Friday, January 21, 2005
Dr. Chalabi, of course, drew a high number on the combined Shiite list put together by Grand Ayatollah Sistani after his falling out with the U.S. over his spying for Iran. The Shiite list will almost certainly form an new government with Hakim as PM after the elections on the 30th, with Chalabi in line to be minister of something or other. The current government plans to arrest him "based on facts that he wanted to malign the reputation of the defense ministry and defense minister," (Arrested for criticizing the government? Freedom is on the march!) and hand him over to Jordan to be tried for It seems like Allawi wants his old rival out of the way before he steps down as PM, if indeed he has any intention of stepping down as PM. Things are getting mighty testy in Baghdad these days.
How do you square domestic freedom with the curtailment of civil liberties in a war on terror? How do you proclaim that America is a force for freeing dissidents, when the government now has unprecedented powers to detain anyone suspected of terror across the globe and subject them to coercive interrogation techniques that the government will not disclose?