- Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen may have inspected his employees' office emails
- The FBI is inspecting "several issues of possible fraud and abuse" - who's being defrauded and abused isn't clear yet
- SIGIR Bowen and his deputy, Ginger Cruz, may have used taxes from Americans to pay for their legal defense, starting in 2006
- The FBI may sniff out whether SIGIR Bowen snookered an earlier investigation into just how much a pricey book about Stuart Bowen's SIGIR accomplishments in Iraq cost - the thing's being compiled by his office
This set of investigations will probably be in the news for a while: particularly since there's a presidential election coming up in November. Odds are pretty good that we'll hear at least some of the following:
- The Bush administration is punishing SIGIR for revealing waste and abuse in Iraq
- SIGIR is a ruse, diverting attention from the real sinister stuff going on in Iraq
- SIGIR is a tool of the administration, covering American involvement in Iraq with a cloak of legitimacy
- SIGIR somehow represents how America is hurting Iraq
A little background: SIGIR is a federal agency, set up by Congress and "serving the American public as a watchdog for fraud, waste, and abuse of funds intended for Iraq reconstruction programs." There needs to be some sort of oversight, with all the money flowing into Iraq.
A few statistics from the SIGIR website (www.sigir.mil):
- Total relief gone to Iraq as is now over $100 billion USD
- total attacks on Coalition forces and Iraqis dropped to their lowest levels in over a year (maybe SIGIR is a propaganda tool of the administration!)
- Total number of audits and total number of inspections by SIGIR is now over 100. (Roughly one audit per billion dollars?!)
I'll admit, freely, that there has been malfeasance in America's efforts to help Iraq recover from three decades of a tyrant's management. The entire operation was run by human beings. And we tend to do bad things, given the opportunity.
However, it could be worse. Think about
- The Reconstruction in the Old South, with scalawags and carpetbaggers?
- The Treaty of Versailles, and and its cluelessly idealistic approach to drawing national boundaries on maps of Africa and Asia?