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Iraq Reconstruction

WORLD
November 4, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Senate supporters of an investigator's office that has unearthed waste and fraud in the rebuilding of Iraq say they will try to keep it running, despite passage of legislation to shut it down. Led by Stuart Bowen Jr., the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction tracks spending in the multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild the country. The agency's work has resulted in four criminal convictions and, most recently, evidence that a subsidiary of Halliburton Co.
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WORLD
October 31, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Thousands of weapons the United States has provided to Iraqi security forces cannot be accounted for, and spare parts and repair manuals are unavailable for many others, a new report to Congress says. The report was prepared at the request of Sen. John W. Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. A spokesman for Warner said the Virginia Republican read the report over the weekend in preparation for a meeting today with Stuart W. Bowen Jr.
WORLD
October 28, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The Pentagon's largest contractor in Iraq, Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, routinely hid information about its work from the public by marking it as proprietary when it wasn't, a U.S. government report said. The company's actions were an abuse of federal contracting rules designed to protect proprietary information, said the report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. Information as fundamental as the number of meals being served to U.S.
NATIONAL
April 29, 2006 | T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer
Parsons Corp., the Pasadena engineering firm that won one of the largest rebuilding contracts in postwar Iraq, fell dramatically short of a number of goals, according to interviews and documents that cite shoddy work and negligent government oversight. The firm was to have rebuilt Iraq's health and security infrastructure. However, an audit and interviews show it will finish only 20 of 150 planned health clinics, and nearly $70 million of medical equipment meant for the clinics sits unused.
OPINION
January 19, 2006
Re " 'Marshall Plan' for Iraq Fades," Jan. 15 There is an important difference between the Marshall Plan for Europe and the debacle that is Iraq: The Marshall Plan actually helped Europe. After nearly three years and $18 billion spent in a country with rock-bottom construction costs, Iraq is still in shambles. So where did the money go? Judging by the number of scandals, reconstruction was not the goal but rather was a thinly disguised welfare plan for U.S. companies. And, of course, forcing Iraq, a country we've destroyed, to pay for its own reconstruction is right out of the International Monetary Fund playbook: loan forgiveness in return for allowing corporations to "privatize" Iraq's oil and infrastructure at fire-sale prices.
WORLD
January 2, 2006 | Borzou Daragahi, Paul Richter and Doug Smith, Times Staff Writers
The crowded sidewalks along Sanaa Street offer one picture of Iraq's economy, a bustling entrepreneurial mecca that's a cross between Silicon Valley and the HBO western "Deadwood," where the young and ambitious can make their fortunes if they're not shot dead first. The staid hallways of the Interior Ministry's residency office show another glimpse.
WORLD
December 16, 2005 | From Associated Press
An Army Reserve lieutenant colonel was arrested Thursday on charges of being part of a conspiracy to steer Iraq reconstruction contracts to a businessman in exchange for money and gifts, including a Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Debra Harrison, 47, of Trenton, N.J., is the second Army Reserve officer facing charges of conspiracy, money laundering and weapons violations, according to a criminal complaint made public by the Justice Department. Harrison served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.
WORLD
November 21, 2005 | Richard C. Paddock and T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writers
The $100 bills were all new. They came wrapped in plastic and loaded on wooden pallets. Altogether, the money weighed 15 tons, enough to fill three U.S. military helicopters. It totaled $1.4 billion. In a little-known operation during the final days of the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority, American military helicopters flew the shipment of cash to Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan's largest city. U.S.
WORLD
November 17, 2005 | Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer
The rapid turnover of American officials in Iraq has slowed efforts to rebuild the country, disrupted key relationships with Iraqis and led to frequent and abrupt shifts in U.S. policy, current and former government officials say. Between July and September, all six U.S. agencies involved in the reconstruction effort lost all or some of their senior staff, according to an auditor appointed by Congress.
OPINION
November 14, 2005
THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT THIS month belatedly got around to reversing one of the worst errors of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran the country after the invasion: the disbanding of the Iraqi army. Some officers had been called back into service earlier, but the transitional government issued a near-blanket invitation to officers up to the rank of major to apply for reinstatement. The abolition of the army meant widespread unemployment for tens of thousands of men.
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