Saturday, March 1, 2008

State Department follies in Iraq

First, it says the Baghdad Motel 6, otherwise known as the still needs work, but not to worry too much.

Rep. Henry Waxman isn’t buying it, though:

Waxman, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called on the State Department to respond in a March 12 hearing and demanded they release internal documents related to the project.

Waxman cites a Feb. 13 independent assessment of the embassy that found “major” infrastructure problems and “critical and non-critical” deficiencies in most buildings, despite a December 2007 certification by a senior project official that the embassy was complete.

“These inspection reports raise many questions about whether the embassy is safe for occupation and why the State Department certified the project as substantially complete in December,” Waxman wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

State makes it sound like this is just an office building with a few glitches, in which it’s not ready to take occupancy.

Meanwhile, State apparently is either gullible, naïve, or some staffers have got “connections.”

Nine Iraq investigators for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s inspector general’s office will not be replaced when their tours of duty are done:
Dona Dinkler, chief of staff to the USAID inspector general in Washington, confirmed the reductions. She said the State Department told the inspector general’s office it would have just two temporary duty officers on a rotating basis in Iraq.

Down from 11, counting these two, to just these two? Sounds like the cats will be gone, inviting the mice to play.

Any neocons in the Office of Special Plans giving Ahmed Chalabi a phone call right about now?