Loose Cannons

Issue 

Operation US Corporate Enrichment

"Congress was told at least $10 billion of $57 billion for Iraq reconstruction contracts has been squandered by contractors or has disappeared without explanation. Federal auditors caution the figure is likely to go higher ... The $10 billion that went missing was doled out to Halliburton, the oil-services company, and other major [US] contractors." — Seattle Times, February 19.

Trying to catch up to their US teachers

"Corruption in Iraq is now worse than it was during Saddam Hussein's regime, the chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, Radhi Hamza al Radhi, said in an interview published Thursday ... 'There are eight ministers and 40 general-directors [of government departments] against whom corruption charges have been brought and they had all fled abroad', he said. According to Radhi, the commission was currently investigating the embezzlement of public funds to the tune of US$8 billion." — German DPA newsagency, March 8.

Corporate crook to get testimony from war criminal

"CHICAGO — Toppled media mogul Conrad Black snuck past reporters and entered the court from the basement on Wednesday for a trial to determine whether he and his associates stole millions of dollars as his conglomerate crumbled... What follows may be a four-month trial featuring such celebrity witnesses as former secretary of state Henry Kissinger ..." — Reuters, March 14.