The testimony was shocking: more than $13 billion in American funds for reconstruction projects which were never built combined with deaths of 32 Iraqi officials charged with oversight. Allegations of widespread corruption, with an accusation that "Iraqi government officials worked with al-Qaeda terrorists at the Baiji refinery to steal oil to sell on the black market."
After contacting Sen. Dorgan’s office for more information, the senator sent us this:
We received startling and sobering news at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing I chaired on Monday, September 22. Former high-level Iraqi government officials gave first-hand accounts of massive, widespread corruption in the Iraqi government, corruption that has diverted millions of American taxpayer dollars to al Qaeda.
Yes, you read that right – your tax dollars and mine — funding al Qaeda! The Bush Administration has been careless when it comes to overseeing the billions of dollars it is spending. During the 18 hearings I’ve held on corruption, waste, and fraud in Iraq, we’ve heard from whistleblower after whistleblower who have testified that U.S. contractors have over-charged, under-delivered, and then walked away with your money.
We’ve heard how the Administration’s negligence resulted in American soldiers being given contaminated water. We’ve heard how our troops were exposed to deadly chemicals, served tainted and expired food, and denied ice for combat missions in the desert.
What we heard at the hearing on Monday, however, introduced a new level of outrage.
The Bush Administration must take immediate and forceful action to curb this corruption, stop the flow of American dollars to al-Qaeda, and safeguard U.S. tax dollars in Iraq.
Readers may remember our prior DPC coverage regarding the potential exposure of American soldiers, contractors and Iraqis to toxic chemicals and electrocutions as a result of shoddy work. The Army recently opened an investigation into the chemical exposure issue. We’ll be keeping an eye on this investigation as well.