Iraq: Tragedy Keeps on Giving

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Claire McCaskill face.gifJunior Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) brought to light this morning yet another revelation connected to the tragic Iraq War and tax payer dollar waste.

The tax payers have lost as much as $150 Billion to fraudulent and highly unethical practices and coercion by supervisors of audits over military and defense spending, Sen. McCaskill reported on the Senate floor this morning. McCaskill sponsored a bill in 2007 that became law in Jan. this year to create an independent investigatory committee to look into gross mismanagement of tax dollars by the military, pentagon, defense contractors, and agencies related to their oversight.

In a letter Sen. McCaskill fired off to Defense Sec'y. Robert Gates, she reports:

I am sorry to say this, but you have another mess on your hands. You have by now, I hope, heard about and read the GAO [Government Accounting Office] audit released today on the failure of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) to conform to government auditing standards in 100% of the audits reviewed. This GAO audit contains numerous troubling findings about audits being changed to favor government contractors without any basis, and auditors being threatened if they refused to change the audits. There are also several instances when auditors were harassed and intimidated about their cooperation with the investigation by GAO.

Today I sent a letter to April Stephenson, the Director of DCAA, demanding answers and assurances that the appropriate parties will be held accountable for this travesty. I enclose it herewith for your review. I look forward to learning that DCAA, and DoD, take this matter very seriously and deal with it appropriately.

This war in Iraq has been tragic for now dozens of reasons, including the personal physical, mental, and emotional losses of our soldiers and their families. It is a war that keeps issuing forth tragedy after tragedy. Apparently, the Iraq War is responsible for much of the oil and gas price spikes hurting millions of Americans trying to commute these days.

As Politico reports:

With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and troops spread around the world, the Department of Defense is the nation's biggest oil consumer, burning 395,000 barrels per day - about as much as Greece.
To be sure, Americans are competing with the Bush Administration for oil and gasoline as vast quantities are consumed in Iraq, for that war that never should have been. The Bush administration has refused to free oil from the National Petroleum Reserve to help lower consumer prices.

In response, the Congress voted overwhelmingly in May to force the President to halt deliveries into the 'Oil Reserve' which the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, has said could save consumers from 3 cents to 5 cents per gallon of gasoline.

The Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans, who had six years as the majority party in government to open drilling on the East and West Coasts and didn't, are now bashing Democrats in the media and on the House and Senate floors for failing to pass a bill to remove restrictions on that drilling for oil.

For Republicans, oil is America's future. As John McDonald of OpEd News states:

Republicans have received nearly $165 million in contributions from the oil and gas industry [since 1990]. Just for the record, this year's top recipient of oil and gas contributions is Republican nominee John McCain, who has received $791,777.


  • the Downing Street Memo of six years ago,
  • to the complete neglect of Republicans to halt rapidly growing U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports while in power,
  • to fighting attempts to lower oil and gas prices in the short term for American consumers,
  • to gross misconduct by White House appointees in the Defense Contract Audit Agency,
  • to John McCain's and President Bush's intent to maintain a military presence in Iraq for as many as 100 years,
  • to present day Congressional Republicans insistence upon a fossil fuel energy future for America,
the Iraq War and its link to oil, have combined to create a tragedy that keeps on giving painful consequences for American taxpayers, present and future, and American consumers who feel the inflation of energy caused prices pinching their paychecks more and more with the passage of time.

This review is not an endorsement of Democrats, though it is Democrats leading the fight for far greater oversight and accountability where Republicans are concerned. We have yet to see Democrats go after their own corrupt office holders within our government. It is however, and endorsement of the measures being taken to expose the waste of American taxpayer dollars at a time when the national debt is turning 10 Trillion dollars ( that's 10 with 000 000 000 000 zeroes attached).

Bad government does not result from good politicians. And Good government can't be created by corrupt, self-centered, and bribed politicians. If American voters would vote based on the total result of government, more than half of all incumbents seeking office would lose their bid for reelection. And that is precisely what will be required for America to ever witness good government in our future.

I applaud Sen. McCaskill for her attempts to raise this issue of a loss of as much as $150 billion tax payer dollars by corrupt auditor supervisors and this administration. But, who cares? It's all to complicated to understand, and McCaskill is a Democrat seeking to undo Republicans, so why should her facts from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) be taken seriously, right? If no one cares what McCaskill is doing here, there will be no improvement in government regardless of who is elected president in November.

Political action against politicians and civil servants by other politicians and civil servants requires a mandate from the voters. It requires the demand of the voters to correct the situation or face loss of office. Such a demand has yet to come forth from the American voting public regarding Congressional candidates for office.

UPDATE: 3PM - Just in from Lou Dobbs:

The Congressional Research Service has released a startling report finding that 94 percent of bills passed by this Democratic-led Congress passed without votes, debates or amendments. This practice, known as hotlining," was traditionally reserved for minor bills, such as naming post offices. But our so-called "leaders" have been abusing this secret practice while spending billions of taxpayer dollars.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on July 24, 2008 4:58 PM.

Iraq: McCain loses. Obama wins! was the previous entry in this blog.

McCain: Ignorant or Playing to the Ignorant? is the next entry in this blog.

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