Bush Strategy On Bad News From Iraq -- Kill The Messenger
Congress has set a 2007 termination date for the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction at the behest of the Bush administration, removing the source of a series of audit reports that have been critical of the administration's efforts.
That's the way the Bush Administration wants to handle bad news from Iraq -- kill the messenger.
Stuart W. Bowen Jr., a former Bush aide whom the president appointed as special inspector general in January 2004, has issued a series of reports and audits on a reconstruction effort dogged by incessant insurgent attacks and mismanagement.
Democrats, who support such fact-finding missions over empty spin, supported Bowen's efforts. In fact, the conservative Washington Times reports Senate Democrats backed an amendment that would have given Bowen authority over about $6 billion of new funds for Iraq. But that plan was nixed by House Republicans.
Bowen's basic mission has been to monitor about $21 billion in special money called the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund.
In his last report to Congress in July, Bowen said his office had initiated 236 investigations and issued 65 reports that produced savings of more than $10 million. He warned of growing corruption in Iraq that threatened to sap rebuilding efforts at the rate of $4 billion a year in Iraqi funds.