Daily Revolt

October 05, 2007

Iraqi Judge Says Maliki’s Government Shields Officials Accused of Corruption

How much of that corruption involves American taxpayer dollars? This isn't what we are really fighting for, is it? I'm sorry, I keep forgetting, we are there for the oil:
Widespread corruption in Iraq stretches into the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, an Iraqi investigating judge told United States lawmakers on Thursday, and an American official said that efforts by the United States to combat the problem were inadequate.

Judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, who was named by the United States in 2004 to lead the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity, said his agency estimated that corruption had cost the Iraqi government up to $18 billion.

Mr. Maliki has shielded relatives from investigation and allowed government ministers to protect implicated employees, said the judge, who left Iraq in August after threats against him. Speaking at a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Judge Radhi said that 31 employees of his agency had been killed.

It could be Maliki's greatest accomplishment, since fighting for his country isn't.

The White House's response is, predictably, to try and cover-up the cover-up:
A State Department official said Thursday corruption in Iraq was serious, but he refused to say whether Iraq's prime minister was involved or capable of addressing the problem.
Larry Butler, deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, told a House committee that divulging such information could damage U.S. relations — an assertion that enraged congressional Democrats.

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should know she is on a collision course with Congress over the public disclosure of corruption in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government.

"Look at all the people we have in Iraq getting killed, all the billions of dollars we're spending in Iraq," said Waxman, D-Calif.

The administration has it's own corruption problems to worry about:
The FBI is examining the ties between Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson and a friend who was paid $392,000 by Jackson's department as a construction manager in New Orleans, three federal law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Jackson's friend got the job after the HUD secretary asked a staff member to pass along his name to the Housing Authority of New Orleans, a spokesman for Jackson said in a statement.

At the time, the housing authority was in desperate need of a construction manager because there was a severe shortage of reputable local contractors after Hurricane Katrina, the spokesman for Jackson said.

The inquiry was first reported by The National Journal, which identified the contractor as William Hairston of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The magazine's Web site said Hairston and Jackson are social friends and golfing buddies.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home