Friday, August 31, 2007

Why the officers really want to stay in Iraq

By Libby

The NYT sheds some light on why some of our military brass might be so keen on keeping the occupation going forever.

An American-owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts, the government says in court documents.

One of the officers, Maj. Gloria D. Davis, a contracting official in Kuwait, shot and killed herself in Baghdad in December 2006. Government officials say the suicide occurred a day after she admitted to an Army investigator that she had accepted at least $225,000 in bribes from the company. ...

The case is now part of a broader investigation in which the Army has a high-level team reviewing 18,000 contracts valued at more than $3 billion that the Kuwait office has awarded over four years.

...The Army has suspended 22 companies and individuals, at least temporarily, from pursuing government work because of contract fraud investigations in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, an Army spokesman said Thursday. A total of 18 companies and individuals are barred for a definite period from government work. Seven more face debarment.

Can you say cash cow? And these are just the ones getting caught. As it is with most crimes, you can probably expect that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The LEOs never catch everyone who breaks the law. In fact we know corruption is rampant, when you factor in the lower level profiteering in guns and other supplies that has been revealed in recent weeks.

One suspects this is partly due to the military having to lower their standards in order to meet enlistment quotas. When they drop requirements like clean criminal records and no gang affiliations as a prequisite, it's inevitable that a criminal element will emerge to get their piece of the underground economic pie. I suppose the small fry crooks even feel entitled to scam the government, since many were lied to when they enlisted and they witness the corporate corporation going on all around them daily.

Sadly, criminality appears to be the only trickle down effect we've seen from the Bush administration's policies.

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