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News Link • Iraq

Blowback in Iraq

•, Kelley Vlahos

Colin Kahl probably didn't realize he was playing oracle when he looked at the Sunni fighters once on the American's payroll and how they were being left out to dry in Iraq at the end of the so-called Surge in 2008 and mused, "it doesn't take 100,000 of these guys to revert to insurgents to cause big trouble."

Above that August 2008 Wired story was a photograph of a Sunni "Son of Iraq" getting his retinas scanned by a U.S. soldier. Before he left his post as commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus's troops oversaw an elaborate program of gathering biometric information including retinal scans and fingerprints from known insurgents, as well as the "Sons" or Sunni "Awakening" fighters the military were arming and paying $300 a day per month to drive al Qaeda from the Sunni cities. In fact, it was a requirement of their service.

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