August 24, 2003

I’M NOT SURE WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS STORY:

U.S.-led occupation authorities have begun a covert campaign to recruit and train agents with the once-dreaded Iraqi intelligence service to help identify resistance to American forces here after months of increasingly sophisticated attacks and bombings, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

These guys know a lot of useful stuff, but we can’t trust them. It’s not as obvious a risk as using them for guards, as the U.N. did, but it’ll be a real challenge to handle them well. The record of doing this with Germans after World War II was rather poor — the “Gehlen Organization” of ex-Nazi intelligence officers was heavily penetrated by the Soviets and probably did more harm than good.