The Obama-Rezko intern story made USA Today today.
As for the immensly intriguing Ahim Alsammarae story, I sent an email to Obama's office this AM asking for comment on the State Department's position expressed here,
U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington, who could face the difficulty of balancing respect for Iraq's judicial system and sovereignty against concerns over a U.S. citizen's safety, have declined to say how they would respond if Alsammarae were to turn up in the United States.Dania Alsammarae has contacted both Durbin and Obama's offices for help securing her Father's release.
But on Tuesday, a State Department spokeswoman went as far as to say that the U.S. government "supports the Iraqi government's effort to resolve the matter." She did not go into details about whether the U.S. would cooperate if Iraq calls for Alsammarae's extradition.
Dania Alsammarae, the daughter of the former electricity minister, said she has spoken with her father daily since his escape but he never has told her or other family members where he is or what he has been doing since fleeing Iraq.
"My dad wouldn't tell us any details but has been calling regularly to let us know that he continues to be safe," said the daughter, who lives in Dublin. "If the prime minister of Jordan is saying he is there, then I believe it to be true."
An Aihman Alsammarae was active in the anti-sanctions movement apparantly as a speaker from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee. Here's a link to "Stop the Killing, Start the Healing", part of the August 5-7, 2000 Mobilization against Sanctions on Iraq, held in Washington DC,
"We are destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that." (Denis Halliday, former UN coordinator of the Oil-for-Food Program and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)Aiham Alsammarae participated along with the actor Martin Sheen and British MP George Galloway.
On 6 August 1990, the UN Security Council imposed a near total embargo on Iraq, the most comprehensive sanctions in modern history. Today those sanctions continue to kill innocent Iraqis while undermining the pillars of civil society. And since December 1998 the Iraqi people have faced regular bombing by American and British warplanes. Numerous sources estimate the death toll of sanctions and bombing to be over one million.
In response, a broad coalition of organizations and concerned individuals will converge on Washington, DC this August 6 to demand an end to this economic and military war carried out by the United States through the United Nations. Our message is clear and direct: "Lift the economic sanctions, stop the bombing!"
I'll confirm next week with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee if this is the same Aiham Alsammarae wanted by both Iraq and for questioning by our Fitzgerald.
Update: "Jack" at the ADC's Dearborn Michigan Office confirmed the Chicago Alsammarae was an ADC board member.
The next question for Senator Obama to consider, should the Senate start investigating post-War Iraq, was why in the world Bremer appointed Alsammarae as Electricity Minister in the interim government given his pre-War position towards sanctions?