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View Diary: Updated 5:37 PM: RedState invited by Pentagon to report on Iraq (but Congressional auditors denied) (325 comments)

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  •  Ah! Found it! I got a few facts wrong, (9+ / 0-)

    but here goes:

    From TPMmuckrakers on 03/12/07

    In Iraq, No Room at The Inn for Auditors
    By Paul Kiel - March 12, 2007, 4:04 PM
    How strained are resources in Iraq? So strained that the State Department can't afford for three auditors to make a three month visit.

    The State Department recently turned down a request for three congressional auditors to make a three-month stay in Baghdad, saying that having them around for that long would be "a serious challenge to mission resources."

    In response, 22 Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), have called on Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to make room. "American taxpayers are currently being asked to spend approximately $3,420 every second and $280 million per day in Iraq," reads a letter to Rice sent today. "It is imperative that GAO be given the access it needs to serve as the eyes and ears of the United States Congress...."

    But the burden of having those three auditors around would seem almost insurmountable... or at least that's the impression a State Department official gave in a letter to Harkin last week:


    "each of [the auditors] would require lodging, extensive support services, security, computers, and other administrative support, as well as the attention of our staff in Baghdad in responding to their requests and inquiries."

    •  My letter to Senator Harkins: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, MyName, DanC, Empower Ink

      Dear Senator Harkins,

      I understand the State Department has refused to support congressional auditors in Iraq for 3 months, but promising only 2 weeks.  On a blog today, I read that the Pentagon has invited 2 right wing bloggers to Iraq to report on the news, provided that they pay approximately $10,000 in expenses. is currently sponsoring a fundraiser to secure the financial needs.  See link here:

      The post doesn't say how long the trip will last or what the $10K will cover, but it likely falls far short of the actual costs and ultimately the overages will be paid by the tax payers.  As a Democratic voter, I take exception to the Pentagon's attempt to spin the events in Iraq by inviting radical right wing bloggers.  This is a clear effort to plant news stories within the media.  At this juncture in the war, the Bush administration and the Pentagon owe the public and Congress the truth.  

      I hope that you will look into this matter.



      I hope others will send an email/fax to stop this nonsense.

    •  US Embassy in Baghdad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This was posted at Think Progress about a month ago
      1,000 State Dept employees working in Baghdad

      $1 billion of counterproductive insanity.
      Lawrence Eagleburger on the massive 1,000-employee U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: "I defy anyone to tell me how you can use that many people. It is’s insane and it’s counterproductive...and it won’t work," says the Republican former secretary of state and member of the Iraq Study Group. "I’ve been around the State Department long enough to know you can’t run an outfit like that."

      Also, according to a WaPo article (sorry I can't link), I think on Mar 1, 2007, only SIX of those employees speak Arabic!

      At taxpayer expense, we are paying $1 billion for 1k workers at the US embassy, and we can't find money in the budget for 3 GAO auditors?  BULLSHIT.

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