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The Great Rubbery of Iraq Money

Now we know: the Iraq Reconstruction was one of the greatest examples of incompetence and fraud in modern history, and the billions from Iraqi oil, which we were told by Wolfowitz would pay for the war, have barely been spent.

With friends like these, it's no surprise the Iraqi people in overwhelming numbers want us to

leave, regardless of the merits of the policy, or lack thereof. The missing and stolen Iraq Reconstruction money and the unspent and hoarded Iraq oil money is a scandal of the first order that has cost American lives and turned a failed American policy into a deadly and spreading catastrophe.
It is accountability time. Paul Bremer and George Tenet should have their medals of freedom taken away as architects of failure, General Shinseki and Congressman Murtha should receive special commendations for being right and warning us courageously, and the Democratic Congress should initiate all out investigation of war profiteering by American Companies in Iraq.

Lets stop rewarding the creators of disaster, lets start recognizing the voices in the wilderness who tried to save us, and lets start investigating and punishing those who committed these unpatriotic crimes of fraud against the American taxpayers and the people of Iraq.

Right out the gate the Democratic Congress should initiate and take to conclusion an all out, full investigation of the Iraq Reconstruction program with the goal of finding evidence for criminal prosecution, major financial restitution with monies going to troops or vets programs, and restoring integrity of government spending.

This was done during the Second World War by the Truman Committee; many Democrats and Americans have called for this today and the time has arrived to implement it.

It appears that more than $10 billion has been lost, stolen, corrupted, missing or wasted in what may be greatest example of crime and incompetence in the history of government spending.

It is sick and destructive that Iraqi children are punished while they were hungry and food did not arrive; that suffering Iraqis are punished when hospitals were not properly built; that Iraqi students are punished by schools that were not built or improved.

It is morally sickening that when training of Iraqis is so deficient and responsible for American casualties, there are facilities built by contractors that are flooded with urine and feces falling through collapsing floors.

This corruption of government programs has taken money aimed at helping the people of Iraq, supporting the war effort, helping our troops, and winning the battle of ideas and turned it into a giant cesspool of corrupted pork barrel spending.

This has contributed to the dire, disastrous and deteriorating collapse in Iraq and has hurt our country throughout the Middle East.

This has been directly responsible for the massive Iraqi public opinion against the mission and made life dramatically worse for the people of Iraq.

This has given aid, comfort and support to our enemies in Iraq, in the region, and to terrorists throughout the Middle East.

This has been an immoral, unpatriotic abuse of American taxpayers, American troops and American national security interests.

This has eroded public support for economic and reconstruction programs generally, when such programs are essential along with military, diplomatic and political initiatives executed with integrity and professionalism.

This has been particularly egregious because apparently many examples of waste, fraud, abuse, crime, corruption or incompetence were carried out by companies with long ties to the Republican Party who may have misused money that was a de facto reward for partisan political activity.

If the results of this investigation keep the Republicans pin to the mat, it is only because some of these companies have ties to the Republican Party, were given these monies by a Republican Administration, and got away with these crimes because of the historic failure of oversight from the Republican Congress.

It is imperative to get to the bottom of the role of Haliburton, especially because of long ties of that company to Republican officeholders including the Vice President. They should be treated fairly, as should every company and every official called to testify, but the facts must come out and responsible officials must be held accountable.

There should be full examination of why so many Republican operatives were put in high level positions in Reconstruction, who were clearly unqualified for their jobs, and what role if any they played in corruption and negligence in managing reconstruction money.

There should be aggressive accounting and documenting every dollar that was authorized for reconstruction. Exactly what officials were responsible, exactly how did they fail to exercise their responsibilty and exactly what cost did these failures cause?

Every Administration official with any level of responsiblity that involved reconstrucion should testify formally before Congress. Any official involved with companies receiving major reconstruction money should testify before Congress.

When necessary they should be put under oath, though it is a federal crime to lie in testimony even when witnesses are not under oath. When necessary subpoenas should be issued to private contractors and government agencies.

At the end of the day, there should be a full and complete public report with accounting of money spent, with direct responsiblity to named government officials who administered the program, with detailed results announced naming companies that have demonstrated either gross negligence or criminal corruption, with full disclosure of any ties to partisan political interests.

Those who committed criminal offenses should be put in handcuffs and sent to jail.

Companies that were involved in crime, fraud, abuse, incompetence or gross negligence should be assessed dramatic fines and fees for restitution.

Congress should enact a new law directing that restitution moneys should be earmarked that protect and serve the health, safety and future of American troops who have served in Iraq or their families who have patriotically assumed an enormous burden of service.

At the end of the day, there should not be one penny of profit from corrupted programs, and there should be major restitutions of the $10 billion that has been stolen, missing, corrupted or abused by this catastrophic failure of Iraq reconstruction spending, Republican oversight in Congress, and corporate responsibility by offenders.

This investigation should be fair, honorable, impartial, and rise above the standards that Republicans have shown when they were in power in Congress, and rise above the standards of their secret trials and abusive legalisms that they have repeatedly shown.

This investigation should be nonpartisan, objective and professional giving all rights of due process and fair treatment to all.

I have been calling for a new POTUS initiative that would bring to the fore the former American Presidents, especially Presidents G.H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and would involve major new Marshall Plan assistance to parties in the Middle East that reach agreements and that implement cease fires.

It is imperative to restore crediblity with the American people for reconstruction and reconstruction programs. It is imperative to restore morality and honesty in government spending. It is imperative to remove and punish crony corruption that has done so much damage in Iraq. It is imperative that all be treated fairly but that the guilty be identified, named, and brought to justice and major financial restitution must be made.

Lets put any guilty in jail, take back any money that was stolen, and monies recovered from corrupt profiteers should be used for wounded troops, veterans health care and those who gave so much, while others stole so much.



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