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The mystery behind the Iraq withdrawal letter (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 427.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: We recorded this video hours before the Iranian missile strikes and US President Trump’s statement signaling the conclusion of military actions between the United States and Iran.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the origins, and possible authors, of the “Iraq withdrawal letter” leaked to Iraqi media, prompting U.S. General Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper to excuse the letter away as an “unauthorized draft” and “an honest mistake”

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Via Zerohedge…

The inside account of how the now infamous “phony” letter announcing complete US troop withdrawal from Iraq after seventeen years details astoundingly how the “posting of the letter online unleashed a mad, behind-the-scenes scramble at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill, as elected officials, policymakers, military advisers and journalists sought to understand whether the letter intended to communicate what its plain language suggested.”

As different departments and levels within the Pentagon bureaucracy attempted to account for it, the story changed multiple times. In a matter of a couple hours it went from “authentic” to “phony” to part of an effort to sow “active disinformation” — and finally according to a confused press briefing by Gen. Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper an “unauthorized draft” and “an honest mistake”.

This after The Washington Post and a host of other major outlets “confirmed” it as “authentic” — in the words of WaPo’s Beirut Bureau chief Liz Sly.

At Monday’s Pentagon briefing itself which attempted to assess the origins of the mysterious draft letter, The Dispatch summarized the atmosphere: “Was the United States really moving to remove its remaining troops from Iraq? Nobody seemed to know.”

And ultimately no definitive answers came, other than the Pentagon and administration denying than an Iraq pullout is happening, as to just how a “draft letter” which had been making the rounds at CENTCOM came to be in the hands of the Iraqis, after which it was posted online.

As The Dispatch notes, the letter wasn’t merely announced by some Iraqi politician in Baghdad, but was released via America’s enemies:

The news was a propaganda coup for the Iranians and those in Iraq who support them. The story broke on the television channel of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), after it was leaked by the Iraqi prime minister’s office, according to Liz Sly, Beirut bureau chief for the Washington Post, who noted that the leader of AAH is a U.S.-designated terrorist and his militia is responsible for the deaths of dozens of Americans.

The letter soon made its way into the American media.

Initially, there was this statement out of the Pentagon policy office in conjunction with Operation Inherent Resolve: “OIR has confirmed with us at the working level that this is active disinformation.” The Pentagon was “fairly certain that this is a fake” according to that early media statement.

But then this later at the Pentagon press briefing:

They didn’t declare the letter a fake but they couldn’t offer much of an explanation of its provenance or meaning, either. Esper pleaded ignorance. “I don’t know what that letter is,” he said. “We’re trying to find out where that’s coming from, what that is. But there has been no decision made to leave Iraq, period.” He declined to confirm its authenticity. “No, I can’t.”

Gen. Milley couldn’t verify that the letter was real, either. “I do know that it’s not signed,” he said. “But I just looked at it right there; it’s not signed.”

So even the attempts to account for what may or may not be a “draft” letter which originated within the Pentagon itself and then leaked to the Iraqis remain contradictory.

The final word from the Defense Department seems to be a shoulder shrug and that it was “an honest mistake”.

What remains is that the whole embarrassing and bizarre episode does indeed appear a “propaganda coup for the Iranians and those in Iraq who support them.”


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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January 9, 2020

Lol welcome to the state of confusion known as the U.S. government,where up is down and black is white,where the right hand don’t know what the left is doing.God help us all as the nuts are running the nut house which resembles the movie Animal Farm.!!!

January 9, 2020

Remember when Rodrigo Duterte [Philippine President], demanded the US-Occupier have to leave the country because of their malign influence in the region, immediately ISIS affilated Terrorists started a full blown war against the Philippine State…and the US-Military presented themselfs as [phoney] white knights in shiny armor to help. A coincidence? NOT AT ALL ! So watch out Iraq, the same pattern like always will emerge and together with their usual accomplices in crimes Israel and all their Terrorist Proxy/Mercs just to stir the shit up again.

Olivia Kroth
January 9, 2020

Strange things happen, where the US deep state is involved. Thanks for trying to bring light into this shady story, Alex and Alexander. I always like listening to you.

January 9, 2020

My two cents of advice to the Iraqi leadership (such as it is to put it kindly) is look to your neighbor Syria. Syria gives examples of what not to do, what sometimes works, what a good friend can do to help and what is possible (God willing). What is needed in Iraq is the diplomatic finesse of the Russians as well as their military capabilities in assisting in dealing with ISIS type fanatics. Perhaps Russia could set up the Reconciliation Teams (I was impressed with their behind the scenes accomplishments) model that seemed to work well within Syria. These… Read more »

January 9, 2020

the whole “somehow this letter just magically slipped into Iraqi hands, we just CANT understand how that has happened, but it did” narrative at least begs ASKING the question, IF Trumps intention is really to get the troops out of the middle east, isn’t it possible that this letter was….
I’ll leave the rest blank.

January 10, 2020

Thank you guys for thinking about the fire fighters of Australia.

Olivia Kroth
January 11, 2020

PRESS TV: Iraq’s PMU commanders hold summit over US assassinations Saturday, 11 January 2020 7:40 AM [ Last Update: Saturday, 11 January 2020 8:19 AM ] Operation commanders of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units have convened to examine recent developments in the country, specifically US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi deputy PMU head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Iraq’s al-Furat news channel reported on Friday that participants of the PMU summit, which also included administrative officials from different parts of the organization, stressed the PMU’s complete readiness to defend Iraq. The PMU officials said the organization was committed to… Read more »

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