Gonzales Goes to Baghdad

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in Baghdad.

The Justice Department said that Gonzales arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for his third trip to Iraq to meet with department officials who have been there to help fashion the country's legal system.

Just what does the Department of Justice do in Baghdad? Here's the DOJ's 2006 press release outlining its role:


The Department of Justice's law enforcement components provide special investigative training and assistance to Iraqi law enforcement, including the following:
  • The Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) routinely investigates high-profile cases involving assassinations of government officials, prisoner-detainee abuses and civil rights violations, and other instances of violent crime in Baghdad and other regions of the country. The MCTF is composed of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) who provide managerial supervision for, and technical assistance to, highly trained Iraqi investigators.
  • In addition to its oversight of the MCTF, the FBI's Legal Attach' in Iraq provides law enforcement liaison and international assistance of various types. The FBI also has a counterterrorism unit in Iraq and deploys rotating teams of specialists to provide counterterrorism training to the Iraqi police.
  • The ATF provides specialized investigative support and explosives-related training to the Iraqi police.
  • The USMS provides court and witness security services for Iraqi judges and works to establish security programs for courts in Baghdad and throughout the country.
  • The DEA has delivered courses in intelligence and intelligence analysis to the Iraqi police.

Then there's the Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO)

The Department of Justice organized and now supports the RCLO, which was designated by the President as the lead U.S. government agency for support to the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT). The IHT has jurisdiction to investigate charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and violations of certain Iraqi laws, and has investigations underway against Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi officials.
< Bush Issues New Immigration Regs, Felony Charges to Increase | How Low Will Rudy Go? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Always never trust them. Really! (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Ellie on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:07:49 PM EST
    The Department of Justice's law enforcement components provide special investigative training and assistance to Iraqi law enforcement [...]

    I wonder if this is euphemizing "private contractors" -- make that vicious untrammeled para-military mercenaries -- hired by no-bid, crony private contractors and big Bush/Cheney donors (among them, DynCorp, who had outstanding cases of prisoner abuse and int'l sex trafficking on their corporate dossiers.)

    Like Rummy's private army of militarized contractors functioning outside the purview of Military Justice, Congressional / Constitutional oversight (and apparently the barest shred of common human decency) these contractors can do whatever they please, with the added "feature" of not being officially or actionably tethered to the administration.

    "Heh. Yeah. We had a lot of buffahz." [/Willy Cicci, Frankie Five-Angels' lieutenant in The Godfather, AKA The Republican Palace Training Film and Newbies' Guide to Comportment]

    My first thought about AbuGonzo in Baghdad was that his "oversight" was to perform in his usual capacity as Bush's Roomba ::Slash:: Pooper-Scooper, ever cleaning up the wake of Master's latest indefensible, illegal activity.

    However, in the absence of specifics related to this particular trip and aside from nearly a decade of egregious illegality, consider this another free-floating Liberal Bonkers Moment occurring in advance of developments slated to "ripen", at my estimate, in September.

    Going on past behavior, flag it for, hrm, Friday of Labor Day weekend to ascertain more specifically what pile of buried soul-eroding garbage is being tamped down here.

    Always remember: There's a good reason the Bush/Cheney gang want everything done behind closed doors, outside constitutional oversight, without transcripts, unmuzzled witnesses and/or official recording / archiving as warranted by the public they serve, and of course, not under oath.

    good points (none / 0) (#10)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:55:35 PM EST
    Ellie (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sumner on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 12:43:52 PM EST
    Good thread.

    What's with all the money? Heres some additional information on spending on Blackwater, et al:

    According to a recent report in Vanity Fair, the government pays contractors as much as the combined taxes paid by everyone in the United States with incomes under $100,000, meaning "more than 90 percent of all taxpayers might as well remit everything they owe directly to [contractors] rather than to the [government]."

    Sending Gonzales could be a good idea ... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Sailor on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:23:02 PM EST
    ... if they put him on patrol w/o hardened vehicles or body armor.

    But... he could be injured (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:34:40 PM EST
    being hit by all the flowers and love they'd be throwing at him, no?

    It could be worse ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Sailor on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:47:52 PM EST
    ... he could be hurt when that statue of bush fell on him;-)

    He's probably... (none / 0) (#11)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 06:43:30 PM EST
    spending his time looking for that mythical George Bush Square.

    And a year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush.
    - R. Perle, 22 Sep 03

    Wasn't Michael Brown Available? (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Justina on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:37:36 PM EST
    I almost giggle at the thought of Gonzales being sent to Iraq. What, wasn't bombing them, destroying their electricity and water systems enough? Guess Bush and Cheney were concerned that Saddam got too much due process during his trial and they want to make sure that that never happens again.

    File This Under WTF!!?? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Lavocat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:47:58 PM EST
    If there is ANY one person (besides the Monkey Boy and Darth Cheney, of course) who I would have on my list of people I would NEVER want to have ANYTHING to do with "fashioning" a country's legal system, Gonzo has got to be it.

    Foreign policy under the Monkey Boy is tantamount to the George Constanza Principle: do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what any competent person would otherwise do!

    BTW: I'll bet Gonzo won't even be able to recall why (or even IF!) he went to Baghdad.

    is he going on pleasure or business? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:16:13 PM EST

    Iraqi's judicial system (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lucidnebula on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 02:10:05 PM EST
    In Iraq, Gonzo would be a real bad influence for the nascent Iraqi judiciary, and we don't want to see an Iraqi version of PATRIOT Act. I would rather send someone like Alex Kozinski down to Iraq.

    and (none / 0) (#4)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 02:29:54 PM EST
    what are his cash reporting requirements when he returns?

    Gonzo Justice! Oh boy.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 02:41:48 PM EST
    I'm sure the Iraqis are going to love that... </snark>