CIA's Golden Victory -
US Bribed Iraqi Military Leaders

The Express - London, UK

Republican Guard generals betrayed Saddam Hussein in return for huge payments in cash and gold, it emerged last night. In so doing, they allowed the Allies to seize Baghdad virtually without a fight.
Resistance around the capital from six Republican Guard divisions just melted away because the senior commander of Saddam's elite troops defected and ordered his men to give up or go home.
He was spirited away by a United States Apache helicopter to a secret location. The astonishing revelations of the double-dealing at the heart of Saddam's inner circle expose the immense contribution made to the coalition campaign by undercover squads of SAS special forces.
Working hand-in-hand with MI6 and CIA paramilitaries they were responsible for buying off factions of Saddam's henchmen.
The Joint Special Operations Task Forces have been operating undercover since before the war, contacting Iraqi military, intelligence and secret police leaders to make them change sides.
The teams carried suitcases full of gold bullion, US dollars, Swiss francs and euros to buy off regime leaders, and threatened to kill those who refused to cooperate.
The same techniques had been refined in Afghanistan where Operation Jawbreaker led to the defection of senior warlords.
General Maher Sufyan, the head of the Republican Guard, was allegedly spirited away from the Al Rasheed airstrip, in south-east Baghdad, to an unknown location, according to the French newspaper Le Monde and the leading Arab news channel Al Jazeera.
Intelligence sources have told strategic analysts Stratfor that senior Republican Guard generals and commanders from the Special Republican Guard and the Iraqi security services betrayed Saddam and revealed his location on two occasions, leading to the "decapitation" raids designed to assassinate him and his senior men.
They then cut a secret deal agreeing to surrender in the second week of the war and sabotaged the attempts of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, two of Saddam's key henchmen, to fight on.
They only discovered the betrayal when US forces passed Karbala in the "red zone" around Baghdad.
In the days before the battle that never was Allied commanders at Central Command in Qatar boasted that they were in contact with senior Iraqi civilian and military leaders.
They have since admitted that a reward system exists to buy information on the whereabouts of the most wanted war criminals and the location of weapons of mass destruction.
US commanders have been unable to show any pictures of Republican Guard troops and their equipment destroyed in the advance. Yesterday US Brigadier-General Vince Brooks said he was "not aware" of the deal with Sufyan, but he admitted: "We know there are a number of military formations that chose not to fight for the regime.
"We do deal with leaders that are out there - either local leaders, tribal leaders or in some cases military leaders."
He hinted that those who had cooperated with the coalition may not lose their jobs.
"There will be former military members who will have a role to play in a future Iraq, " he said.
Saddam and his son Qusay, who was the overall commander of the Republican Guard, may have been killed or so severely wounded in the first "decapitation" raid on the first night of the war that they lost control of the troops.
Saddam's other son Uday is thought to have survived. Sources say his presence accounted for the stiff resistance from Fedayeen fighters under his command in the first two weeks of the conflict.
Allied commanders dismissed reports that Saddam is holed up in his birthplace north of Tikrit.
Maher Sufyan is not included in the "deck of cards" handed to Allied troops to help them hunt down the Iraqi regime leaders. Popular Information Minister Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf, nicknamed Comical Ali, is not on the list either, fuelling specualtion he too may have cut a deal.



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