Leaked Army Karbala Report Shows Iraqi Police Collaborated in Ambush on US Troops

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USA Today has obtained the internal US Army investigation report on the ambush, kidnapping and killing of five US troops at a meeting with local officials in Karbala last January 20, and its findings are devastating.

A previously undisclosed Army investigation into an audacious January attack in Karbala that killed five U.S. soldiers concludes that Iraqi police working alongside American troops colluded with insurgents.

The assault on the night of Jan. 20 stunned U.S. officials with its planning and sophistication. …

The information is contained in an investigative file made available to USA TODAY and authenticated by the Army. …The investigation reveals several new details about the assault, including:

•Iraqi police suddenly vanished from the government compound before the shooting started.

•Attackers, evidently briefed on how U.S. forces would defend themselves, bottled up more than three dozen soldiers in a barracks and headquarters complex using a combination of smoke and fragment grenades and satchel charges to blow up Humvees.

•Gunmen knew exactly where to find and abduct U.S. officers.

•Iraqi vendors operating a PX and barbershop went home early.

•A back gate was left unlocked and unguarded.

It’s worth noting that Army officials disclosed none of this when Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a former White House aide, briefed the press this month. Bergner failed to mention that an internal Army investigation had found that the Iraqi police the US troops are supposed to be training and cooperating with played a direct role in the ambush.

Instead, Bergner blamed Iran. “The Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, helped plan and direct it with Iraqi militants, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman,” USA Today reports.”The Quds Force, he said, supplied Shiite militias with weapons and up to $3 million a month in aid.”

What would be Gen. Bergner’s motivation for neglecting to mention the key findings of the military’s own internal investigation of the attack?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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