Hussein-o-vision: Citizen Video Undermines State Rhetoric

saddam hussein is hangedIn a backhanded testament to the usefulness of citizen journalism as a voice of dissent, the Iraqi government announced the arrest of (up to three?) two guards and an official who supervised the hanging in connection with the unauthorized videorecording of Saddam Hussein’s execution. The video, apparently made by cellphone, was posted to the Internet on Saturday.

While it appears that a low level guard stands to be charged (name[s] of the arrested have yet to be released), Will Bunch and others find reason to believe the guilty party to be none other than Iraq Nat’l Security advisor Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, the virtual equivalent of the White House’s Stephen Hadley. Oh, the irony of an investigation of a sensitive and untimely leak — this time, not Bush needing to point his finger away from Hadley, but al-Maliki needing to find a scapegoat for his rebel with or without a cause.

While al-Rubaie was installed mostly at the discretion of the U.S. — al-Maliki’s insistence on interrogating and bringing justice to whomever posted the video is yet another example of his unwillingness to cooperate with U.S. interests and to foster his own independence from being the partner that the Bush Administration has so fervently tried to create. It’s now crystal clear that Maliki has little interest in appeasing the U.S. — after all, he has his own life and family to protect while posing as a crucial figure in a civil war and, as the BBC reports, he just wants his nightmare term as PM to end.

Josh Marshall is tracking all developments on this story at Talking Points Memo.

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