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[] Iraq pulls plug on e-mail,

BBC, Monday, 13 January, 2003, 21:01 GMT

Iraq pulls plug on e-mail

Iraq has blocked access to e-mail following an electronic campaign by 
the US urging key military and civilian figures to turn against 
President Saddam Hussein.
Washington launched its e-mail offensive last week as part of its 
"psychological warfare" against Baghdad.
Government employees, senior civil servants, academics and scientists 
who use the state e-mail service are all thought to have received the 
The US has also dropped anti-Saddam leaflets from planes and broadcast 
messages against him.
One US e-mail told recipients: "If you provide information on weapons of 
mass destruction or you take steps to hamper their use, we will do what 
is necessary to protect you and protect your families.
"Failing to do so will lead to grave personal consequences."
Experts say that the fact that foreign e-mail servers are banned in Iraq 
would have made the campaign much easier as all recipients receive their 
mail on the same provider.
 From Taleban to Saddam
The mass e-mailing adds a fresh dimension to an operation which began 
late last year as the US started trying to persuade Iraqis to abandon 
their leader.

The US targeted Afghans with leaflets in 2001
Broadcasts transmitted by US planes flying over Iraq play Arabic music 
as a background to accusations that Saddam Hussein diverted revenue from 
oil sales to purchase arms instead of food.
"How much longer will this corrupt rule be allowed to exploit and 
oppress the Iraqi people?" one broadcast asks.
The "Commando Solo" plane which broadcasts the messages is operated by a 
specialist US psy-ops unit which was last deployed in Afghanistan when 
it broadcast propaganda to locals and Taleban fighters.
The US also uses ground transmitters in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf 
to beam anti-Saddam programmes to the Iraqi people.

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