Iraq War 2003: Background & Lessons

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April 22, 2003

US Civil Administrator Arrives in Baghdad

Army Lt.-Gen. (rtd.) Jay Garner, 64, the US Civil Administrator appointed by the US Government to oversee the transition of power in Iraq from the now-removed Saddam Hussein Administration to a new Iraqi civil authority, arrived on April 21, 2003, in Baghdad. After arrival at Baghdad International Airport, now functioning after the destruction of the recent conflict, Lt.-Gen. Garner — who retired from active service in 1997 — visited some key infrastructural sites in need of reconstruction, including Yarmuk Hospital.

Lt.-Gen. Garner was President defense contractor S.Y. Coleman, a subsidiary of L-3 Communications. Lt.-Gen. Garner saw active service in Iraq during and after the 1991 Gulf War he helped lead Operation Provide Comfort, which delivered food and shelter to Kurds in northern Iraq. Gen. Garner’s appointment has, largely because of his links with defense contracting, generated a significant backlash of opposition in the US and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced in Doha, Qatar, the capture of two more men on its list of 55 wanted former Iraqi officials, bringing to seven the number seized since the fall of the Saddam Administration. Iraq’s former Scientific Research and Higher Education Minister Human abd al-Khaliq al-Ghafar was captured on April 19, 2003, and was in US custody. Iraqi opposition was also holding Jamal Mustafa Abdullah Sultan, a son-in-law of Saddam and deputy head of the tribal affairs office. He was due to be turned him over to Coalition forces in Baghdad. A spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress in London said that Sultan and a member of the Republican Guard who surrendered with him, were in INC custody in Baghdad.

INC leader Ahmad Chalabi said on April 21, 2003, that former Pres. Saddam was believed to be still in Iraq. Mr Chalabi said that he had also received intelligence that Saddam’s younger son, Qusay, was seen on April 19, 2003, in al-Azamiya, a district in central Baghdad where a video tape was recorded purportedly showing Saddam amongst a crowd of cheering supporters on April 9, 2003.