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L. Paul Bremer

L. Paul Bremer

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Encyclopedia
Lewis Paul "Jerry" Bremer III (born September 30, 1941) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

. He is most notable for being the U.S. Administrator to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 charged with overseeing the country's occupation after the 2003 invasion
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. In his role as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

, he reported primarily to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and exercised authority over Iraq's civil administration. He served in this capacity from May 11, 2003, until limited Iraqi sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 was restored on June 28, 2004.

Regardless of his many career accomplishments, Bremer will undoubtedly be best remembered for his disastrous decision as Governor of Iraq to dis-establish the Iraqi Army and the civil infrastructure of the country. Thousands of Sunni Bath Party members, including members of the military, police and civil service, were immediately fired by Bremer with a pen-stroke, leaving civil affairs in the hands of a Shiite dominated governing council. This extremely ill-advised and unilateral decision turned a rapid American victory over Saddam's regime into an overnight rebellion against US and coalition forces, which rapidly spread into a full-blown Sunni insurgency with catastrophic consequences for thousands of American servicemen and on a strategic level for the prestige and honor of the United States. As of this writing, the insurgency has not yet been completely defeated, and the country has been so weakened by eight years of strife that it remains vulnerable to the rule of the gunman while arch-rival Iran is poised to subvert Iraqi democracy as soon as all American and coalition troops are withdrawn. Rather than accomplish the original US objectives of creating a strong democratic Arab state to support US interests and security in the region, Bremer's decision has weakened the country while leaving Iran as the dominant country in the region. Historians will note Bremer's actions in Iraq as one of the most costly in American history.

Early life and career


Born in Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960, it is the second most populous city on New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making...

, Bremer was educated at New Canaan Country School
New Canaan Country School
New Canaan Country School is private day school, offers grades Pre-Kindergarten-9, located on a campus in New Canaan, Connecticut. The current headmaster is Timothy Bazemore, who joined the school in 2000....

, Kent School
Kent School
Kent School is a private, co-educational college preparatory school in Kent, Connecticut, USA. The Reverend Frederick Herbert Sill, Order of the Holy Cross, established the school in 1906 and it retains its affiliation with the Episcopal Church of the United States.Students at Kent come from more...

 and Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

. Bremer's father was president of the Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Christian Dior , was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.-Life:...

 Perfumes Corporation in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. His mother was a lecturer in art history at the University of Bridgeport
University of Bridgeport
The University of Bridgeport is a private, independent, non-sectarian, coeducational university located on the Long Island Sound in the South End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University is fully Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges...

. Bremer graduated from Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1963 and went on to earn an MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

 from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1966. He later continued his education at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, where he earned a Certificate of Political Studies (CEP).

That same year he joined the Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

, which sent him first to Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, as a general services officer. He was assigned to Blantyre, Malawi
Blantyre, Malawi
Blantyre or Mandala is Malawi's centre of finance and commerce, the largest city with an estimated 732,518 inhabitants . It is sometimes referred to as the commercial capital of Malawi as opposed to the political capital, Lilongwe...

, as economic and commercial officer from 1968 to 1971.

During the 1970s, Bremer held various domestic posts with the State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, including posts as an assistant to Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

 from 1972–76. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 from 1976–79, returning to the US to take a post of Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State, where he remained from 1979–81. In 1981, he was promoted to Executive Secretary
Executive Secretariat
The United States Department of State Executive Secretariat is composed of the Executive Secretary of the Department and four Deputy Executive Secretaries. It is responsible for coordination of the work of the Department of State internally, serving as the liaison between the Department's bureaus...

 and Special Assistant to Alexander Haig
Alexander Haig
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford...

.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 appointed Bremer as Ambassador to the Netherlands
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
The United States diplomatic mission to the Netherlands consists of the embassy located in The Hague and a consular office located in Amsterdam.In 1782, John Adams was appointed America's first Minister Plenipotentiary to Holland...

 in 1983 and Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism in 1986 (and Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Coordinator for Counterterrorism
The Coordinator for Counterterrorism heads the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, which coordinates U.S. government efforts to fight terrorism.-List of Coordinators for Combating Terrorism:-External links:**...

). Bremer retired from the Foreign Service in 1989 and became managing director at Kissinger and Associates, a worldwide consulting firm founded by Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

. A Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, Bremer received the State Department Superior Honor Award, two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, and the Distinguished Honor Award from the Secretary of State. Before rejoining government in 2003, he was Chairman and CEO of Marsh Crisis Consulting, a risk and insurance services firm which is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. is a US-based global professional services and insurance brokerage firm. In 2007, it had over 57,000 employees and annual revenues of $10.49 billion. Marsh & McLennan Companies was ranked the 221st largest corporation in the United States by the 2009 Fortune 500...

, a trustee on the Economic Club of New York, and a board member of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Akzo Nobel
Akzo Nobel
Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people. Sales in 2010 were EUR...

 NV, the Harvard Business School Club of New York and The Netherlands-America Foundation. He served on the International Advisory Boards of Komatsu Corporation and Chugai Pharmaceuticals.

Bremer was appointed Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism by House Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Dennis Hastert
Dennis Hastert
John Dennis "Denny" Hastert was the 59th Speaker of the House serving from 1999 to 2007. He represented as a Republican for twenty years, 1987 to 2007.He is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history...

 in 1999. He also served on the National Academy of Science Commission examining the role of Science and Technology in counterterrorism. Bremer and his wife were the founders of the Lincoln/Douglass Scholarship Foundation, a Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

-based not-for-profit organization that provides high school scholarships to inner city youths.

On the day Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 terrorists crashed two hijacked American commercial jetliners
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 into the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Bremer and 1,700 of his employees at Marsh & McLennan had offices in both towers. Bremer's office was in the North Tower. He and his people occupied floors at and "above where the second aircraft hit." At the time of his television interview with CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 on September 14, 2001, 450 of his colleagues were unaccounted for; 295 were eventually counted as dead.

Three hours after a commercial airliner crashed into the South Tower, Bremer appeared for a televised interview. As a leading counterterrorism expert, Bremer offered his opinion on what would likely happen and pinpointed Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 as the terrorist leader responsible for the attack.

In late 2001, along with former Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 Edwin Meese
Edwin Meese
Edwin "Ed" Meese, III is an attorney, law professor, and author who served in official capacities within the Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Administration , the Reagan Presidential Transition Team , and the Reagan White House , eventually rising to hold the position of the 75th Attorney General of...

, Bremer co-chaired the Heritage Foundation
Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

's Homeland Security Task Force, which created a blueprint for the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

's Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

. For two decades Bremer has been a regular at Congressional hearings and is recognized as an expert on terrorism and internal security. Some of Bremer's published work includes "Warfare & Defence Military Science Alliance Response to Nuclear Weapons Proliferation", "The Alliance Response to Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Deterrence, Defense, and Cooperative Options", and "Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism: Report from the National Commission on Terrorism", the New York Times article "What I Really Said About Iraq", and his first book, My Year In Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope.

Governor of Iraq


Bremer arrived in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 as the U.S. Presidential Envoy on May 2003, and on May 11 replaced lieutenant general Jay Garner
Jay Garner
Jay Montgomery Garner is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who was appointed in 2003 as Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq but was soon replaced by Ambassador Paul Bremer and the ambassador's successor...

 as Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

. In June, the Office was transformed into the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

, and Bremer, as U.S. Administrator of Iraq, became the chief executive authority in the country.

As the top civil administrator of the former Coalition Provisional Authority, Bremer was tasked with the challenging job of overseeing the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq until the country was deemed to be in a state in which it could be self-governed. He was empowered to issue decree
Decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

s to modify Iraq's infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, including such notable decrees as removing all restrictions on freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests...

, suspending the use of the death penalty, upholding Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's union laws, establishing a Central Criminal Court of Iraq
Central Criminal Court of Iraq
The Central Criminal Court of Iraq, or CCCI, is a criminal court of Iraq. The CCCI is based on an inquisitorial system and consists of two chambers: an investigative court and a criminal court...

 and disbanding the Iraqi army
Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is the land component of the Iraqi military, active in various forms since being formed by the British during their mandate over the country after World War I....

.


On July 13, 2003, Bremer approved the creation of an Iraqi Interim Governing Council as a way of "ensuring that the Iraqi people
Iraqi people
The Iraqi people or Mesopotamian people are natives or inhabitants of the country of Iraq, known since antiquity as Mesopotamia , with a large diaspora throughout the Arab World, Europe, the Americas, and...

's interests are represented." The council members were chosen from prominent political, ethnic, and religious leaders who had opposed Saddam Hussein. Bremer retained veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 power over the council's proposals. The council was authorized to select a limited number of delegates to key Coalition Provisional Authority committees, like the Program Review Board
Coalition Provisional Authority Program Review Board
The Coalition Provisional Authority Program Review Board was composed of the senior personnel of the Coalition Provisional Authority, charged with the responsibility to review and make recommendations about the awarding of contracts to the administrator of the authority, Paul Bremer.The board...

.

The other major milestone was the development and approval of an interim constitution. On March 1, 2004, after several hours of negotiations, with Bremer acting as mediator, the Iraqi Interim Governing Council resolved the disagreements the council members had with clauses in the interim constitution. A formal signing ceremony was scheduled for March 5, 2004. As the guests waited and the orchestra played, the signing was canceled due to objections by certain Shia members in the council, most notably by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani is the highest-ranking Twelver Shia marja in Iraq and the leader of the Hawza of Najaf.-Early life:Sistani was born in Mashhad, Iran, to a family of religious scholars who traced their roots to Isfahan...

, a prominent religious leader in Iraq. The official signing finally took place on March 8, 2004.

On June 28, 2004 at 10:26 AM local time, the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 formally transferred limited sovereignty of Iraqi territory to the Iraqi Interim Government, two days ahead of schedule. Bremer departed from the country on the same day. In his farewell speech broadcast on Iraqi television, he said, "I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident that your future is full of hope. A piece of my heart will always remain here in the beautiful land between the two rivers, with its fertile valleys, its majestic mountains and its wonderful people..."

Bremer's office was a division of the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, and as Administrator he reported directly to the United States Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 and the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. His senior adviser Dan Senor
Dan Senor
Daniel Samuel Senor, known as Dan Senor , is a founding partner of Rosemont Capital LLC, and Rosemont Solebury Capital Management. He is also a Fox News contributor and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal among other publications...

 served as coalition spokesman, working with military spokesman Mark Kimmitt
Mark Kimmitt
Mark Traecey Patrick Kimmitt was the 16th Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, serving under George W. Bush from August 2008 to January 2009. Prior to joining the State Department, he was a Brigadier General in the United States Army, and served as the Deputy Assistant...

.

John Negroponte
John Negroponte
John Dimitri Negroponte is an American diplomat. He is currently a research fellow and lecturer in international affairs at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs...

 replaced Bremer as the highest ranking American civilian in Iraq.

Post-Iraq



Since his return from Iraq, Bremer has been on a few speaking tours. During a student forum at DePauw University
DePauw University
DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, USA, is a private, national liberal arts college with an enrollment of approximately 2,400 students. The school has a Methodist heritage and was originally known as Indiana Asbury University. DePauw is a member of both the Great Lakes Colleges Association...

 on September 16, 2004, Bremer stated, "The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout." At another engagement on October 4, 2004 at White Sulphur Springs
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
White Sulphur Springs is a city in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 2,444 at the 2010 census.-Geography:White Sulphur Springs is located at ....

, West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, he remarked that lawlessness in Iraq might have been under better control by having more troops on the ground earlier on. Occurring only a month before the 2004 presidential elections, the remarks resulted in controversy. Bremer clarified his views October 8 in an article in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

.

On December 14, 2004, Bremer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

, America's highest civil award for "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." "He was also presented with the Department of Defense award for Distinguished Public Service and the Nixon Library honored him with the "Victory of Freedom Award" for "demonstrating leadership and working towards peace and freedom."

Bremer made several public appearances in 2005 and continues to make public appearances. Bremer was a keynote speaker at a San Diego conference in February 2005.

He is also a guest speaker at several universities throughout the United States. One such visit to Clark University
Clark University
Clark University is a private research university and liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts.Founded in 1887, it is the oldest educational institution founded as an all-graduate university. Clark now also educates undergraduates...

 on April 18, 2005 attracted several protesters who displayed anti-Bremer signs and hung him in effigy. Dissatisfied with Bremer's speech and answers, several students also voiced disappointment at their university for having paid him $40,000 to appear. Another appearance, scheduled for the public library of his hometown, New Canaan, Connecticut
New Canaan, Connecticut
New Canaan is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, northeast of Stamford, on the Fivemile River. The population was 19,738 according to the 2010 census.The town is one of the most affluent communities in the United States...

, on January 18, 2006, was moved to the private St. Luke's School in the same town for fear for protests. During a February 27, 2006 public appearance at Lynchburg College
Lynchburg College
Lynchburg College is a private college in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA, related by covenant to the Christian Church with approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The Princeton Review lists it as one of the 368 best colleges in the nation...

, where his sister-in-law is an assistant dean, Bremer insisted that his decision to disband the Iraqi military was the correct one.

Bremer also wrote a book about his experiences in Iraq, published January 2006. In a Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC, or Dateline, is a U.S. weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC. It previously was NBC's flagship news magazine, but now focuses on true crime stories. It airs Friday at 9 p.m. EST and after football season on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST.-History:Dateline is historically notable for...

 interview broadcast on television on January 8, 2006, Bremer said that the job was more difficult than he originally anticipated. According to the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

 Online, he was used as the Iraq "fall guy" for "postwar setbacks".

Among other things, Bremer repeatedly asserted that when he came to Iraq, the Iraqi army had abandoned its barracks, and therefore "there was no army to disband". He also repeatedly defended his decision to expel Baath Party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

 members from government posts by comparing Saddam Hussein with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

.

Bremer has even made an appearance on Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

's The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

 with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian...

. The two joked about their mutual attraction for each other, but the discussion changed course to the topic of Bremer's book.

Bremer has also made one invitation-only, guest appearance in Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan...

 in March 2006 as guest speaker for a charitable event sponsored by the Lexington Medical Center.

On February 6, 2007, Bremer appeared before a Congressional committee investigating fraud and abuse and was questioned about what happened during his tenure as head of the CPA and to respond to conclusions from a January 2005 audit report, including the missing $8.8 billion U.S. of Iraq's money and the chosen accounting method of these funds.

Bremer currently serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board for GlobalSecure Corporation, a company whose focus is "on securing the homeland with integrated products and services for the critical incident response community worldwide,". and on the board of directors of BlastGard International, Inc., a company located in Florida that manufactures materials to mitigate the impact of explosions. (Standard and Poor's Register)

In November 2010, Bremer joined World T.E.A.M. Sports, an Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit organization, as CEO and President. Bremer also serves as a member of the organization's board of directors.

Bremer and wife Frances, the spokeswoman for the National Fibromyalgia Association, travel around the country to help raise public awareness about fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion...

, a medical condition that some claim afflicts 10 million Americans and five percent of the world's population. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute
International Republican Institute
Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute is an organization, funded by the United States government, that conducts international political programs, sometimes labeled 'democratization programs'....

.

Criticism and controversies


Disbanding of the Iraqi Army



On May 23, 2003 Bremer issued Order Number 2, in effect dissolving the entire former Iraqi army and putting 400,000 former Iraqi soldiers out of work.

The move was widely criticized for creating a large pool of armed and disgruntled youths for the insurgency
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

 to draw recruits from. Former soldiers took to the streets in mass protests to demand back pay. Many of them threatened violence if their demands were not met.

It was widely asserted within the White House and the CPA that the order to disband the Iraqi Army had little to no practical effect since it had "self-demobilized" in the face of the oncoming invasion force. This was revealed to be false, however, insofar as the CIA had conducted psychological operations against the Iraqis, such as dropping leaflets over the Army's positions prior to the invasion. The leaflets ordered the Iraqi Army to abandon their positions, return to their homes, and await further instructions.

Bremer was later heavily criticized for officially disbanding the former Iraqi Army. Bremer, however, contends that there were no armies to disband. He says that the brutality of Saddam's rule over his people and his own Iraqi soldiers led to many simply leaving after the fall of Baghdad to go home; some to protect their own families from the rampant looting. Critics claimed his extreme measures, including the firing of thousands of school teachers and removing Ba'ath party members from top government positions, helped create and worsen an atmosphere of discontent among those who did not "fit in" with the socioeconomic profile the Americans were working with. As the insurgency grew stronger, so did the criticisms. Bremer was also in personal danger because of Iraqi perceptions of him and was henceforth heavily guarded. Attempts to assassinate him took place a few times - one of the more publicized attempts occurred on December 6, 2003 when his convoy was driving on the dangerous Baghdad Airport Road
Baghdad Airport Road
The Baghdad Airport Road is a 12 kilometer stretch of highway in Baghdad, Iraq linking the International Zone, a heavily fortified area at the center of Baghdad, to Baghdad International Airport . It also links different parts of Baghdad to the Airport and connects neighboring areas to each other...

 while returning to the fortified Green Zone
Green Zone
The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city...

. The convoy was hit by a bomb and gunfire, with the rear window of his official car blown away and as bullets flew, Bremer and his deputies ducked below their seats. No injuries or casualties were reported and news of the assassination attempt on Bremer was not released until December 19, 2003, during his visit to Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

.

During Bremer's stay in Iraq, the Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 allegedly placed a bounty of 10,000 grams of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 on Bremer, the equivalent of US$125,000 at the time.

Despite the messages the CIA reportedly communicated to the Iraqi army, the argument was still ventured that by the time Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003 the previous Army had demobilized, or as Bremer puts it, "had simply dissolved...." However, as Mark Danner
Mark Danner
Mark David Danner is a prominent American writer, journalist, and educator. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs, war and politics, and has written extensively on Haiti, Central America,...

 reports in an essay in The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books is a fortnightly magazine with articles on literature, culture and current affairs. Published in New York City, it takes as its point of departure that the discussion of important books is itself an indispensable literary activity...

 entitled 'Iraq: The War of Imagination' and dated September 21, 2006, American agents - including one colonel and a number of CIA operatives - had already began meeting regularly with Iraqi officers in order to reconstitute the army as a working force. Implied in this is the notion that the army - temporarily "demobilized" or not - did in fact continue to exist as a coherent entity, indeed coherent enough that it could be consulted and negotiated with. This seems to concur with the position of the first Director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, ex-General Jay Garner
Jay Garner
Jay Montgomery Garner is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who was appointed in 2003 as Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq but was soon replaced by Ambassador Paul Bremer and the ambassador's successor...

, who Bremer had replaced. As Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward
Robert Upshur Woodward is an American investigative journalist and non-fiction author. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post....

 reports in his book State of Denial
State of Denial
State of Denial is a 2003 documentary film about AIDS in Africa, produced and directed by Elaine Epstein. The film highlights the errors of President Mbeki's government, which insists that there isn't enough evidence to show that HIV causes AIDS and refuses vital life-saving drugs to their people...

, Garner, upon hearing of the order to disband the army, attempted to convince Bremer to rethink the dissolution. Bremer was reported as saying: "The plans have changed. The thought is we don't want the residuals of the old army. We want a new and fresh army." To this, Garner replied: "Jerry, you can get rid of an army in a day, but it takes years to build one."

The issue of disbanding the old Iraqi Army found itself, once again, the center of media attention with two articles explaining why Bremer ostensibly did not make the decision on his own. The first press release by the New York Times included a letter written by Bremer to President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 dated May 20, 2003 describing the progress made so far since Bremer's arrival in Baghdad, including one sentence that reads "I will parallel this step with an even more robust measure dissolving Saddam's military and intelligence structures to emphasize that we mean business."

The second press release dated September 6, 2007 was submitted by Bremer as an Op Ed piece for the New York Times. Titled "How I Didn't Dismantle Iraq's Army", Bremer says he did not make the decision on his own, and that the decision was reviewed by "top civilian and military members of the American government"; which included General John Abizaid
John Abizaid
John Philip Abizaid, AO is a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command , overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle...

, who briefed officials in Washington that "'there are no organized Iraqi military units left'".

Bremer’s article goes into further about how the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 did consider two alternatives: To recall the old army or to rebuild a new army with "both vetted members of the old army and new recruits." According to Bremer, Abizaid liked the second alternative.

Bremer also details the situation he and the major decision makers faced; especially when the large Shiite majority in the new Army could have had problems with the thought of having a former Sunni officer issuing orders.

Furthermore, a memo from U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 on May 8, 2003 that said "the coalition 'will actively oppose Saddam Hussein's old enforcers - the Baath Party, Fedayeen Saddam
Fedayeen Saddam
Fedayeen Saddam was a paramilitary organization loyal to the former Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice". At its height, the group had 30,000-40,000 members.-Irregular forces:...

, etc...'we will make clear that the coalition will eliminate the remnants of Saddam's regime'" was sent to both National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 and Secretary of State Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

.

After two protesters were killed by U.S. troops, the CPA agreed to pay up to 250,000 former soldiers a stipend of $50 to $150 a month. Conscripts
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 were given a single severance payment. Many of the former soldiers found this to be grossly inadequate.

Charles H. Ferguson
Charles H. Ferguson
Charles Henry Ferguson is the founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc., director and producer of No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq and Inside Job , which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary...

, director of critically acclaimed No End in Sight
No End in Sight
No End in Sight is a 2007 documentary film about the American occupation of Iraq. The film marks the directorial debut of Academy Award winning documentary film producer Charles H. Ferguson. The film premiered January 22, 2007 at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film opened in limited release...

, created a video response to Bremer's Op Ed piece on September 6, 2007. (This was the very first New York Times video Op Ed letter in history.)

"De-Ba'thification" of the Iraqi civil service


Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

 counted among its members a huge majority of Iraq's governmental employees, including educational officials and some teachers. By order of the CPA, these skilled and mostly apolitical people were banned from holding any positions in Iraq's new government and public service. Critics claim these extreme measures, resulting in the firing of thousands of school teachers and removing Ba'ath party members from top government positions, helped create and worsen an atmosphere of discontent among those who did not "fit in" with the socioeconomic profile the Americans wanted to impose. This policy of "de-Ba'thification", now widely seen as having created bitter, new divisions in the country, and fuelling the violence that has torn Iraq apart, was reversed in January 2008.

Bremer was once again warned of the harm his actions would have. According to Woodward, when Garner asserted that none of the ministries would be able to function after this order, Bremer asked the Bahgdad station chief for his thoughts. "If you put this out, .... you will put 50,000 people on the street, underground, and mad at Americans," he replied. Woodward: "And these 50,000 were the most powerful, well-connected elites from all walks of life."

Management of Iraq's oil revenue


Bremer was accountable to the Secretary of Defense for the actions he took. But, since his authority to spend Iraq's oil revenue derived from United Nations Resolution 1483, he was
also accountable to the UN. The authority he derived from the UN to spend Iraq's oil revenue bound him to show that:
  • Expenditures were intended to benefit the Iraqi people.
  • The programs that were funded were decided upon, and supervised in an open, transparent manner.
  • Iraqis were invited to give meaningful input into how funds were spent.
  • The administrator of Iraq was co-operating with the International Advisory and Monitoring Board
    International Advisory and Monitoring Board
    The International Advisory and Monitoring Board was appointed to oversee the Coalition Provisional Authority's disbursements from the humanitarian Development Fund for Iraq. When the CPA was authorized to manage the DFI by United Nations resolution 1483....

    .
  • That proper fiscal controls were in place, so that it could be demonstrated that none of the funds were diverted, or mis-spent.


One of the concerns the IAMB raised repeatedly was that the CPA had repaired the well-heads and pipelines for transporting Iraq’s oil, but they had stalled on repairing the meters that were necessary to document the shipment of Iraqi oil, so it could be demonstrated that none of it was being smuggled.

In their final press release before the CPA’s authority expired, on June 22, 2004, the IAMB stated:
The CPA has acknowledged that the failure to meter the oil shipments resulted in some oil smuggling — an avoidable loss of Iraq's oil that was Bremer's responsibility. Neither Bremer nor any of his staff has offered an explanation for their failure to repair the meters.

Failure to perform month-end cash reconciliations


Under Bremer’s stewardship the CPA requested $12 billion in cash from the US treasury. Under Bremer’s stewardship the CPA paid out $12 billion in cash. The external auditors management notes point out that the CPA didn’t perform a cash reconciliation until April 2004, eleven months into Bremer's mandate, when they started their work.
See Congressional hearing when Ambassador L. Paul Bremer and Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, testified on management of U.S. funds in Iraq.

Failure to employ qualified internal auditors


In his second regulation, Bremer committed the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 to hire a reputable firm of certified chartered accountants, to serve as internal auditors, to help make sure the Coalition's finances were administered according to modern accounting principles. These internal auditors would be separate and distinct from the external auditors who would report to the International Advisory and Monitoring Board. Bremer did not make sure the CPA hired internal auditors, however.

When the external auditors arrived, they learned that Bremer had not made sure the CPA
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 lived up to the commitment to hire internal auditors to help set up a reliable accounting system. On the contrary they learned that a single contracted consultant kept track of the CPA’s expenditures in a series of spreadsheets.

The external auditors reported that rather than use a modern double-entry accounting system the CPA used what they described as “a single-entry, cash based, transaction list”.

Unaccounted-for funds


On January 30, 2005, an official report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was created in October 2004 as the successor to the Coalition Provisional Authority Office of Inspector General . SIGIR is an independent government agency created by the Congress to provide oversight of the use – and potential...

, Stuart Bowen
Stuart Bowen
Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. , is an American lawyer who serves as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction , a position he has held since October 2004. He previously served as the Inspector General for the Coalition Provisional Authority , a position to which he was appointed in January 2004....

, cited by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

, stated that $9 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq might have disappeared in frauds, corruption and other misbehavior. On one particular salary register, only 602 names among 8206 could be verified. As another cited example, the Coalition Authority authorized Iraqi officials to postpone declaring the reception of $2.5 billion, which the provisional government had received in spring through the Oil for Food program.

Bremer wrote an eight-page reply to deny the accusations and stated that, during the IG's inquiry, Bowen's people refused to interview Bremer's deputies, and the IG's report failed to mention that Bremer and his people worked under extraordinary conditions, faced a high turnover rate, and had insufficient number of personnel to carry out their rebuilding and humanitarian relief efforts.

Bremer's claim that Bowen's staff made no attempt to interview his staff is at odds with the detailed account of the external auditors, of their attempts to meet with Bremer and his staff. In their management notes they describe how some of the CPA
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

's senior staff, including Bremer himself, just would not make themselves available to meet with the auditors. Others, like George Wolfe
George Wolfe (CPA)
George Wolfe, an employee of the United States government, worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 and 2004.Wolfe sat on the CPA's Program Review Board, the committee that made the final recommendation to CPA Administrator Paul Bremer over the $20 billion of contracts the CPA...

, the CPA's de facto treasurer
Treasurer
A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury of an organization. The adjective for a treasurer is normally "tresorial". The adjective "treasurial" normally means pertaining to a treasury, rather than the treasurer.-Government:...

, showed a total lack of cooperation.

As head of the CPA, Bremer bears the overall responsibility for the CPA's hiring policies that led to his staff being dangerously inexperienced and unable to provide the oversight necessary to protect the funds they were administering.

This issue also became a topic of discussion during some of Bremer's Q&A sessions with students who attended Bremer's presentations during Bremer's campus speaking tours. Some questioned Bremer if he could have done things differently in Iraq, but were notably disappointed when he avoided the question. Bremer allegedly responded to one such question with, “I will tell you what I told them, I'm saving that for my book... I need more time to reflect.”

In February 2007, Bremer defended the way he spent billions of dollars in Iraqi funds after the U.S. invasion. In a prepared testimony he said that he did the best he could to kickstart the Iraqi economy, "which was flat on its back."

Progress of reconstruction


One of the CPA's most important tasks was the reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure.
Compared to the rapid repair of Iraq's oil infrastructure — with the notable exception of the meters —
the progress of reconstruction on Iraq's potable water, sewage and electricity systems was extremely slow. Defenders argued that this was due to the unanticipated volume and fierceness of those resisting the Coalition's occupation. Critics blame the CPA's preference for contracts with connected US firms; only 2% of the reconstruction contracts in 2003 were awarded to Iraqi firms.

Shutting down the newspaper Al-Hawza


On March 28, 2004 Bremer ordered the 759th Military Police Battalion to shut down controversial Iraqi newspaper al-Hawza for two months. This move was widely criticized as running directly counter to the Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

's announced goal of helping transform Iraq into a modern, democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 state. This move was even criticized by members of Bremer's own appointees on the Iraqi Governing Council.

Al-Hawza started after the removal of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 and was considered a mouthpiece for Shi'ite
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
Muqtada al-Sadr
Sayyid Muqtadā al-Ṣadr is an Iraqi Islamic political leader.Along with Ali al-Sistani and Ammar al-Hakim of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Sadr is one of the most influential religious and political figures in the country not holding any official title in the Iraqi government.-Titles:He is...

. It was shut down by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-led administration headed by Bremer on March 28, 2004, after being accused of encouraging violence against Coalition troops
Coalition of the willing
The term coalition of the willing is a post-1990 political phrase used to collectively describe participants in military or military-humanitarian interventions for which the United Nations Security Council cannot agree to mount a full UN peacekeeping operation...

. There was discussion with Sir Jeremy Greenstock (UK's Special Representative for Iraq), about preparations to arrest al-Sadr, who by early March 2004 had increased his militia following, the Mahdi army
Mahdi Army
The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al-Mahdi , was an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003....

, from about 200 followers to some 6,000, in seven months. Bremer wrote in his book that "Greenstock said that this would be a difficult time to go after him ... I first urged [his] arrest last August...".

Iyad Allawi
Iyad Allawi
Ayad Allawi is an Iraqi politician, and was the interim Prime Minister of Iraq prior to Iraq's 2005 legislative elections. A prominent Iraqi political activist who lived in exile for almost 30 years, the politically secular Shia Muslim became a member of the Iraq Interim Governing Council, which...

, leader of the interim government, explicitly gave al-Hawza permission to re-open on July 18, 2004.

Granting foreign contractors immunity from Iraqi law


Two days before he left Iraq, Bremer signed "Order 17" giving all staff associated with the CPA
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 and the American government immunity from Iraqi law. One of his former top aides is quoted as saying, “we wanted to make sure our military, civilians and contractors were protected from Iraqi law.” This stipulation was later incorporated into Iraqi law.

Since then, violent events in Iraq involving American security companies such as Blackwater
Blackwater Worldwide
Xe Services LLC, better known by its former names, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide, is a private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.. Xe is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors...

 have resulted in great resentment among Iraqis, who view them as private armies acting with impunity on their soil.

Early departure


Bremer's early departure was sprung on the world press as a complete surprise. But the turnover of political power a couple of days earlier was suggested by members of the Bush administration to thwart any plans the insurgency may have had for June 30.

U.S. intelligence sources had monitored chatter that suggested resistance elements were planning demonstrations, or outright attacks, to coincide with the time of the official handover. An early handover would preempt the plans of resistance elements.

Others read al-Hayats version published one day after Bremer's departure. The Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 newspaper released a story about Bremer's alleged romantic ties with an Iraqi translator, who continued to work for Bremer despite their apparent conflict of interests. The Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 newspaper further details the affair stating that the Iraqi woman and her family left for Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 three days prior to the handover to wait for their anticipated departure for the United States. The paper can be quoted as saying that close acquaintances of the "young Iraqi lover" knew about the affair with the top American official (presumably Bremer) and knew something about future marriage plans. The subject of Bremer taking Iraqi women as "wives" has come up before during his stay in Iraq. Bremer responded to a reporter's question about the rumor of marrying Iraqi women, "I have the maximum number of wives permitted by my religion".

His early departure was disruptive to the smooth transition of authority, as the KPMG audit of the Development Fund for Iraq made clear. In their management notes the external auditors describe trying to meet with Bremer, and being very surprised by his early departure.

Many of Bremer's senior staff left when he did, meaning that important documents, required for the completion of the audit, could not be signed by the appropriate staff members.

There are others, however, who feel that Bremer should have been relieved far earlier. "Bremer is the largest single disaster in American foreign policy in modern times," said former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

. "Bremer, no later than September [2003], should have been relieved.

Media portrayal


A character based on Bremer is portrayed by Greg Kinnear
Greg Kinnear
Gregory "Greg" Kinnear is an American actor and television personality who first rose to stardom in 1991. He has appeared in more than 20 motion pictures, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in As Good as It Gets.-Early life:Kinnear was born in Logansport, Indiana, the son of...

 in the film Green Zone
Green Zone (film)
Green Zone is a 2010 American war thriller film written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Paul Greengrass. The film was inspired by the non-fiction 2006 book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which documented life in the Green Zone, Baghdad...

, which was directed by Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass is an English film director, screenwriter and former journalist. He specialises in dramatisations of real-life events and is known for his signature use of hand-held cameras.-Life and career:...

. Kinnear portrays Clark Poundstone, Pentagon Special Intelligence. One reviewer saw, despite the "usual ... fictitious ... disclaimer, ... Paul Brenner [sic]," in the Poundstone character.

Life after public service


After his departure from the US government, Bremer, moved to Chester, Vermont
Chester, Vermont
Chester is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 3,044 at the 2000 census. The town was originally chartered by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth as Flamstead in 1754. The terms of the charter were not met and the town was re-chartered as New Flamstead in 1761...

 and became an artist, crafting oil paintings of New England country landscapes. He also as of 2009 reportedly did consulting work and served on a number of boards in the Washington area. He remained a media presence with interviews and the release of his memoirs, and emerged as a critic of the Obama administration's efforts to promote democracy overseas. He is also a consistent advocate for a continued US presence in Iraq.

While many other conservatives began advocating for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, Bremer endorsed the Obama administration's new strategy in 2010, describing it as "reasonable" and stating: "The President deserves credit for deciding to replicate President Bush’s Iraq strategy by sending more troops to the fight in Afghanistan." Following his return to private life, he also endorsed Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations
Clash of Civilizations
The Clash of Civilizations is a theory, proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world....

" thesis. He stated: "It is a fact of history that Europe is based on Judeo-Christian values. But Europe seems unwilling, or perhaps afraid, to acknowledge this reality."

Quotations

  • "The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, `Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?'" (February 26, 2001, speaking at a McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism)
  • "...there are reasons why some people turn to terrorism. There are political reasons, there are economic reasons. Some people are simply criminals...."
  • "Ladies and gentlemen... we got him!" (December 14, 2003, announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

    )
  • "If you don’t know what you stand for, you cannot easily figure out how to defend it." (Interview, Bellum: A Project of The Stanford Review, March 18, 2010)

Further reading

  • L. Paul Bremer & Malcolm McConnell: My Year In Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, 1st edn. (Canada: Simon & Schuster, January 2006). ISBN 0-7432-7389-3 and ISBN 978-0-7432-7389-3.

External links


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