Friday, July 23, 2004

Orwell watch: Ignorance is strength 

Don't you just love the way Bush has renamed the GAO from the "Government Accounting Office" to the "Government Accountability Office"?

Say, wasn't it the GAO that Dick "Dick" Cheney told to go Cheney themselves when they tried to let citizens see the records that Cheney wanted to keep secret? See, we're stronger when we're ignorant...

Oh, wait. Silly me! Accountability is for other people!

Anyhow, Krugman has an ostentatiously unshrill column all about accountability:

Will anyone be held accountable for the mishandling of postwar Iraq?

Almost all of the money spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq until late June, came from Iraqi sources, mainly oil revenues.

But it creates another puzzle: given that the authority was spending Iraq's money, why wasn't it more careful in its accounting?

When a foreign power takes control of an oil-rich nation's resources, it inevitably faces suspicion about its motives. Fairly or not, the locals are all too ready to believe that the invaders came to steal their oil.

As a KPMG audit showed (back) the RNC/CPA didn't even bother to install meters on the loading platforms!

The way to deal with such suspicion is to let in as much sunlight as possible ...

What actually happened was just the opposite. Every important official with responsibility for Iraqi finances was a Bush administration loyalist.

When KPMG auditors hired by an international advisory board finally got to work, they found that no effort had been made to keep an accurate record of oil sales, and that accounting for the $20 billion Development Fund for Iraq consisted of "spreadsheets and pivot tables maintained by a single accountant."

Doubtless by one of the twenty-somethings whose sole qualification for the job was that they submitted their resumes to the Heritage Foundation.

The auditors also faced a lack of cooperation. They were denied access to Iraqi ministries, which were reputed to be the locus of epic corruption on the part of Iraqis with connections to the occupiers. They were also denied access to reports concerning what they delicately describe as "sole-source contracts."

Translation: they were stonewalled when they tried to find out what Halliburton did with $1.4 billion.

And while the U.S. has yet to disburse any significant amount of aid, the Government Accountability Office says that war costs for this fiscal year alone will run $12.3 billion above Pentagon projections.

Will anyone be held accountable?
(Via the only reason to read 'em is Krugman New York Times

Will anyone be held accountable.... Silly boy.... Of course they will! In the election! Assuming we have one, of course....

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

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The Washington Chestnut
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