Congress Ends Investigations Into Iraq Reconstruction Malfeasance


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Buried in the latest defense bill, just signed by president Bush, are orders to close down the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. This auditing group has been responsible for the jailing of officials in the American Occupation on various charges including bribery and conspiracy in their mishandling of billions of dollars in funds for reconstruction.

The obscure clause in the bill that ends the offices came as a surprise to many lawmakers as they had not been aware that it was slipped into the final bill:

Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who followed the bill closely as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that she still does not know how the provision made its way into what is called the conference report, which reconciles differences between House and Senate versions of a bill.

“It’s truly a mystery to me,” Ms. Collins said. “I looked at what I thought was the final version of the conference report and that provision was not in at that time.”

While I cannot immediately cite another example, this is not the first time I've heard of controversial clauses being added to a conference report that was not in either the house version or senate version of the bill previously. Even more disturbing is Ms. Collin's assertion that it wasn't even in what people thought was the final version of the conference report. This means that this was inserted truly at the last minute, potentially by a lone staffer.

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