Tuesday, February 06, 2007



A rumor going around last week had it that Pelosi had told Waxman to take a pass-- or maybe to go easy-- on war profiteering hearings. I called Waxman's office to see what was up. They promised to call back with a day or two. It's not quite a week. Waxman used to be my congressman but my little sliver of northeast L.A. was gerrymandered out of his district and into Diane Watson's. Waxman has no need to answer me. Besides. after he abandoned virtually all the progressives in the House-- along with a few other otherwise liberal members of the So Cal congressional delegation 100% in the pocket of AIPAC-- to join Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, and John Boehner in voting to authorize Bush's illegal attack on Iraq, I sent him a... strongly worded letter of disapproval.

Nevertheless, I was warily encouraged to read in today's Washington Post that Waxman is finally going forward with hearingse. "As New 'Cop On The Beat,' Congressman Starts Patrol" leads one to believe that Waxman, as the chairman of the Hose Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will hold the Bush Regime's feet to the fire. "Halliburton? Tobacco executives? Vice President Dick Cheney? You've been warned," the article starts. The Regime has had no oversight whatsoever, just a supine congressional policy of rubber stamping everything. In return Bush gave congressional Republicans a free hand to pillage and gorge themselves on the worst political corruption since Teapot Dome.

"There has been no cop on the beat. And when there is no cop on the beat, criminals are more willing to engage in crimes. Without constant policing by Congress, he said, “the bad actors feel they can get away with anything." And they have.

Today Waxman started with some of the baddest of the bad actors. "House Democrats, taking charge of investigations now that they control Congress, grilled the former U.S. occupation chief in Iraq on Tuesday about the way he doled out up to $12 billion of Iraqi dollars without accounting for the money. L. Paul Bremer III-- supported by the Republican crime machine lead by arch-Republicrook Tom Davis (VA)-- insisted nothing wrong was done.
The hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform scrutinized the chaotic days that began after a burning and looted Baghdad fell to U.S. troops four years ago. Bremer ran the country for 14 months... The hearing presented two divergent views of what financial controls were possible in an Iraqi capital with no functioning national government.

Waxman and a hearing witness, special inspector general for Iraq Stuart Bowen Jr., criticized Bremer for failing to install accounting systems that would have forced Iraqi ministries to account for up to $12 billion in Iraq's funds. The money came from a United Nations oil-for-food program and seized Iraqi assets, but fell under Bremer's control.

"Without strong standards, we have no way of knowing whether the cash could end up in enemy hands," said Waxman.

Bremer countered, "I arrived in Baghdad at a time when much of the city was burning. Looting was still widespread. My responsibilities were to kickstart the economy..."

Waxman said up to $12 billion in Iraqi money was converted to dollars, held in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and shipped in pallets to Baghdad that totaled 363 tons.

"Millions of Iraqi families depended on civil service salaries and pensions," Bremer said. "It was clear we had to get this Iraqi money in the hands of people immediately."

My current Rep, the aforementioned Diane Watson held hearings in her subcommittee of Waxman's committee this morning that don't make it look like anyone is getting any passes. Paul Kiel at the TMP Muckraker has the full story.
David Oliver, former Director of Management and Budget of the CPA, when asked where all the billions of dollars disappeared to replied that it isn't important.

I can't wait 'til they get to the business deals some of the retired generals have made in the War Industry. Everything President Eisenhower warned us about has come true under Bush.

So far it all sounds very civil compared to the degree of corruption that went down there... but you have to start somewhere and it isn't the gallows. Watch Elijah Cummings, Waxman and the former Inspector General nail a still stonewalling Bremer on some of his corrupt bullshit. Like an accounting firm the Bush Regime paid $1.4 million, an accountant firm with no accountants. This is gonna be a long, hard two ten years.


The Iraq and Afghanistan Contractor Sunshine Act has nothing to do with r&r vacations in Florida. It's an attempt by Congress to exercise oversight, as they are required to do, over the billions of dollars the Bush Regime is spending on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a House Intelligence Committee member, introduced legislation requiring the Bush administration to disclose to what degree it relies on private military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“For too long, the Bush administration has relied on guns-for-hire to carry out inherently governmental functions,” Schakowsky said. “Contractors have operated under a veil of secrecy, without a public debate about the nature and scope of their operations.”

She said Congress lacks evidence that contractors report to the appropriate military commanders in such regions.

“This legislation will shed light on the war business, so that Congress and the American people can determine when and where the outsourcing of our security to private firms is warranted,” Schakowsky said.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger cybermome said...

On regards to AIPAC...I really think most politicans think that we Jews are of one mind ..Well we are not..But you rarely see anyone speaking about the views that you and I hold regarding AIPAC and Israel/American foreign policies..
It was wonderful to see Michael Lerner on huffingtonpost this morning give a persoective you rarely see. I hope he blogs more.

In regards to Waxmans hearing...
WE OH..I can't watch because I am behind a firewall
Its about fucking time..

At 11:39 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Thanks for calling my attention to the brilliant piece by Rabbi Michael Lerner at Huff Po.


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