Uncompetitive and Unmonitored

Josh Marshall has a lovely follow up to Kash’s earlier post on the likely impact of the administration reducing competition for reconstruction contracts in Iraq (illustrative example of this effect: importing gasoline from Kuwait costs $2.64/gallon). Here’s the news from Marshall:

When Congress voted the $87 billion for military expenditures and reconstruction in Iraq they were keen to create an office of Inspector General at the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to watch out for all manner of waste, fraud, abuse, price gouging and various other shenanigans.

Now it seems that Paul Wolfowitz has gutted that provision. …

I still try to picture Wolfowitz as a misguided idealogue, but damn it if he doesn’t make it tough to see him as anything other than a naked shill for war profiteers.


UPDATE: Wolfowitz must have been anticipating this morning’s NYT, which alleges more attempted profiteering:

Kellogg, Brown & Root, also submitted a proposal for cafeteria services that seemed to be inflated by $67 million, the officials said. The Pentagon rejected that proposal, they said.

The problems involving Halliburton, where Vice President Dick Cheney was chief executive, were described in a preliminary report by auditors, the officials said. The Pentagon contracts were awarded without competitive bidding and have a potential value of $15.6 billion; recent estimates by the Army have put the current value of the Halliburton contracts at about $5 billion.

The solution to inflated bids? More competition? No. Less auditors!