It's All About the Money and Always Has Been: Iraq
Ahem. I've said it before, I'll say it again: past all the foily, racist, oil-based, hubris driven, adventuristic, pro-hardliners in Israel, and Oedipal reasons that drive this war, one stands above all others. It's the profit, stupid. No, really. Here is one surefire winner for the Dems. Fix this:
It is virtually impossible to assess the performance of any one company working in Iraq. Only one independent monitoring agency exists, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR), a congressionally mandated office tasked with oversight of all U.S. spending on Iraq reconstruction. Of the 13,578 projects planned and paid for by the U.S. government for work in Iraq, SIGIR has assessed just 65.
No one, not even Baker and his boys, has the power to prevent real oversight being a political "winner" if the Democrats just pick up from this point and run with it. Why am I so confident? Because I have no doubt that with the tinest bit of scratching, more like this will be revealed:
But even this limited oversight allows us to debunk claims made by Bechtel. For example, the company reports that it rebuilt â€œwar-damaged bridges on key highways.â€ But SIGIR's October report to Congress finds that â€œno bridge or expressway projects have been completedâ€ in Iraq.
Bechtel also claims that it failed to build a key maternal and children's hospital in Basra because of â€œsecurity concerns.â€ While SIGIR, on the other hand, makes clear that it ordered Bechtel to be dropped from the $50 million project after the company misreported its progress and went $90 million over budget and a year and a half behind schedule.
Despite massive amounts of SCLM spin, Americans know that the waste and fraud in Iraq are monumental. They can intuit it, even if the bobbleheads can't. Corruption was what fueled the anger of this election, and there's sooooo much more yet to be unearthed. Smart strategy for the spin-up to 08 will be taking the lead in uncovering the Augean amounts of waste and fraud that remain to be investigated. Pasting the Republicans with that won't be hard at all. America understands "you broke it, you bought it," and it's time to blame the elephant in the china shop.