Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inquiry into American Corruption in Iraq

In an earlier posting I had alluded to BILLIONS of dollars that are largely unaccounted for from America's war and reconstruction operations in Iraq since 2003. Then I read this report in the New York Times which seems to indicate there is some effort to uncover details of possibly the biggest case of theft in human history.

Some thoughts:
  1. This should be a multi-generation investigation. I'll tell you why. All they have to do is follow mid-to-senior level military officers who retire in the next 40 years, particularly if they leave America's shores to retire somewhere else. As they say in such investigations "follow the money" and in this case, following some of these retirees going overseas will take us to the money. My experience in such investigations is limited to reading Sherlock Holmes (sorry!) and yet, I feel confident if we do a preliminary investigation on those officers who have retired early in the last few years, we will be able to find a lot of American tax-payer money.
  2. Here's my rationale for why this investigation should last a long time: Once it comes out that retirees are being followed, many will decide to forgo their plans, leaving the money instead to their children and grand-children. Let's watch them carefully for some time.
  3. America's future depends on its ability to hold its officers accountable. Whatever happened to the days when this country could deliver massive and complex projects under-budget and ahead of schedule? The unprovoked war was shameful and criminal in itself. Its execution has been so badly botched that Americans have never been seen so incompetent and so corrupt in this nation's history. Aside from the unimaginable human tragedy brought upon the Iraqi people, George W. Bush' low, low IQ and Don Rumsfeld's high, high arrogance are the two things that have defined this war. And I believe there has been a "Don Rumsfeld" at every rank and level in this war. While we have seen the consequences of their arrogance, we have yet to see the size and scope of their corruption. Purely on a hunch, I believe there are boxes and sacks full of American currency hidden in all sorts of locations in Iraq and Kuwait. There are billions of dollars in off-shore accounts that these officers and contractors from Halliburton, Blackwater, CACI are waiting to retire and start enjoying. I hope we can catch them and make examples out of them. We need a long-term investigation. We must send a clear message that such ill-gotten gains can never be enjoyed. If your ethic is corrupt, no problem, America's Department of Justice will set it right. I must confess, I am not too optimistic about enough upright Americans left in public service to undertake this operation. But I can pray, can't I?
  4. American military officers and contractors do not have a monopoly on corruption nor is corruption anything new - but recent levels of corruption in American public life should alarm the daylights out of us. Bringing these criminals to justice and doing so swiftly is necessary or our entire culture could spiral out of control. I hope it's not too late, although sometimes I fear it just may be :(
  5. Finally, a silver lining to this cloud. I don't believe there is another nation in this world where an inquiry of this sort was even possible. Which is why I pray that not only may America survive this and prevail in ensuring justice gets done, I hope other nations follow in America's path. Many of you might remember, the long-time Saudi Ambassador to the US was identified as the man who received nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS in kickbacks. It was all hushed up. Can you imagine what goes on in Saudi Arabia when news of this sort is discovered? I suspect it never comes out. I shudder to think of the sort of crimes that are constantly committed and, if you have the right contacts, you need never fear any consequences. Well, not until you wake up in your graves.

No comments: