Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sentence of the Day, 1/25 ("Republican Kleptocracy" Edition)

Alas, when you steal from Americans, they just have less money for their families and they'll gladly vote you back in. When you steal from Iraqi reconstruction, you get thousands of Iraqis killed.

- Juan Cole, in Informed Comment, one of the most important blogs on all things Middle East, referring to a new audit of American finacial practices in Iraq that, according to this New York Times story, details the skimming of tens of millions of dollars meant for the country's reconstruction.

A taste:

Agents from the inspector general's office found that the living and working quarters of American occupation officials were awash in shrink-wrapped stacks of $100 bills, colloquially known as bricks.

One official kept $2 million in a bathroom safe, another more than half a million dollars in an unlocked footlocker. One contractor received more than $100,000 to completely refurbish an Olympic pool but only polished the pumps; even so, local American officials certified the work as completed.

I didn't intend, when I started this little vanity project, to make political posts. Believe me, I'd much rather sit around and watch TV. But the people running this country are so callous and clueless and inept and absurd, that sometimes you just have to say so.


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