U.S. Struggles to Tutor Iraqis in Rule of Law
A mob had gathered by the time the F.B.I. agents arrived at the house where an assassin’s bomb killed nine people last year, narrowly missing a deputy prime minister. Fearing their own lives might be at risk, the agents gave themselves no more than 30 minutes to collect evidence.Now if the Iraqis have been paying attention they would have seen that this is just the way the Justice Department under the administration of George W. Bush has operated. They have drummed up terrorism charges against hapless thugs and fired US attorneys who would not go after Democrats and those who did go after Republicans. I could continue with examples but I'm tired. It would appear that that the Iraqis have already learned all they can from an administration that has no respect for the law or the constitution.
As agents worked inside the house, an Iraqi police commander outside ordered the arrest of a man on the fringe of the crowd, according to American agents who were at the scene. The man later confessed to complicity in the attack. The case, if it could be called that, was quickly closed.
But it was never really clear to American investigators whether the man was actually guilty, or whether the Iraqi police coerced his confession. As an attempt at Iraqi-American cooperation in law enforcement, the investigators said, the episode was clearly disappointing.