BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O JUST CAN'T MANAGE TO PULL OFF "ONE OF US" AND ALWAYS SEEMS LIKE THIS WEEK'S CRAZY ANOMALY ON FRINGE.
HE CONTINUED THE TREND THIS WEEK WHEN, ASKED BY A CHILD TO NAME HIS FAVORITE FOOD, BARRY O INSISTED IT WAS BROCCOLI.
THE VEGETABLE MOST KIDS HAVE TO PRETEND ARE LITTLE TREES JUST TO GET THROUGH EATING THEM.
NEXT UP, BARRY O REVEALS HIS FAVORITE DRINKE: NEW COKE.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
The useless Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen is thankfully heading out the door. What a useless disappointment he became. Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa this morning, Bowen, in his usual pompous manner, insisted at one point, "There was no one in charge in Iraq specifically for the rebuilding program and when the Commission Wartime Contracting on Afghanistan held a hearing and called . . ." Excuse me, you are over Iraq or Afghanistan?
That's right, Iraq. So why don't you stick to the topic?
The reality is that they're closing down the SIGIR office when they should be extending it but if extending it means keeping Bowen there's no point in wasting any more money because Bowen has been useless. Why is the office needed? Because the State Dept budget continues to include billions for Iraq. The same State Dept that Bowen briefly called out in 2011 for its continued failure to provide his office with basic answers. Then weak, meek Bowen fell silent.
It was time, on his final report, to deliver and instead he couldn't because he is a weak ass who speaks privately about so much but goes before Congress and plays dumb. Instead of using his final appearance before the House to address Iraq, the stupid Bowen wanted to weigh in on Syria, Afghanistan and so many other topics. He is a public servant and it's time to call out these public servants paid to do a job and failing to do it when appearing before Congress. I don't give a damn what Bowen thinks is needed. I don't give a damn about his hypothesis, speculation or conjecture. He was paid to provide oversight on Iraq and he wanted to talk about everything except Iraq.
The Subcommittee Chair is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Ranking Member is Ted Deutch. Appearing before the Subcommittee were Stuart Bowen and the Center for Complex Operations' John Herbst (who is also the former US Ambassador to the Ukraine and Uzbekistan).
Subcommittee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: The stabilization and reconstruction operations in Iraq were, at the time, the largest such project of its kind that the United States Government ever undertook. But for all the good intentions, it was a program replete with challenges, overpromises, setbacks and shortcomings. Of course it had its share of accomplishments and successes as well, but at the end of the day when we look back at our approach to the rebuilding of Iraq we’re left with an overall sense that there were too many errors, that fraud was widespread and that here was an unnecessary amount of waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Not long into the Iraq conflict it became clear that our expectations for a limited post-conflict engagement gave way to the realities on the ground. Our mission would quickly have to shift from a short-term operation to a long-term, protracted rebuilding effort that would require large amounts of human and financial capital that we had neither the planning nor the capability to conduct. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and his excellent team spent nine years and countless hours analyzing our efforts in Iraq in order to identify the challenges we faced, what we did wrong, where we succeeded, and most importantly: what happened to the $60 billion used to fund the rebuilding of Iraq. What was concluded painted a very grim picture of our inability to adequately plan, execute and oversee large scale stability and reconstruction operations. According to the Inspector General, as much as three to five billion dollars were wasted from the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction fund alone due to poor accountability, and as much as eight billion overall. Many projects in Iraq ran over budget and behind schedule because of a lack of oversight and lack of accountability, like the Basrah Children’s Hospital. According to the Inspector General’s reports, this hospital was supposed to cost $50 million, but ran to over $165 million and fell more than a year behind schedule. Another mismanaged project was the Fallujah Waste Water Treatment System. The IG found that the initial $30 million dollar project tripled in cost to nearly $100 million and only reached one-third of the homes originally planned.
From the Chair's opening remarks, there was much about Iraq to discuss. However, Bowen was not interested in discussing Iraq. (He appeared to grow bored with his job in early 2012.)
When pressed to talk about Iraq, he got snippy and, at one point, insisted that a chief requirement for reconstruction in Iraq is to ensure that security exists before reconstruction and relief efforts are started. Does anyone think that security exists in Iraq currently?
Or how about his assertion that the plan was for the US to leave in September 2003 but then that changed. Bowen is pulling opinions out of his ass and they're not opinions he was paid to develop. That lie is laughable and that's how he wasted everyone's time repeatedly.
Ranking Member Ted Deutch: It's been just over ten years since the United States went into Iraq under a false pretense of thwarting Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nearly 4500 brave US soldiers were killed more than 3200 were wounded including thousands with critical brain and spinal injuries and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. And now I think there is an unfortunate perception that with so much upheaval in the region over the last two years, Iraq is no longer a priority. Yet at a cost of two-trillion dollars and the high human toll, we will feel the effects of this war for many years. The US has spent 60 billion dollars on reconstruction efforts that's an incredible amount of taxpayer dollars.
Ranking Member Deutch deserves credit for that and for being aware of the ongoing diplomatic presence in Iraq. US House Rep Mark Meadows deserves credit for being aware that the US military remains in Iraq. If other members were aware of the realities Deutch and Meadows noted, they certainly didn't mention these realities in their own remarks.
After nine years of Bowen babbling on, don't you think he could have prepared for this hearing? Don't the American people deserve accountability? Bowen was riding his high horse about accountability. But this was his final testimony after 9 years and he showed up unwilling or unable to note how much money his office recovered or how many people the work of his office led to convictions for.
Nine years and he had nothing to show for it but generic statements. How very sad.
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