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The mystery of the Coalition Provisional Authority

Today's issue of Steven Aftergood's Secrecy News has a bit with this title, which I've excerpted.

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:

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