The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
January 13, 2004

Global Message


Iraq will soon be a sovereign nation built on democratic principles with freedom as its cornerstone.

The Iraqi people will be at peace with one another and with the international community. But Iraqis can only be at peace with one another after they reconcile with their past.

Saddam Hussein used the Ba'ath Party as a tool of terror, death, murder and tyranny against the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi Governing Council has announced the next step in the Iraqi transition -- a new policy of reconciliation for the Iraqi people. The policy is tough on those senior Ba'athists who deserve to be punished. It also provides dignity and a fair process for lower-level Ba'athists.

The new Iraqi policy prevents senior Ba'athists in the top four tiers of the Ba'ath Party and/or the top three levels of ministries in Saddam Hussein's regime from holding jobs in the new Iraqi public sector.

The new Iraqi policy treats severely those senior Ba'thists responsible for implementing the culture of terror, murder and pain in the lives of the Iraqi people.

The new Iraqi policy treats with fairness and dignity those lower-level Ba'athists who have faced poverty and desperate circumstances since their dismissal after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The new Iraqi policy provides a comprehensive, fair and transparent appeals process.

The new Iraqi policy provides exceptions to former Iraqi POWs who had high-level Ba'ath Party membership forced upon them.

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