Iraq Terrorist in the White House?

If you want to get a preview of what post-American Iraq will look like read on. This week as part of the White House’s celebration of the U.S. departure from Iraq the president hosted several Iraqi officials; one of those brought into the White House by Iraq Prime Minister Nouri-al-Maliki was Iraq’s Transportation Minister Hadi Farhan al-Amiri.

Iraq Minister involved in Khobar Towers at White House?

Iraq Transportation Minister Al-Amiri isn’t your usual Iraq civil servant, but an FBI linked suspect in the 1996 terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen. What does a suspected terrorist being welcomed in the White House, when the likelihood that you or your neighbors will ever be given the same opportunity is virtually non-existent, tell you about this administration?

Iraq’s Prime Minister al-Maliki could not be unaware of al-Amiri’s history. Bringing him to the White House is a slap in the face of the families that lost loved ones in Khobar Towers and those who survived that act of cowardice. Why would the White House allow this man into the White House? There are two possible answers to the question, neither of which is very pleasant to ponder.

If the president and his staff allowed Iraq Minister al-Amiri into the White House knowing his history it’s a troubling representation of this administration’s view of terrorism, a term they don’t even like to use. Remember we’re in the midst of an overseas contingency operation, not a war on terror. The other possibility is that the White House was unaware of al-Amiri and when al-Maliki brought him in they did so without properly vetting a guest coming into the People’s House, showing a stunning level of incompetence. Until and if the truth ever comes out we’re left to speculate.

Outrage over Iraq Minister’s Visit

Survivors of the bombing of Khobar are reacting with outrage.

“Outrage at the visit to the White House really doesn’t describe what I feel,” said William M. Schooley, who survived the June 25, 1996, bombing of the Khobar Towers.

“I watched outstanding airmen die that night and witnessed horrific carnage. The survivors of Khobar Towers have been swept under the rug and now have received the greatest insult,” he added.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard was tied to the attack on the Khobar Towers and al-Amiri has had clear links to the Guard. The FBI has been trying to interview Mr. al-Amiri regarding what he knew of Iranian involvement in the attack for more than a decade but both the Iraq and Iran government have refused assistance.

A number of Congressmen have voiced concern over the White House’s decision to host al-Amiri.

Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Tuesday in a letter to President Obama that she had “grave concern” about Iraq Transportation Minister al-Amiri being admitted into the White House.

“Al-Amiri should have no part in a successful future in Iraq, and is unfit to receive a presidential audience,” Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen wrote.

Al-Amiri was commander of the Badr Corps, an offshoot of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and had associations with Revolutionary Guard Brig. Gen. Ahmad Sherifi, chief suspect in the attack. The Badr Corps was the militant wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq that has direct ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Eric Ziegler was an Air Force staff sergeant when he lived at the Khobar Towers in June 1996 lost all four of his roommates in the attack and said he was appalled that the Iraqi prime minister would include Mr. al-Amiri in his delegation to Washington adding, “To have someone like him here and then not be able to interrogate him is a slap in the face.”

Al-Maliki has played a game of promising the U.S. that moves to improve Iraq/Iran relations does not represent a move of Iraq towards the Iran while cozying up to the Iranian government. Maliki’s move to bring al-Amiri into the White House would lead one to believe that Iraq’s ties to Iran may be much more solid. The level of insult to the American’s directly affected by Khobar Towers is a nice thank you from the people Americans gave their lives to free. Once all U.S. military forces have left Iraq over the next few weeks you can expect their friendship with Iran to expand exponentially.

Was this Mr. Obama telegraphing his kinship with those that would like to destroy America, or gross incompetence? In either case, it’s one more example of why he and his crew need to be sent back to Chicago.
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