BREAKING: State Department official Iraq update is really compilation of plagiarized major media articles

Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what’s “really” happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he’s right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its “report.” And what’s really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a “liberal bias.” Here’s my friend’s report:

This is last week’s “Iraq Weekly Status Report” from the State Department.

It’s described thusly: “This comprehensive status report on Iraq provides weekly updates in the eight key areas identified as pillars of U.S. Government policy.”

Scroll through and it looks kind of impressive, lots of information — good job keeping on top of the game State Department! But scroll to the bottom and it lists the sources for the information. Now it woulda been nice if they included some footnotes in the body of the document to indicate they were including outside information, but as it turns out the entire thing is basically plagiarized word for word from those news articles, with the slightest of adjustments so as to maybe give the impression it’s in their own words. Drop this code below in a post to see what I mean, pretty pathetic that the US State Department would send this out as their official “Status Report” on the preeminent foreign policy clusterfuck of our generation, and plays right into Dowd’s point about Condi being lost in the funhouse and learning everything from the news.

1. Washington Post, 11/15/07:

Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government’s failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but “it’s unclear how long that window is going to be open.”

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 9):

Senior military commanders now portray the intransigence of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaida terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. Several U.S. military officials have expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government’s failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but “it’s unclear how long that window is going to be open.”

2. AP, 11/14/07:

The Iraqi government seized the west Baghdad headquarters of a powerful Sunni Muslim group today, cordoning off the building and accusing the group of supporting al-Qaida, officials said. The Association of Muslim Scholars, a hardline Sunni clerics group with links to insurgents, has its headquarters in the Um al-Qura mosque in the capital’s Sunni-dominated Ghazaliyhah neighborhood.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 3,9):

The Iraqi government seized the west Baghdad headquarters of a powerful Muslim group November 14, cordoning off the building and accusing the supporting al-Qaida, officials said. The Association of Muslim Scholars, Sunni clerics group with links to insurgents, has its headquarters in the mosque in the capital’s Sunni-dominated Ghazaliyhah neighborhood.

3. UPI, 11/19/07:

The United Nations announced it will help the Iraqi government with the increasing number of refugees returning to their homes. In a statement, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Staffan de Mistura said the assistance is a result of a request by the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration. As there are indications that both refugees and (internally displaced people) are starting to return back to their homes, we stand behind the Iraqi government in ensuring that this initial positive return is properly assisted and implemented,” Mistura said. Aid and relief agencies estimate 2 million people fled the country since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent sectarian fighting, while another 2.3 million left their homes for other parts of Iraq. The assistance will include technical advice, developing monitoring and data-gathering tools and providing capacity-building support to the ministry, a U.N. statement said.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 4, 26):

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Staffan de Mistura announced the UN will help the GOI with the increasing number of refugees returning to their homes. The assistance will include technical advice, developing monitoring and data-gathering tools and providing capacity-building support to the ministry, a U.N. statement said.

4. Voices of Iraq, 11/18/07:

The Iraqi Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to better assist journalists in their work and grant them any permission necessary for the fulfillment of their mission.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 4, 29):

Strengthen Public Understanding Insurgents
The Iraqi Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Kurdistan Regional Government to better assist journalists in their work and grant them any permission necessary for the fulfillment of their mission.

5.UPI, 11/16/07:

Oil companies are welcome to Iraq, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said, except for the “opportunist” firms already in Iraqi Kurd territory. Iraq is moving toward signing a batch of oil deals, with or without a national oil law, as it attempts to pick up production of the world’s third-largest oil reserves. “All the major oil companies … are very interested for obvious reasons to come work in Iraq and with the improved security conditions they’ve been approaching us and indicating their keen interest,” Shahristani told reporters on the sidelines of an OPEC summit in Riyadh. “We have always told them that they are most welcome to come work in Iraq with us and we don’t necessarily need a new hydrocarbon law to do that. “We have our prevailing laws that allow the minister of oil in Iraq to sign any kind of contract; of course it has to be presented to the Parliament depending on the kind of contract,” Shahristani said. “We have already started talking to a few major oil c
ompanies who are interested in the super giant fields in the south which are already producing. We are producing oil from there but there are new technologies, they have been working and studying these fields. We’ll find a way to cooperate to enhance production from these fields and make more oil available to the world market.” While Baghdad has only recently said it would soon sign oil deals, based on a Saddam Hussein-era oil law, the Kurdistan Regional Government passed its own oil law in August and since then has signed 14 oil deals with smaller international oil companies.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 13):

Speaking about international investment opportunities, Shahristani said all companies, except for the “opportunist” firms already in Iraqi Kurd territory, are welcome to invest in Iraq. Iraq is moving toward signing a batch of oil deals, with or without a national oil law, as it attempts to pick up production of the world’s third-largest oil reserves. While Baghdad has only recently said it would sign oil deals based on a Saddam Hussein-era oil law, the Kurdistan Regional Government passed its own oil law and has signed 14 oil deals with smaller international oil companies.

6. New York Times, 11/16/07:

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has approved the trial of two Shiite former officials who are accused of killing and kidnapping hundreds of Sunnis, according to American advisers to the Iraqi judicial system.

The case, which could come to trial as early as this month, would be the first that involved bringing to trial such high-ranking Shiites for sectarian crimes.

An Iraqi judge ruled last month that there was sufficient evidence to try the two former officials, who held senior positions in the Health Ministry. But there had been concern that the ministry might try to block the case by invoking a section of the Iraqi criminal law that proscribes the prosecution of officials who are executing their official duties.

The approval to hold a trial was provided in a memo issued earlier this week by the acting health minister. Mr. Maliki has formally endorsed the decision, American officials said.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 4, 25):

According to American advisers to the Iraqi judicial system, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has approved the trial of two former Shiite officials who are accused of killing and kidnapping hundreds of Sunnis.

o The case, which could come to trial as early as this month, would be the first that involved bringing to trial such high-ranking Shiites for sectarian crimes.

o An Iraqi judge ruled last month that there was sufficient evidence to try the two former officials, who held senior positions in the Ministry of Health (MoH), but there had been concern that the MoH might try to block the case by invoking a section of the Iraqi criminal law that proscribes the prosecution of officials who are executing their official duties.

o The approval to hold a trial was provided in a memo issued earlier this week by the acting minister in the MoH. PM Maliki has formally endorsed the decision.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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