A New Iraqi National Intelligence Service:

The Coalition Provisional Authority has issued permission to the Iraqi Governing Council for the formation of a new intelligence service. If you are curious, the INIS charter is available online. Certain items of interest:

* The INIS is empowered to collect intelligence "and conduct related intelligence activities" in cases of "threats to the national security," terrorism, insurgency, WMD, narcotics, organized crime, or counterintelligence. That is a much broader scope of power than is granted US intelligence agencies.
* Curiously, the charter states that any dissemination of intelligence outside of the Iraqi government will be "strictly limited to what is essential to the national security of Iraq." I suppose that means that we will not be seeing any INIS data unless we can convince the future government that their national security requires ponying up.
* In theory, the INIS will be banned from acting against established political parties, and will be required to observe human rights.
* The INIS will be subject to oversight by the legislature. (Chp. 7, passim).
* INIS members cannot hold legislative or other political office in the new Iraq. (Chp. 11, Ar. 39)
* Chp. 3, Art. 13 states plainly that there will be no "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement, but instead requires immediate notification of probable criminal offenses to the law enforcement branches for prosecution.

Taken together, this looks like the foundation for a very powerful secret police and intelligence service. Such is doubtless required by the circumstances in Iraq, but it will bear watching.

No comments: