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I was in Northern Italy at the Peace Academy in Rovereto, when the evening news reported on National radio, the day's top story:
"CIA Headquarters ìn Baghdad under attack by two suicide bombers".
When I got back to my hotel, I immediately switched on CNN. Not a word regarding "the CIA Headquarters".
Suicide car bombers aiming at a Baghdad hotel believed to house U.S. officials, killed six Iraqis instead. A U.S. military official says two cars were racing towards the hotel when guards opened fire. Both cars exploded near the building on a busy commercial avenue. CNN's Jane Arraf joins us now from the Iraqi capital with more details -- Jane.
JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Renay, a U.S. official tells us among those six Iraqis dead were two of the Iraqi security guards who opened fire on one of the car bombers, essentially stopping him before he could get to the Baghdad Hotel. (Sunday 16.00)
A subsequent ABC News Report underscored the presence of the Iraqi Governing Council, while also acknowledging the presence of US officials
This is the seventh car bombing in Baghdad since early August. Several members of the American-backed Iraqi Governing Council are housed at the Baghdad Hotel, along with State Department officials. In a statement, Paul Bremer, the US administrator for Iraq said, "We will work with the Iraqi police to find those responsible and bring them to justice." Americans inside told us they were informed of a possible car bomb attack two days ago. They were planning to fortify the outer security wall, but didn't have time to finish. Neal Karlinsky, ABC News, Baghdad.
When the US newspapers hit the newsstands on Monday morning, the story had already been changed. Reference to the presence of US officials had either been toned down or removed.
The official story was that the hotel was used by the Iraqi Governing Council. Alex Berenson writing in the NYT describes the attack as yet another déjà vu suicide attack:.
"Car bomb attack Sunday at a hotel used by members of the Iraqi Council."
An almost identical title was used by the Washington Post in an article also published on Monday morning, Oct 12:
"Suicide Bomber Kills 7 in Baghdad; Blast Was Near Hotel Housing Iraqi Officials"
A suicide bomber detonated explosives packed in a car outside a Baghdad hotel housing Iraqi government officials and U.S. contractors on Sunday, unleashing a wave of debris that tore through the hotel's crowded driveway and a busy commercial street.
At least seven people and the bomber were killed, and as many as 40 others were wounded in the midday blast at the Baghdad Hotel, including one member of Iraq's Governing Council and three Americans, according to U.S. military officials and hospitals that treated the injured. Six of those killed were Iraqi security guards, a military official said.
In a carefully worded piece of disinformation, The Washington Post article (Oct 12) draws analogies between the Baghdad hotel bombing and the Bali bombing in Indonesia, hinting to the involvement of bin Laden:
Although U.S. officials have not identified a group responsible for the bombings, suspicion has fallen on Hussein loyalists and foreign Muslim extremists who flooded into Iraq over the summer. The attack on Sunday occurred on the one-year anniversary of nightclub explosions in Bali and the three-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole off the Yemeni coast -- both of which were blamed on the al Qaeda terrorist organization.
Non-US Media acknowledges that Hotel was CIA Headquarters
While the US media had been instructed not to mention "CIA Headquarters", the attack on the CIA was front page news in most European media.
The lead story in London's Independent was:
Iraqi Resistance Targets CIA, Killing six in Suicide bomb
A deadly phase in the war of resistance to the American occupation of Iraq opened yesterday when a two car suicide bombing targeted the central Baghdad hotel where senior US officials and CIA agents are thought to have been staying. At least six people were killed and 32 wounded.
All of the dead and most of the injured were Iraqis. But the audacious blast aimed at a hotel full of American officials showed the effectiveness of the resistance in its increasingly well-organised campaign to destabilise the US presence.
The heavily guarded Baghdad hotel was used by American officials, security agents, members of the Iraqi Governing Council and US building contractors. It was also believed by Iraqis to house CIA operatives and widely rumoured in Baghdad to be home to members of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.
Agence France Presse (AFP) report reads as follows:
The Baghdad Hotel is believed to serve as headquarters for the US Central Intelligence Agency in Baghdad.
A US officer at the scene confirmed that US security personnel and contractors live in the building, as well as members of the US-backed council
The Irish Times (Monday 12th) reported that
The Baghdad Hotel, where six Iraqis died in a double suicide bombing on Sunday, was widely rumoured to be headquarters for the CIA, Mossad and its Arabic-speaking helpers from the former South Lebanon Army militia. It was heavily barricaded, and few had the special clearance badge required for entry. In the aftermath of the bombing, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) denied reports of a CIA presence, saying the Baghdad Hotel housed members of the GC and US contractors.
US public opinion has been deliberately and consciously misled. The US news coverage not only raises the issue of disinformation and coverup, it also points to the glaring incompetence of the CIA (with its 30 billion dollar plus annual budget) whose heavily guarded facilities in Baghdad were attacked on a quiet Sunday afternoon in broad day light.
The hotel was heavily barricaded with tight security. Security guards from a private mercenary company Dyncorp on contract to the Pentagon were on the rooftops close to the hotel. (Liberation, Paris, 13 October). Amply confirmed by European press reports "the real target was the CIA". (la vraie cible n'etait rien moins que la CIA").
The attack reveals the weaknesses of the Coalition and of the CIA. It also points to mounting armed resistance directed against the CPA's command structure.
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