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LOCAL SOLDIER DEALING WITH 'DECK OF CARDS' IN IRAQ
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 -- 2:48 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director


An area soldier is home enjoying two weeks of R & R, but he looks forward to finishing his mission in Iraq.

Dave Barth of Neillsville is a Platoon Sgt. with Arcadia-based Charlie Company, 1-128th Infantry Battalion.

"We're involved in detainee operations," he explains. "My platoon is tasked with movement of high value detainees from a detainment facility to the courthouse."

Those high-valued detainees are many of the names that appeared on the infamous "Deck of Cards" U.S. forces used to hunt down and capture members of Saddam Husein's old regime.

"Some of the people are Tariq Aziz, Chemical Ali, a couple of Saddam's half-brothers, his security detail, a lot of the ministers of the departments," Barth says.

There is some fear that these old Baath Party leaders may still have connections on the outside that may try to free them.

"We mix up our tactics all the time. We alter movement times as much as we can so we don't become predictable," he notes. "Every new group that comes in, they're going to test you. Certainly, that's been the same way with us. You set them straight, and tell them there's a new Sheriff in town, and this is the way it's going to be."

Barth has been very impressed with the professionalism of the Iraqi armed forces. He says there is a sense that things are getting back to normal in the country, and his troops are playing a big role in moving the country from a dictatorship, to a democracy ruled by laws.

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