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More on "liberated" Iraq. (Insider Report).

"A Pentagon lawyer who sought to have U.S. citizens imprisoned indefinitely without charge as part of the war on terrorism will supervise civil administration" in newly liberated Iraq, reported the April 4th London Guardian. Michael H. Mobbs, a defense department attorney and former official with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, will help reconstruct Iraq's legal system. Mobbs authored a legal brief submitted by the Bush administration to justify imprisoning--without trial or judicial review--U.S.-born Yasser Esam Hamdi, captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The so-called "Mobbs Declaration" recalled that Hamdi "went to Afghanistan to train with and, if necessary, fight for the Taliban; he remained with the Taliban after September 11, 2001, and after the United States military campaign began in Afghanistan; and he was captured when his Taliban unit surrendered to Northern Alliance forces." No trial is necessary to detain Hamdi, insisted the administration in its August 5th motion, since the Mobbs declaration "is sufficient to dispose of this case as a matter of law."

Mobbs' assertion of unqualified executive power to imprison people without trial is of a piece with Saddam Hussein's infamous remark: "Law consists of two lines above my signature."

Accompanying Mobbs to Baghdad, reported the Guardian, will be Afghan expatriate Zalmay Khalilzad, who "once sympathized with the Taliban but later changed tack." As "special envoy" to the Iraqi opposition, Khalilzad's "main task is to organize a conference of 250 prominent Iraqis, the equivalent of the loya jirga [post-Taliban high council] in Afghanistan."

So reconstructing Iraq's legal system will involve an advocate of executive dictatorship, and organizing the country's loyal opposition will be supervised by an "ex"-Taliban sympathizer. Hail liberation!
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Title Annotation:Pentagon lawyer Michael H. Mobbs to supervise civil reconstruction in Iraq
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:May 5, 2003
Previous Article:Iraq's U.S./UN viceroy. (Insider Report).
Next Article:Bombing baghdad, coddling China. (Insider Report).

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