"Coalition Faulted for Lax Controls." Now dissolved by inscriptions on paper, the Coalition Provisional Authority can rest on its laurels -- which, as recently reported by the agency's own inspector general, include wasting loads of money. Under one contract with Halliburton Co., for instance, the CPA lodged government employees at top-notch hotels, one room costing $700 a night. Another audit found that the CPA tried to run the occupation of Iraq with some 900 employees fewer than it needed. T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times (June 30) elaborates.
"The Handover: Restoration of Iraqi Sovereignty -- or Alice in Wonderland?" Boy, that unannounced handover of Iraqi "sovereignty," held in secret, inspired confidence, didn't it? In Counterpunch (June 29), Robert Fisk suggests pondering the sort of sovereignty one might have in the presence of some 3,000 U.S. diplomats and 160,000 or so foreign soldiers, plus the millions of Iraqis who don't want them there. Imagine you are newly installed Prime Minister Iyah Allawi: "[T]he whole painful equation in Baghdad now is that Mr. Allawi is relying on the one army whose evacuation he needs to prove his own credibility." www.counterpunch.org/fisk06292004.html
"U.S. Edicts Curb Power of Iraq's Leadership." Though U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer ascended to the heavens June 28 amidst a retinue of heavily armed security personnel, Iraqis needn't fear; he left behind many tokens of his concern for their welfare. As detailed by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Walter Pincus in The Washington Post (June 27), Bremer signed dozens of legal orders, some of which restrict the power of the new interim government (i.e., giving a seven-member commission the power to disqualify political parties -- and any of the candidates they support) and others installing dozens of handpicked Iraqis to fill influential government posts long-term. Let freedom ring. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8665-2004Jun26.html
"Friendly Fire." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and W. himself are among the defendants in a remarkable lawsuit: One filed on behalf of a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay by Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, a military defense lawyer. The suit, filed in April, challenges the constitutionality of the entire system of military detentions as proposed by Bush, with its secret trials and unappealable verdicts. In an interview with David Goodman in Amnesty Now (Summer), Swift says the system gives detainees "less due process than what is afforded to someone who is about to lose their job."