Former USAID Official Blows Whistle on Iraq Fraud:
The former head USAID Andrew Natsios, interviewed in Newsweek, claims that the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ruled Iraq after Saddam’s fall, was not prepared for the rebuilding of Iraq and let “ill-qualified or corrupt contractors” dominate the rebuilding process. “They didn’t have [monitoring] systems set up. They were very dismissive of these processes,” he stated. Others are speaking out on contractor fraud and corruption including the watchdog group Transparency International, which claimed that the contractor fraud could become “the biggest corruption scandal in history.” Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), who has investigated fraud allegations states, “The administration seems to have a deaf ear to this issue … When you have men and women dying on the battlefield and you have corruption, then you’ve got a problem.” The Defense Department refused to send auditors to Iraq until numerous pleas and corrupt practices brought them to send a team to Qatar, a thousand miles away from Baghdad. The Inspector General at the Pentagon oversaw the auditing practice of rewarding and monitoring contracts – until he left his position to take a job with Blackwater USA, one of the top Pentagon contractors in Iraq.