Keeping an Iron Grip

by Jim Hightower

George "The Liberator" Bush brought democracy to Iraq, right? He certainly takes every opportunity to tell us so, pointing to that country's newly-elected government that, he says, now is the sovereign authority in charge of Iraq's destiny.

But... how sovereign are they, really? For example, can you imagine considering our own USofA to be a sovereign democracy if--get this--a foreign power had total control of our CIA? If a nation does not control its own secret intelligence agency, it is not sovereign. So, guess who controls the Iraqi Intelligence Service? The CIA!

The director of this secret police force, Mohammed Abudullah Shahwani, was not chosen by the new government, but was handpicked by the Bushites. He reports not to the new Iraqi officials, but to the CIA, which provides all of IIS's financing. In fact, immediately after January's elections, U.S. forces moved Iraq's national intelligence archives into U.S. headquarters in Baghdad, putting them off-limits to the very elected officials that George W so loudly touts as that country's sovereign leaders.

As one leading lawmaker in the new government bluntly puts it, the Iraqi Intelligence Service "is not working for the Iraqi government; it's working for the CIA. I prefer to call it the American Intelligence Service of Iraq."

Why put this iron clamp on a supposed democracy? Because the Bushites don't trust the new leaders or the idea of real democracy. They say that Iraq's elected government is too friendly with neighboring Iran, so the leaders cannot be allowed the freedom of being... well, sovereign, democratic leaders. Also, the CIA has spent a lot of time spying on the politicians whom the Iraqis have now voted into office--and the Bushites want to keep this information secret from the people and their chosen leaders.

A government that's under the thumb of the CIA is neither sovereign nor a democracy, no matter how George tries to spin it.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.