Today's AP story Iraq Loses $8 Billion Through Corruption reports this shocking but all too familiar refrain: Iraq's top corruption fighter said Wednesday that $8 billion in government money was wasted or stolen over the past three years and claimed he was threatened with death after opening an investigation into scores of Oil Ministry employees.
This is not a new story but yet the U.S. continues transfering millions and millions of dollars without any assurance that Iraqi regime and U.S. contractors are held accountable.
And what exactly is the U.S. position in terms of prosecuting crooked officials?
Former Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samaraie, who holds both U.S. and Iraqi citizenship, was convicted in that case and sentenced to two years in prison. He escaped from an Iraqi-run jail in the Green Zone on Dec. 17 and turned up in Chicago on Jan. 15. Al-Samaraie has said the Americans helped him escape.We helped a convicted crook escape and now he's living in Chicago? Say, What?
Perhaps, the AP has it all wrong and Mr. al-Samaraie is really a good guy. But given the WH's record in Iraq, it won't surprise me if he is a crook AND the U.S. is protecting him.