How a little-known rule promulgated by the Bush administration in Iraq, Order 17, let loose the dogs of war.
By Sidney Blumenthal
".....Within Iraq, Order 17 is the legal analogue to these policies, extending impunity on an international scale. So long as Order 17 remains in place, the US occupation will lack legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqis. Until pressured by the house committee on oversight to conduct an investigation, the state department was complicit with the mercenaries, undermining its own mandate to bring security to Iraq, as well as destroying any semblance of credibility for its stated goals of fostering civil society, democracy and the rule of law. Under cover of war the Bush administration defends lawlessness. In the name of fighting terrorism it protects outlaws."