The Daily Mis-Lead – 2004-07-01 10:53:38
On Monday, President Bush lavished praise on L. Paul Bremer, the outgoing head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Bush said that Bremer “has been tireless and dedicated, and he returns home with the thanks of his country.”
But two new reports — by the non-partisan Government Accounting Office (GAO) and the CPA’s own inspector general — reveal that, under Bremer’s leadership, the CPA was largely ineffective and badly mismanaged.
According to the GAO report, “electrical service in the country as a whole has not shown a marked improvement over the immediate postwar levels of May 2003 and has worsened in some [areas].”
The Iraqi security forces that the coalition was supposed to train “collapsed in several locations” when violence escalated in April 2004. And Bremer never hired enough personnel to staff the CPA, which “generally operated with about one-third fewer staff than it required.”
The CPA inspector general found that Bremer’s agency “failed to exercise adequate control over $9 billion in international aid.” For example, the CPA “failed to rein in the cost of housing government employees at a hotel in Kuwait under a contract with Halliburton.”
According to the inspector general’s report, Halliburton booked rooms for CPA officials in the five-star beachfront Hilton in Kuwait at a cost of $2.8 million.
1. Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, Whitehouse.gov, 6/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=42815.
2. “Rebuilding Iraq,” General Accounting Office, June 2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=42816.
3. “Coalition Faulted for Lax Controls,” Los Angeles Times, 6/30/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=42817.