One final GOP ripoff before November

AlterNet
by Stephen Pizzo

05/12/06

[S]oon after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, Halliburton and other administration-connected contractors were caught stealing hundreds of millions. ('Stealing:' such an ugly word. They prefer 'billing disputes' and 'cost overruns.') The flap over those early capers resulted in the appointment of Stuart Bowen as special inspector for Iraq reconstruction. Bowen was given a $24 million annual budget and a staff of 55 junkyard dog auditors. Apparently, the White House failed to conduct its usual background checks of Mr. Bowen. Because, if they had, he would have never been hired. Unlike the standard issue administration yes-men, Bowen turned out to be the real deal. He and his small auditors thought they were actually supposed to catch cheats. And, sure enough, they began catching contractors forcing them to put the cookies back in the jar. Which explains this week's White House hat trick. The administration had GOP senators on the appropriation committee to make a tiny change in wording to the new $109 billion authorization. It was a tiny change and, I am sure, they hoped it would go unnoticed...

//www.alternet.org/story/36150/


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