Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Real Shitstorm

A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.

The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

"This is the most essential civil security project in the country -- and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."

The report serves as the latest indictment of Parsons Corp., the U.S. construction giant that was awarded about $1 billion for a variety of reconstruction projects across Iraq. After chronicling previous Parsons failures to properly build health clinics, prisons and hospitals, Bowen said he now plans to conduct an audit of every Parsons project.

"The truth needs to be told about what we didn't get for our dollar from Parsons," Bowen said.
You'd think anything to do with Iraqis "standing up" might have received greater priority, wouldn't you? Of course that's only if you also believe, naively, that we don't plan on staying permanently.

Put this one in the ever-growing file of things to do if real investigative power returns to Washington in November. And it's one more reason why literally anything will be said or done to prevent that power from changing hands.


Blogger Daniel DiRito said...

When reading such stories, I find myself questioning assessments that suggest that we have trained nearly 300,000 Iraqi troops. Here's the problem. If we began our occupation of Iraq with less than 200,000 American soldiers and no Iraqi security forces and we now have nearly 300,000 Iraqi troops along with over 140,000 U.S. soldiers, why can't we seem to bring order to the country and why does the death toll continue to alarm? Perhaps this story about the police academy, coupled with other failures, provides the answer to my question.

The Bush administration, under the guidance of Donald Rumsfeld, continues to ignore the realities being voiced by numerous former military officers and countless other war critics. It takes minimal analysis to posit that the lack of sufficient forces in the region also translates into a lack of supervision and oversight which then leads to these colossal failures.

Look, the reality is obvious...we have an administration that has miscalculated and mismanaged the Iraq war from the outset. There were no WMD's, we were not greeted as liberators, we didn't have a plan for securing the country once Hussein was toppled, we didn't have enough troops to achieve our objectives, we are in the midst of a civil war, and we are fomenting more extremism. Sadly, the only constant remains the unequivocal denial exhibited by our President and his assemblage of neocon associates.

Read more here:

9/28/2006 9:12 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Hurray for Stuart Bowen, the man who told us that $9 billion of Iraqi pre-war oil revenue in the custody of the CPA could not be accounted for!

Stuart Bowen is one of my heroes. Here is a Bush man from Texas blowing the whistle on billions of dollars of fraud and corruption in the Bush administration.

I wish I could have worked for him. It would be worth risking my neck in Iraq to experience the audit to end all audits.

Thanks, C.R., for the article. I'm going to see what I can dig up on the Parsons Corp.

9/28/2006 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course that's only if you also believe, naively, that we don't plan on staying permanently."

Indeed, and presumably this is why Rumsfeld threatened, in the pre-war planning stage, that the next person who came to him with a plan for stabilizing Iraq after the rightly anticipated swift defeat of the Iraqi army would be fired. It's hard to make a case for staying if you do everything right and if everything goes well.

9/28/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger texasdiver said...

The really scary thing about this story is that building a building is just about the easiest thing the Bush Administration has to do in Iraq. And still, even this they screwed up beyond belief. In every major city on the planet there are thousands of competently built built buildings that function as designed. The Iraqis themselves have been doing it for centuries. Even 2000 years ago the Romans knew how to build major public buildings with indoor plumbing that worked. Yet somehow this cast of criminals can't even come close to getting it done right.

9/28/2006 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Ahhh, TexasDiver, you don't understand: this is the whole problem with "free-market" Capitalism, and the Bush team are the pinnacle of that art. The purpose of the project was not to build a building. The purpose was to make money for Parons Corp, preferably letting them take public tax money of some sort. If a building happened to get built somewhere in that process, then great; if not, well, we still have to conclude the project in such a manner as to leave Parsons eligible for other projects in the future...

9/29/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

What does a war profiteering corporation doing a shady construction job while raking in piles of taxpayer money from the government have to do with capitalism? I think Mr. Daulton needs to go back to school and study economics. I would recommend the Mises Institute rather than a government funded school this time around.

9/29/2006 12:08 PM  
Anonymous RW said...

goldhorder makes the implicit case that the Bush Administration is anti-capitalist (or at least not practicing it as it is typically defined) and that's not an entirely unreasonable argument given the available evidence. But that's not what this administration says it is doing, quite the contrary, they claim to be 'free market' all the way and they are indeed practicing a widely recognized form of capitalism -- crony capitalism -- apparently with full support from a Republican controlled congress.

So, are there any real conservatives remaining who either (a) have the strength to wrest back control of the Republican party from these miscreants or (b) possess the character to admit things have gone so badly awry that a necessary change of power and policy direction must be actively supported?

9/29/2006 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that Bremer's flat tax scheme would make buildings magically sprout from the sand. What happened?

I'm guessing that maybe some liberals introduced a progressive income tax, and that's why the wogs, er, freedom-loving Iraqis, are getting obstreparous.
-- sglover

9/29/2006 6:09 PM  
Anonymous nyhmr said...

One boondoggle after another. Just one massive moneygrabbing scheme after another. The Cosa Mostra would have done a better and cheaper job handling the reconstruction and God help the poor soul that tried to do harm to any of the projects.

Is it our plan to turn Iraq into a third world country?

9/29/2006 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps into 3 thirds of a country in time...yugo/serb style play...

"...Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed..." [PINTER]

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