No Longer Operative

Back on January 10Chimpy cited Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s pledge “that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated” during the surge.

Apparently Maliki’s pledge is no longer operative.

U.S. troops detained the son of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite politician Friday as he returned to the country from Iran, keeping him in custody for nearly 12 hours before releasing him, Shiite officials said. The U.S. ambassador later apologized.

Amar al-Hakim, son of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, was taken into custody at a crossing point and was transferred to a U.S. facility in Kut, according to the elder al-Hakim’s secretary, Jamal al-Sagheer.

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim heads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country’s largest Shiite party with longtime ties to Iran. He met with President Bush at the White House in December, and his party is part of the Shiite alliance that includes Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

[snip]

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the arrest was being investigated but stressed that Washington did not mean any disrespect to al-Hakim or his family.

“I am sorry about the arrest,” he said. “We don’t know the circumstances of the arrest and we are investigating … but he is being released.”

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