• State Department: Hiding Corruption in Iraq

    August 22, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq

    In response to my recent article “How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan — or America,” originally published on TomDispatch.com and Huffington Post, the site CommonDreams featured this very interesting comment by Art Brennan:

    I was the director of the Office of Accountability and Transparency (OAT) at the US Embassy in Baghdad during the summer of 2007. That summer, I signed and OAT issued an 80 page report on the corruption within each of 33 Iraqi government ministries.

    The report was retroactively classified by Condi Rice to keep Congress from discussing it and the people of the US from knowing about the evidence of 18 billion dollars stolen, lost and wasted.

    Later in July of 2007, a group of US law enforcement officers asked to meet with me in my office at the palace (US Embassy Annex). They explained that the director of the Iraqi equivalent of the FBI (Judge Radhi al Radhi) was going to be murdered because he would not stop investigating the Iraqi Ministries. His house had been rocketed twice and 31 of his personnel had been murdered.

    I confronted [Ambassador Ryan] Crocker about this. I sponsored Iraqis for asylum and they were granted asylum. And my chief of staff, James Mattil and I both testified to House and Senate Committees about the recklessness and negligence of our “preeminent statesman” Ryan Crocker and the Department of State in Iraq. Obama was subsequently elected and the same group of corrupt incompetents were nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate to preside over the similar corruption and murder in Afghanistan. The only consequence for the group of us who stood up and testified was that we were blacklisted by the US Embassy.

    I am a US Army veteran and a retired New Hampshire Superior Court judge. Nancy and I have been active with Stop the Machine at Freedom Plaza in DC and both have been arrested there. We are members of Veterans for Peace and the Veterans Peace Team (VPT). Next week, I go on trial in NYC for VPT’s part in a peaceful demonstration by OWS at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Lower Manhattan. I write these words because I think we have to speak, even when no one in Congress or the White House is listening and most people in the US simply don’t care. I know people reading this do care.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      1

      Sounds like what happened was around the time Krongard, the former OIG, was removed by Congress. Remember that? http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2007/09/28/20100/congressman-state-dept-official.html

      And a couple of years, apparently it didnt get any better because the OIG was in the soup again – http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2010/11/watchdog-calls-for-removal-of-state-departments-interim-ig/32770/

      This is the elephant in the china shop – alot of these abusers of their positions were retained in their positions by the new administration, and then everyone wonders why nothing gets done. Perhaps doing the job and putting one’s country is not such a big priority. Before he left office, the former DAS of ECA/A held meetings with select Department staff, still in ECA, instructing them what information to promote to protect his legacy programs and what information to keep from the Obama transition team. It’s a widespread problem, excacerbated when you add two wars.

      It’s sad this is what happens to people whose give-a-damn meter works and they put their country ahead of their career. What’s the moral of this story?? Shhh…don’t interfere with someone’s profits? There’s a war going on? Never mind about your country??

      08/22/12 1:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      “The report was retroactively classified by Condi Rice to keep Congress from discussing it and the people of the US from knowing about the evidence of 18 billion dollars stolen, lost and wasted.”

      Finally, something the Dems and the Repugs can agree on: the “forcible rape” of the US taxpayer.

      08/22/12 6:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      “Obama was subsequently elected and the same group of corrupt incompetents were nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate to preside over the similar corruption and murder in Afghanistan.”

      FYI – Corruption (worth 14 points) is an American way of life. This kid has what it takes for a successful career with Wall Street or State.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/gaming/2012/08/scrabble_cheating_the_real_story_behind_the_stolen_blanks_scandal_at_the_national_scrabble_championship_.html

      08/22/12 6:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Lex said...

      4

      Thank you for speaking out!

      08/23/12 9:31 PM | Comment Link

    • State Department: Hiding Corruption in Iraq | We Meant Well – Peter Van Buren | American Spring said...

      5

      […] https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2012/08/22/state-department-hiding-corruption-in-iraq/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized by americanspring2011. Bookmark the permalink. […]

      08/24/12 12:22 PM | Comment Link

    • James Mattil said...

      6

      Peter, I’m glad to see that the issue of corruption in Iraq lives on, and Art, it’s good to see you;re still in the fight. As chief of staff for the State Department’s anti-corruption office (OAT), I had a front row seat to the debacle and played a role in the back alleys as well. Like Peter, I too have faced retaliation by State because I disclosed information to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. Yes, I too was told to work at home and was still paid for nothing. I’ve fought a 5-year legal battle against State because my testimony to congress was embarrassing to Sec. Rice and her cronies. But some day this struggle will end and I may be able to publish “Genesis of Evil,” a book that suggests we sisn’t really mean well at all.

      09/16/12 10:26 PM | Comment Link

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