Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Listen to the expert!

So now that we've trashed Iraq, they need to rebuild their institutions. So who best to help them out in this daunting task (well, aside from Preznitential Medal of Freedom winner "You're doing a heck of a job, Paul" L. Paul Bremer) but our own stellar solon of jurisprudence, Attorney General Mike Mukasey? From today's S.F. Chronicle:
America's top lawyer met Wednesday with the head of Iraq's judicial council during a quick trip to Baghdad to review U.S. efforts to help build the nation's legal system.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey also met with key U.S. officials in Iraq, as well as soldiers and some of the more than 200 Justice Department officials working here in a "rule of law" mission.

"I'm encouraged by the work that's being accomplished here," Mukasey said at a news conference held in Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone.

"My assessment is that the Iraqis are firmly committed to the notion of the rule of law as distinct from the rule of might, and are committed to the independence of the judiciary."
Ha-ha-ha-haaa-haaaahhh-haahh-heh. That Mukasey's such a kidder. Always cracks me up.

Maybe they can ask him for advice on "covering your own a$", and on how to torture away without regret, and he can explain that you just need to get some official looking paper signed by someone or another nominally a lawyer to say that what you're doing is "just A-OK", and you're set....

OBTW, any Iraqis that happpen to be reading this: To provide true "independence of the judiciary", just make sure that no cases can ever come before them, by invoking "advice of counsel", "state secrets", and declining to prosecute. No conflict, no problem. That's true "independence".

As for: "My assessment is that the Iraqis are firmly committed to the notion of the rule of law as distinct from the rule of might..." Hmmmm, you mean, like a country that's not been invaded, occupied, and is not being held together (just barely), by a foreign military force? No wonder they want us out!

(h/t ThinkProgress)


Update

Matt Yglesias adds another note about our export of 'expertise':

Spencer Ackerman travels the world, assembling apropos anecdotes. For example, when he was in Mosul he saw a Provincial Reconstruction Team helping to oversee a terrorism trial and teach the Iraqis a thing or two about the rule of law:

Then at the end, as people are milling about and chatting on their way out the door, one of the PRT officials tells a judge how important it is to stand up against terrorism and promote equality and fairness before an impartial system of law. The judge nods at the platitude. "Tell me," he says through a translator, "is it true that in America, Bush can fire prosecutors he doesn't like?"
Let freedom ring.

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