<\body> Stories in America: Corruption in Iraq Continues

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Corruption in Iraq Continues

Who's benefiting from the $100,000 an hour we're spending in Iraq?
The Bush administration, usually under pressure from federal inspectors or press accounts, has reluctantly acknowledged that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But the most recent inspections by the Inspector General reveal for first time the failure of projects that had been officially declared successes.

Examples include:

The Baghdad International Airport, where $11.8 million was spent on new electrical generators, but $8.6 million worth of the project is no longer functioning.

A maternity hospital in the northern city of Erbil, where a newly built water purification system is not functioning; an expensive incinerator for medical waste is padlocked, and medical waste - including syringes, used bandages, and empty drug vials - is clogging the sewage system and probably contaminating the water system.

At the same hospital, a system for distributing oxygen has been ignored by the medical staff, which told inspectors they distrusted the sophisticated new equipment and had gone back to using tried-and-true oxygen tanks - which are stored unsafely throughout the building.

Expensive generators are missing from the Camp Ur military base, having been hauled off to another post. Also at Camp Ur, three modular buildings constructed at a cost of $1.8 million were dismantled and removed with no explanation given.

Barracks renovated for enlisted soldiers are already in disrepair, just a year after being handed over to the Iraqi Army. Electrical wiring is pieced together to accommodate retrofitted lights and appliances that were not in the original design. Newly installed fixtures, hardware and appliances have been pilfered or abused. A number of electrical generation systems were not adequately maintained, and were inoperable at the time of the SIGIR's inspections. Leaks from the upstairs floor had damaged floor tiles and ceilings on the ground floors. An inadequate design, combined with low-quality fixtures and poor workmanship, made the facilities too fragile for the volume of use they experienced. The problem was compounded by poor maintenance and abuse by tenants.


At 5/03/2007 11:09 AM, Blogger nunya said...

We're on the same page today.


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