Iraqi police in Basra shed their uniforms, kept their rifles and switched sides
James Hider, Times
March 28, 2008
I. One Tick Closer to Midnight
Last Friday, Dick Cheney was in Saudi Arabia for high-level meetings with the Saudi king and his ministers. On Saturday, it was revealed that the Saudi Shura Council -- the elite group that implements the decisions of the autocratic inner circle -- is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors," one of the kingdom's leading newspapers, Okaz, reports. The German-based dpa news service relayed the paper's story.
Simple prudence -- or ominous timing? We noted here last week that an American attack on Iran was far more likely -- and more imminent -- than most people suspect. We pointed to the mountain of evidence for this case gathered by scholar William R. Polk, one of the top aides to John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to other indicators of impending war. The story by Okaz -- which would not have appeared in the tightly controlled dictatorship without approval from the top -- is yet another, very weighty piece of evidence laid in the scales toward a new, horrendous conflict.
We don't know what the Saudis told Cheney in private -- or even more to the point, what he told them. But the release of this story now, just after his departure, would seem to be a clear indication that the Saudis have good reason to fear a looming attack on Iran's nuclear sites and are actively preparing for it.
II. A Nuclear Epiphany in Iran?
And they certainly should be bracing themselves. A U.S. attack on Iran will come suddenly, and if it is indeed aimed at destroying Iran's nuclear capabilities -- a "threat" being talked up again with new urgency by both Cheney and Bush lately -- it has the potential for unimaginable consequences. As we noted here in a previous piece:
Twelve hours. One circuit of the sun from horizon to horizon, one course of the moon from dusk to dawn. What was once a natural measurement for the daily round of human life is now a doom-laden interval between the voicing of an autocrat's brutal whim and the infliction of mass annihilation halfway around the world.
Twelve hours is the maximum time necessary for American bombers to gear up and launch an unprovoked sneak attack – a Pearl Harbor in reverse – against Iran, the Washington Post reports….And when this attack comes – either as a stand-alone "knock-out blow" or else as the precursor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq – there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no hearings, no public debate. The already issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president: he picks up the phone, he says, "Go" – and in twelve hours' time, up to a million Iranians could be dead.
This potential death toll is not pacifist hyperbole; it comes from a National Academy of Sciences study sponsored by the Pentagon itself, as The Progressive reports. (Although Bush's military brass like to peddle the public lie that "we don't do body counts" of the enemy, in reality, like all good businessmen they keep precise accounts of their production outputs: i.e., corpses.) The Pentagon's NAS study calibrated the kill-rate from "bunker-busting" tactical nukes used to take out underground facilities – such as those which house much of
's nuclear power program. Iran
Another simulation by scientists, using Pentagon-devised software, was even more specific, measuring the aftermath of a "limited" nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan, the magazine reports. This small expansion of the Pentagon franchise would result in stellar production figures: three million people killed by radiation in just two weeks, and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of cancer-causing radiation in
Afghanistan, Pakistanand . Bush has about 50 nuclear "earth-penetrating weapons" at his disposal, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. India
Nor is the idea of a nuclear strike on
mere "liberal paranoia." Bush himself pointedly refused to take the nuclear option "off the table" this week. But what's more, Bush has made the use of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his "National Security Strategy of the United States," issued last month, The Progressive notes. While reaffirming the criminal principle of "pre-emptive" attacks on perceived enemies which may or may not be threatening America with weapons they may or may not possess, Bush declared that "safe, credible and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role" in the "offensive strike systems" that are now a key part of America's "deterrence." Iran
In the depraved jargon of atomic warmongering, a "credible" nuclear force is one that can and will be used in the course of ordinary military operations. It is no longer to be regarded as a sacred taboo. This has long been the dream of the Pentagon's "nuclear priesthood" and its acolytes, going back to the days of
Hiroshimaand . For decades, a strong faction within the American power structure has been afflicted with a perverted craving to unleash these weapons once more. An almost sexual frustration can be discerned in their laments as time and again, in crisis after crisis, their counsels for "going nuclear" were rejected – often at the very last moment. To justify their aberrant desire, they have relentlessly demonized an ever-changing array of "enemies," painting each one as an imminent, overwhelming threat, led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, fit only for destruction. Evidence for the "threat" is invariably exaggerated, manipulated, even manufactured; this ritual cycle has been enacted over and over, leading to many wars – but never to that ultimate, orgasmic release. Nagasaki
Now this paranoid sect has at last seized the commanding heights of American power....
And they have found a most eager disciple in the peevish dullard strutting in the Oval Office. Under their sinister tutelage, Bush has eviscerated 40 years' worth of arms control treaties; officially "normalized" the use of nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states; rewarded outlaw proliferators like India, Israel and Pakistan; and is now destroying the last and most effective restraint on the spread of nuclear weapons: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The treaty guarantees its signatories – such as
– the right to establish nuclear power programs in exchange for rigorous international inspections. But Bush has arbitrarily decided that Iran – whose nuclear program undergone perhaps the most extensive inspection process in history – must end its lawful activities. Why? Because the country is led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, who one day may or may not threaten America with weapons they may or may not have. Iran
So the NPT is dead. As with the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution, it now means only what Bush says it means. Force of arms, not rule of law, is the new world order. The attack on
is coming…. Iran
The nuclear sectarians have waited decades for this moment. Such a chance may never come again. Will they let it pass, when with just a word, in just twelve hours, they can see their god rising in a pillar of fire over
Heavy fighting raged in Basra after thousands of Iraqi troops raided the oil-rich city in an offensive the Baghdad government said was aimed at disarming militias and restoring the rule of law.
At least four people were reported killed, while unconfirmed medical estimates put the toll at 27 killed and 60 others injured, many of them civilians caught in the cross-fire.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was in an undisclosed military base in Basra personally supervising the offensive, which the authorities insist was not aimed at any particular group, but clearly targeting maverick Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr's movement and its Mahdi Army.
British military officials said Western aircraft were patrolling the skies above Basra to assist Iraqi forces if needed, but that British forces were not taking part in the operation.
Since the British forces returned control of Basra to the Iraqis in December and moved to the city airport, the province's residents have complained of rising crime as armed Shiite groups struggle for political and economic control in this oil hub, the source of most of Iraq's revenues.
The government - also led by the Shiites - says the Iraqi military offensive, which began a day after imposing an indefinite nigh-time curfew, was to restore order and sweep out the "criminals and gangs terrorizing the citizens."
Maliki, who on Monday dismissed the two top security officials in Basra, said from the city that the government "will restore security, stability and enforce the rule of law."
Officials say the troops were cracking down on "all those who point their guns at the state," but Sadr's followers say the offensive, dubbed "Charge of the Knights," was politically-motivated and aimed specifically at them for their stances against the U.S. occupation.
The Sadrists say if the operation was just a security one, they would fully cooperate with the government's attempt to restore order, adding that while they don't seek a confrontation with the authorities, the people had the right to defend themselves when they are being attacked.
Moqtada Sadr last month renewed a six-month ceasefire, but recently told his supporters they were free to defend themselves against attacks.
The U.S. forces and the Iraqi government have attributed the Mahdi militia's truce to a reduction in violence, but a recent surge in attacks on American and Iraqi troops have been blamed on "renegade elements" from within the Sadrists. They say they are targeting these elements, which they claim are linked to Iran that it repeatedly denies.
Despite the government's insistence that the Basra operation was not specifically targeting any political groups, the Sadrists see it as a continuation of a crackdown in recent weeks against its members in other provinces.
That's why Sadr issued a statement from the holy city of Najaf on Tuesday, calling on Iraqis to launch nationwide protests, strikes and civil disobedience if the government does not meet demands to end the crackdown on the movement he leads.
As fighting spread across Basra, hundreds of people marched through the streets of Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad protesting the arrests of its leaders and supporters.
The Sadrist movement had already called for civil disobedience after the authorities began raiding its offices in different parts of the country, and government officials accused the group of forcing people to abide by a general strike at gunpoint.
Mahdi Army spokesmen denied its members had forcefully prevented civilians from going about their daily lives, saying these charges were attempts to undermine the civil disobedience program.
The armed confrontation with the Sadrists and its militant wing quickly spread in other areas of the country, including Sadr City in the suburbs of Baghdad, where the Mahdi Army declared it had taken control of Iraqi army checkpoints. Residents reportedly stocked up on food and water supplies in the district in anticipation of more fighting to come.
In an attempt to contain other Sadrist strongholds in the wake of the operation in Basra, the government imposed curfews in the southern Shiite cities of Kut, Samawa and Nasiriyah.
Iraqi critics say they expect the Basra offensive to backfire at the government, which some accuse of being used as a U.S. proxy to fight the thorn in the occupying forces' side: Sadr and his followers, who apparently enjoy widespread grassroots support, especially from the impoverished Shiites who make up the majority of this community, said to be ready to revolt.
The critics suggest the Americans were seeking an internal Iraqi battle to refocus the anti-occupation resistance against the Iraqi authority, after the U.S. troop death toll since the March 2003 invasion reached 4,000 this week.
But they warn the fighting, whether led by the Iraqi or U.S. forces, would intensify the insurgency and again raise the level of violence in this war-torn country.
March 24, 2008, 1:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
First publication of recent Imad Mughniyeh photo surveying Israel from Syrian Mt. Hermon
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak decided to place the armed forces on guard in view of indications that Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah may seriously intend making good on his threat of “open war” against Israel, whom he accuses of the Feb. 12 killing of Imad Mughniyeh.
Barak said Monday, March 24, Hizballah’s revenge threats are not to be taken lightly: “We must all be vigilant in the near future. But we’ll overcome that too.”
The Israeli Air Force, according to our sources, has prepared two command and control airplanes which are capable of transporting command centers and special forces from place to place and reacting to terrorist attacks far from Israel.
The Magen David Adom service nationwide has placed on standby double its usual complement of ambulances and medical teams.
According to our military sources, Barak latest directives Monday, March 24, signify his change of mind about the prospect of a Hizballah revenge attack. The earlier presumption that the Lebanese terrorists would hold their fire up until the Arab League summit convening in Damascus on March 29-30 has been abandoned to meet fast-moving events across Israel’s northern border.
1. Syria last week pushed the fighting strength of Palestinian terrorist groups under its shared control with Iran – an estimated 3,000-strong – across the border into the Lebanese Beqaa Valley.
It was initially supposed that these groups had been removed from their Damascus bases to get them out of the way of the Arab summit. But they have since been observed taking up battle positions and the delivery of large quantities of brand new weapons and ammunition.
2. Syria has also speeded up its arms shipments to Hizballah - notably, as DEBKAfile revealed two days ago, anti-aircraft weapons.
3. Apparently for back-up, Syria has massed armored divisions along its Lebanese border.
Israel’s military chiefs now read these moves as meaning that Hizballah, the new Palestinian deployment and the Syrian back-up forces are set to launch a military strike against targets in Israel and bracing for Israeli retaliation.
Israel’s defense chiefs do not count out Hizballah embarking on a number of coordinated terrorist operations over several hours or even days, synchronized with cross-border attacks on targets inside Israel.
The terrorist strikes may well be large-scale, multiple-casualty and directed at an overseas Israeli or Jewish target. The head of the terror center in the prime minister’s office referred incautiously last week to Hizballah’s hopes of Israel having to fly home “40 or 50 coffins,” a goal which Israel is determined to prevent - hence the Air Force’s command and control planes on the ready for rapid take-off to the scene of an attack. They are fitted out and manned for a wide range of contingencies, including rescue operations on foreign soil, requiring the local government’s approval.
One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.
Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency.
Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.
People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.
As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives.
In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.
Why news gets covered the way it does
Politico’s top editors draw on their experience at the nation's largest news organizations to pull back the curtain on coverage decisions and the media mindset.
The real question is why so many people are playing. The answer has more to do with media psychology than with practical politics.
Journalists have become partners with the Clinton campaign in pretending that the contest is closer than it really is. Most coverage breathlessly portrays the race as a down-to-the-wire sprint between two well-matched candidates, one only slightly better situated than the other to win in August at the national convention in Denver.
One reason is fear of embarrassment. In its zeal to avoid predictive reporting of the sort that embarrassed journalists in New Hampshire, the media — including Politico — have tended to avoid zeroing in on the tough math Clinton faces.
Avoiding predictions based on polls even before voters cast their ballots is wise policy. But that's not the same as drawing sober and well-grounded conclusions about the current state of a race after millions of voters have registered their preferences.
The antidote to last winter's flawed predictions is not to promote a misleading narrative based on the desired but unlikely story line of one candidate.
There are other forces also working to preserve the notion of a contest that is still up for grabs.
One important, if subliminal, reason is self-interest. Reporters and editors love a close race — it’s more fun and it’s good for business.
The media are also enamored of the almost mystical ability of the Clintons to work their way out of tight jams, as they have done for 16 years at the national level. That explains why some reporters are inclined to believe the Clinton campaign when it talks about how she’s going to win on the third ballot at the Democratic National Convention in August.
That’s certainly possible — and, to be clear, we’d love to see the race last that long — but it’s folly to write about this as if it is likely.
It’s also hard to overstate the role the talented Clinton camp plays in shaping the campaign narrative, first by subtly lowering the bar for the performance necessary to remain in the race, and then by keeping the focus on Obama’s relationships with a political fixer and a controversial pastor in Illinois.
Both Israeli and Palestinian security officials say Hezbollah has been operating behind the scenes in the West Bank since 2000, pumping millions of dollars into militant groups for attacks against Israel.
Citing security officials, the International Herald Tribune reported recently that the Iran-sponsored terrorist organization is working directly with leaders of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
One Al Alqsa leader in Nablus said his group used to receive $8,000 a month to buy weapons and ammunition. Hezbollah stopped making payments when Al Aqsa men accepted an amnesty offer from Israel, but Israel says Al Aqsa terrorists are still in contact with Hezbollah.
Apparently Hezbollah’s presence inside the Palestinian territories has burgeoned since the recent assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, a notorious terrorist poster child and the mastermind responsible for numerous attacks and kidnappings around the world.
Last week, during the funeral of Mohammed Shehadeh and three other Islamic Jihad terrorists killed by Israel, mourners chanted “Hezbollah is coming.” In another sign of their sympathy for Hezbollah, Shehadeh’s family wrapped his body in a Hezbollah flag.
Shehadeh was the head of Islamic Jihad in Bethlehem and was involved in several terrorist attacks against Israel in the past, including a car bombing that killed two civilians in Jerusalem. Although never an official member of Hezbollah, he identified with the Lebanese terrorists and became a Shiite Muslim to show his support of the group. He took orders from Islamic Jihad leadership in Syria, which also backs Hezbollah.
According to Haaretz, Shehadeh’s son did not deny his family received a call from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s office after his father’s death in which they were offered financial assistance.
Hezbollah links are becoming more apparent in east Jerusalem as well. A Hezbollah flag briefly accompanied Hamas banners in east Jerusalem at the house of the Palestinian terrorist responsible for shooting eight Israeli students in the city two weeks ago.
Palestinian officials say the man was a member of the Free Men of Galilee Brigade, a group they say is a front for Hezbollah. According to Palestinian security official Maj. Gen. Raji al-Nijmi, “This name [Free Men of Galilee Brigade] is a lie, it’s just Hezbollah playing politics.”
Hezbollah gained popularity among Palestinians when the guerilla force caused Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000, and it soared even higher after it defeated Israel in the Second Lebanon War. But you can be sure that if Hezbollah is supporting and influencing terrorist groups in the Palestinian territories, Iran is behind it. For Tehran, using Palestinian militants is an ideal means of interfering and attacking Israel without attracting international attention to itself—and while simultaneously diverting attention away from its nuclear program. Iran is spreading its influence all around Israel’s borders; Israel is quickly becoming completely surrounded by Iranian proxies.
To the north, Israel faces a Hezbollah prepared for war with a renewed rocket arsenal that promises to do major damage to Israel’s home front in any future conflict. To the south, Israel is still dealing with Iranian-backed Hamas, whose attacks against Israel have become steadily more deadly since its hostile takeover in Gaza.
Right now, the only thing stopping Iranian-backed Hezbollah from openly operating in the West Bank is the Israel Defense Forces. If Hezbollah succeeds and expands Iran’s influence in the West Bank, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will become more volatile than it has ever been before.Watch for Iran to continue to spread its tentacles throughout the Middle East in a bid to become the regional power. To learn how this relates to Bible prophecy, read The King of the South.
Wanted to share something I thought was relevant to recent discussions here on the economy.
My wife and I visited our local Gun shop over the weekend to purchase a hand gun for her. You couldn't believe how many people were in this store buying fireamrs! I shop regularly at this store for cheap ammunition to shoot at the range, so I am familiar with the traffic. This place was jammed. You could hardly get around each other at the counters and down the aisles. The tension was thick. People seemed tense. I was hyped up on coffee and feeling honery so I loudly proclaimed, "Everyone here must be worried about the Economy and riots in the streets!" I thought I was going to get kicked out. But everyone sighed in agreement; some even clapping their hands. I believe people are finally getting worried.
The title of my post asks the question, "is this a good thing or a bad thing?"
Everytime I have tried to talk to these types of people (shooting advocates; gun range people etc.), I can never seem to get past the Patriotic bullshit -- i.e., we must support our government; our government is our savior.
I am very glad that Americans own guns. I think this is the only thing that will save us. However.......I also worry that most Americans are so fooled, that those guns could be turned on people like me for suggesting that someone else is to blame for all of this mess. A particular range I shoot at has a paper target you can purchase with Osama as the target. This is the most popular target to shoot at!
I live in the South and I will tell you that I have not found one single person who doesn't believe in the propaganda. That is very troubling to me. My hope is to find others close with a like mind so that we can support one another. I really believe that at some point, we will all need to start reaching out and finding others with like minds, not just on the internet, but those who live near us. I have resisted this because it is so hard to trust anyone these days. But I do believe that the only way we will make it through all of this, is by sticking together.
I hope that my situation is not the norm. I hope that all of you are finding communities of like minded people. There is strength in numbers and 'they' seem to have the numbers right now.
I fear the worst; I plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
I would be interested to hear what others are experiencing around them. Sincerely.
Ahmadinejad in Baghdad’s Green Zone
DEBKAfile Special Report
March 4, 2008, 1:18 PM (GMT+02:00)
During his 2-day visit to Baghdad, March 2-3, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Iraqi hosts did a good job of ignoring the ubiquitous US military presence in Iraq - except for the Iranian president’s ritual anti-American blast. His welcome by Iraqi president, the Kurdish Jalal Talabani, and Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was played up as a bilateral event. Contact between the visitors’ retinue and the US military was nil.
Yet in Tehran, DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, the president’s excursion into US-occupied territory was counted as a step forward in its seven-month old secret Saudi-mediated dialogue with Washington.
This dialogue has advanced in give-and-take steps on a broad set of issues.
The most prominent is Iran’s nuclear program. The third round of UN Security Council sanctions imposed Monday, March 3, banning trade with Iran did not really bother Tehran. The penalties were predicted and anticipated. Iran’s rulers can live with a motion which they see as the Bush administration’s parting shot in the dispute over the uranium enrichment issue. Not surprisingly Israel was not satisfied.
But mostly they are looking ahead to the next US president and their objective is clear: the cementing of the incumbent White House position on the North Korean nuclear weapons status as a convention which its next tenant will apply to Iran. This in rough terms means accepting a Tehran guarantee to freeze its uranium enrichment process, its nuclear bomb program and nuclear-capable ballistic missile project, without demanding their dismantlement.
This outline would be deemed in Tehran a positive basis for a nuclear deal with Washington. Iran’s supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hinted broadly at its acceptability when he chose Feb. 26, the day the New York Philharmonic Orchestra played in Pyongyang, for some pointed nuclear remarks.
What does the Bush administration expect from Tehran?
According to our Washington sources, George W. Bush is keen to hand his successor a relatively stable Iraq where the violence spiral sustains its downward curve. The US president accordingly stopped direct US military action against pro-Iranian Shiite “special groups,” in the expectation that Tehran will use its influence to keep Iraq on a relatively even keel for the remainder of his term in office.
The quid pro quo runs like this: Tehran is bidding for an understanding with Washington on its nuclear program, while the US is after Iran’s help to preserve the status quo in Iraq.
Iran has two powerful resources for delivering the goods:
1. An extensive clandestine intelligence and military infrastructure across Iraq that will obey Tehran’s orders to pull in its horns.
2. Tehran’s hand on the spigot of the flow of weapons, money and extra-powerful roadside bombs to the different anti-US insurgent groups.
DEBKAfile’s military sources in Iraq report that this flow has been slowed at times but never allowed to dry up. Up until the fall of 2007, pro-Iranian groups received a sufficiency of war materiel to mount attacks on US forces. Today, it is down to a trickle, just enough for the Revolutionary Guards to keep their hand in with those militias.
The third key issue dominating the US-Iranian dialogue is southern Iraq and its oil. This is also pivotal for Iran’s bilateral relations with Iraq.
Ahmadinejad’s hosts in Baghdad have to live with the realization that their guest has more clout with the Shiites of southern Iraq than the Maliki government.
Tehran’s dominance of southern Iraq has three focii:
The shrine-cities of Karbala and Najef and the oil port of Basra. Iran and the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr at the head of his Mehdi Army militia divide control of these three cities between them.
If the central government wants any say in southern Iraq, it must stay on good terms with both its rival masters.
During his last visit to Tehran at the end of last year, prime minister al-Maliki signed an agreement to lay a pipeline taking Iraqi oil to Iranian refineries in Abadan. This was a bid to link southern Iraq’s oil to the Iranian oil fields and installations on the eastern bank of the Shatt al-Arb opposite Basra. The Americans, who control and defend the southern oil fields, let the agreement go through, although they are in competition against Iran in Central Asia and Turkey. The Bush administration is reconciled to including southern Iraq and its oil fields in the overall package of Iraq understandings with Tehran.
This package the White House is willing to hand over to the next president as long as the status quo is preserved in that part of Iraq too.
Update @ 9:39pm CT: i've posted a response here
cross-posted at goodCRIMETHINK
I chose an inflammatory headline because flames may be called for. Forgive me if I'm late to the party. I didn't check out Hillary's Ohio victory speech until just now. She said something extraordinary...
You all know that if we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states just like Ohio. And that is what we've done. We've won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. And today, we won Rhode Island, and thanks to all my friends and supporters there.
Citigroup's job cuts could reach 30,000 or more over the next year and a half because of increasing writedowns from subprime-related debt, CNBC has learned.
Mark Lennihan / AP
The layoffs would exceed the previously reported 24,000 job cuts that had been expected at the banking giant.
Chief Executive Vikram S. Pandit is currently conducting a massive cost review and could cut as much as 10 percent of the bank's workforce of 370,000, according to people familiar with the situation.
In the past, Citigroup
[C 21.23 0.06 (+0.28%) ] would lay off people and then hire them back as consultants. But with more bad-debt writedowns looming, Pandit wants to make the cuts permanent, sources say.