Condoleezza Rice took pains to insist today that the U.S. "would not support a policy that would prevent investigations" in Iraq of government officials for corruption charges. But she repeatedly demurred from passing judgment on a decree signed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office manager, which was provided to the House oversight committee by former top corruption judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi. In that document, Maliki informs corruption judges that his approval is required before bringing charges against practically any senior government official. Here's the document
(pdf), signed April 1, 2007:
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you!
It has been decided not to refer any of the following parties to the court until approval of His Excellency, the Prime Minister, is obtained:
1. Presidential Office
2. Council of Ministers
3. Current and Previous Ministers
Dr. Tariq Najim Abdullah
Prime Minister's Office Manager
At a few moments during the hearing, both Rice and ranking Republican Tom Davis (R-VA) suggested that maybe Maliki was trying to referee a bureaucratic dispute between Iraq's numerous anti-corruption agencies. Hands-on management style and all that. That still wouldn't explain all the murder and torture of corruption judges,
but otherwise, the explanation is perfectly sound.