Riding the Gravy Train
In time of war, the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers
--August Bebel (1870)
Under the category "bad management" or "venality"--take your choice--almost $10 billion dollars has been discovered to have been squandered in Iraq thus far. Investigators cite "contractor overcharges and unsupported expenses," warning "significantly more taxpayer money is at risk," reports the AP.
Following are some excerpts from the article:
When will the Congress and the American taxpayer tire of this travesty that is being foisted on honest, hard-working Americans? This is not a War on Terror; it is an undeclared war on the great American middle and lower economic classes that benefits only the very rich. As the hideously unsophisticated character Borat got right in his naivete, this is a War of Terror, and it is being perpetrated upon every citizen who stands to suffer from the profiteering of a few.
"Of the $10 billion in overpriced contracts or undocumented costs, more than $2.7 billion were charged by Halliburton Co., the oil-field services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.Noting that auditors still have $300 billion of Iraq spending to review, Waxman said the total amount of waste, fraud and abuse 'could be astronomical.'""Senate Democrats said recently cited cases of waste were "outrageous rip-offs of the American taxpayer" and introduced legislation Thursday to stiffen punishment for war profiteers and cut down on cronyism in contracting.
"...Iraqi officials, they said, must begin to take primary responsibility for reconstruction efforts. That is an uncertain goal, given the widespread corruption in Iraq and the local government's inability to fund projects.
"(They) Urged the Pentagton to reconsider its growing reliance on outside contractors in wars and reconstruction efforts. "
"The three top auditors overseeing work in Iraq told a House committee their review of $57 billion in Iraq contracts found that Defense and State department officials condoned or allowed repeated work delays, bloated expenses and payments for shoddy work or work never done.
"More than one in six dollars charged by U.S. contractors were questionable or unsupported, nearly triple the amount of waste the Government Accountability Office estimated last fall.
"There is no accountability," said David M. Walker, who heads the auditing arm of Congress. "Organizations charged with overseeing contracts are not held accountable. Contractors are not held accountable. The individuals responsible are not held accountable."
Do you know how many programs to aid our own society, and for how many years, might be funded by $1 billion of these lost funds? Wake up, America, and call to end the insanity while you still have a voice.