Sunday, October 07, 2007

Radhi al-Radhi, Hero - Versus - Darn Near Everybody

Maybe a hick from Baker City, Oregon is easily impressed...I don't think so. How was it going in Iraq for Judge al-Radhi head of the Commission on Public Integrity? Kinda rough, 31 employees killed and 12 family members killed, serving the interest of the Maliki government, which wasn't very enthusiastic. Unenthusiastic enough to fire Radhi while he and some of his staff were in the US for US sponsored training last month, and cut him off monetarily. It seems this guy made some pretty serious enemies. Just for good measure add in the State Department, yup, US State Department under Condi's direction. Yeah, that historically challenged factually deficient, Condi Rice, promoter of global democratization and BushCo ethics. (cough, cough - I put those two words next to each other??)

This is quite honestly such a mess that I'm torn on which part leads to the next and what's more disturbing. OK, my post in September gave some detail to corruption in Iraq and Radhi's difficulties engaging it, his efforts show the Maliki government to be nearly paralyzed by corruption, something inconvenient for BushCo at this point. Thursday he testified before Henry Waxman's committee, detailing what's been going on. Within minutes Republicans were on the attack:

"Corruption is not a new phenomenon," remarked Representative Tom Davis, the senior GOPer on the panel.

Republican, Representative Darrell Issa, "We're not surprised a country that was run by a corrupt dictator…would have a pattern of corruption."

Republican Representative John Mica noted that corruption plagues many democratic countries, including the United States. Mica cited Watergate and the prosecution of Reagan administration officials, and he claimed that the Clinton administration had "the most number of witnesses to die suddenly."

I'm not going to re-write this AlterNet story, there are a lot more details, not nice details, but we start to get to some of the salient points when Waxman wants to see the State Department report on Iraqi government corruption - it's classified. The 70 page draft was "Sensitive, Not Classified;" the 80 page version is now off limits.

Writing to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Waxman contended that this was absurd and outrageous. He argued it was ridiculous for the State Department to claim it could not answer even general questions about Iraqi corruption within a public setting. At the hearing, Waxman hurled a series of queries at Butler. What effect does corruption have on the Iraqi government's ability to achieve political reconciliation? Has Maliki obstructed any corruption investigations? Does the Maliki government have the political will and capability to root out corruption? Is corruption funding the insurgency? Again and again, Butler replied that he would be delighted to answer these questions in the proper setting: a classified hearing behind closed doors. This information, he explained, was secret because its disclosure would "endanger" U.S.-Iraqi relations.

Is your head spinning? Yet? Waxman evidently was, he noted that Condi had recently praised the Maliki efforts against corruption - very publicly - but now the not so positive was classified. The pattern of embarrassing documents finding their way into classification continues. Henry got wound up enough to say, "Secretary Rice is going to have a confrontation with this committee….The executive branch must answer the questions of the legislative branch." Knock yourself out, Henry, Condi luuuuuvs George II much more than she fears you.

According to a Radhi associate, Radhi left the committee room believing he had done the right thing. Even as he was depending on the U.S. government to process his asylum request, he had delivered Congress a straight message that happened to be rather inconvenient for the Bush administration. Then hours later, he received disturbing news: his son, who had been trying to obtain political asylum in England, was ordered by the British government to return to Baghdad. That's where people connected to Radhi have been kidnapped, tortured and killed. "For Judge Radhi," the Radhi associate said, "this put his day on Capitol Hill in a very different light."
That's right Rep Mica, there's corruption in DC, rather inconvenient of your Republican self to bring it up. Radhi battles it in Bhagdad, loses friends and family, and finally his position and economic well-being and you thugs belittle him in your smug little BushCo world of cronyism and corruption. The man is a hero and you and your's are scum sucking bottom feeders and you will exact your revenge for him making George II's surge look pointless.

Just exactly how ignored has this story been? Bet you knew nothing of it from the MSM. Yep, that leftist elite media the wing nuts are always railing against... Follow those links and see what it really is that's got me going, I'll be damned if I'll sit still for this crap out of those weasels.

Here's a little PostScript for you:
"No U.S. government agency has provided him any help to date," says a Radhi associate. On Monday morning, I asked Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokesperson, if this is true. She promised a quick answer. No reply came quickly. When I called again, she told me she had to check with Bureau of Near East Affairs and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. On Wednesday afternoon, Thompson called with an official response:

State Department officials have met with Judge Radhi and are aware of his situation. As a standard practice, we do not comment on private conversations.
The Nation


Zak J. said...

Hard to believe the Bush admin is still capable of finding new and creative ways to keep shaming our country, but there it is.

Chuck Butcher said...

I cannot believe how ignored this is. I don't think much else has made me quite as angry at our media. This guy has taken unimaginable risks and lost just about everything.

Anonymous said...

Very, very sad situation, as he was practically checking on how our own funds were getting used. With so many millions stolen in Iraq by both Iraqis and external firms, so many troops dying as a result of it, and pretty much only this guy and his people trying to stop it all, you would think we would have treated him better. But no, it's just politics and who cares who lives or die! With all those years of legal hands on experience, now here in the US what's he going to do. Clean bathrooms?! Then again, how many people come to the US to have to start from the bottom up again, but because they don't speak the lingo, they end up in jobs where they are looked down upon. If only people knew that many of them are trained lawyers, doctors or engineers... Very, very sad!