The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Friday, November 18

it's a bad soap opera

You know, you just can't make this sh*t up anymore. I'm thinking the folks in the White House just watched way way way to many epsiodes of Dallas and thought that was way the real life should be. How else to explain Tom Delay and his super killer buds Safavian and Abramoff? Or Mike Brown worrying about what to wear to dinner while the citizens of New Orleans drowned? Or Condoleezza Rice thinking a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" was a historical memo?

Telling ya', it's become a really bad soap opera.

Issuing Contracts, Ex-Convict Took Bribes in Iraq, U.S. Says
by James Glanz, NY Times, November 18, 2005
A North Carolina man who was charged yesterday with accepting kickbacks and bribes as a comptroller and financial officer for the American occupation authority in Iraq was hired despite having served prison time for felony fraud in the 1990's.

The job gave the man, Robert J. Stein, control over $82 million in cash earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding projects.

Along with a web of other conspirators who have not yet been named, Mr. Stein and his wife received "bribes, kickbacks and gratuities amounting to at least $200,000 per month" to steer lucrative construction contracts to companies run by another American, Philip H. Bloom, an affidavit outlining the criminal complaint says. Mr. Stein's wife, who was not named, has not been charged with wrongdoing in the case; Mr. Bloom was charged with a range of crimes on Wednesday.

In the staccato language of the affidavit, filed in Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, Mr. Stein, 50, was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

But the list of charges does little justice to the astonishing brazenness of the accusations described in the complaint, including a wire transfer of a $140,000 bribe, arranged by Mr. Bloom, to buy real estate for Mr. Stein in North Carolina. The affidavit also says that $65,762.63 was spent to buy cars for Mr. Stein and his wife (he bought a Chevrolet; she a Toyota), $44,471 for home improvements and $48,073 for jewelry, out of $258,000 sent directly to the Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union into accounts controlled by the Steins.

Mr. Stein's wife even used $7,151.58 of the money for a "towing service," the complaint says. Much of this money was intended for Iraqi construction projects like building a new police academy in the ancient city of Babylon and rehabilitating the library in Karbala, the southern city that is among the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims.

Tell me that doesn't sound like a soap opera...Towing service? Wink, wink. Ah, jeebus, go read the rest of the article. There's so much crap in there worth quoting that it'd be best if you went off and read it yourself.

Can't wait for the Bush twin's twist on Luke & Laura's wedding. But it's going to be tough to top Noelle for drama.


Post a Comment

<< Home