According to the BBC,
More than 30 people have been killed and scores injured in suicide bombings in northern Iraq.
A car bomber killed more than 20 people when he was stopped by police and local militias in Baiji, about 250km (155 miles) north of Baghdad.
Later, a suicide bomber killed 10 people in Baquba, at the funeral of a father and son who were part of a Sunni group allied to US forces.
A number of Sunni tribal militias have turned against al-Qaeda.
They are credited with pushing back al-Qaeda in areas where they had been operating with relative freedom.
US officials say this has helped reduce attacks in Iraq by 60% since June.
But neighbourhood patrols have increasingly come under attack from Sunni radicals.
In Baiji, the bomb hit people queuing to buy gas cylinders in a residential area. Women and children were reported to be among those killed.
Witnesses said the attack there targeted a security checkpoint on a road leading to a residential compound housing employees of the Northern Oil Company.
Baiji, a mostly Sunni area in Salahuddin province, has been relatively quiet in the past two years and the presence of the militias could explain why it is being targeted once more by suicide bombers, says the BBC’s Jo Floto in Baghdad.
At least 19 people were killed and dozens wounded in two car bomb attacks there in October.
The suicide blasts targeted the town’s police chief and a tribal leader, Thamer Ibrahim Atallah, a senior member of the Salahuddin Awakening Council.
In Tuesday’s attack at the funeral in Baquba, the capital of the restive Diyala province 60km (35 miles) north of Baghdad, the bomber, wearing a vest packed with explosives, also wounded 21 members of the local militia, police said.
Police said the father and son who were being buried had mistakenly been killed by US troops.
The US military has only said its troops killed two “armed individuals”.
I think the Shiites did it, with Iran’s encouragement. Iran knows the NIE for what it is–unconditional surrender–and they are going to make the most of it. Iraqi Sunnis have been mercilessly liquidating al Qaeda in Iraq more effectively than the Americans ever could, because they are now confident of American support and patronage. Of course, it’s possible that al Qaeda finally wormed its way through the discerning eyes of anti-AQ Sunnis thoroughly enough to pull off two spectacular bombings far apart, but I doubt it. Instead, I think Iranian-backed Shia militias are flexing their muscles, courtesy of the NIE’s signal of weakness from the US policy establishment.
The CIA has either 1) done nothing but undermine the rest of the executive branch for the past five years; or much more flatteringly 2) with or without the Soros nonprofits constellation, it has fomented massive unrest throughout the CIS, Serbia, Venezuela, and Burma, exactly along the lines of the template of Gene Sharp’s “bible of the color revolutions” From Dictatorship to Democracy. In the process it has turned Putin from a mildly liberal and pro-American, if Machiavellian neutral, into America’s number-one enemy. The CIA has done more damage to US foreign policy than any other single agency in the United States government–especially if, as I strongly suspect, Hayden was the official who treasonously leaked the details of the SWIFT program to the New York Times. (He was confirmed to head the CIA one month before the SWIFT leaked, and the program was privy to top secret security clearances only.)
The color revolution movement has proven itself an abject failure, and after the Burmese experiment I doubt that template will ever be used again; but the Dictatorship to Democracy “soft power” adherents still run the CIA, and as the NIE hijacking showed, they place their ideology ahead of loyalty to the government, not to mention policy execution by every other branch of the US government.
Update: Right on cue, the CIA is once again “blaming” the Bush Administration for torturing certified al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah. You can’t make this stuff up. The one known incidence in the past four years, in which the CIA measurably aided national security, happened only because Cheney or Addington probably stuck smoldering needles under the CIA’s fingernails. Naturally, the CIA itself had nothing to do with it:
CIA chief to drag White House into torture cover-up storm
THE CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of two top Al-Qaeda suspects has indicated he may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee.
Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, is determined not to become the fall guy in the controversy over the CIA’s use of torture, according to intelligence sources.
It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.
Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”
The tapes recorded the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two suspected Al-Qaeda leaders, over hundreds of hours while they were held in secret “ghost” prisons. According to testimony from a former CIA officer, Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding, a form of torture that simulates drowning, and “broke” after 35 seconds. He is believed to have been interrogated in Thailand. The tapes were destroyed in 2005. Both men are now held in Guantanamo Bay.
The House intelligence committee has subpoenaed Rodriguez to appear for a hearing on January 16. Last week the CIA began opening its files to congressional investigators. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat who is chairing the committee, has said he was “not looking for scapegoats” – a hint to Rodriguez that he would like him to talk.
Reyes is not looking for Democratic scapegoats, nor CIA scapegoats.
The Republican Party is certifiably stupid enough to deserve it, though. They are getting so gamed. They just have no clue what’s going on.
It’s just another reason why working for the current GOP elite is self-evidently a waste of any productive, honorable man’s time.
You wonder what the tipping point will be before a powerful pro-Bush security specialist organization such as Greystone finds success in quietly encouraging Langley officials to commit suicide. A government as integral to global affairs as America’s cannot long “function” like this, and there are too many organizations with far too much to lose for the CIA to be reincarnated as a 60’s-era version of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, always spying and manipulating the political process to its own political ends, undercutting the entire rest of the executive branch.