Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WATCHING THE WATCHMAN....Suppose you've just invaded a country let's call it "Iraq" and you're now in the process of distributing the spoils to your supporters: no-bid contracts, overpriced delivery deals, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, you mistakenly appoint an auditor who turns out to be serious about auditing fraud and mismanagement in the distribution of goodies. What do you do?

Answer: reroute the money so it comes from a source that's audited by someone else someone who's already made it clear they don't have the resources to do the job right. The Carpetbagger has the details.

Kevin Drum 2:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Comments

As Iraq shifts from a war to reconstruction, it's only natural that the managagement shift from the department of defense to the department of state. The liberal need to find a conspiracy theory in everything strikes again.

I also like how the liberals are changing their story. Before, they pretended that there was no oversight of Iraqi contracts. Now, the new story is that there WAS oversight, but it's going away. The fact that the narrative is different today from yesterday doesn't seem to bother them.

Who is the carpetbagger anyway? Is there any indication he's a credible source?

Posted by: American Hawk on May 10, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Hawk nails it! Carpetbagger is a liar! Just because Iraq has sucked up many hundreds of billions of dollars (so far), we can rest assured that every dime has been incredibly well spent to Protect America! And not wasted on crap like body armor and gps for the soldiers.

Yeesh. Get a grip -- your blind Bush hatred leads you to doubt what is totally obvious.

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on May 10, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or are these Iraq storylines sounding more and more like episodes of the Sopranos?

Posted by: craigie on May 10, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"What do you do?"

Can his ass. Duh. SOP for this administration.

Posted by: Matt on May 10, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, it worked for Enron.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on May 10, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

The disaster known as Iraq grows greater everyday. The death toll of Iraqi citizens now indicates that there personal rights levels and freedom from spontanous assassination was greater with Saddam as ruler than it currently is today. Bush was so ignorant of history that he thought that 100's of years of factional fighting in Iraq could be resolved by someone as inept and incompetent has him and his group of unenlightened cronies. Meanwhile America is bankcrupt in this moronic attempt.

Posted by: MRB on May 10, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Or the President can issue a signing statement on a law passed by Congress to create an Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction efforts, stating that the I.G. has no authority over anything in Iraq, and that the DoD will do all investigations.

Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage talked about this in a Fresh Air Interview last night. His article is in the (free) members-only area of the Boston Globe.

Posted by: Meander on May 10, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

CLICK THE LINK! ALWAYS CLICK THE LINK!

Oh, wait. The link explains the story just as Kevin summarized it. With more links and evidence and everything.

Never mind.

Posted by: zadig on May 10, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The great crime that is Iraq continues...I feel ill.

Posted by: ckelly on May 10, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Bush and the repugs want to lose in Iraq? And steal all the money? Why does everything cost a fortune yet nothing gets done? Why is Bush a traitor to America?

Posted by: MRB on May 10, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

MONEY, MRB.

Posted by: Ace Franze on May 10, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I guess you all will never cease being amazed by the mundane. This is just the way the world works . . . Democrat, Republican, Whig. I wonder if you get excited watching water come out of the kitchen faucet. That might make a good blog entry.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if you get excited watching water come out of the kitchen faucet." - More so than by reading your posts, to be sure.

Posted by: chasmrich on May 10, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Costing the taxpayers billions on graft to cronies is hardly mundane. Republicans are achieving the thing the USSR achieved prior to Gorbachev-total descruction of America's power, military capability, and ethical position.

Posted by: MRB on May 10, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz@circularstrawman.com

I like that. It's funny cause it's true.

Posted by: phleabo on May 10, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Says Rick Gwin, regional head of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, ..."This is much bigger and wider than Randy 'Duke' Cunningham. All that has just not come out yet, but it won't be much longer and then you will know just how widespread this is."

I wonder if that's related?

Posted by: Doctor Jay on May 10, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

All this money spent and Osama bin Laden still walks around as a free man. Good thing this isn't WWII or we would still be fighting it. The entire country of Japan was defeated for Pearl Harbor bombings in less time than it has taken Bush, the incompetent, to resolve 9/11. Is Bush just using Osama without any real desire to find him? Are the traitorous bu-fu buddies?

Posted by: MRB on May 10, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

They called off the investigation into the missing CPA money ($8.8 Billion) because the CPA doesn't exist anymore -- after Congress gave it the money, what became of it was a CPA matter. No jurisdiction for criminal charges. A new CPA wouldn't be the original CPA so there'd be no way to prosecute.

I don't know about most people, but I'd sure like to know who got what and how. If scorn and disapproval is all I can mete out with the information, well, at least it's something.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on May 10, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Is Bush just using Osama without any real desire to find him?

I'm just assuming that's a rhetorical question.

Posted by: haha on May 10, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if you get excited watching water come out of the kitchen faucet."


Funny you should put it that way. bush is spending OUR tax money like water ... and it's just pouring down the drain.

Posted by: G.Kerby on May 10, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is actually pretty hilarious. If there is one thing the I.G. of the State Department is known for is his extreme reluctance to spend, much less waste, any money. He'll do a good job to the extent it's possible given the limits on his funding.

Posted by: Ugh on May 10, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"tbrosz@circularstrawman.com

I like that. It's funny cause it's true."

His other e-mail addresses:

tbrosz@rotaryrectum.com
tbrosz@swivelingsphincter.com

Posted by: brewmn on May 10, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if you get excited watching water come out of the kitchen faucet."

Funny you should put it that way. bush is spending OUR tax money like water ... and it's just pouring down the drain.
Posted by: G.Kerby on May 10, 2006 at 3:21 PM

Actually, it's not our tax money that's being spent. It's all on the country's credit card and will be paid later by future generations. So what are you worried about?

Billions spent to reconstruct Iraq but still no reliable electricity and an oil industry producing at below pre-Saddam levels. Why? Because the security situation is such that this infrastructure cannot be adequately defended against sabotage, and taking a job to repair the work of saboteurs means taking your life into your hands. This is what we're up against.

Posted by: Kurzleg on May 10, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hey American Chicken HAWK, you better forget your bloggink skills?, hah, you and your 'War Party' have alot of countries to Invade.
I mean just LOOK at the Money to be MADE$$

I bet you are licking your chicken beak eh Un-American Chicken...Go fight Man, I mean you hate Muslims right? Those Damm 'AYRABS' as you say?
Well Here you go Pal, get your Gun cause you got some hunting to do, unless your chicken, are you a Chicken? Have you signed up for War yet? Or Blackwater USA? BE A MERC American CHICKEN make up to 360,000 K a year, to KILL them 'AYRABS'! as you and your Sociopath ilk say.
~
n the groups of countries whose Muslim population number from 2% up to 25% of the population, there is one in Europe: Bulgaria, one in North America: the United States, three in Latin America: Panama, Guyana and Surinam, and in the Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago. In Africa there are several, including: Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya and South Africa. In East Asia there are Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Kampuchea and the Philippines. Three countries that fall into this category may surprise you: Israel, which regards itself as a Jewish state, has a sizable Muslim population, as does India, where Muslims make up approximately 11% of the total, and the United States with 2.5%. India and the former Soviet Union are two extraordinary cases where because of the sheer size of the total populations, Muslim minorities are 100 million (India) and 50 million (former Soviet Republics) - numbering far more than the whole population of most countries with Muslim majorities. (Sheer total numbers also account for a very sizeable number of Muslims in China - less than 2% of total, but numbering nonetheless, more than 16 million).

Muslims represent a quarter to a half of the total population in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

Next are countries where from 51% to 88% of the people are Muslims. Notable among this group are: Albania in Europe; the sub-Sahara African countries of Benin, Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Togo; the Arab countries of Sudan, and Lebanon; and in South Asia the countries of Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. It is significant to note that Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in terms of population - with about 171 million Muslims.

Lastly, countries whose populations are 89% to 100% Muslim form a long list. The largest of these are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Posted by: Mach Tuck on May 10, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

I know you don't Read American Chicken Hawk [A mind boggling thing, Boneless Chicken]
So I compressed the list so you and George could Follow your attack plan a little easier.
I suggest just nuking the hell out of them all, you know, let YOUR GOD, not mine, SORT THEM OUT LATER?
Say America Chicken Hawk are you a Judge?

Posted by: Mach Tuck on May 10, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

On the bright side, this article is probably the only possible way we could have seen something written about a Bush appointee doing a good job.

As far as Krongard's office not being able to do the job:

Mr. Krongard's office maintains no permanent presence in Iraq, but he said that he was confident his office could provide effective oversight over the new money. He said that his office regularly works with Mr. Bowen's personnel in Iraq, allowing the State Department auditors to "leverage" the Iraq watchdog's far-larger human and financial assets in the country. "Very simply, if the Congress asks us to take on this oversight responsibility we will do the very best we can to discharge it," he said in a telephone interview.

What "group of Senators" submitted the Bowen amendment? Good luck looking it up. Hundreds of amendments were proposed for this bill.

What Carpetbagger calls "reasons that are not entirely clear" for this amendment not coming to a vote are described in the linked WSJ article:

The measure's sponsors say they asked Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to allow the measure to be brought to a vote but were turned down. Mr. Cochran denies receiving such a request and says the amendment's sponsors could have formally introduced the measure but chose not to, according to his spokeswoman, Margaret Wicker.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Is the "AL" that posts here the WaPo Journalst?

Al Kahem? [sp?]

Posted by: Mach Tuck on May 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

As far as Krongard's office not being able to do the job:

Mr. Krongard's office maintains no permanent presence in Iraq, but he said that he was confident his office could provide effective oversight over the new money. He said that his office regularly works with Mr. Bowen's personnel in Iraq, allowing the State Department auditors to "leverage" the Iraq watchdog's far-larger human and financial assets in the country. "Very simply, if the Congress asks us to take on this oversight responsibility we will do the very best we can to discharge it," he said in a telephone interview.
Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 3:43 PM

What, you expected the guy to say "There's no way we can do the job"? To paraphrase Chris Penn in "Resevoir Dogs", this quote doesn't necessarily make it f'n so.

Posted by: kurzleg on May 10, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Tbroz got more out of Bill's BJ than did Bill. heh heh.And he has a stain on his blue shirt too.

Posted by: Booo on May 10, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

This is just the way the world works . . .

Tbrosz, you ever get tired of making excuses for these guys ?

Posted by: Stephen on May 10, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

On the bright side, this article is probably the only possible way we could have seen something written about a Bush appointee doing a good job.

Shorter tbrosz: Everyone is as much of a dishonest partisan hack as I am.

Posted by: Gregory on May 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Give tbrosz a break. They're probably both fake tbroszeses and between the gradeschool miming and Bush's 29% favorability It's no wonder he's a little on edge.

Have some pity and throw him a strawman or two ( ie. you want to marry a serial murderer or something).

Posted by: toast on May 10, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Don/Al/GOP is now calling himself "American Hawk"?

How pathetic. The guy is obsessed with being "frist".

Posted by: BB on May 10, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

chirp chirp

Posted by: Ugh on May 10, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

LOL @ American Hawg:

Who is the carpetbagger anyway? Is there any indication he's a credible source?

Nice attempt at playing the ingenue.

But you know who the Carpetbagger is.

He's the one that doesn't tolerate your posts.
He is the one who has purged you from his threads.
He's the one who has banned your IP address.

Remember that ass-hat?

Posted by: Cruel troll killer on May 10, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Where is the new business?

Government growing at 7.5%/annum, deflated that comes to 4.2%, and this will continue to rise as we go through a couple more interest rate hikes.

The private sector is stangnant.

There is no other growth game in town than to get on the big government bandwagon. We need a Mutual Fund based around big government blood suckers so we can all participate in the bonanza.

My question is, why are the Chinese so eager to fund this mess?

Posted by: Matt on May 10, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I guess you all will never cease being amazed by the mundane. This is just the way the world works . . . Democrat, Republican, Whig. I wonder if you get excited watching water come out of the kitchen faucet. That might make a good blog entry.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Although you seem to imply this an acceptable mode of doing business, the difdference to Republicans is that most of us here think there should be prosecutions whoever is corrupt.

Just in case any other trolls come along, read the report itself.

www.sigir.mil

Pretty disappointing reading for 3 years and how many billion?

Posted by: notthere on May 10, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nice putdowns of the fake. You can all pat yourselves on the back. Anybody have a serious response to the excerpts I posted?

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz
Can't tell which the real one is. They are convincingly and equally witless in every example.

Posted by: notthere on May 10, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Nice putdowns of the fake. You can all pat yourselves on the back.

Tom, correct me if I'm wrong, but your joie de vivre is looking a little peaked. You don't seem to be getting any fun out of all of this these days. You're nervous, snappish, defensive, easily startled and prone to lash out wildly. I suspect you also cry quite a bit in private. What's wrong? Are these rough times to be a backwasher?

Posted by: shortstop on May 10, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz -

As I note above, State's current IG will do his best with his limited resources. Knowing what I know, I have no doubt of this. But the real questions are (a) whether anyone, be he Mr. Krongard or Superman, can do an adequate job with 1/20th of the funding of the previous inspector; and (b) why in the world oversight was moved from the previous guy. Likely answers (a) probably not; (b) cronyism.

Posted by: Ugh on May 10, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop:

Me lash out wildly? You been reading the leftist output here? They turn out more mouth foam in a day than I generate in a month.

It's tough enough to try and make a point without the fake tbrosz, who seems to be taken seriously over and over again by people who should know better.

How would you like dozens of idiotic posts settling into Google in perpetuity with your handle on them?

Sometime when I have a free day to kill, I just might grab a thread or two and start posting some fakes of my own. Imitating some of the boilerplate around here wouldn't be hard.

***

Ugh:

Thanks. First actual answer so far. Krongard seems to think he will have access to a lot of the resources of the other section, but then we'll see how that actually turns out.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

How would you like dozens of idiotic posts settling into Google in perpetuity with your handle on them?

Why didn't you stop after you posted the first couple? If nothing else we've been trying to help you quit.

Posted by: trex on May 10, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

trex:

Saw that one coming down Broadway...

Fact remains, a lot of fake posts (not just mine) tend to disable real discussion, and people look silly arguing with them.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Matt >"...My question is, why are the Chinese so eager to fund this mess?"

Oh my, you really don`t get it do you ?

OK, here is someone far more accomplished than I to let you in on it

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill" - Sun Tzu

Posted by: daCascadian on May 10, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

When are the scales going to fall away from every American's eyes and they finally realize the depth of incompetence and corruption in this Administration? This is our money these bastards are pissing away, for Gods sake!

Get angry people and demand impeachment hearings now!!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on May 10, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

In a related twist on the meaning of Watching the Watchman, the DOJ closed its investigation into the warrantless NSA spying program.

Reason for closing the investigation?

The NSA refused to give the DOJ attorneys that were supposed to do the investigation the necessary security clearance. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12727867/from/RSS/

(I orginally found the story at daily kos http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/5/10/213549/944

Posted by: Catch22 on May 10, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

tbozo:

How would you like dozens of idiotic posts settling into Google in perpetuity with your handle on them?

You mean like this one that you posted to Carpetbagger on June 9th 2005:

"A highly-placed anonymous official informs me that the Democrats have twice as many scandals we know nothing about than the Republicans do."

Funny isn't it.
Wasn't American Hawg just babbling on about "anonymous sources"?

You are one sick bird tbozo.
One sick bird.

Posted by: Cruel troll killer on May 10, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Nice putdowns of the fake. You can all pat yourselves on the back. Anybody have a serious response to the excerpts I posted?
Posted by: tbrosz on May 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

When have you posted seriously?
All I see is anne coulter rush Dimbulb rhetoric.
Dem this Liberal that, you never accept blame for your own goofballsm, why would ANYONE here listen to convoluted cum stained cocksucking clitoris such as you?
You amount to a ball of beetle dung Tbrosz.
Tell me are you one of those Zionist orthodox wackos? Ya know leaven your bread with the blood from the dick of a circumcised christian?

Is that YOU Tbrosz? Are you a Khazar Phallic worshipping zionist faggot? Do you eat bread with Blood in it? Are you one of those Animal skinners? You know, the Sons of Gomer? The Pechenegas?
Cmon Tell us, do you beat christian babies to death for your PURIM? I know you psycho dirtbag jews hate the world, Just Admit it so we can kick your ass all the way tp Israel and back.

Posted by: Tbrosz Phallic Blood eater on May 10, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

It was once slightly amusing to watch posters get riled up over a fake tbroz, but now it is just annoying.

Posted by: Botecelli on May 11, 2006 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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