Friday, December 14, 2007

A DOGGLE IN SEARCH OF A BOON

Inspector General for Iraq Under Investigation FBI, Congress Among Those Probing Allegations of Overspending, Mismanagement
By Robin Wright Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, December 14, 2007; A01
Over the past four years, Inspector General Stuart W. Bowen Jr. and his staff have probed allegations of waste and fraud in the $22 billion U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq. Their work has led to arrests, indictments and millions of dollars in fines. And it has earned Bowen, who had been a legal adviser to President Bush, many admirers among both parties on Capitol Hill for his efforts to identify overspending and mismanagement.
But Bowen's office has also been roiled by allegations of its own overspending and mismanagement. Current and former employees have complained about overtime policies that allowed 10 staff members to earn more than $250,000 each last year. They have questioned the oversight of a $3.5 million book project about Iraq's reconstruction modeled after the 9/11 Commission report. And they have alleged that Bowen and his deputy have improperly snooped into their staff's e-mail messages.
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Hundreds of billions gone missing in Iraq, a trillion unaccounted for at the Pentagon (according to Rumsfeld) and four separate investigations of the Iraq reconstruction IG.
A current massive bank fraud, which it appears Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke are trying to bury in a corner of the litter-box, gets no investigation. In fact, Ben & Henry (not an ice cream) have conspired to turn on the printing presses in a banana-republic response to the international financial melt-down. Skyrocketing inflation on the horizon? You bet, but no indictments.
Why is it so IMPOSSIBLE to investigate the real issues in this administration, even though the opposition party purports to control Congress?
Could it be the obvious? Could Pelosi-Reid be co-conspirators rather than opposition leaders?
Tune in next decade. It won't change a bit in 2008.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out Opinion-Columns.com