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Cablegate: Post Response to Leahy Vetting in Iraq

VZCZCXRO4905
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2158 1931232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111232Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8261
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002158

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KJUS PINS IZ
SUBJECT: POST RESPONSE TO LEAHY VETTING IN IRAQ

REF: STATE 69301

1. Post concurs with recommendations detailed in reftel.

2. As the security situation continues to stabilize in Iraq,
specific USG security assistance programs will need to
further comply with Leahy Amendment vetting. Post recommends
the programs detailed below be vetted according to provided
guidelines. Post recommends the continuation of current
Embassy vetting procedures for the IMET program of checking
names against FBI databases at Post and Department databases
via cable, and that vetting does not apply retroactively.
Since 2006, Iraqi military personnel nominated for IMET have
been vetted in accordance with standard Leahy procedures,
using the automated fingerprint identification system through
the FBI and then sending candidate nominations to the
Department for vetting by NEA/I, INR, and DRL.

3. Post recommends Leahy vetting begin as prescribed in this
cable at the beginning of fiscal year 2009, October 1, 2008.
Until this date, Post will develop new procedures and
coordinate new policy with affected agencies and groups. At
the beginning of fiscal year 2010, Post will re-examine
current policy to determine whether Leahy vetting should
expand to include more, or all, individuals in each unit and
program. As security improves in Iraq, this modified
procedure will be re-evaluated. To facilitate these efforts,
Post requests that the Department send relevant vetting
models in use for other countries, such as Afghanistan,
Colombia, and Sri Lanka, as case studies.

INCLE-FUNDED PROGRAMS: PLAN OF ACTION

4. Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF): Post recommends that any
future individuals assigned to the MCTF be vetted using the
Embassy's current Leahy vetting procedures for the IMET
program. If credible allegations of human rights violations
arise, assignment to MCTF will be deferred pending review and
decision, per the procedures described in the Leahy Vetting
Guide (April 2007). Post recommends that any future tactical
component dedicated to the MCTF be vetted as a unit,
including its commander and other senior officers.

5. Commission of Integrity (CoI): Post recommends that, for
purposes of Leahy vetting, only the CoI investigative unit
and CoI security personnel -- departments whose staff are
authorized to carry weapons -- merit categorization as a
security force; other CoI departments (public affairs, public
disclosure, etc.) do not function as a security force. Post
agrees that CoI investigators and security personnel selected
for USG-funded training should be vetted using Post's
existing procedures for the IMET program. Post proposes to
initiate vetting of CoI leadership, including the
commissioner and deputy, directors general, and the heads of
each CoI geographical unit, as well as vetting of
investigators/security personnel nominated for USG-funded
training at the beginning of FY09.

6. Iraqi Corrections Service (ICS) Prisons and Detention
Facilities, the Kurdistan Regional Government Prisons and
Detention Facilities and MoLSA Juvenile Detention Facilities:
Post recommends that the top leadership, including the
directors and deputy directors in the ICS and prison wardens
and deputy wardens, where applicable, be vetted using Post's
existing Leahy vetting for the IMET program.

7. Judicial Protection Service (JPS): At this time, the
Higher Judicial Council (HJC) has yet to form an officially
recognized JPS. Until a JPS is formally organized, Post
proposes to submit senior HJC leaders directly responsible
for overseeing security operations at the HJC and at Iraq's
major crimes courts for vetting, following Post's existing
procedures, at the start of FY09.

8. Iraqi Police Service (IPS): This State-funded IRRF
program is not programmed yet, and Post recommends deferring
a decision on whether to vet participants in this program at
a unit or individual level until more information about the
program is available.

9. IMET vetting will continue according to previous
established procedures.

10. Post concurs that any organization receiving future
funding subject to section 620J of the FAA will be Leahy
vetted on a yearly basis. Newly funded units/organizations
and their commanders will be vetted before receiving State
funding.
CROCKER

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