Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bill Moyers’ Journal Looks At Fraud in Iraq

Nicole Belle, Crooks and Liars: On this week’s Journal, Bill Moyers takes a look at waste and contractor fraud going on in Iraq. [LSB: Click the pic for vid clip.] Just last week, the House Armed Services Committee found that $6 billion worth of military contracts are under criminal review, and another $88 billion (to put that into perspective, that’s two and a half times the cost of the expansion of the SCHIP bill that (Bush is threatening to veto) in contracts are currently being audited for suspicion of fraud. When the AP took a look at the auditing process required by law that is supposed to catch these war profiteers, it found it had not “met even basic accounting requirements, leaving them vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse.”

BILL MOYERS: As Inspector General of the State Department, Howard Krongard - known as “Cookie” - was supposed to be the watchdog guarding against corruption there. But he’s a political appointee with strong partisan loyalties, and now seven people on his staff have accused him not only of failing to do his job but of actively blocking their efforts to do theirs. The reason? Quote: “To protect the State Department and the White House from political embarrassment.”
Fortunately, the Democratic Congress is responding accordingly. Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA) is currently investigating allegations that Krongard has been blocking inquiries about corrupt contractors by threatening to fire members of his staff for cooperating with Waxman’s investigation, and Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO)’s bill unanimously passed in the Senate on Thursday to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill Moyers continues to be the breath of fresh air among the stench left from so many in our corporate media these days that are content to parrot whatever the White House or some astro-turf corporate front wants them to.
Also this week, Moyers looks at humanitarian refugee crisis caused by Iraq. Since the invasion in 2003, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes. As always, you can watch it and the rest of this week’s show at his website.

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