|08BAGHDAD425||2008-02-13 07:32:00||SECRET||Embassy Baghdad|
VZCZCXRO6485 OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK DE RUEHGB #0425 0440732 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 130732Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5710 INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T BAGHDAD 000425
1. (S) During a February 11 meeting with the Ambassador
(septel), Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi raised the issue of
recent public threats made by controversial Anbar figures
Hamid al-Heiss and Ali al-Hatim against the Iraqi Islamic
Party (reftel). Hashimi confirmed that legal actions were
being undertaken by IIP against the offending Anbaris.
Nevertheless, he worried that the matter was an organized
effort to undermine the Islamic Party, and was undertaken
(perhaps unwittingly) with MNF-I and U.S. complicity (text
below at paragraph three). Post intends to reply to the Vice
President's letter, to correct the record on the relationship
between U.S.-supported media outlets Al Hurra and Radio Sawa
with Heiss and Hatim, and to clarify MNF's role in protecting
prominent Anbaris threatened by Al Qaida and insurgent groups.
2. (S) Comment: Since making his controversial public
threats, Al-Heiss has been anything but contrite. We
understand from local reports that Heiss and Hatim returned
to Anbar where they are helping to close IIP offices using
threats against local workers. They must feel that they have
adequate political protection to take such aggressive action,
considering the obvious legal and political ramifications.
We will need to be clear, publicly and privately, that the
protections that Hashimi alludes to in his letter do not
extend to support for undermining the IIP. End comment.
Text of Hashimi-Crocker Letter
3. (SBU) Text of Letter to Amb Crocker, dated February 10,
Begin Text (translated from the Arabic by Embassy staff)
Iraqi Islamic Party
Dr. Tareq Al-Hashimi
His Excellency Ryan Crocker
United States Ambassador
You have probably heard about the terrorist threats
pronounced by Hamid al-Heiss and Ali Al-Hatem, calling their
followers to arms against the Iraqi Islamic Party in al-Anbar
and giving the Party an ultimatum to get out within thirty
days. We are not so concerned about the Party or its future
in this governorate or any other governorate of Iraq. We
know how deeply the party is rooted in Iraq's history and the
consciousness of the Iraqis. The Party remains strong,
growing solid and steadily despite the hateful campaigns
against it during recent months.
We are however very much concerned about the relationship
that these individuals have with the United States. The U.S.
guarantees them protection, refuge, and access to the media.
Until this moment, U.S. tanks are protecting the offices and
residences of Hamid al-Heiss, and providing him with
protection for his movement. Al-Hurra TV channel and Radio
Sawa are being used to promote his phony claims and lies
against the Iraqi Islamic Party.
For sure, these people would not have dared to threaten the
Islamic Party if it was not for their feeling that their
attitude would be welcomed and accepted.
The party will deal with such threats according to the law,
but at the same time asks: "When will the United States
disassociate itself from such figures with histories of being
a source of nuisance and instability for Iraq and Iraqis?"
It is unacceptable to us that this situation continues; for
that reason I am writing to you out of our eagerness to
maintain the strong ties that we have with you and in order
to avoid any misunderstandings. I sincerely hope that you
will promptly see that the appropriate steps are taken.
With sincere appreciation,
General Secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party
February 10, 2008
End text of letter.