WikiLeaks: 2005-12-08: 05BAGHDAD4890: De-Ba'athification Process Mechanics
Viewing cable 05BAGHDAD4890, DE-BA'ATHIFICATION PROCESS MECHANICS
If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs
Every cable message consists of three parts:
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #05BAGHDAD4890.
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 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2015 TAGS: PGOV KDEM KJUS IZ SUBJECT: DE-BA'ATHIFICATION PROCESS MECHANICS Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR ROBERT S. FORD, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). ¶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 SIPDIS 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 are: - 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 comments. 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 includes: - 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. KHALILZAD