Back from the shadows again
Shadowy Iraq office accused of sectarian agenda
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's prime minister has created an entity within his government that U.S. and Iraqi military officials say is being used as a smokescreen to hide an extreme Shiite agenda that is worsening the country's sectarian divide.
The Office of the Commander in Chief has the power to overrule other government ministries, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources.
"Overruling other government ministries"?
"They're just exercising the powers of a 'unitary executive'. Nothing wrong there."
According to a U.S. intelligence source, the Office is "ensuring the emplacement of commanders it favors and can control, regardless of what the ministries want."
Appointing people to offices on the basis of political loyalty?
"Sure, Brownie, you got no experience, but hell, how much experience does head of FEMA need anyway? Not like we'll lose a major city on your watch or anything."
Look of fear!
Among the cases, an Iraqi colonel in Baghdad, who had made strides in controlling the Shiite Mehdi militia, was removed from his job, the U.S. military official said.
People forced out of their jobs by partisan politics?
"Those military officials serve at the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief. Nothing wrong with that!"
Well, slap me silly and call me cornpone!
Bassima al-Jaidri, an adviser in the Office, was described by a senior U.S. military official as "a rabid advocate" with a Shiite agenda who uses her position to intimidate members of Iraq's security forces.
Intimidating the country's security forces?
"You guys are gonna find links between Saddam and al Qaeda, RIGHT? Or do I have to come down to Langley and shoot a couple of you in the face?"
The senior Iraqi army officer told CNN that the presence of the Americans was preventing the actions of the Office from being devastating, but he worried about what would happen when U.S. forces ultimately leave Iraq. At that point, the officer says, there will be no restraint on the activities of the Office.
Yes, nothing good can come of shadowy, secretive government offices. They might even, god forbid, make their own foreign policies!
"Remember to take them a cake and a Bible when you go. That's always a nice touch."
Phee-yew! That shadowy Iraqi government agency is sure scary, isn't it? Not a very good development for Iraqi democracy, I say. Thank god that kind of thing could NEVER EVER happen here.