'People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse,' Ayad Allawi told The Observer. 'It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things.'
'We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated,' he added. 'A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them.'
He said that immediate action was needed to dismantle militias that continue to operate with impunity. If nothing is done, 'the disease infecting [the Ministry of the Interior] will become contagious and spread to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government', he said.
Now, Allawi is running for election, and he doesn't exactly have clean hands over torture and killing: in 2004 he was accused of personally executing suspected insurgents in a Baghdad police station. But when you read reports like this and thisand this, it's hard to deny that he has a point. A war purportedly waged to end torture and murder (among other things) seems to have simply shifted the boot to the other foot, and allowed the Shi'ites to run some death squads and torture centres of their own, rather than being the victims. Was that really worth killing all those people for?