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Penndems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 10:04 PM
Original message
Democrats Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq
By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page A03

A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds and the Bush administration has done little to try to recover the money, an attorney for two whistle-blowers told Democratic lawmakers yesterday.

The lawyer, Alan Grayson, represents two former employees who charged in a federal lawsuit that the security firm Custer Battles LLC of Fairfax was paid approximately $15 million to provide security for civilian flights at Baghdad International Airport, even though no planes flew during the contract term. Grayson said the firm received $100 million in contracts in 2003 and 2004, despite a thin track record and evidence the government was not getting its money's worth.

A former Coalition Provisional Authority official who briefly oversaw the airport security contract also spoke, depicting a temporary governing body awash with cash but lacking in the necessary controls to ensure that money generated from the sale of Iraqi oil actually went to rebuilding the country.

"I wish I could tell you that the Bush administration has done everything it could to detect and punish fraud in Iraq," Grayson said. "If I said that to you, though, I would be lying."

Link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24468-20...
**********************************************************************
OMG, this is an outrage. Blatant theft of taxpayers' monies, and the Bush Administration does nothing about it.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Remember, "It's YOUR money!"
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Penndems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My money, YOUR money, and every single person on DU's money!
Edited on Mon Feb-14-05 10:29 PM by Penndems
It's the tax money of 286,000,000 Americans. And it's being stolen hand-over-fist.

I am just absolutely livid. If the Dems in Congress don't jump on this, then there's no hope for this country.

(on edit: correction)
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
34. Yeah, remove the "Y" and we'll see what he was really saying... (eom)
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
38. It's your grandchildren's money.
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. silver lining?
This is the kind of thing that makes the real conservatives (as opposed to neo-conservatives) grind their teeth in frustration. I believe it's also one of the few types of things that will finally make them jump off of the * bandwagon.

<snip>
...recent report by the inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction that concluded that the governing authority had inadequate controls over $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds it was supposed to oversee. Former administrator L. Paul Bremer has denied those allegations. Dorgan said Democrats had attempted to get Republican colleagues to hold hearings on the issue but were unsuccessful.

"There is a massive amount of waste, fraud and abuse going on here, and nobody seems to care very much," Dorgan said.
</snip>

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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Agreed - silver lining! - BUT - for this we are cutting...
programs for the poor, education, the environment, small business and farmers????

Some folks need to go to JAIL behind this. Impeachment would be nice too.
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
37. I think you are on to something good here
Edited on Tue Feb-15-05 08:38 PM by lyonn
It's kind of like getting into their pockets. Most of us can't comprehend billions but, when people are throwing them around like this admin. that is noticeable and questionable even to the average Repub.
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq
link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24468-20...

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page A03

A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds and the Bush administration has done little to try to recover the money, an attorney for two whistle-blowers told Democratic lawmakers yesterday.

The lawyer, Alan Grayson, represents two former employees who charged in a federal lawsuit that the security firm Custer Battles LLC of Fairfax was paid approximately $15 million to provide security for civilian flights at Baghdad International Airport, even though no planes flew during the contract term. Grayson said the firm received $100 million in contracts in 2003 and 2004, despite a thin track record and evidence the government was not getting its money's worth.

A former Coalition Provisional Authority official who briefly oversaw the airport security contract also spoke, depicting a temporary governing body awash with cash but lacking in the necessary controls to ensure that money generated from the sale of Iraqi oil actually went to rebuilding the country.

"I wish I could tell you that the Bush administration has done everything it could to detect and punish fraud in Iraq," Grayson said. "If I said that to you, though, I would be lying."
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GetTheRightVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. It worries me so much greed w/ lies, but glad that truth is coming out
:kick:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Oh excuse me
Talk about fucking over the little guy to avoid talking about the big guys. Where's the story on these, which were also discussed in the hearing today:

The CPA covered the payroll of one Iraqi Ministry that claimed it employed 8,206 security guards, but really only employed 600.

The State Department found that in 2003, American diplomats pressured Halliburton to keep using a Kuwaiti subcontractor to handle fuel sales. The subcontractor charged more than twice the cost of available alternatives, leading to $61 million in overbilling.

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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. That's a laugher...
"American diplomats pressured Halliburton...." Halliburton had a cost-plus contract to supply fuel. The higher the cost of the commodity, the more they collected in profit, since they got a clear percentage based on costs. More costs=more profits.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Those were examples
of what they were going to investigate. Here's what came out in the hearings, reported in foreign news of course.

"Details of the corruption:

Halliburton has reportedly overcharged us $100 million dollars for fuel. They charged the US taxpayers $2.64 per gallon to import gasoline from Kuwait to Iraq, $1 more than the going rate. (Note- before the war, Iraqis bought gas for about a nickel per gallon.)
Halliburton charged for 42,000 meals per day when it only delivered 14,000 per day. "Thats not a snafu, thats cheating," said Dorgan.
Buyers were instructed to purchase from preferred suppliers using purchase orders less than $2,500. (because these were not audited)
Instructed not to use spreadsheets to avoid generating any kind of electronic trail.
KBR managers frequently used phrases like, "dont worry about the price, its cost plus"
Cost Plus contracts gave no motivation to keep costs down since the higher the price, the more $$ they made.
Halliburton has earned $9 billion in Iraq thus far."

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5312
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smiley Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. new story in old clothes...
we continue to hear the same stories of greed and deception coming out of this war and about this administration. When is the real revolution going to start?
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. Halliburton's 9 bn
Is that before or after taxes? Oh never mind, they don't pay taxes.
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq (Wash Post)
Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page A03

A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds and the Bush administration has done little to try to recover the money, an attorney for two whistle-blowers told Democratic lawmakers yesterday.

The lawyer, Alan Grayson, represents two former employees who charged in a federal lawsuit that the security firm Custer Battles LLC of Fairfax was paid approximately $15 million to provide security for civilian flights at Baghdad International Airport, even though no planes flew during the contract term. Grayson said the firm received $100 million in contracts in 2003 and 2004, despite a thin track record and evidence the government was not getting its money's worth.

snip

"I wish I could tell you that the Bush administration has done everything it could to detect and punish fraud in Iraq," Grayson said. "If I said that to you, though, I would be lying."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24468-20...

Your tax dollars wasted and NO repugs at the hearing....they declined.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. We've come a long way since 9/11
Remember when no one would squeak about squat? Then a coupla CA congress women managed to blurt something out, about eight months later, and it made the paper.

Now, we have people singing in a choir. Won't be long. Keep the faith.
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joanski01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. The corruption is just so rampant
it's gotta come out somehow. These criminals have to be stopped.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Agree. Between our vigilance and their arrogant mistakes,
it will happen.

Let's just do our prep, because this will be no clambake. We'll have all our people to take care of while we deal with their f8ckups.

There's always corruption in government. These guys must have set records somewhere. We need to be ready to catch.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. Remember the empty trucks going up and down the Baghdad Hwy.
just to get trip tickets?? Sounds very familiar. Spreading democracy and teaching rampant corrupt practices at the same time. Where are the comptrollers... I want to talk to the comptrollers... oh, there aren't any.... nevermind.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Yes! Spreading napalm, torture and depleted uranium --democracy!
Notice: we're minding. :)
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slor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Bush is NUMBER # 1 !!!!
in magnitude of second term scandals, that is.
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whathappened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. number 1
for being crooked and number 0 for being a good humen being , they all seem to look to happy when we see them on the boob tube , and that just is'nt possable when men and women are dieing for a unjust war
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Aw.... they declined.... don't want their names coming up in conversation
perhaps?? Shame on these abusive lawmakers. Shame on the fact that this sort of shit goes down, and vets new and old live and sleep in the street. The statue of liberty had better be haning her head in shame.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
27. i think you've got it. the rethugs are becoming professionals at this
method of attempting to make the Dems look partisan while covering their own asses. there are methods of dealing with this kind of thing.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. Shine it, shine the light. Any way you can.
Lookit Conyers riding the Ohio vote; lookit Boxer just saying no to Condi.

This is a really, really important moment. Flashlights on.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. I've used information like this to wake people up
at my job, sometimes I get calls from customers who just want to chat. Happened yesterday, and I told the fellow about war profiteering. Worked well-woke this guy up a bit, and now he knows where our Con-man's office is in town. And it worked because I didn't have to know his stand on the war-profiteering of this kind is as repugnant to pro-war types as they are to folks like me--or maybe even more.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Every time we talk, it helps. Good job.
There's something about being a Dem that translates into respect for other viewpoints. Taken to an extreme, we shut up.

That's not respect, that's confusion.

Keep talking.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
23. Bush has got nerve asking for an additional 83 billion.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. That's how they've run the whole war, off the books.
Someone needs to stand up and just say, "F7ck off!" or "No"

Either would work,
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Why not?
He knows Congress will hand it to him and they will be too afraid not to.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Kerry had better expose this in a debate before writing another blank
check to Bush/Rumsfeld.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. lol
I doubt that will happen. I don't think any debates on this issue will be allowed to happen. the repukes refused to attend that Democratic hearing yesterday to hear how OUR MONEY is being thrown away like so much confetti!

:grr:
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Somebody better make some noise. Maybe the new DNC honcho
should shine a spotlight in on this one.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 06:43 AM
Response to Original message
30. Al-j: US senator slams Iraq reconstruction

Senator Harry Reid made particular criticism of the government's former occupation administration in Iraq on Monday.

And civilian witnesses said Washington had protected an American contractor accused of fraud. They also accused the US of media censorship.

"This is a scandal," said Reid, who heads the opposition Democrats in the US Senate. "We are close to 24 months into this conflict with Iraq, and the administration still can't seem to get it right."

Reid spoke during hearings in Congress into the management of the so-called Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA) multi-billion dollar reconstruction programme.


http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/AF9DF3EF-727A-42...
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. the MSM did not talk much about this at all --- I"m shocked
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DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 02:14 PM
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
32. Crony Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal!
. . .more from the article

After an interview with Custer in January 2004, agents from the Pentagon inspector general's office wrote, "Battles is very active in the Republican Party and speaks to individuals he knows at the White House almost daily, according to Custer." A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
33. Darn the luck!
Wouldn't it have been politically advantageous if Custer Battles LLC had been defrauding the government, stealing taxpayer money, and endangering the troops back in say, August, when the Swifties were in full throat against Kerry?

Golly, think of the counterpoint ammunition: A trumped-up controversy about events 35 years ago versus all that corruption happening right now in Stupidhead's illegal war. Oh, it was happening at the same time, just nobody saw fit to publicize it? Probably might have had an effect on the outcome of the election, so all the stalwart liberal voices in the media chose not to report on it. So fair-minded and all are they.
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
35. Custer's Green epitomizes so-called American Exceptionalism
snip>
But because of the dangers on Iraqi roads, Greene says employees of Custer Battles do sometimes push Iraqi civilian vehicles out of their way if they refuse to move.

"Usually, you know, we give them a tap at about 20 miles an hour or so," he says.
.............

And that's his EXPLANATION. A 20mph TAP from a truck. Because of the DANGERS on Iraqi roads. For GREEN!
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