So they really did turn him over to the Mahdi Army.
The latest line from Maliki/al Rubaie and Co.
"There was an infiltration at the execution chamber."
Echoing those accusations, a senior Interior Ministry official said the hanging was supposed to be carried out by hangmen employed by the Interior Ministry but that "militias" had managed to infiltrate the executioners' team.
"The execution was carried out by militias and outsiders. They put aside the team from the Interior Ministry that was supposed to carry it out," the official said.
At this point, do we just officially call it a lynching? Of course, that doesn't take into account the very real possibility that this is no more true than yesterday's silly excuse
that al Jazeera had infiltrated the execution chamber.
And does this perhaps get us toward an answer to our earlier question, Why the Rush? We know that Maliki is highly dependent on al Sadr and the Mahdi Army (the folks the 'surge' is supposed to crush). If it's really true that Saddam was handed over to MA fighters to be executed rather than Interior Ministry officials, was that the rush? Did al Sadr and Co. make Maliki an offer he couldn't refuse? Did they demand that Saddam be turned over to them -- and now -- for execution? Was that why he was pulling so many strings and cutting so many corners?