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Bill Beutler at The Nation writes:

Byron Dorgan’s Contracting Fraud Crusade

The North Dakota senator has made investigating contractor corruption his mission, but will he succeed in creating a congressional committee devoted to it?

While Congress has launched sporadic inquiries into contracting fraud, one legislator, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has made it his mission to investigate contractor corruption.

Dorgan chairs the Democratic Policy Committee, a Senate entity tasked with gathering and distributing policy, strategy, and oversight information to congressional staff and other Democratic officials. (There is also a Republican Policy Committee.) Since 2003, the DPC has held 14 hearings dedicated to exposing the corruption of the Iraq reconstruction effort, and last month the committee released an encyclopedic report detailing major examples of fraud.

When the war in Iraq began, says Dorgan, "no one really [decided] to say, ‘All right, now we’re going to be an investigative committee so there’s accountability.’"
... since 2005 Dorgan has attempted to establish a congressional committee with full oversight clout to oversee military contracting. Dubbed the Special Committee on War and Reconstruction Contracting, the proposed panel is modeled on the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (commonly known as the Truman committee), which was charged with investigating the waste and corruption of billions of dollars of World War II-era defense contracts. ...

If Dorgan gets his way, it could substantially bolster the Democrats’ efforts to uncover and deter acts of fraud and corruption in war contracting.

The Overnight News Digest has been posted.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 10:00 PM PDT.

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