that the "surge plan" shows "real signs of success."
Well, hey, if Charles Krauthammer says so, it must be true, huh?
It must be nice to make big bucks for pumping bull plop into the info-sphere.