Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bush’s Initial Crackerjack Iraqi Team

The unimpeded return of an Iraqi jail breaker to Chicago prompted a quick review of 3 American civil servants serving in the Coalition Provisional Authority and their current status. The chief, Paul Bremer received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his organization’s unaccounted $8 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds.

The CPA’s Chief Financial Officer, charged with keeping track of those lost billions, is now the CFO and head of resource management at the State Department. In between Bradford Higgins assisted the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from his senior position. Does anyone else find it odd someone who couldn’t keep track of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars got promoted twice?

But far more interesting is a man who can point fingers as he worked under the first two. American and Iraqi citizen, Ayham al-Samaraie, served as Electricity Minister in the Coalition Provisional Authority. The Iraqi government later charged Mr. al-Samaraie with misallocating $1.5 billion of Iraqi Reconstruction money. While that pales compared to the $8 billion lost by Bremer and Higgins, the Electricity Minister ended up the only government official in jail for corruption charges.

However, western forces came to his rescue, breaking him out of jail in the secure Green Zone. After U.S. officials assured the Iraqi government they were looking for the jail breaker, Mr. al-Samaraie ended up back in Chicago last week. Apparently that western capitalism “Get Out of Jail Free” card really works under the Bush administration…

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