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Thursday, September 28, 2006


During WWII, when America was under attack, Harry S Truman gained fame and respect when his bipartisan committee (popularly known as the "Truman Committee") investigated the scandal of military wastefulness by exposing fraud and mismanagement. Although some feared the Committee would hurt war morale, it was considered a success and is reported to have saved at least $11 billion (in 1940s dollars).

Truman was a Democrat. So was the president. Still, he believed in Congressional oversight, and his president encouraged him. Both felt war profiteers to be no better than traitors.

Compare to this story:

Crucial Iraq police academy "a disaster"
By Amit R. Paley

The Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, federal investigators have found.

The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts aimed at preparing Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

"This is the most important civil security project in the country — and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."

Bowen's office plans to release a 27-page report today detailing the most alarming problems with the facility.

Even in a $21 billion reconstruction effort that has been marred by cases of corruption and fraud, failures in training and housing Iraq's security forces are particularly significant because of their effect on what the U.S. military has called its primary mission here: to prepare Iraqi police and soldiers so that Americans can depart.

....The report serves as the latest indictment of Parsons Corp., an American construction giant that was awarded about $1 billion for reconstruction projects across Iraq. After chronicling previous Parsons failures to properly build health clinics, prisons and hospitals, Bowen said he now plans to audit every Parsons project.

"The truth needs to be told about what we didn't get for our dollar from Parsons," Bowen said.

.....Federal investigators who visited the academy last week expressed concerns about the buildings' structural integrity.

"They may have to demolish everything they built," said Robert DeShurley, a senior engineer with the inspector general.
Parson had several other contracts, on which they performed equally admirably.

As have so many of our no-bid contactors. Billions have gone missing, billions more have been wasted.

And there has been no oversight. NONE. The Congress would not dare to bite the hands of their masters.

But Mr. Cheney will get a big, fat diviend check from Halliburton, and his stock options' value soars, so all is good.


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