Monday, January 28, 2008

They Write Letters

Jen Burita, Sen. Collins' communications director--or is she candidate Collins' campaign spokesperson?--writes a letter to the Kennebec Journal:

The assertion that Collins has been anything but a leader on oversight issues related to Iraq and federal contracting is absolutely false. Collins' leadership in exposing waste, fraud and abuse in federal contracting and in asking tough questions is well known.

For example, in August 2006, she chaired a hearing to examine waste and fraud in Iraq reconstruction contracts.
Psst: Hey, Jen. The war in Iraq started in, um, two thousand and three.

Is this really the best gloss that Collins' in-house spinmeisters can put on her performance? That it took her more than three years to get around to anything resembling Iraq oversight?

Even though oversight of government contracting was at the core of her job as chair of the Government Affairs Committee?

Look. This is not funny. Billions of dollars, and perhaps even lives, could have been saved if the junior senator had focused on the administration's corrupt, often chaotic contracting procedures in 2003, 2004 or 2005.

Even in the war's earliest days, there was plenty of evidence of a problem.

But Collins sat on her hands for more than three years.

And let's be blunt about why: She did it in deference to her pal President George W. Bush.

Burita can try to dress up the junior senator's feckless cowardice however she wants. But the truth is as ugly as it is clear: When her country needed her to be a leader, Collins chose to be a Republican "team player."

UPDATE: More here and here.

1 comment:

Gerald said...

Stuart Bowen wrote this to Congress 30 Jan 2006:

"It has been two years since my appointment as Inspector General for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA-IG). Shortly aft er that appointment, I embarked on my first trip to Iraq to assess how to establish eff ective oversight of the CPA’s programs and operations.

After stepping off the plane in Baghdad in February 2004, I quickly recognized the scope of the enormously complex and significant mission that confronted us and the lethal, chaotic environment in which we would have to do our work. I told my staff that our overarching goal would be to provide oversight that promoted economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.

By the time the CPA-IG was fully operational in Baghdad, only a few months remained before CPA’s tenure expired. The end of the CPA in June 2004 signaled the potential end of the CPA-IG, but the publication of our July 2004 Report caused the Congress to conclude that there was a need for continuing oversight in Iraq. Billions of dollars and the future of Iraq reconstruction were at stake.

And the Congress responded by re-designating the CPA-IG as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and assigning it the important mission of overseeing the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund."