Saturday, October 28, 2006

NYT: "Report Says Iraq Contractor is Hiding Data from U.S." (Glanz & Norris)

"The arrogance is astounding on the part of KRB," said William L. Nash, a retired Army major general who is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on post-conflict zones.  "It's time for Congress to step in, because this has just gone too far."
The above is from James Glanz and Floyd Norris' "Report Says Iraq Contractor Is Hiding Data From U.S." in this morning's New York Times.  It addresses the latest report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and addresses the fact that there's been no transperancy on the part of Halliburton's KRB (formerly Kellog Kellogg Brown & Root) which stamps everything "propietary information" so that the result is no government oversight is possible.  They don't do that with all documents.  They will release some information to the Pentagon but even with that information they note that it can't be shared with other government agencies or Congress.  It's abuse of "propietary information" which allows KRB to refuse stating something as simple as how many US troops they are feeding.
Is US tax payer money being spent appropriately?  There's no way to check when all you know is how much money KRB was given by the government and not how they spent it. 
John F. Burns offeres "Fighting Split, U.S. and Iraq Renew Vow to Work for Peace" which is dead on delivery.  He focuses on puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Mailki, and his "outburst" last week (Wednesday's press conference) where he rejected notions of timetables and that he'd been involved in planning the raid on the Sadr City of Baghdad.  al-Maliki and Zalmay Khalilzad (US ambassador to Iraq) issued a joint statement.  The implication is that things are better or at least the puppet knows who pulls the strings.  That's already being rejected.
From Borzou Daragahi's "In private, al-Maliki criticizes U.S. policy" (LA Times via San Francisco Chronicle):
The Iraqi prime minister sharply criticized U.S. policy during a private meeting with the U.S. ambassador Friday, pointing to American failure to either reduce violence or give his government authority over security matters.
The criticism in private is the latest example of tension between the two governments and stands in stark contrast with a joint public statement issued after the meeting.
In the statement, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the U.S. Embassy said they had agreed to unspecified "timelines" to make tough political and security decisions on the country's future.
Privately, however, al-Maliki criticized what he called the patronizing U.S. tone toward the Iraqi government and warned U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to respect Iraq's sovereignty, according to two of the prime minister's advisers.
This is also addressed in the BBC's "Iraqi PM says 'not America's man'."  Meanwhile, reality intrudes yet again on Bully Boy's claim of "winning." 
For those who missed it, from PM (Australia's ABC):
KIM LANDERS: While insisting the US is "winning" in Iraq, he also says America is "pushing" Iraq's leaders to make "bold" moves to bring violence under control.
And while he's making it clear America's patience is not unlimited, he's still expressing support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.
GEORGE BUSH: Look, we'll push him, but we're not going to push him to the point where he can't achieve the objective.
KIM LANDERS: Those comments come just hours after the US infuriated the Iraqi Prime Minister by leading a raid on a Shi'ite militia stronghold in Baghdad without approval from their ally.

Ramadi is thought to be among the hot spots this weekend, so watch for news from there.  Reuters reports that six people have already been killed there today, two roadside bombs have exploded in Baghdad killing one person and wounding at least ten, a roadside bomb exploded in Mahdudiya claiming one life and leaving three wounded, car bombs claimed five lives in wounded at least twenty five in Iskandariya and Dujail, mortars in Baghdad took one life and wounded at least 35, eight corpses have been discovered throughout Iraq, and four people have been shot dead throughout Iraq (including "the head of a women's organization in the town of Hawija") today.
Gunmen have kidnapped 11 Iraqi soldiers travelling in a minibus at a fake checkpoint in a town north of Baghdad, a joint US and Iraqi policing centre said.
The soldiers were wearing civilian clothes and were taken out of the bus at gunpoint after the gunmen found their military IDs.
The abduction took place in Udhaim, some 50 kilometres north of Baquba, a volatile town which has witnessed recent sectarian
Remember that, as reported yesterday by Mike Howell's "U.S. army deserter ready to head home" (Toronto Star), war resister Kyle Snyder is supposed to return to the United States today..
Okay.  This post is being e-mailed.  With the hopes that it will appear.  There's yet another Blogger/Blogspot problem:
001 Connection refusedblog
That's the message Trina's getting, the one Betty's getting and the one I got when I attempted to guest post for Kat.  Blogger/Blogspot has had nothing but problems since last Saturday. (Yesterday, many e-mails came in asking if there was just one morning entry.  There were two.  Three for the day counting the snapshot.  If you can't view them, go to the mirror site where they are all up.)  Right now, we're debating whether there will be a new edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend?  No one wants to spend hours working on a new edition only to have nothing show up at the site.
Blogger/Blogspot has been notified of the problem which usually translates as in a week or two they may address it.  If the problem's not fixed by Sunday, remember that we do have a mirror site and access that.
It's the weekend, so new episodes of RadioNation with Laura Flanders broadcast Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 pm to 10 pm EST over the radio airwaves of Air America Radio, on XM satellite and online:
As Bush builds a 700-mile wall on the Mexican border, we ask, 'Is there a better monument to the we-don't-see, we-don't-care policies of this White House and Republican Congress?
We tear down the walls, starting with two plaintiffs in the historic New Jersey lawsuit that affirmed the rights of same-sex couples, CINDY MENEGHIN and MAUREEN KILLIAN.
Author and Nation writer JONATHAN SCHELL on why our constitutional government itself is at stake in the mid-term elections.
And actor and playwright WALLACE SHAWN, who says at the crux is the relationship between rich and poor.
Our media roundtable includes ODETTE ALCAZAREN-KEELEY, chief of staff of New America Media and host of "Headlines from the Ethnic Media" on 91.7 FM-KALW in San Francisco, and author and ex-New York Times Middle Eastern bureau chief CHRIS HEDGES.
Also with us, progressives heading to Congress: JOHN HALL from New York's 19th district and Californian FRANCINE BUSBY, who is poised to take the CA-50th seat that Republicans stole from her in a special election in June.
Next weekend, an update on South Dakota's abortion wars with The Nation's Jennifer Baumgardner and others, the latest election protection efforts, and more.
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