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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
Readers may recall Paul McGeough’s report last year on Dirty Harry Allawi, interim Prime Minister of Iraq and freelance hitman:
Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.
That unnamed pair couldn’t identify the exact date they saw their country’s leader murder six people, and differed on details of injuries to a seventh prisoner who apparently survived Allawi’s killing spree. There have been recent developments; a couple of weeks ago, Professor Bunyip wrote:
When quoting dubious sources, follow McGeough’s professional lead and take along the New Yorker’s John Lee Anderson as a back-up witness. (Three confidential informants deep within the bowels of Hilmer World Headquarters have named Anderson as the Silly correspondent’s companion, something McGeough has, as yet, declined to do. Perhaps he is worried about having to share his latest Walkley Award.)
A former Jordanian government minister has told The New Yorker that an American official confirmed to him that the Iraqi interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station last year.
So, to the claims of a pair of anonymous Iraqis who don’t know when they saw the massacre and disagree over the fate of an Allawi victim, we may now add powerful evidence supplied by “an American official” as related by “a former Jordanian government minister”. Consider this story confirmed!
Except that Anderson’s version is crucially different to McGeough’s. The Sydney Morning Herald writer quotes a witness saying:
“The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death – but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them.”
In Anderson’s piece, the witness—possibly the second who volunteered his views; they were interviewed separately—tells an alternative story:
He described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head.
So, the current status of this Allawi massacre claim:
* Neither witness can recall the date it occurred;
* Witnesses disagree over the nature of injury to an Allawi survivor;
* Some unnamed guy in Jordan says an unnamed American “confirmed” the claim;
* McGeough’s witness says Allawi was packing heat; Anderson’s witness says Allawi requested a weapon.
This story has more holes in it than any of Allawi’s alleged victims.
McGeough’s witness says he saw the suspects’ faces and they were bearded and short-haired; Anderson writes that the faces of the condemned were covered.