Reporting from Baghdad, The Independent's Patrick Cockburn wrote that the situation became so unbearable last week that people in one decrepit neighborhood threatened to shoot Bassim Arman, manager of the al-Thawra substation. Arman said he told the hostile group that the station itself was not receiving power. He was not harmed, but had to close the substation after employees, fearing for their safety, refused to return to work.
Civil Administrator L. Paul Bremer contradicted complaints of failing electricity, stating that generally Baghdad received power 20 hours a day.
"It simply isn't true," Cockburn reported one incredulous Iraqi responding. "Everyone in Baghdad knows it."
"He and his staff don't really know what it is like, because if they go out at all, it is in air-conditioned cars," Kurdish politician Mahmoud Othman told Cockburn. "But I've walked the streets, and I know what it is like. They are ill-informed and ill-advised."
Knight Ridder correspondent, Tom Lasseter, noted that electricity is unevenly distributed, with some areas of the city receiving the stated 20 hours of electricity, while other have power for only two or three hours.
The Coalition Provisional Authority operates from the generator-backed Republican Palace compound in the center of Baghdad.