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Baghdad embassy plans turn up online

Detailed plans for the new U.S. Embassy under construction in Baghdad appeared online Thursday in a breach of the tight security surrounding the sensitive project.

Computer-generated projections of the soon-to-be completed, heavily fortified compound were posted on the Web site of the Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural firm that was contracted to design the massive facility in the Iraqi capital.

The images were removed by Berger Devine Yaeger Inc. shortly after the company was contacted by the State Department.

[The] 10 images included a scheme of the overall layout of the compound, plus depictions of individual buildings including the embassy itself, office annexes, the Marine Corps security post, swimming pool, recreation center and the ambassador's and deputy ambassador's residences.

U.S. officials said the posted plans conformed at least roughly to conceptual drawings for the new embassy, which is being built on the banks of the Tigris River behind huge fences due to concerns about insurgents' attacks.

Dan Sreebny, a spokesman for the embassy in Baghdad, declined to discuss the accuracy of the posted images.

"In terms of commenting whether they're accurate, obviously we wouldn't be commenting on that because we don't want people to know whether they're accurate or not for security reasons," he said.

For a moment, I thought they are at least competent in building fortified bases in the volatile Iraq...

by das monde on Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 12:13:10 AM EST
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