News & Politics

Keeping an Iron Grip

Why put this iron clamp on a supposed Iraqi democracy? Because the Bushites don't trust the new leaders or the idea of real democracy.
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.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush," from Viking Press. For more information, visit
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018