Throw Your Shoes at the ‘Reconstruction’ of Iraq « The Washington Independent
Since President Bush wants to go out on a “so what” note — he’s really making me regret panning that Oliver Stone movie — let’s make today an official Shoe Throwing Day here at The Streak. On Saturday, ProPublica and The New York Times previewed a forthcoming official history of the alleged reconstruction of Iraq compiled by the special inspector general for Iraq for a forthcoming commission into wartime contract-abuse. Long story short: there wasn’t room in the initiative to rebuild a country that the U.S. invasion devastated, but there was plenty of room for corruption:
Money for many of the local construction projects still under way is divided up by a spoils system controlled by neighborhood politicians and tribal chiefs. “Our district council chairman has become the Tony Soprano of Rasheed, in terms of controlling resources,” said an American Embassy official working in a dangerous Baghdad neighborhood. ” ‘You will use my contractor or the work will not get done.’”
If you wanted to be uncharitable, you would call this a wealth redistribution scheme, with money moving from the U.S. taxpayer and the Iraqi victim of the war into the pockets of well-connected contractors. What I hope the commission looks at is how many of these contractors hire or have hired outgoing Bush administration officials from the agencies that helped them win these kickback-filled contracts.