Saturday, September 16, 2006

Heritage Foundation Interns Ran Coalition Provisional Authority In Iraq Too

What are your qualifications for joining the Coalition Provisional Authority here in Iraq to help reconstruct the country after the fall of Saddam?

You voted for Geroge W. in 2000, you're opposed to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and you interned at the Heritage Foundation back in the 90's? You're hired!!!!

Sadly, the Washington Post says this was the process:

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.

To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What they needed to be was a member of the Republican Party.

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .

Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation that sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people.


Interviews with scores of former CPA personnel over the past two years depict an organization that was dominated -- and ultimately hobbled -- by administration ideologues.

"We didn't tap -- and it should have started from the White House on down -- just didn't tap the right people to do this job," said Frederick Smith, who served as the deputy director of the CPA's Washington office. "It was a tough, tough job. Instead we got people who went out there because of their political leanings."

Endowed with $18 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds and a comparatively quiescent environment in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, the CPA was the U.S. government's first and best hope to resuscitate Iraq -- to establish order, promote rebuilding and assemble a viable government, all of which, experts believe, would have constricted the insurgency and mitigated the chances of civil war. Many of the basic tasks Americans struggle to accomplish today in Iraq -- training the army, vetting the police, increasing electricity generation -- could have been performed far more effectively in 2003 by the CPA.

But many CPA staff members were more interested in other things: in instituting a flat tax, in selling off government assets, in ending food rations and otherwise fashioning a new nation that looked a lot like the United States. Many of them spent their days cloistered in the Green Zone, a walled-off enclave in central Baghdad with towering palms, posh villas, well-stocked bars and resort-size swimming pools.

By the time Bremer departed, Iraq was in a precarious state. The Iraqi army, which had been dissolved and reconstituted by the CPA, was one-third the size he had pledged it would be. Seventy percent of police officers had not been screened or trained. Electricity generation was far below what Bremer had promised to achieve. And Iraq's interim government had been selected not by elections but by Americans. Divisive issues were to be resolved later on, increasing the chances that tension over those matters would fuel civil strife.

Which is what we have now.

Nice job, guys.

And now they want two more years to get it all right.

Or do they want two more years to make sure stories like the above don't come to light and people like Bremer and O'Beirne don't wind up in jail?

I'm guessing the latter.

Because the more oversight and analysis independent people do on this administration and its good works, the more stuff like the above turns up.

The administration has to be scared shitless that the Dems will get subpoena power and put all these decisions and/or fuck-ups under the light of day.

Which is why they'll do anything to lose no more than 14 House seats and 5 Senate seats.

BTW, Jim O'Beirne, the political hack in charge of hiring only political hacks, is married to political hack, National Review editor and MSNBC contributor Kate O'Beirne. When I first heard the name O'Beirne in the Post article I thought I bet that guy's married to Dear Kate. Because when you're talking about conservatives and they're hiring practices, it's a pretty small world. And sure enough...

O'Beirne, a former Army officer who is married to prominent conservative commentator Kate O'Beirne, did not respond to requests for comment. He and his staff were exempted from most employment regulations because they used an obscure provision in federal law to hire most CPA personnel as temporary political appointees.

The entire conservative movement is an incestuous nightmare - and Iraq is just one of their demon spawn. Katrina, Afghanistan, the budget defitic, and worsening global warming conditions are a few more.

That's why incest is taboo - except for conservatives, of course.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?