Curiouser

Apparently Newsweek has the Allawi story, but with interesting twists. NEWSWEEK: New Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi Reportedly Cut Off Suspect’s Hand With Ax, Shot Captive Terrorists, According to Stories Circulating in Baghdad:

“Since Ayad Allawi became prime minister of Iraq’s interim government last month, stories circulating on the streets of Baghdad include reports that he ordered two suspected insurgents shot in front of him, shot seven captive terrorists himself and personally chopped off the hand of a suspect with an ax, …”

The actual Newsweek story words this a bit differently:

“Baghdad’s streets are as mean as any in the world, and since Ayad Allawi took office, the stories people tell in them are even meaner. Soon after he became prime minister of the interim government last month, many Iraqis whisper, he ordered two suspected insurgents shot in front of him. Or, goes another account, he shot seven captive terrorists himself, one after another. Or he personally chopped off the hand of a suspect with an ax.”

Here is Allawi’s response:

“Asked by NEWSWEEK if he had killed anyone since taking office, Allawi chuckled and said, “This is a big lie, this is not true, I deny it categorically, No. 1. No. 2, we will spare no effort to secure our people.”

“Since?” Of course he “chuckled” at the question. Wink, wink, nod, nod. He denies killing anyone since taking office. And goes on to say he will spare no efforts? Yes, this question used the word “since” (wink, nod), but of course he knew that the report said he did this before taking office.