Take a look at this story in London’s [Correction – Glasgow’s] Sunday Herald, from April 6, US accused of plans to loot Iraqi antiques. (Hint – the museum was looted after April 6.) There is a reason that Mike Malloy, on his radio show, talks about “The Bush Crime Family”. From the Sunday Herald story:
FEARS that Iraq’s heritage will face widespread looting at the end of the Gulf war have been heightened after a group of wealthy art dealers secured a high-level meeting with the US administration.
It has emerged that a coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), met with US defence and state department officials prior to the start of military action to offer its assistance in preserving the country’s invaluable archaeological collections.
The group is known to consist of a number of influential dealers who favour a relaxation of Iraq’s tight restrictions on the ownership and export of antiquities. Its treasurer, William Pearlstein, has described Iraq’s laws as ‘retentionist’ and has said he would support a post-war government that would make it easier to have antiquities dispersed to the US.
News of the group’s meeting with the government has alarmed scientists and archaeologists who fear the ACCP is working to a hidden agenda that will see the US authorities ease restrictions on the movement of Iraqi artefacts after a coalition victory in Iraq.
Now, combine that report with this, from CNN:
They now believe, because of some of the evidence that they have found, that some of the items were taken [by art and cultural] professionals. Among other things they found were glass cutters that they said are not sold in Iraq. They are looking into that.
Keep in mind that the Pentagon was fully aware of the need to protect these treasures, and had promised to do so.
“I thought I was given assurances that sites and museums would be protected,” Gibson said. Instead, even with U.S. forces firmly in control of Baghdad last week, looters breached the museum, trashed its galleries, burned its records, invaded its vaults and smashed or carried off thousands of artifacts dating from the founding of ancient Sumer around 3,500 B.C. to the end of Islam’s Abbasid Caliphate in 1258 A.D.
So, they promised to protect the museum, but when the looting was happening they instead refused. Meanwhile professionals from outside Iraq were ready to enter the museum and take what they wanted.
Does this sound like the looting of the museum was planned and coordinated with Bush officials? Would this really be a surprise?
Thursday Update – San Jose Mercury News, Experts: Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Vaults:
“It looks as if part of the looting was a deliberate planned action,” said McGuire Gibson, a University of Chicago professor and president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad. “They were able to take keys for vaults and were able to take out important Mesopotamian materials put in safes.”
“I have a suspicion it was organized outside the country, in fact I’m pretty sure it was,” said Gibson. He added that if a good police team was put together, “I think it could be cracked in no time.”
It really looks like there’s something to this! One problem, however, where the guy says, “if a good police team was put together” — fat chance the Bush administration will want to investigate.