Who established the Coalition Provisional Authority? The Congressional Research Service just can't figure it out. Jack Kus offers a few helpful hints....

By Jack Kus

** Who established the Coalition Provisional Authority? The Congressional Research Service just can't figure it out. **

United for Peace of Pierce County
April 30, 2004

The Coalition Provisional Authority, it turns out from a Congressional Research Service analysis, is an authority of a most dubious sort.[1]

The conclusion to the 38-page report referred to below in a piece by Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News reads as follows:

"While [the Coalition Provisional Authority's] mission statement is fairly clear, other aspects of its authority are more obscure, particularly how it was established, under what authority, and by whom (within the U.S. government). Available information about the authority found in materials produced by the Administration alternatively: (1) deny that it is a federal agency; (2) state that it is a U.S. government entity; (3) suggest that it was enacted under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483; (4) refer to it, and OHRA, as 'civilian groups . . . reporting to the Secretary [of Defense]'; and (5) state that it was created by the United States and the United Kingdom. Without a clear unambiguous statement that declares the CPA's organizational status and clarifies its relationship with DOD and other federal agencies, various questions may be left unanswered, including whether, and to what extent, CPA might be held accountable for its programs, activities, decisions, and expenditures."

After the whole thing collapses, we can anticipate that there will not be much accountability in an organization that would rather not keep track of how many deaths it causes.

Perhaps the extralegal character of some of the institutions under whose name the agents of this administration operate provide a clue explaining why so many of its operatives -- Richard Armitage of the State Dept. comes to mind -- look and smirk like Mafia capos when they appear before Congressional committees. The fiction that they are in some way beholden to Congress must seem droll to them.

As for the problem that "various questions may be left unanswered," this is no problem, being a specialty of this administration.

All these questions become clearer when one recalls that, as Vigny pointed out in ch. 39 of Stello, all systems of power so far devised are founded on some affirmation that is, ultimately, untrue ñ what Vigny calls "a social lie." Vigny said that a person speaking frankly would always say, in greeting an official, "And how is your social lie doing today?"

For the past month, the entire world has been a witness to how badly the Bush administration's social lie is doing in Iraq.


By Steven Aftergood

Secrecy News
April 30, 2004


The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is the entity led by Amb. Paul Bremer that is responsible for managing and overseeing the reconstruction of Iraq.

But what species of organization is the CPA? And how exactly was it established? These are mysteries.

"It is unclear whether CPA is a federal agency," according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service that is the bureaucratic equivalent of a "thriller."

"No explicit, unambiguous, and authoritative statement has been provided that declares how the authority was established, under what authority, and by whom."

Clarification of the CPA's nature and status "will remain relevant even after CPA's scheduled dissolution on June 30, 2004, for questions may remain about what it did, how it spent money, and what it accomplished."

The new CRS report probes the matter in wonkish depth over 38 pages later but without a clear resolution. A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA): Origin, Characteristics, and Institutional Authorities" by L. Elaine Halchin, Congressional Research Service, April 29, 2004: