2004 March 11 Thursday
Criminals Turned Policemen Kill US Officials In Iraq

Coalition Provisional Authority staffer, attorney, and women's rights advocate Fern Holland, another CPA staffer, and their translator were killed on a road near Hillah Iraq by police from Karbala.

At the Hilla jail, where the men were held until Polish troops took them into custody, the jailers insisted that the men were actual Iraqi policemen and not impersonators.

"We knew some of them," one man said. "Their commander (in Karbala) had been a criminal before Saddam left, so we knew his gang. They had been in jail here before. But then they got jobs as policemen in Karbala -- we knew this before this happened. We couldn't believe that the Americans gave police jobs to criminals like these."

Possible explanations are advanced for their behavior.

The shooting Tuesday night raised two possibilities: that guerrillas had adopted a new tactic of posing as police to carry out attacks, or that some members of the security forces being trained by U.S. troops are turning to violence.

One possibility is that the criminals-turned-policemen were simply cut-throat robbers. If they were not just killing to rob then do they just hate Americans and want to kill them for fun or did they do this to pursue larger political goals? They might have been out to kill Holland becauise she was investigating human rights violations against iraqi women.

The more important question is just what background checks are used by US forces when selecting candidates to train as police? Even with the most careful process of selection the odds are against getting non-corrupt police that are eager to fairly and evenly uphold the laws in Iraq.

Update: The Friday March 12, 2004 Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing from Iraq by Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt confirms the involvement of active duty Iraqi police in the slaying of Fern Holland, Robert J. Zangas and an Iraqi woman who served as their translator.

Q: Hi. Mark Stone, ABC. Could you confirm whether anyone was detained as a result of the shootings and also -- of the CPA shooting, and also whether they were indeed policemen or people dressed as policemen? And if they were policemen, this calls into question the -- how the policemen that are recruited are checked.

(Off-mike conferral between briefers.)

Kimmitt: There were eight persons detained as part of the incident. We understand that -- correction: six persons were detained as part of the incident. Four of those persons were carrying current and, we believe, valid Iraqi police service identification. The fifth was a former policeman under the Hussein regime, and the sixth person was a civilian. Those persons are all under coalition custody being interrogated at this time.

On a related note, current and former Iraqi Civil Defense Corps soldiers have been caught cooperating with insurgents.

On Monday, U.S. troops arrested one current and two former ICDC soldiers for selling weapons to insurgents and carrying out bomb attacks on the homes of Iraqis cooperating with American forces in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown north of Baghdad.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 March 11 02:50 PM  MidEast Iraq New Regime Failures

Trent Telenko said at March 12, 2004 12:37 PM:


The mainstream media filters are screwing the truth up again.

This is the latest on the incident you mentioned from Strategypage.com:


March 12, 2004: A group of five terrorists was arrested by a Polish quick reaction force in Iraq. There is no doubt, that the terrorists were responsible for the recent killing of two American civil workers and their Iraqi interpreter on March 9, 2004. At about eight o'clock at the evening (Baghdad Time) the Americans stopped their car at a check-point between the cities Kerbala and Al-Hilla manned by people wearing Iraqi police uniforms. It turned out to be a trap. The terrorist immediately opened fire killing both men and their female translator.

Polish forces from the multinational division were alarmed by the local Iraqi (Shia-Muslims) civilians, who were witness of the attack. A quick reaction group immediately pursued the enemy. The terrorists were caught by surprise and gave up without resistance. The bodies of the victims were found in the trunk of their car. The killers were passed on to the American Military Police. According to the Polish media in Iraq the successful pursuit indicates an improving cooperation between Polish forces and the local Iraqi population. It is second successful anti-terror operation in recent time conducted by Polish forces. The last one occurred in February, when a group of nine terrorists were arrested in the desert near Kerbala.

During the 70s and 80s there were up to 40.000 Polish engineers and construction workers in Iraq. In those days Poland was assigned as the east-block country which was responsible for the contacts with Iraq. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why today there seams to be a relatively good level of understanding between Polish troops and Iraqi civilians. Although some terrorists attacks were also conducted against Polish soldiers there was until now only one fatality. Currently there are 2.200 Polish soldiers in Iraq. Since 1999 Poland is a member of NATO and traditionally regarded as one of the most pro-American countries in Europe. --Tomasz Nowak

politcentr said at April 25, 2004 3:45 PM:

Rights of every national minority should be recognised and enforced immediately!

Sometimes I just wonder about that scary-sounding thing - typepad.com/trackback ...
Is it tracking me back, and if so, do I have some protection, or is it too late and I'trapped forever in this maze of paranoia, propaganda, and greedy stupidity of today's media moguls and oil barons.? Help me!

http://www.geocities.com/dialektomat/speeches.htm - read what President Bush shares about his sensations. Another lost soul ...

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