Searing violence continued in Iraq on Tuesday, including an attack by a suicide bomber inside a Baghdad coffee shop late in the day, killing at least 17 civilians and wounding at least 20, an Interior Ministry official said.
Warrants for the arrest of at least 52 of the suspects in the Site 4 case were issued by the end of August, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, though Iraqi officials at the Interior Ministry refused to confirm that assertion. Ministry officials said all the implicated employees had been suspended from their posts, though the officials refused to explain why some employees remained free, leaving open the possibility that they may have fled.
Iraq's police forces, which are overseen by the Interior Ministry, have long been accused of operating torture chambers inside detention centers, but the charges are the first against the ministry's employees in connection with such allegations, said Gen. Abdel Karim Khalaf, the ministry spokesman.
[. . .]
The authorities said Tuesday that at least 25 people were killed and dozens wounded in Baghdad and in Diyala Province.
The American military command said an American soldier was killed by a bomb on Monday in Baghdad. A day earlier, the military announced the deaths of five other American service members, two in a helicopter crash north of Baghdad and three in fighting west of the capital. A British soldier was killed in an attack on Monday in the southern city of Basra; his was the first British death this month, officials said.
The above is from Kirk Semple's "Suspects Still at Large in Iraqi Torture Case" in this morning's New York Times. At least someone can roll up their sleeves and get to work. The dying didn't stop in Iraq -- just the coverage of it. (The US marine's death that was noted in the previous entry was annouced this morning -- too late to be included in Semple's article.) Bombings continued, shootings continued, corpses were still discovered. But reality lost out to a show trial and gas baggery. Translation, democracy lost out as information was put on hold so 'news' could hop in the back seat and make out with opinion.
Martha notes Patrick Donahue's "Corruption Watchdog Downgrades U.S." (Washington Post):
Congressional scandals have damaged America's standing on a global list that ranks freedom from corruption. The United States ranked 20th least corrupt among 163 countries, down from 17th last year, and scored 7.3 out of 10, a drop of 0.3 compared with 2005, according to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2006.
Finland, Iceland and New Zealand tied for least corrupt, each with an almost-perfect 9.6 ranking. In more bad news for the United States, Iraq was next-to-last on the list.
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