THE BLOG
12/11/2006 08:04 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bremer And Tenet Should Give Their Medals of Freedom to Shinseki and Murtha

It is accountability time.

Now we know: the Iraq Reconstruction was
one of the greatest examples of incompetence
and fraud in modern history, and the billions
from Iraqi oil, which we were told by Wolfowitz
would pay for the war, have barely been spent.

With friends like these, it's no suprise the Iraqi
people in overwhelming numbers want us to
leave, regardless of the merits of the policy,
or lack thereof. The missing and stolen Iraq
Reconstruction money and the unspent and
hoarded Iraq oil money is a scandal of the
first order that has cost American lives and
turned a failed American policy into a deadly
and spreading catastrophe.

It is accountability time. Paul Bremer and
George Tenet should have their medals of
freedom taken away as architects of failure,
General Shinseki and Congressman Murtha
should receive special commendations for
being right and warning us courageously, and the Democratic Congress
should initiate all out
investigation of war profiteering by American
Companies in Iraq.

Lets stop rewarding the creators of disaster,
lets start recognizing the voices in the wilderness who tried to save
us, and lets
start investigating and punishing those who
committed these unpatriotic crimes of fraud
against the American taxpayers and the people
of Iraq.

Right out the gate the Democratic Congress
should initiate and take to conclusion an all
out, full investigation of the Iraq Reconstruction
program with the goal of finding evidence for
criminal prosecution, major financial restitution
with monies going to troops or vets programs,
and restoring integrity of government spending.

This was done during the Second World War
by the Truman Committee; many Democrats
and Americans have called for this today and
the time has arrived to implement it.

It appears that more than $10 billion has been lost, stolen, corrupted, missing or
wasted in what may be greatest example of
crime and incompetence in the history of government spending.

It is sick and destructive that Iraqi children
are punished while they were hungry and
food did not arrive; that suffering Iraqis are
punished when hospitals were not properly
built; that Iraqi students are punished by
schools that were not built or improved.

It is morally sickening that when training of Iraqis is so deficient and
responsible for American casualties, there are facilities
built by contractors that are flooded with
urine and feces falling through collapsing floors.

This corruption of government programs has
taken money aimed at helping the people of
Iraq, supporting the war effort, helping our
troops, and winning the battle of ideas and
turned it into a giant cesspool of corrupted
pork barrel spending.

This has contributed to the dire, disastrous
and deteriorating collapse in Iraq and has
hurt our country throughout the Middle East.

This has been directly responsible for the
massive Iraqi public opinion against the
mission and made life dramatically worse
for the people of Iraq.

This has given aid, comfort and support to our
enemies in Iraq, in the region, and to terrorists throughout the Middle
East.

This has been an immoral, unpatriotic abuse
of American taxpayers, American troops and
American national security interests.

This has eroded public support for economic
and reconstruction programs generally, when
such programs are essential along with military,
diplomatic and political initiatives executed with
integrity and professionalism.

This has been particularly egregious because
apparently many examples of waste, fraud,
abuse, crime, corruption or incompetence
were carried out by companies with long ties
to the Republican Party who may have misused
money that was a de facto reward for partisan
political activity.

If the results of this investigation keep the
Republicans pin to the mat, it is only because
some of these companies have ties to the
Republican Party, were given these monies
by a Republican Administration, and got away
with these crimes because of the historic failure
of oversight from the Republican Congress.

It is imperative to get to the bottom of the role
of Haliburton, especially because of long ties
of that company to Republican officeholders
including the Vice President. They should be
treated fairly, as should every company and
every official called to testify, but the facts
must come out and responsible officials must be held accountable.

There should be full examination of why so
many Republican operatives were put in high
level positions in Reconstruction, who were
clearly unqualified for their jobs, and what role
if any they played in corruption and negligence
in managing reconstruction money.

There should be aggressive accounting and
documenting every dollar that was authorized
for reconstruction. Exactly what officials were
responsible, exactly how did they fail to exercise their responsibilty
and exactly what
cost did these failures cause?

Every Administration official with any level
of responsiblity that involved reconstrucion should testify formally
before Congress. Any
official involved with companies receiving major
reconstruction money should testify before
Congress.

When necessary they should be put under oath, though it is a federal
crime to lie in testimony even when witnesses are not
under oath. When necessary subpoenas
should be issued to private contractors and
government agencies.

At the end of the day, there should be a full
and complete public report with accounting of
money spent, with direct responsiblity to
named government officials who administered
the program, with detailed results announced
naming companies that have demonstrated
either gross negligence or criminal corruption,
with full disclosure of any ties to partisan political interests.

Those who committed criminal offenses should
be put in handcuffs and sent to jail.

Companies that were involved in crime, fraud,
abuse, incompetence or gross negligence
should be assessed dramatic fines and fees
for restitution.

Congress should enact a new law directing
that restitution moneys should be earmarked
that protect and serve the health, safety and
future of American troops who have served
in Iraq or their families who have patriotically
assumed an enormous burden of service.

At the end of the day, there should not be one
penny of profit from corrupted programs, and
there should be major restitutions of the $10
billion that has been stolen, missing, corrupted
or abused by this catastrophic failure of Iraq
reconstruction spending, Republican oversight
in Congress, and corporate responsibility by
offenders.

This investigation should be fair, honorable,
impartial, and rise above the standards that
Republicans have shown when they were
in power in Congress, and rise above the
standards of their secret trials and abusive
legalisms that they have repeatedly shown.

This investigation should be nonpartisan,
objective and professional giving all rights
of due process and fair treatment to all.

I have been calling for a new POTUS initiative
that would bring to the fore the former American
Presidents, especially Presidents G.H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and
would involve major new
Marshall Plan assistance to parties in the Middle East that reach
agreements and that
implement cease fires.

It is imperative to restore crediblity with the
American people for reconstruction and reconstruction programs. It is
imperative to restore morality and honesty in government spending. It
is imperative to remove and punish crony corruption that has done so
much damage in Iraq. It is imperative that all be treated fairly but
that the guilty be identified, named, and brought to justice and major
financial restitution must be made.

Lets put any guilty in jail, take back any money
that was stolen, and monies recovered from
corrupt profiteers should be used for wounded
troops, veterans health care and those who
gave so much, while others stole so much.