Very, very good news if true:

Iraq has lifted a ban on nearly 500 election candidates barred from the March election for alleged links to the late Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party.

Election officials said the ban had been lifted by an appeals panel on candidates listed by the post-Saddam Justice and Accountability Committee.

There is an election in Iraq next month. There are 104,000 troops in Iraq this month. There will be 50,000 troops in Iraq by the end of August. That is a rapid pace for drawing down to take place in half a year. For sectarian legitimacy questions to surround the second post-Saddam election for the second straight time, with the attendant prospect of violence, would be a disaster. This report is preliminary, but I surely hope it pans out.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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