COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY BRIEFING
WITH DANIEL SENOR, SENIOR ADVISER, COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY;
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, COALITION OPERATIONS;
LOCATION: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
DATE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 2004
MR. SENOR: You've heard many times from this podium the
coalition is in the process of handing over authority to the Iraqi people, the
Iraqi Governing Council, the Iraqi ministries. Every single day, more and more
responsibilities and authorities are handed over, which will culminate June 30th
when complete sovereignty is handed over. But as I said, each day there are a
number of things, a number of responsibilities that are handed over. Some are
symbolic, others are operational, and some are both.
Today there was a hand-over of something both operational and symbolic. The
Iraqi postmaster-general, Ibrahim, and the Iraqi minister of communication, Dr.
Haider al-Ebadi, announced today the new Iraqi stamp. (To staff) If you could
pull it up.
This the first stamp post-Saddam Hussein. The Postal Service, as many of you
know, was the first public service to reopen in this country following the war,
and this is the next step, providing or augmenting the complete postal system
with the new Iraqi stamp.
Five million stamps will be available at post offices across the country
beginning Thursday. They can be purchased at the post office. The new stamp is
100 dinars per stamp. And there will be new designs of the stamps, I am told by
the Iraqi authorities, coming out in the weeks and months ahead.
Approximately 80 percent of the 275 post offices that were operational before
the war are now open for business. The first international contract to be signed
since the 1991 Gulf War was between Iraq and Kuwait for the exchange of
international mail between the two countries. That was recently signed. And the
first trainload of international mail left Baghdad for Kuwait in mid-July, after
international mail exchanges were suspended with the closure of neighboring
borders at the start of the war.
Approximately 3,000 postal workers, almost the entire former postal workforce,
have returned to work by the end of July. Other objectives are to be -- are to
develop a postal code system and to digitize postal services by introducing new
technology and services in the months ahead.
So look out for the new stamp. You can purchase them at the post office,
starting Thursday. And we brought a sheet so each member of the press corps here
can get their own stamps. So stick around after the press conference. They'll be
available up front. You can start sending letters to your family and friends
Ambassador Bremer intends to write a short note to President Bush. He typically
sends cables back to the White House via e-mail, but this time he will write
one, and they will send it in an envelope, sealed, with an Iraqi stamp on it.
Other news around the country:
The Diwaniyah Women's Rights Center opened just yesterday. The purpose of the
center is to assist widowed, impoverished and vulnerable women as they improve
their lives and those of their children. The center will enable the women to
participate in a free, democratic Iraq.
Open to all women, the center is not owned nor operated by any particular group
or individual. The women who will run the center will be democratically elected.
Activities offered at the center will include women and children's nutrition and
health classes, literacy and English programs, an Internet cafe to teach
computer and Internet skills to local women, and democracy education.
The Women's Rights Center represents the second center to open in the south
central region, which represents approximately 12 million people. The Coalition
Provisional Authority, the United States Agency for International Development,
USAID, and the Office of Transition Initiatives worked with women from all
across Diwaniyah to establish the center.
In the coming weeks, more centers will be opened throughout the south central
region of Iraq.
Next, for upcoming events, there will be a town hall meeting in Mosul on January
12th. That is this Monday. This is a town hall meeting that follows the one held
a couple of weeks ago in Basra and is a precursor to a town hall meeting that
will be held in Baghdad at the end of this month. These are town hall meetings
organized by Iraqi officials to stimulate dialogue on the political process. The
most urgent event in the political process is the transitional law, which -- the
deadline for which is February 28th.
And so there will be discussion about that and obviously an opportunity for
local Iraqis from the Mosul area to ask questions of the officials. The
officials will include Dr. Mekdad Ramet ala al-Douri (sp), who's a professor of
Mosul's University -- Mosul University's College of Science. He will be, as I
said, the moderator. Panelists: Sheikh Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, who's a
member of the Iraqi Governing Council, will be speaking on the November 15th
agreement and the shape of the National Assembly.
Governor Ghanim al-Basso will talk about democracy and empowerment of the Iraqi
people. He's well known for having risen to the rank of brigadier general in the
old Iraqi army, but was released in '93 following an attempt, an assassination
attempt on Saddam Hussein by family associates of his. He's currently the
governor of Nineveh, which he became governor in May of this year -- sorry, May
of last year.
Discussion on the transitional law and the bill of rights will be led by the
deputy governor, Khasro Goran, who is the former general director of the Kurdish
And there will be a discussion on decentralization and security issues led by
Dr. Shifa Hadi Hussein Ali al-Hamadi (ph), who's a member of the Nineveh
Provincial Council and is a professor at Mosul University.
That event will be held, as I said, on January 12 from 12:30 to 3:30. And if you
would like to attend it is being held at the Mosul Social Club. If you want
specific directions, please stick around after the press conference, we'll have
someone over here to provide you those details. Press coverage is allowed and
encouraged. It will also be carried live on Al-Iraqiyah.
Finally, General Kimmitt is going to do a brief presentation on the Iraqi Civil
Defense Corps. As we continue to integrate the Civil Defense Corps in all the
security -- many of the security operations led by U.S. forces, I remind you
that there are more Iraqis today in security positions defending their own
country than there are Americans in Iraq securing this country. And there
continues to be increased enthusiasm among Iraqis to play a role in the security
of their country.
One anecdote I provide you: the 4th Infantry Division civil affairs teams
assisted with the recruitment of 100 new ICDC personnel for the Delta Company.
There were 100 slots open for the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and they reported
yesterday that when they announced the recruitment of this, 500 individuals
showed up. It seems that joining the ICDC is becoming increasingly popular among
young males, and we view this as an encouraging sign.
GEN. KIMMITT: Thank you. Mr. Senor asked me to show a small clip. Recently we
have started the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps conducting independent operations. Up
to this point, the ICDC has been operating inside of American units. And
recently we have started allowing the ICDC to achieve a level of training --
they have achieved a level of training where they are conducting their own
independent operations, with coalition soldiers operating inside their
organizations, with the eventual task and the eventual objective to be that the
ICDC personnel will run their own operations, conduct their own operations, be
responsible for their own areas of operation. This was up near Ar Ramadi, near
Highway 10. This is a shot of them working through the town. The Americans and
the coalition forces are there to provide logistical support, communications
support. But as you can see, the bulk -- and one man is carrying a mine-sweeper.
But the bulk of the work is being actually done by Iraqis, for Iraqis, and
defending the country of Iraq.
This operation is continuing; should go on for a couple of more days. We expect
in the days and weeks ahead to turn over more and more of the security
responsibility on an independent basis to the soldiers of the Iraqi Civil
Let me go ahead and give the evening briefing.
Over the past week, there's been an average of 17 engagements daily against the
coalition military, just over two attacks against Iraqi security forces, and
just over one attack daily against Iraqi civilians. The coalition remains
offensively oriented to kill or capture anti-coalition elements and enemies of
the Iraqi people, to obtain intelligence for future operations, and to ensure
the people of Iraq of our determination to continue to establish a safe and
To that end, in the past 24 hours, the coalition conducted 1,551 patrols, 30
offensive operations, 24 raids, and captured 159 anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi
In the northern zone of operations, coalition forces conducted 193 patrols, 15
cordon-and-knocks, and detained 17 individuals. As part of Operation Fury,
coalition forces and Iraqi security forces conducted cordon-and-knocks at 10
locations for 12 suspected members of the Return Party. Forces detained eight of
the 12 primary targets in an operation without casualties or shots fired.
Another medical clinic opened in Balaj (ph), and an Armenian kindergarten was
reopened in downtown Mosul, following $6,500 in repairs funded by Commanders
Emergency Response Program funds. Seventy-seven metric tons of infant formula
were delivered and will be distributed over the next few days. This is a
significant development for Mosul, as there has been a shortage of formula in
recent months, and we've received several hotline calls complaining of the
In the north-central zone of operations, coalition and Iraqi security forces
conducted 16 patrols, 6 raids, and captured 60 individuals. As a follow-up to
the Shi'a mosque bombing in Baqubah, eye-witnesses report a man on a bicycle
with a propane tank tied to his back tried to enter the mosque's ground. After
being denied entrance, the individual moved a short distance away and detonated
the explosive device. The attacker was killed in the explosion. No coalition
personnel were killed or injured in the incident.
Coalition forces conducted a raid near Tikrit, targeting suspected Fedayeen cell
members, and captured 30 individuals, including 12 primary targets. Coalition
forces conducted a cordon-and-search targeting individuals suspected of
conducting attacks against coalition forces near Balad. The search resulted in
18 individuals captured and the confiscated -- confiscation of significant
amounts of ammunition and weapons.
In the Baghdad region, coalition and Iraqi security forces conducted two
offensive operations and 507 patrols, of which 53 were conducted with Iraqi
security forces. These operations resulted in the capture of 19 enemy personnel.
Coalition forces conducted a raid to capture an individual suspected of planning
a rocket attack against a hotel. The unit captured two enemy, one being the
primary target, confiscating weapons and passports.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, enemy personnel driving a red Opel sedan fired two
rocket-propelled grenade rounds, which impacted at the Al-Hayat Hotel. A
coalition contractor received minor injuries. There were no coalition soldiers
injured in the attack, and the hotel sustained minor damage.
In the western zone of operations, coalition and Iraqi security forces conducted
199 patrols, six offensive operations. Forces denied entry to 130 personnel at
Trebil, all because they lacked passports, and turned no one away at Husbayat
(ph), Tanif (ph) or Arar.
Recovery of the UH-60 crash site was completed yesterday, south of Fallujah. The
investigation to determine the cause of the aircraft downing is not complete,
but the preliminary reports indicate that the medevac helicopter was brought
down by ground fire.
Coalition solders were engaged in the west with five RPGs and small armed forces
-- small-arm fires northeast of Habbaniya. The fire was ineffective, and the
unit immediately returned fire, establishing a cordon of the area and responding
with a ground QRF, which subsequently cleared the area. Twelve enemy personnel
were captured, and near that engagement area they found 10 fighting positions
prepared and recovered over 50 rocket-propelled grenades on the ground.
Coalition forces conducted a raid on a business in Husbayat (ph) that was
suspected of storing weapons and munitions for use against coalition forces. The
operation was conducted without incident and resulted in the capture of 17
Coalition forces conducted training -- conducted the training for 329 border
police and 240 police recruits throughout the western region. The next Iraqi
Civil Defense Corps classes are scheduled to begin today.
In the central south zone of operations, coalition forces reported that the
Iraqi police station in Mulamin (sp), five kilometers north of Karbala, was
attacked by rocket-propelled grenade fire. There were no casualties and only
minor damage to the police station.
Coalition representatives attended the opening ceremonies of the medical clinic
in the village of al Tunis (ph), and a school for girls north of Al Hillah. Both
projects, again, funded by the Commanders Emergency Response Program.
In the southeastern zone of operations, three new Commanders Emergency Response
Program projects began in the region; one to purchase 720,000 liters of kerosene
to be delivered to the Dhi Qar municipal city councils; and another to fix three
pumps for the oil pipeline company in An Nasiriyah; and a third to build a new
stadium in Shuka Shuka (ph). The job creation program in Maysan province has
employed over 4,000 workers, over 400 supervisors, and cleared over 1,100 tons
of debris this week.
Coalition forces conducted an information campaign regarding the Enhanced
Rewards Program for information leading to the arrest of the final 13 of the top
55 high-value targets.
Coalition forces remain on track with training and equipping new Iraqi security
forces. Over 1,600 sidearms will be delivered to Iraqi police in the region by
15 January. Additional equipment is being purchased to enhance the capability of
the security forces, as well as accelerate the transfer of authority.
MR. SENOR: We are happy to take questions.
Q Saddam Hussein has been granted prisoner of war status, according to the
Pentagon yesterday. Does that change at all the way he is being handled now?
Number one. Does that at all limit his ability to then be handed over to an
Iraqi-run tribunal? There is some indication that if he is granted that status,
he could only be treated by the occupation force or by an international body.
And the third question related to this is, according to something I read, he
gets a monthly salary or payment. Anything on that?
MR. SENOR: We have said all along that Saddam Hussein would be treated according
to the Geneva Convention. And according to the Geneva Convention, Saddam Hussein
is an enemy prisoner of war until determined otherwise. This designation leaves
his final status undetermined and unaffected. But it does, under the Geneva
Convention, designate him as an enemy prisoner of war.
Q Leaving final status -- so he could, then, be handed over to an Iraqi tribunal
when the final status is decided?
MR. SENOR: President Bush has said that the pursuit of justice with regard to
Saddam Hussein should have an Iraqi leadership role. And the final status, his
ultimate disposition, could be determined by future evidence that comes forward,
Q Maram Hamad Ali (sp) from (inaudible name) newspaper. In post-meeting, in
post-conference, Mr. Bremer said that there is a new list of new criminals that
you will establish in 24 hours. And three days was late from that speech. I
don't know where is the new list.
MR. SENOR: The individuals -- you're talking about for the new rewards program?
You're referring to the new rewards program, the new rewards we're announcing
for a new list of targets?
Q The new list for all targets, yes.
MR. SENOR: Yeah. Sure.
GEN. KIMMITT: Outside.
MR. SENOR: It's outside?
General Kimmitt has just told me the list is outside. The reason for the delay,
however -- the list had been compiled, but the reason it was not made public
immediately is because they were ongoing operations involving the target of some
of those individuals. And we did not want to alert those individuals that they
were being targeted vis-a-vis a reward program. It could have disrupted some of
the operations by giving them information.
But the list is outside now, and General Kimmitt can --
GEN. KIMMITT: One clarification. The list of the final 13 and the amount of
money that we are putting against each of those targets is outside by the CPIC.
The tier 2 and the tier 3 -- those that we are offering up to $200,000 reward --
we still have active operations going against them. When those active operations
are concluded, we will provide that list.
MR. SENOR: Yes, sir?
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: As I understand your question, which I will pass over to Mr.
Senor, you have said that the United States and the coalition administrations
have labeled him a criminal and a war criminal prior to the war. Why is that we
are now treating him as an enemy prisoner of war, after the war? Is that
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: (To Mr. Senor.) Right. Before we called him a criminal. Now we're
calling him a prisoner of war. Why is that?
MR. SENOR: Under the Geneva Convention -- General Kimmitt will fix my
translation device here. Thanks.
Under the Geneva Convention, as the leader of a government at which -- with
which the United States government was at war, he is now technically an enemy
prisoner of war. But that status, his ultimate designation, is neither affected
nor determined by that designation.
So, until further information comes forward, that is the status. It's just a
fact of the Geneva Convention and the rules and the regulations under which we
are governed with regard to Saddam Hussein.
Yes? In the back.
Q (In Arabic.)
MR. SENOR: I'm not in a position to speculate on the type of evidence. There
will be a thorough investigation and an indictment prepared. We are going to let
that process play out. It will be a process that has a substantial leadership
role by the Iraqi people. So let's let that play out.
Q (Inaudible name) -- from Reuters. There are rumors that number four on the
wanted list, Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, has died in U.S. custody. Could you
comment on that? And also, in practical terms, what does Saddam's state as a
prisoner of war actually mean? How will he be treated differently to a war
GEN. KIMMITT: We are unaware of any facts that would suggest that Number Four
died. But we'll check up on that.
MR. SENOR: And in terms of all the specifics of how he is treated as an enemy
prisoner of war, that is something for the lawyers to delve into. We can provide
you access to their evaluation and their information, to provide you sort of
specifics on that.
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: While Mr. Senor is getting that information, I was handed a note.
We can confirm that there has been no death of any of the high-value detainees
MR. SENOR: And in terms of the speed of the reconstruction, reconstructing a
country that was devastated and maligned and grossly underinvested in for over
three decades is not an easy job. This country was essentially under complete
totalitarian control, under Saddam Hussein's kleptocracy in which none of the
country's resources were dedicated to the reconstruction -- or the construction
of Iraq in the first place, but rather to palaces and to an offensive -- grossly
offensive military operation. That said, despite the challenges, I think if you
look at historical comparisons, the coalition has done a very impressive job in
the work thus far in reconstructing the country.
I point you to another example when the United States government led a similar
initiative, which was following World War II in Germany. Following World War II,
in the reconstruction, it took eight months for local governments to be
installed; in Iraq that process began after two months. In Germany it took three
years for the establishment of an independent central bank; in Iraq that took
just two months. In Germany it took 14 months for the German police force -- the
new German police force to be established; in Iraq that process began just after
two months. In Germany it took three years for there to be a new currency; we
got that process started just after 2-1/2 months after the war, and on January
15th the process will be completed entirely, with the entire old currency
switched out and the new currency implemented and spread throughout the country.
Training a new military in Germany took a decade before that process began; in
Iraq the process began after three months. A major reconstruction plan in
Germany wasn't in place until three years after the end of World War II; in Iraq
our major reconstruction plan was in place after four months, following the end
of major combat operations.
Cabinet in Germany, cabinet of ministers was seated 14 months after the war; in
Iraq it took just four months. Full sovereignty in Germany was not granted to
the German people until 10 years after World War II; full sovereignty will be
granted to the Iraqi people one year following the end of major combat
New constitution in Germany took four years; we are on track right now for a new
constitution to be drafted and ratified by the Iraqi people just 2-1/2 years
after the end of major combat operations. National elections in Germany took
four years; we are on track for national elections in Iraq to take just
approximately three years.
So we recognize it's tough work, but we will put our record against any
reconstruction effort anywhere else this has been tried by us or any other
country, and are proud of the results.
Yes, sir, in the back.
Q I'm glad you brought up World War II, because this kind of ties into that.
Ward Sanderson with Stars and Stripes. I was wondering, how do you resolve or
deal with these conflicting needs to both grow free speech and ban a certain
type of political speech, being support for the Ba'ath Party? I'm referring to
the arrests of some high school students last month. Not specifically that
incident, but just that dilemma in general. How does one decide what is a crime,
what is not, in that sort of support for the former regime and that sort of
MR. SENOR: Sure. We have to strike a balance between the protection of free
speech,and the protection of a free press in the new Iraq, and the protection
against incitement of violence against the coalition or against fellow Iraqis.
And so that is the determination we must make, for instance, if there is a
newspaper that's inciting violence, about where does one draw the line, where
does one cross the line and begin to incite violence and turn the clock back on
As regards Ba'ath party symbols and Ba'ath party literature, to the overwhelming
majority of Iraqis, the Ba'ath party represents a few things: torture chambers,
rape rooms, mass graves, chemical attacks. It is very important for the Iraqi
people to know that Saddam Hussein and his evil regime and the Ba'ath party are
gone and they are not coming back. And anyone that would seek to use the
messages and the images and the symbols of the Ba'ath party to indicate anything
else will not be tolerated during this reconstruction.
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: You would have to give me a specific example of an instance where
a target who was abroad had his relatives detained here. I'm unaware of those.
But if you could give us some specific examples, we could examine them for you
and get back to you.
MR. SENOR: Yes, sir.
Q Rham Ragerpath (ph) from CNN. I'd just like to follow up a little bit about
the prisoner of war question. It appears that, according to the reports I have
seen today, that some Governing Council members were deeply disappointed. They
said that they believed that this basically meant that the case was slipping out
of their hands. Did you inform the Governing Council? Have you clarified to them
what you told us today, that basically, you know, the final status -- what does
the Iraqi Governing Council know about this whole classification, and where does
that stand right now?
MR. SENOR: Well, as I said, his -- Saddam Hussein's ultimate disposition is
unaffected and undetermined by this designation. And we are communicating that
to the Governing Council. So there is no need for concern by anybody, because
the ultimate designation will be determined down the road. Right now, we are
governed under the Geneva Convention, and the Geneva Convention is clear on
this. Saddam Hussein is to be treated as an enemy prisoner of war until
Yes, sir, in the back?
Q Yeah. Daniel Williams from The Washington Post. There was a report on the
wires that Danish forces had picked up artillery shells with some odd substance
inside that could be chemical, or they -- there was speculation it could be some
sort of chemical agent. Could you tell us the latest on that, please?
GEN. KIMMITT: I can confirm that on the 10th of January, 120-millimeter mortar
rounds were found buried approximately 75 kilometers south of al-Amarah. Thirty
to forty rounds had been uncovered when we received this report. Most were
wrapped in plastic bags. Some of them were leaking. The Danish EOD did confirm
that there is some liquid inside the rounds, and we're doing some preliminary
tests on those to ensure that they either -- that if they do contain any kind of
blister agent, so on and so forth, they're properly disposed of.
We have got the United Kingdom joint NBC -- nuclear, biological, chemical --
regiment on site. We've cordoned the area; we've secured the area. We suspect
that this is ordnance that may have been left over from the Iran-Iraq war in the
Q I'm Basal Hej (ph) from al-Minal (ph) newspaper. (Continues in Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: This is a coalition of six divisions right now and 35 countries.
Those division commanders answer to the Coalition Joint Task Force commander. We
interact amongst the divisions and between the divisions frequently. Every time
we have a commanders' conference, we bring all the commanders together,
regardless of their country of origin. We share tactics, techniques and
procedures. One of the great aspects of working in a coalition is the ability to
learn from each other's countries what they're doing right and what -- and then
they can ask if we have any tips on how to improve operations in our areas, say
in the north or the south or the west.
The number of attacks, in comparing them by region by region, probably has more
to do with the existing conditions in that region before the outbreak of
coalition warfare -- before the coalition war. But I would tell you that we are
always talking amongst each other, sharing tips. And we have learned a lot from
our British colleagues as Americans, we've learned a lot from our Polish
colleagues, and all 35 countries have learned a lot from each other.
MR. SENOR: I would just add to that on the civilian side that there are 17
nations represented on the civilian reconstruction staff headed by Ambassador
Bremer. Each day when I go to work I am joined by colleagues from the U.K., from
Australia, from Spain, Italy; we have Poles, we have Czechs, we have citizens
from all over the world who are playing a significant, meaningful role in the
reconstruction of this country -- despite, I might add, very saddening attacks
that occur from time to time against members of the coalition, both military and
civilian. What comes to mind, of course, is the death of the two Japanese
diplomats that served with the Coalition Provisional Authority. And yet, the
Japanese government, like other governments that have suffered attacks -- the
Italians, the Spaniards -- did not compromise their commitment one iota to the
reconstruction of this country. And the international integration and role
performed by the Coalition Provisional Authority remains fully intact.
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: Do you want to talk about the -- (inaudible).
MR. SENOR: My headset is not working, so --
GEN. KIMMITT: The question was, what is the status of the national -- (off
MR. SENOR: Oh. That is a issue being determined by the U.S. Department of
Defense contracting office. My understanding is that an announcement was made
within the last 24 or 36 hours about a specific contractor, but I would refer
you to the Department of Defense for that information.
GEN. KIMMITT: With regards to military operations, Kirkuk today is quite quiet.
We've had no reports of any outbreaks of violence in the region.
MR. SENOR: Carolyn?
Q I have a question about compensation for civilian casualties. Is it the case
that you can only file a claim if the circumstances in which someone was shot
are deemed by the U.S. military to be a noncombat situation? And secondly, can I
ask you about your investigation into the journalists -- or men posing as
journalists who you said fired at you in Fallujah at the site of that helicopter
crash last week?
GEN. KIMMITT: In light of a number of issues that came up today with the
occupation now in some of the other briefings, we anticipated there would be a
number of questions about the claims procedure. We have a lawyer who works
specifically in that area standing by after the briefing. Rather than have a
non-lawyer explain the procedure, let me defer him -- he will be here standing
With regard to Fallujah, the investigation is ongoing. That investigation is
being handled by the 82nd Airborne out of Ar Ramadi, and no determination has
been concluded at this point. The investigation is still ongoing.
Q Patrick McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Senor, you were talking about
the large international staff here. Do you envision a time when most of the
international staff can live outside of a protected green zone? And when do you
think might that happen? Might that happen by June 30th? And what does it say to
you about the state of security here that much of the international staff has to
indeed live within a protected zone such as this?
MR. SENOR: When you say protected zone, are you referring specifically to the
green zone that we're in now?
Q Specifically to the green zone, yes.
MR. SENOR: Actually, a majority of the members of the civilian coalition staff
live outside of the green zone. The overwhelming majority of our reconstruction
staff are spread out in local communities in field offices across the country.
So this is the headquarters that exists ins the green zone, but we are
represented throughout the country outside of this area.
Q (In Arabic.)
MR. SENOR: The Department of Defense, which confirmed the EPW status of Saddam
Hussein yesterday, would be the one to address the other individuals you're
inquiring about. So I would refer you to the Department of Defense on that
With regard to unemployment, we are working on reconstructing the Iraqi economy,
as I said, after over three decades of devastation and destruction and chronic
underinvestment by Saddam Hussein and his cronies and his kleptocracy. We are
doing a lot right now to get the basic infrastructure up and running so this
economy can be self-sustainable without any outside support over the long, long
term from the international community. It means fixing the electrical
infrastructure. It means helping the Iraqis fix the oil infrastructure. It means
rebuilding this country from head to toe. It means having the appropriate
security in place so those engaging in business and investing in this country
can feel confident that it's sufficiently stable. It's going to be a lot of work
after over three decades of devastation. But we're working on it.
I would highlight that the U.S. Congress has appropriated over $18 billion to be
spent in this country. That's almost twice the country's GDP. Now, that will
have an enormous impact on this country. It will have a ripple effect across the
board as it puts more and more cash in the pockets of Iraqis who are doing jobs,
because we are going to be focused on contractors, and specifically
subcontractors that are committed to employing Iraqis and putting Iraqi small
business and medium-size businesses to work.
And it will also have a capacity building effect. We want to help develop
industries here so that after we have finished our work, there is a viable --
for instance, a viable construction industry in place here that can go on and
work independently. So economic revitalization is a key focus of the coalition,
and it certainly is a key focus of the Governing Council, which just a few
months ago passed their own economic program that caps personal and corporate
income tax rates at 15 percent. It provides no limits on foreign ownership or
foreign investment, outside of oil and natural -- and minerals and real estate.
It provides very limited tariffs, so Iraq can have a flourishing free trade
relationship with its neighbors. These are all important ingredients, according
to the Governing Council, to making this a successful economy over the long run.
And that will be the greatest contribution to addressing the unemployment issues
that you're talking about.
Yes? Go ahead, sir.
Q Thank you very much. (Name inaudible) -- from BBC. (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: On the first question, there was no deal brokered between the
coalition forces and Saddam for changing his status to an enemy prisoner of war.
Second, Saddam Hussein remains in a safe location under coalition custody.
MR. SENOR: Yes, sir?
Q The second question, please. (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: (To Mr. Senor) Do you know of any -- did DOD broker any deal
between Saddam and --
MR. SENOR: To my knowledge, no. This was just a confirmation of what the United
States government had said all along, which is that Saddam Hussein would be
treated under the Geneva Convention, until determined otherwise. And under the
Geneva Convention, he is an enemy prisoner of war.
GEN. KIMMITT: (To Mr. Senor) And do you know if Saddam has been transferred out
MR. SENOR: Not to my knowledge.
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: On the first question, I can confirm that General Sanchez will not
remain in Iraq for an indefinite period of time. We would expect that there will
be a change of command sometime in the next -- in the coming months, as the 5th
United States Corps goes back to Germany. However, we don't believe at this
point that his return to Germany will be linked to the return of his
headquarters, but that he will remain for some period of time after that as
commander of Coalition Joint Task Force 7.
That's not an unusual precedent. That was also done in Afghanistan when General
Dan McNeill was the commander of Combined Joint Task Force 180 while the 18th
Airborne Corps remained at Fort Bragg. So it's not an unusual precedent, and I
wouldn't read anything into it.
MR. SENOR: We have time for one more question. Yes, ma'am?
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. KIMMITT: I think it would be inappropriate for us to comment on what is
going on with regards to the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. I don't think many
people do know about that. That is a very carefully monitored program with very,
very limited access.
Thank you very much.
MR. SENOR: Thank you, everybody.