Who said Bush couldn’t remake Iraq in his image:
The government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is systematically dismissing Iraqi oversight officials, who were installed to fight corruption in Iraqi ministries by order of the American occupation administration, which had hoped to bring Western standards of accountability to the notoriously opaque and graft-ridden bureaucracy here.
The dismissals, which were confirmed by senior Iraqi and American government officials on Sunday and Monday, have come as estimates of official Iraqi corruption have soared. One Iraqi former chief investigator recently testified before Congress that $13 billion in reconstruction funds from the United States had been lost to fraud, embezzlement, theft and waste by Iraqi government officials. [...]
While some Iraqi officials defended the dismissals, saying there had been no political motivation, others pointed to the secrecy involved as supporting their view that those removed had lost their posts without good cause.
Maliki even has his own PerinoBot:
Three senior advisers to Mr. Maliki declined to comment substantively when contacted about the dismissals. “Definitely I know about it, all the details,” said Yasseen Majid, a press adviser to the prime minister. “But you know all the story, so why are you asking me? It’s not my specialty; it’s an administrative issue.”
It’s hard to say which quarry contains the better vein of irony: that the Bush administration actually set up a system of government oversight to fight corruption (chortle!), or that the Bush administration is complaining at its usurpation by the purple paragon of the plebiscite.
In related news, because the clusterfuckometer was getting too low:
The U.S. military has barred Iraqi interpreters working with American troops in Baghdad from wearing ski masks to disguise themselves, prompting some to resign and others to bare their faces even though they fear it could get them killed.
Many Iraqis, however, fear the relative calm won’t last long. To them, ordering interpreters to work without masks suggests that some top U.S. officials are taking an unrealistically rosy view of the security situation in Baghdad, which remains a dangerous city.
U.S. military officials said they began to enforce the mask ban in September because security in Baghdad has improved dramatically.
“We are a professional Army and professional units don’t conceal their identity by wearing masks,” Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for the U.S. military, wrote in an e-mail. He expressed appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the interpreters but said those dissatisfied with the new policy “can seek alternative employment.”
Craven Iraqis just don’t get it: There’s nothing to worry about! You can come out now, we won!