Regular readers of this site and of many of my books know that archaeology is a subject that intrigues me, and in particular, the whole mystery of the Baghdad Museum Looting, so when M.W. and J.N. sent along this story, readers will understand (perhaps) my reasons for vaulting it over other stories that, numerically at least, filled my inbox and which should have become one of this week's finalists. But beyond the intrinsic personal interest, there was a comment in this article that really set my high octane speculation gears into a spin of frenzied hypothesizing, and perhaps even "artificact hypothecation." We'll get back to that in a moment after a bit of review of what my suspicions have always been regarding the Baghdad Museum Looting.
You may or may not recall the story, but in case you don't, here it is: shortly after the "allied" invasion of Iraq, version 2.o, a story was first broken by Der Spiegel in Germany that the Baghdad Musuem had been looted, and hundreds of art and other items had been stolen from its vaults. As the story continued to grow, it was soon asserted that people wearing American uniforms were seen entering and leaving the Museum, carrying out boxes of... well, who knows what? Part of the narrative quickly became that the thieves "knew what they were looking for" and "exactly where in the museum to look." In short, it was an inside job of some sort. The question is, whose inside job was it? Was it Iraqi museum employees, or Iraqi members of the French and German archaeological teams that Saddam Hussein had in the country digging it up? If so, were they trying to make a quick dinar by selling antiquities on the lucrative antiquities black market? Or conversely, were they really Americans, looking for something else? Or were they French or German intelligence agents - Germany's BND had something of a presence in Iraq at the time - looking to recover the fruits of their archaeological teams' labors? The part about it being an inside job and the thieves' knowing exactly what they wanted and where to look for it, suggests that whoever did it had access to the field inventories and catalogues of whatever it was those archaeological teams dug up for Saddam, and that would seem to imply a potential French and/or German connection and operation. After all, anyone - and especially intelligence agencies - can wear American uniforms.
Then the story became - to my mind at least - stranger still, for the USA appointed US Marine Colonel Bogdonovich to oversea the recovery of the stolen items. This he did, and with no little success. The problem was, and remains for me, that what were recovered were the art works... the thousands of cuneiform tablets that were taken more or less dropped off the radar of the story and indeed were never, from the outset, a major part of it, almost as if whoever had planned the theft had stolen the art works as a diversion, so that they could be "recovered" and "returned," while the cuneiform tablets quietly disappeared, and were, perhaps, quietly photographed and covertly translated. With the recovery of the art works and their return to Iraq, the story was over, and the cuneiform tablets were conveniently ignored.
With that context in mind, there is this story:
Now, it is to be stressed that at least as far as this article is concerned, the "Gilgamesh Dream Tablet" was not part of the stolen tablets from the Baghdad Museum Looting, nor a part of any cuneiform tablets as may have been stolen from it. Indeed, we have never seen any inventory of what was on those tablets, because, again, they were likely part of the field catalogues of the archaeological teams, and the Museum itself seems not to have entered many them into its own inventories. We simply don't know. One thing the article does make clear, however, is that the provenance documents for this tablet were forged, and hence Hobby Lobby, thinking it was buying something legally, bought what turns out was indeed stolen. But stolen when? We don't know, because the documents were forged, thus making it entirely possible that this precious artifact from Iraq's ancient history may indeed have been a part of the looted Baghdad Museum treasure. Indeed, that's the problem with this whole story; there are more questions than answers, and precious few people anywhere - even in the alternative research field - appear to be willing to raise those questions. And if this tablet was part of the swag from the Baghdad Museum Looting, then that implies that at least some of those tablets were about more than just checks, bills, inventory reports and so on. It means that at least some of those tablets were texts, and very important ones at that.
So what, if anything, were the thieves looking for, really? Well, again, to recall my previous high octane speculations on the subject, when the G.W. Bush administration announced it was heading into Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and look for evidence he was trying to do so, my thought then, and my thought still, is that they were telling a partial truth, but one which concealed their real agenda, for they were not, in my estimation, looking for modern weapons of mass destruction - atomic, biological, and chemical (and we knew Hussein had the last capability because we, the USA, gave it to him) - they were looking for the ancient weapons of mass destruction, the Tablets of Destinies, or at least, for information about them, which information would, of course, be on cuneiform tablets. In putting out this narrative, the Schrubb misadministration could count on the American and Western propatainment media to not entertain any other interpretation of that 'weapons of mass destruction' narrative than the modern one.
All of which brings me to this statement in the article, and to some high octane musings on its implications:
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for (Hobby Lobby's Bible) museum claimed it supported the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts at returning the tablet to Iraq.
Wait a minute! Say that again... Homeland Security?
Homeland Security is in charge of rooting out and finding stolen antiquities - including cuneiform tablets - from Iraq and returning them?!? Why Homeland Security? What could a bunch of clay tablets have to do with the domestic national security of the United States? One would think this this type of theft would be more in the jurisdiction of an agency like the FBI, or even the US Marshal's Service. But Homeland Security? The new intelligence agency the Schrubb Misadministration gave to the country in the wake of 9/11 on the hacked up excuse that we could never suffer an intelligence failure or the lack of inter-intelligence-agency communication again? That Homeland Security?
By now, you probably know what I'm thinking, namely, that it's the perfect agency to involve if you want to vet what is, and is not, to be returned to Iraq. Tablets about heroes of Babylonian epics... yea, go ahead and return those. But anything involving national security, say, oh, things like more information on those ancient "weapons of the Gods," or where, for example, they might be found. Well, that's an entirely different matter. Best to not even acknowledge their existence, and let our own translators translate them, and keep those translations all highly classified.
See you on the flip side...