Reporters on the Job

Nose Holding in Iraq: While most Iraqi officials' statements about the new security law have been positive, some members of the interim government who were involved in criticizing Saddam Hussein's regime for human rights abuses are now in an awkward position, says staff writer Dan Murphy. "There are a lot of people in the new government who feel the bad security situation has forced them into a painful choice,'' says Dan. "They're a little red-faced about it."

Arab countries have been plagued over the years by security laws that have been used as cover for indefinite detentions, torture, and suspending elections. While the new Iraqi law seems to have some guarantees to limit abuses, at least one member of the new regime interviewed by Dan for today's story (page 1) was metaphorically holding his nose at what he saw as an uncomfortable necessity. "I'm not going to be at the announcement. It wouldn't feel right," the official told Dan.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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