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WikiLeaks: 2005-12-08: 05BAGHDAD4890: De-Ba'athification Process Mechanics

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 at 09:16 PM CT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BAGHDAD4890 2005-12-08 07:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004890 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2015 
1.  (U) Summary. The recent discussion over the role of the 
National De-Ba'athification Commission (NDC) in the candidate 
vetting process has underscored the need for greater clarity 
as to the mechanics of how the NDC operates.  This message is 
based on poloff's December 6 discussion with NDC General 
Secretary Tahlib al-Muhanna as well as similar exchanges with 
UK Embassy contacts.  End Summary. 
Commission Structure 
2.  (C/REL UK) Since the NDC's inception in 2003, the 
Chairman continues to be Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi. 
 The NDC Board of Directors consists of eight representatives 
from various political parties.  The Board is responsible for 
the political leadership of the commission and provides 
guidance on policy and procedure.  In a December 6 meeting 
with poloff, NDC General Secretary Al-Muhanna commented that 
with the exception of DAWA's Jawad al-Maliki and SCIRI's 
Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer, the NDC board members have not 
played an active or influential role. The NDC Board is 
comprised of 8 members from the following political parties: 
Kurdistan Democratic Party - vacant 
DAWA - TNA Jawad al-Maliki 
SCIRI- TNA Shaikh Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer 
Iraqi National Congress - DPM Ahmed Chalabi 
Iraqi Communist Party - TNA Hamid Moussa 
Assyrian Democratic Movement - TNA Yonadam Kanna 
United Islamist Alliance - TNA Dr. Sallama al-Khafaji 
Iraqi National Accord - TNA Dr. Raja Habeeb al-Khuzai 
3.  (U) NDC consists of 7 directorates.  The Oversight 
Directorate reports directly to the Board of Directors and 
oversees the activities of the six other directorates which 
- General Secretariat 
- Information Gathering & Investigations 
- Legal Affairs 
- Culture & Education Affairs 
- Economic Affairs 
- General Follow-up and Implementation 
Information Gathering and Investigative Directorate 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
4.    (U) The Information Gathering and Investigative 
Directorate is responsible for tracking high-ranking former 
Ba'athists and their assets.  This directorate also receives 
information from its branch offices located in each of the 15 
governorates, determines what information is actionable, and 
maintains the hard copy archives before forwarding the 
information to the Legal Directorate.  (NOTE: there are no 
NDC branches in the KRG. END NOTE) The Information Gathering 
& Investigative Directorate liaises with the 
de-Ba'athification section of each of the 25 federal 
ministries, as well as the ministries' de-Ba'athification in 
each of the 15 governorates. (read this Directorate deals 
with as many as 375 ministerial de-Ba'athification offices) 
Identification of a Ba'athist 
5.    (U) Identification of former Ba'athists requires a 
10-step process. 
a.    An NDC governorate branch office receives information 
about an individual from various sources. 
b.    The NDC branch office conducts a local investigation in 
conjunction with the relevant Ministry's local 
de-Ba'athification section. 
c.    The NDC branch office submits the information to the 
Baghdad Information Gathering & Investigations Directorate. 
d.    The Baghdad Directorate conducts its own investigation. 
e.    Once the information is verified, the Directorate 
forwards the case to the relevant Ministry. 
f.    The Ministry re-verifies the evidence with its local 
de-Ba'athification section. 
g.    Once the information is re-verified, the Ministry 
returns the case back to the Baghdad Directorate with its 
h.    The Baghdad Directorate forwards the case to the Legal 
Directorate, which examines the evidence once more. 
i.    If everything is in order, a NDC judge signs the formal 
de-Ba'athification notification order. 
j.    The order is forwarded to the Ministry, which notifies 
the individual by letter. 
Vetting of Political Candidae List 
6. (SBU) Contrary to the above Ba'athist identification 
process, the NDC Information Gathering & Investigative 
Directorate vets political candidate lists by comparing the 
names with its existing database. The database includes names 
of all individuals in the NDC investigation pipeline. 
Appeals vice Exceptions 
7. (C/REL UK) The NDC receives thousands of applications for 
Appeals and Exceptions annually. To qualify for an appeal an 
individual must be able to provide documentary evidence that 
discounts case evidence.  Al-Muhanna stated that it is a rare 
occasion when an appeal succeeds. He claimed that only 4-5 
appeals have succeeded this year.  (Note.  In a similar 
effort to gain insight on the de-Ba'athification process, the 
UK Embassy learned of additional and noteworthy aspects of 
this process, including that: (1) individuals in the top 
levels of membership have no ability to appeal; (2) those who 
apply for appeals lose their pensions, while those that 
accept dismissal keep their pensions.  If true, these rules 
substantially limit the number of appeals as well as create a 
disincentive not to challenge a NDC decision.  End note.) 
8.    (SBU) To qualify for an Exception, an individual must 
have been a Level 4 Ba'ath Party Group member or below, admit 
to Ba'ath party membership, and be innocent of criminal 
activities.  To file for an Exception an individual must 
submit to its local NDC branch office an application that 
-     a complete curriculum vitae 
-     denunciation of the Ba'ath Party 
-     testimony from the workplace 
-     testimony from friends, neighbors, relatives 
-     surrender any and all weapons 
(Note.  Again, when the UK Embassy learned of this process, 
the NDC listed some requirements that differed from the above 
list; for instance, an individual should include information 
on any "practices" that served Ba'athist goals as well as his 
illegal activities.  End note.) 
9.    (U) The NDC branch office reviews the above information 
and submits it to the NDC Legal Directorate in Baghdad.  If 
the information is in order, the Legal Directorate grants an 
Exception.  An Exception allows a Level 4 Group Party Member 
to return to his/her place of work demoted to a lower 
position and to receive a pension. An Exception has a 
one-year probationary period during which the individual's 
activities are monitored. According to al-Muhanna, Exceptions 
are rarely denied.  To the best of his knowledge, 17,500 
Exceptions have been granted this year.  The Exception 
process is reported to take 4-5 months. 
10.  (C/REL UK) Comment.  Although the NDC General Secretary 
has provided relatively clear general guidelines for the 
de-Baathification process orally, there is evidence that 
Exceptions have not been executed within the customary 
timeframe and Appeals are nearly impossible to win.  In 
addition, the differences between what Poloff and the UK 
Embassy learned on separate visits to the NDC suggests that 
some requirements and rules may be inconsistently applied, 
thereby damaging the transparency of the process.  Finally, 
numerous complaints from various political contacts may 
indicate that de-Baathification procedures have not been 
executed properly and/or have been politically motivated. 
End Comment. 


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