• SIGIR Speaks

    March 27, 2013

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

    The We Meant Well wrap-up of the tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion was unfortunately tainted by several gallons of bile spilled on to my keyboard as I typed. It is important to note that while most of the U.S. Government people involved in Iraq well-deserved all the bile spattered their way, there were those who did try. So thus I owe a bit of an apology for the slam dunk I took on the Special Inspector General for Iraq, SIGIR, a few days ago.

    Fair is fair; I wrote:

    SIGIR, like everything else associated with the Iraq reconstruction, was expensive. The inspectors cost taxpayers $16 million this year, a bargain compared with the $30 million a year they used up during the war era itself.

    The people at SIGIR, who clearly held the least-loved jobs in all of Iraq, were kind enough to write to me and point out that they were trying hard to be part of the good guys. They also ran at something of a profit. SIGIR wrote:

    SIGIR pointed out that in its final report it stated that the financial benefits accomplished by SIGIR’s work included more than $1.61 billion from audits and over $191 million from investigations.

    That works out to $2,329,268 recovered for the U.S. taxpayers per investigation, which is a pretty good return on investment. That is not counting perhaps another approximately $100 million we expect to recover by the time SIGIR closes.

    I hasten to add that the scale of bad money collected by SIGIR is important not only for the dollar amount itself, but also as a sign of just how much freaking money was being spent/stolen during the Iraq campaign. The mind spins.

    And for those in the Washington DC area, the SIGIR Inspector General Himself, Stuart Bowen, will speak today, Wednesday, March 27, 1:00 – 3:00, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Conference Room B1 A/B, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006.

    If you can’t make the speech, you can read Learning From Iraq, A Final Report From the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction online and weep quietly alone at home as I will be doing.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The NYT War Propaganda Machine Speaks:

      War, what was it good for?

      MICHAEL GORDON: Well, I think the military learned how to do counterinsurgency. The public opinion may no longer support that, but forever is a long time. And I think you can’t say we won’t have to do that again at some point in the future.

      Foreign policy-wise, Iraq poses some challenges, particularly now because of Syria, because Maliki has become and emerged essentially as a supporter of Assad, Bashar al-Assad, because he fears the consequences of a Sunni success really in Syria and what it might mean for his own domain and his own rule in Iraq.

      And so it’s become a very serious foreign policy challenge. And he, in fact, has been essentially cooperating with Iran, which has been flying military supplies across Iraq to Damascus.”

      Yes, Michael, “forever is a long time” You don’t have tell that to the families when they visit their dead soldiers.

      03/27/13 11:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Stephen said...


      Dear Mr. Van Buren,

      It is good that you can issue corrections as needed. It shows that you are not merely a disgruntled ex-employee. However, I think most of your readers here forgive you if a little bile slops over the bucket from time to time. Your book and blog inform in a way that is unavailable in the mainstream and I thank you for it.
      As far as the rest of it goes(cited NYT piece above-quote-“Iraq poses some challenges”), please refer to Mr. Jamail in TomDispatch.

      03/27/13 12:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “However, I think most of your readers here forgive you if a little bile slops over the bucket from time to time.”

      Actually, Steve, most of PVB’s readers want the bastards who have blood on their hands in this unholy crusade to be forced to work in VA hospitals to clean up the shit that spills over the bed pans from time to time.

      03/27/13 12:38 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Stephen- I believe most on PVB’s blog are earnestly trying to move beyond being disgruntled. We are depressed that there is no comeuppance for the mendacious politicians and military thugs who brought so much needless suffering and death to so many. The Biblical folklore of vengeance being the purview of an imaginary rogue single male in the sky is hardly a balm so it is amazing that we aren’t mute with despair. Our occasional attempts at sophisticated “grunts” seem to have no effect upon an indifferent populace but still we “gruntal” on.

      03/27/13 2:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Stephen said...


      Dear Mr. Bauer and Mr. Poole,
      I stand corrected. I still have an unfortunate tendency to be ever so polite, beat into me decades ago by IHM nuns at the local parochial school. I understand what each of you is saying and can only add that the bastards should shuttle between the VA hospital and the DU baby ward in the hospital in Fallujah (see Dahr Jamail-Democracy Now).
      Grunting in Fellowship

      03/27/13 3:21 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      re “most of PVB’s readers want the bastards who have blood on their hands in this unholy crusade to be forced to work in VA hospitals to clean up the shit that spills over the bed pans from time to time”…

      …Count me out. I’d just hang them if I could.

      03/27/13 3:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      I wish we could excuse them as “they know not what they do,” BUT they know exactly what they have been doing since the War Party lied about the Gulf of Tonkin. I think they are amazed this dumb-ass country falls for it every fucking time.

      03/27/13 3:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      If this clown wants to clean up his image, I know a VA hospital janitor he should contact:


      03/27/13 3:36 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      PVB’s current subject notwithstanding, I believe there is a profound side-show about to make it’s debut in our wunnerful Circus of Horrors.

      The fact is, Team KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES, is still alive and itching for another injection of lethal testosterone, only this time the enemy is US. Fortunately, some of the ex-military in-crowd see it too, and are gettin damn pissed to the point of giving Obomination a piece of their mind…


      And then there’s a certain pro 2nd Amendment crew that’s taking a different approach..


      yesireeebob..plan for the worst….
      youbetch, hell, even Russia sees it..

      Suffering has only begun..right. I submit these bloodletting scumbags better get Clue pretty quick, cause their pushing for a Class 101 introduction to the Law of Unintended Consequences to Log10. Of course, 1.6 BILLION rounds of hollow point ammo, 7k machine guns, 2.5k units like these….
      ….do give credence the USG suspects “somethins-a-blowin in the wind”.

      However, in that regard, in some respects, I’ma a rollin on the floor in gut splitting laughter, as Guatemala etc, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are living testimony to USG monumental stupidity, malfeasance, ineptitude, graft, corruption and every other We Meant Well DUMB-O-METER reading their enemy takes advantage of in biblical proportions.

      On the other hand, the mindnumbing horror of civil war unfolding on the very soil I was born on terrifies me, as it should anyone. However, I’m beginning to get Jeffersons last sentence drift …
      quote:”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are SETTING UP A KITE TO KEEP THE HEN YARD IN ORDER”
      Read the WHOLE thing. As relevant now as then..

      Setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order.

      ..yer killen me Thomas. I’d submit that one goes down as numero uno in the annuls of Massive Understatements, natural manure notwithstanding.

      Ok, verbose rant over. arrrrrgggggggggrrrrrrrrr.
      Carry on.

      03/27/13 6:06 PM | Comment Link

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