Yesterday, the UK Independent reported that the Bush administration is trying to push a secret deal to “perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely.” Today, the paper has more troubling details about the Bush administration’s shady tactics:
The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely,
according to information leaked to The Independent.US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal.
The Bush administration is arguing that some of the Iraqi funds would lose immunity protection if the U.N. mandate “is not replaced by the new agreement.” But the Washington Post reports today that the Iraqi government may request an extension of the mandate. Juan Cole and Spencer Ackerman have more.
LSB: If this were the mafia, we'd be talking about the RICO laws?