The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Sunday, June 20

leave no rock unturned

There's a very long article today in the Chicago Tribune that should be read.

Insiders shape postwar Iraq
A little over a year ago, Stuart Bowen Jr. was lobbying for a company looking for work in the impending reconstruction of Iraq.

A former longtime aide to President Bush, Bowen tapped administration contacts on behalf of URS Group, a consulting firm, and the company eventually landed contracts worth up to $30 million for overseeing Iraqi construction projects.

Today, Bowen works for the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-led bureaucracy running Iraq. In his new job as inspector general, Bowen is the corruption watchdog over more than $20 billion of rebuilding, including the activities of URS, the company he represented.
The article goes on to follow the links of several advisors to the CPA to the administration and the Republican party. Rather than hire the best people for the job, they took those from their inner circle whose views matched their own regardless of their expertise. What a fiasco.
GOP loyalists prominent in rebuilding Iraq
Several key officials of the Coalition Provisional Authority had strong ties to top Republicans.

John Agresto, 58
Senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education
Protege of Ronald Reagan's education czar William Bennett; Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of Defense Secretary, was on board of college he headed.

Stuart Bowen Jr., 46
Inspector General, Coalition Provisional Authority
Former longtime aide to President Bush; now monitors more than $20 billion in reconstruction aid.

Michael Fleischer, 48
Top economic adviser in Iraq
Brother of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; president of a New Jersey electronics equipment company.

Thomas Foley, 52
Former top economic adviser in Iraq
Harvard Business School colleague of President Bush and a fundraiser for his campaign.

James Haveman, 60
Oversaw the Iraqi Ministry of Health
One-time director of the Michigan health department; lacked reconstruction experience but got job with lobbying assist from former Michigan GOP governor.

Michael Karem, 57
Former coalition housing adviser
Former Reagan campaign aide; investigated but never charged in late 1980s Department of Housing and Urban Development scandal.


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