Boy, what a surprise.
From CBS News…
*New Report Says Poor Oversight Allowed Greedy Contractors To Take Taxpayers For A Multi-Billion Dollar Ride*
Poor planning, weak oversight and greed combined to soak U.S. taxpayers and undermine American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, government watchdogs tell a new commission examining waste and corruption in wartime contracts.
Since 2003, the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development have paid contractors more than $100 billion for goods and services to support war operations and rebuilding.
After invading Iraq in 2003, the United States had a postwar plan for six months. It ended up being six years.
The Bush administration predicted only $2 billion taxpayer dollars would be needed to rebuild Iraq. The tab is $51 billion and counting - half of that amount was spent on private security contractors.
The new report, “Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience,” finds the U.S. government “was neither prepared for nor able to respond to the ever-changing demands” of stabilizing Iraq. The report also says there were multiple shortcomings in the planning.
For example, there were not enough troops to contend with the worsening security situation. And at the same time it was fighting a brutal insurgency, the U.S. undertook a huge reconstruction effort.
Rebuilding water and sewage systems, the electricity grid, buildings, roads, airports, and ports fell on private companies. Much of the work was given to firms like Kellogg Brown and Root and Bechtel, which had contracts, which the report says, functioned like an open-ended checkbook.
The report finds these projects were “grossly burdened by waste,” Mitchell reports. At least 35 people have been convicted of criminal misconduct committed during the U.S. reconstruction program, according to the report.
On a directly related note, another report on some of the corrupt business at hand in Iraq, resulting in a “Fraud Bigger Than Madoff”