Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wolfowitz [Hearts] Corruption

Marty Peretz, he one spinal cracker, he makes a preemptive strike against those of you who dare criticize him or the highly-revered Paul Wolfowitz: You're raving looney bigots!

Sez Peretz:

I know that most of you know that the president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, is, as I am, a member in very good standing of the Elders of Zion. So it follows that anything I say in his behalf might be dismissed as an act of fraternity or, worse yet, ethnic clannishness.

Why Marty pulls this sleazy stunt is patently obvious when you read the rest of Marty's post, entitled "Wolfowitz v. Corruption." It's because the rest of his claims are smoke and mirrors.

It seems to Marty that Wolfie's new colleagues at the World Bank hate him because he's a tireless opponent of fraud, waste and abuse. Would that Wolfowitz were so abstemious and eagle-eyed when the money in question was ours.

As Joe C. noted upon Wolfie's elevation to from Fuckhead to Bankhead:

For a would-be banker, he has allowed rather huge sums of money to be squandered both at home and in Iraq. During Wolfowitz's tenure [as Dep. Sec. Def.], auditors from the Government Accountability Office have repeatedly found the Defense Department lagging behind other major agencies in management and fiscal responsibility. Last year, the GAO complained of its inability to issue a clean audit of the entire federal budget because of "serious financial management problems" at the Department of Defense.

Two months ago the GAO again singled out the Pentagon for harsh criticism, reporting that it operates eight of the 25 worst-run government programs. Comptroller General David Walker said that the cost is reckoned "in billions of dollars in waste each year and inadequate accountability to the Congress and the American taxpayer." The failures, which have persisted for many years, relate to financial and contract management, the operation of military infrastructure, and the modernization of Pentagon information technology -- which, in short, are a total mess.

Pentagon traditions of boodling and bungling have been replicated in Iraq, where they have intensified the misery of the country's inhabitants and encouraged the murderous insurgency. According to an audit by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction that was released in late January, the Coalition Provisional Authority lost track of nearly $9 billion in spending over the past two years. (Of course, the official directly responsible for this fiasco, former CPA chief L. Paul Bremer, is now wearing the Medal of Freedom that the president pinned on him last fall.) And thanks to the incompetence and carelessness of Iraq's U.S. overseers, far more is likely to be lost as a result of waste, fraud and corruption.

A newly released report from Transparency International, the Berlin-based organization that monitors corrupt practices around the world, warns that Iraqi contracting may soon become "the biggest corruption scandal in history." The group blames the United States for providing "a poor role model" in contracting and auditing. (They've likely heard about Halliburton.)

Far be it from me to question Peretz's expertise on the uses of other people's money, but Spinnin' Marty might wish to be a little less profligate with the bullshit when he praises his neoclown pals.

And once that nine billion turns up again and those responsible are imprisoned, then we can reassess Wolfie's virtues.

Update (9/16/06): Corrected non-working html code in title.

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