Real Time With Bill Maher ~ October 1, 2010

Real Time With Bill Maher-Oct. 1 2010

Bill Maher With Bob Woodward | Admiral Fallon: “What’s The Strategy?” Bush:”They’re Assholes

From Secret Deals With Big Oil in The White House to Permanent Bases in Iraq

Think Progress

Engel: Permanent Bases Would Technically Be Iraqi With U.S.
‘Tenants’ As ‘A Face Saving Device

On Thursday, the UK Independent’s Patrick Cockburn reported on “a secret deal being
negotiated in Baghdad” that “would perpetuate the American
military occupation of Iraq indefinitely.” According to Cockburn,
the deal result in American soldiers being stationed on permanent bases in Iraq:

Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US
troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations,
arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise
Iraq’s position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending
conflict in their country.

On the same day, NPR’s Diane Rehm asked
NBC News Middle East correspondent Richard Engel about the report.
Engel said that as part of “a face saving device,” the
bases would technically be Iraqi and “U.S. troops would reside on
them as tenants”:

ENGEL: That’s the question, is it permanent bases or is it not, and the details of this have not been published. The
U.S. and Iraqi officials I’ve spoken to say they would not be
U.S. permanent bases in Iraq, they would be Iraqi bases and that U.S.
troops would reside on them as tenants and may even have to pay some
sort of nominal rent, so there would be a face saving device.

What’s also trying to be worked out is what’s the exact
U.S. mission. Would they be able to conduct independent operations
without the advice and consultation of the Iraqi government and that
has been a point of contention.

After Cockburn’s report was released, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq,
Ryan Crocker, tried to quash talk of permanent U.S. bases, telling
reporters that “it is not going to be forever.”
But Crocker also spoke of a situation that could comport with
Engel’s “face saving” description, claiming that
“there isn’t going to be an agreement that infringes on
Iraqi sovereignty.”

Transcript:

REHM: Here’s an email from James asking about an
article published today in the Independent in UK by Patrick Coburn and
it’s entitled, Revealed: Secret Plan To Keep Iraq Under U.S.
Control. Do you know about this?

ENGEL: I don’t know the article, but I know Patrick Cockburn,
he’s a friend and a fine reporter. Is this, I’ll take a
look at the article.

REHM: Just published today and our communicator in Raleigh says, “why has this not received more attention?”

ENGEL: I know what he’s talking about. This is the strategic
long term agreement that is being negotiated between Iraq and the
United States. This is a deal that is supposed to be, and we have
reported it, I think NBC News was the first to report this, it was, it
is a long term strategic alliance that is being hammered out, mostly in
secret in Baghdad. And that has many, many Iraqis concerned, it has
some U.S. officials concerned as well. The U.S. negotiators that
I’ve spoken to who are involved in this insist that it is not a
treaty, that it will not commit large numbers of U.S. forces to Iraq
for a long time, but it does clarify what the role of U.S. forces will
be for a long period going forward.

REHM: I.E.

ENGEL: That’s the question, is it permanent bases or is it
not, and the details of this have not been published. The U.S. and
Iraqi officials I’ve spoken to say they would not be U.S.
permanent bases in Iraq, they would be Iraqi bases and that U.S. troops
would reside on them as tenets and may even have to pay some sort of
nominal rent, so there would be a face saving device. What’s also
trying to be worked out is what’s the exact U.S. mission. Would
they be able to conduct independent operations without the advice and
consultation of the Iraqi government and that has been a point of
contention.

DOZIER: I know a member of Crocker’s team has been working on
this for about a year behind the scenes. And one of the major sticking
points is what law will apply to U.S. troops, how much will they be
able to do on their own, how much will they have to…they want of
course the rights that they have right now, to stage their own
missions, their own raids, without getting anybody’s say so, just
informing, “We’re headed off, we’re going to do
this.” The Iraqis are pushing for approval of everything and also
that Iraqi law would apply to soldiers, Marines who conduct violent
acts.

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