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Gayle in MD
02-07-2007, 12:24 PM
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Paul Bremer told members of Congress today that he was aware that nonexistent "ghost employees" were on America's payroll when he was administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

But because the real employees - who provided security for Iraqi ministries - were "74,000 armed men, it seemed a lesser risk to continue paying" everyone while trying to figure out who was actually showing up for work.

"On the streets, you'd call that protection money," remarked Congressman Danny Davis, an Illinois Democrat. When Davis asked whether any of that money had wound up in the hands of insurgents, Bremer said he didn't know. But "if we stopped paying them, my judgment was we could have real trouble."

Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, also testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, and told the panel that the problem of ghost employees was not a major reason that $8.8 billion distributed to Iraqi ministries is unaccounted for.

The real problem, Bowen said, was a general lack of transparency: the only accounting Americans asked for was assurance from the various ministries that the money was indeed being spent. The Coalition also failed to follow its own rules on securing money sent to Iraq; in one case, Bowen said auditors found the key to a safe containing a huge amount of cash left in a duffel bag left in plain view in the Coalition comptroller's office.

But Bremer argued that a number of the accounting problems were actually due to the fact that "we had no idea" how hobbled the economy and infrastructure had been in Saddam's Iraq. "It's a fair question to ask why we didn't know more about how run-down the economy was. They were focused on the WMDs, though we didn't get that right, either."

He also faulted pre-war planning, and said he did not have anywhere near enough staff to do the job: "If we'd been focused on the basis of a plan, we would have been more in touch with reality" from the first.

But Bremer has backed the Bush administration's proposal to send more troops to Iraq.

When auditors first confirmed that there were ghost employees in a couple of ministries, "we asked what they had done about it," Bowen said, "and they said they had made the decision to keep paying it, to keep the peace." In one ministry, about 25 percent of the total 8,200 could not be "validated," - matched with a person, Bowen said. In another, "just a fraction" of the 1,400 employees could be located.

After the committee chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, said that continuing to pay ghost employees struck him as reckless, Bremer responded that the only alternative, as he saw it, was "74,000 armed men who are angry at us," if payments were held up for any reason. "I would certainly do it again today."

Waxman also questioned the wisdom of sending billions in cash to Baghdad - 363 tons of bills, sent in enormous pallets via military planes and passed out from the back of pickup trucks.

But Bremer, unruffled throughout the hearing, said he was responding to an urgent request from the Iraqi minister of finance, who wanted the cash delivered ahead of the planned handoff to his own government.

"He said, "I am concerned that I will not have the money to support the Iraqi government expenses for the first couple of months after we are sovereign. We won't have the mechanisms in place. I won't know how to get the money here.'"

Republicans on the committee repeatedly defended Bremer's decisions: "Maybe even billions were not spent the way it should have been spent," said Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican. "And I'm not happy about that, but tell me how he could've gotten that money out" where it was needed otherwise. "The Iraqis spent the money badly, right?"

Democrats on the committee also wondered why the president was asking American taxpayers for $1.7 billion more for reconstruction in Iraq when Iraq has not spent $12 billion it has already been sent for that purpose." "Perhaps," Waxman suggested, "That's to pay for ghost employees."

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And this president had no problem cutting funds for seniors medicine. Doesn't worry about hungry, "Food Challenged" Children in this country, or hundreds of thousands of Illegals swarming into our country, destroying our own health care facilities, pulling down American Education even farther than no child left behind has pulled it down, but when it comes to helmets for our troops, and armour for their vehicles, well, he just can't quite get that money together!

Still want to give him MORE money??? Still afraid? What's scarrier, George Bush, or the terrorists?

Gayle in Md.

Deeman3
02-07-2007, 12:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> What's scarrier, George Bush, or the terrorists?

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Your honest choice. Bush in the room with a bible and an Islamic Terrorist with a Machette, who's your daddy now? </font color>

DeeMan
think Gayle would lose her head over this one....

Deeman3
02-07-2007, 01:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> What's scarrier, George Bush, or the terrorists?

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Your honest choice. Bush in the room with a bible and an Islamic Terrorist with a Machette, who's your daddy now? </font color>

DeeMan
think Gayle would lose her head over this one.... <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">After an hour of waiting after this was posted, i have come to the conclusion the correct answer is: Hillary in the room with a Village. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif </font color>

Chopstick
02-07-2007, 02:11 PM
Cut Off Bush's......

Oh, money. I didn't read this thread. I just saw Gayle and Cut off Bush's and I clicked on it. I thought she might be ready to tell us how she really feels. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Gayle in MD
02-08-2007, 08:04 AM
Deeman,
According to our National Intelligence Estimate, I'd certainly be much more likely to end up in that room with a terrorist, due to George Bush's policies. However, I'd sooner rely on myself, than Bush, who F**Ks up everything he does.

Oh, BTW, just because Bush walks like a 1960's thug, holding his arms away from his body as though there were actually bulky muscles requiring such a swagger, don't make the mistake of thinking that he could face a terrorist with a machette. He's get his daddy to get him out of it just like always. He hasn't stopped any terror attacks, there just haven't been any actual attempts, only right wing BS of stopping attempts.

No one has helped the terrorists, and Iran, as much as George Bush. Our own National Security Estimate says so. Guess you missed that, huh?

Gayle in Md.

Bobbyrx
02-08-2007, 11:59 AM
"And this president had no problem cutting funds for seniors medicine" <font color="blue"> What in the world are you talking about. He's giving $ away right and left for seniors meds (Medicare Part D) and for low income (Medicaid). The problem is he's doing it on the backs of pharmacists and making PBM's and drug companies rich. I agree with the Dems on letting the government negotiate with the drug companies and cut the PBM's out but how Medicare Part D can be called "cutting funds" is crazy</font color>

Deeman3
02-08-2007, 12:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> He hasn't stopped any terror attacks, there just haven't been any actual attempts, only right wing BS of stopping attempts.
Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">So, there have been no terror attempts? Why would all these terrorists, that have bombed London, Spain, etc. leave the U.S.A. alone? Are they simply afraid they might get some innocent Democrats in an attack? If we had been attacked, would you have blamed Bush? The fact that we have not is conpletely arbitrary and has nothing to do with any actions by the FBI, CIA, Bush Administration. Just random lack of desire or thought of occurance to the terrorists? You should work for CBS.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

DeeMan </font color>

Gayle in MD
02-08-2007, 01:12 PM
I think so far they're quite satisfied with the job that George Bush is doing to destroy our country. They have everything they wanted, the United States, bogged down in an unwinnable war, bleeding the country dry, and digging it farther and farther in debt. Just what they wanted. They're having a much easier time recruiting now, also. They're emboldened, according to our own National Security Estimate. I'm sure we'll be hearing from them in the future though, since their leader, bin Laden, is still around to lead them.

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-08-2007, 01:43 PM
I can't reply if I'm not on line, silly. I don't think Hilary could have made this mess.

"The Intelligence Community judges that the term 'civil war' does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qaida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term 'civil war' accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements."

I suppose you think it is just fine to send our troops every day into this mess. Bush has alrready tried this a number of times. It didn't work. It's too late. He wouldn't listen to the Generals from the beginning, or any experts. Then, after Iraq fell into kaos, and those who had warned him he was going about the occupation all wrong, began to speak up, they were called monday morning quarterbacks.

When people defend his policies, eventhough our own National Security Estimate proves this war can't be won, militarily, they certainly are not giving a damn about our troops.

Regardless of what happens in Iraq, terrorism will continue. Faulty thinking to think that winning in Iraq, will protect the United States from more terrorist attacks. Does the right think that Iraq is the only place in the world where terrorists can get together and plan. Idiotic thinking. Iraq has nothing to do with defeating terrorism here, never has had, never will have. it's a waste of money, life and time. We should be getting OUT of debt, increasing special forces and global intelligence methods, building our armed forces, and our allies, and cracking down on the oil industry, AND the automobile industry.

Iraqis have already failed to show up last week. It's criminal what Bush is doing to our people. Anyone who can defend his policies, isn't playing with a full deck.

And yes, I'd sooner have Hilary leading this nation. She is much more capable of fighting terrorists than George Bush. Atleast she can find Iraq on a map. I'm sure she's not dumb enough to play right into their hands, like your boy George. She must be fierce, since the Republicans are terrified of her!

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-08-2007, 01:44 PM
You obviously haven't studied the new budget.

Gayle in Md.

Bobbyrx
02-10-2007, 08:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> You obviously haven't studied the new budget.
Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>
<font color="blue"> You obviously don't know what Medicare Part D is and that slowing the growth of something is not cutting the funding of senior's medicine </font color>
President Bush's proposed $2.9 trillion federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for health care spending cuts, including a major five-year reduction in Medicare expenditures to slow the program's annual growth rate from 6.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

pooltchr
02-10-2007, 09:06 AM
This is so typical. If you try to slow increases in spending, it's referred to as a "cut". If we can't slow the growth of government spending, how are we ever going to get the budget under control?
Steve

Gayle in MD
02-10-2007, 09:41 AM
You obviously haven't studied the new budget.

Gayle in Md.