Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Important Story

Just below, I link to a story in the LA Times about a potential scandal regarding a contractor in Iraq. Reading that article, I realized that it was 5 pages of density, and incredibly hard and complex to follow, as written. So I thought I would boil it down, since the details really aren't complex at all, and it's important, and if it's explained simply, it's more likely to be attended to.

Simply put: a contractor for the Iraqi Government (Dale Stoffel) was forced to work through a middleman (Raymond Zayna) by an Iraqi Defense Minister (Mashal Sarraf). And he wound up believing, with good reason, that this middleman was routing kickbacks to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, which organization, of course, included the Defense Minister who placed him in the job in the first place.

But, when the contractor tried to tell officials what a potential scandal this could be - he contacted the Army, the Pentagon, and Senators - he was killed in an ambush by a previously unknown group of insurgents.


And to top it all off, the Army has continued to work with the guy who is suspected of routing the kickbacks, even giving him part of Stoffel's remaining contract.

And when questioned, everybody claims it's somebody else's responsibility. The Iraqi Government says the Army was in charge. The Army says the Iraqi Government was in charge. But the thing was actually overseen by a U.S. Army Lieutenant General (David H. Petraeus).

And, lending creedence to Stoffel's allegations, a whole lot of money is missing, and they have no idea where it is.

This is potentially a HUGE scandal. And, as usual, the worthless press is asleep, and far more interested in reporting about Michael Jackson and the adding of the word "wedgie" to the dictionary.

But this one is worth pursuing, and I hope that it gets pursued. It may be up to the blogosphere to treat this as the important story that it is.

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