On August 28th, Bill Tchakirides wrote a diary recommending everyone take the time to read a Rolling Stones article by Matt Taibi, "The Great Iraq Swindle". The reason I know this is that I searched to see if anyone referenced this article as it was just brought to my attention today by my niece. I saw that Bill's diary only had 4 recommends and an impact rating of 0.038 ... and that info was gleaned by a basic search; his diary didn't even make Jotter's "High Impact Diaries" that day.
So, I'm bringing it up, again. This article. It's a must-read. But, get soap and the hottest water running in the shower. These fuckers are pigs. The whole lot of them.
Jump the fold for some lowlights of the article ...
How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended ...?Answer:
You serve [as a] a military all-star [then] testify before Congress [then] retire to take a job as an executive for ... a private construction company looking to do work in Iraq.But:
... your company magically wins a contract ...
... two years and $72 million later, you deliver ... the great engineering clusterfucks of all time ...And:
... auditors ... report ...:So:"We witnessed a light fixture so full of diluted urine and feces that it would not operate, the urine was so pervasive that it had permanently stained the ceiling tiles, and during our visit, a substance dripped from the ceiling onto an assessment team member's shirt."The final report helpfully includes a photo of a sloppy brown splotch on the outstretched arm of the unlucky auditor.
... Congress gets wind of the fiasco, a few members on the House Oversight Committee demand a hearing. ... a Maryland congressman named Chris Van Hollen [asks] how you managed to spend $72 million on a pile of shit.Just sickening:
I have some conjecture, but that's all it would be.... It's hard not to applaud the balls of a man who ... offers to guess where it all might have gone.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, ... was an invasion of the federal budget ...At one time:
... the distribution of government largesse had followed a staid, paper-laden procedure ... Competitive bids were solicited and contracts were awarded in accordance [to] U.S. Code, a straightforward system that worked well enough before the Bush years that ... you could "count the number of cases of criminal fraud on the fingers of one hand."But, of course:
There were exceptions to the rule, of course ... the Bush administration had essentially decided to treat the entire Iraqi theater as an exception to the rules.
To travel to Iraq, ... [there was] Jim O'Beirne at the relevant evaluation desk in the Department of Defense. O'Beirne ... judged applicants not on their Arabic skills or their relevant expertise but on their Republican bona fides;Example:
... he sent a twenty-four-year-old who had never worked in finance to manage the reopening of the Iraqi stock exchangeAnd another:
... appointed a recent graduate of an evangelical university ... who had no accounting experience to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget.OK, I can only emphasize so much that you need to read this article on your own in your time. In the meantime, I have to figure out how to steam clean myself, as I feel as if I've been slimed!
p.s.: If this gets highly recommended, it will make the top 10 list ... which will, in turn, get people to read Matt Taibbi's full article.
p.s.s.: Orignal diary quotes trimmed to DKos standards.