Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why Not Now?

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Last week, TMB flagged the astounding New York Times story about faulty electrical work by KBR at US military bases in Iraq: Electrocutions and electrical fires have resulted in at least fifteen solider deaths.

We've long known that Sen. Collins' refusal to perform oversight of no-bid Iraq war contracting as chair of the Homeland Security Committee was an important and devastating moral failure, and that the absence of oversight lead to the loss of American lives.

And in general, when it comes to Iraq, it's long been clear that when Mainers and Americans desperately needed Collins to be the serious-minded, hardworking, independent-thinking legislator that she professes to be, she instead kept her mouth shut and toed the Republican line.

But here's my question--and one Gerald asks, implicitly, in comments at the TMB post referenced above: What about now?

Sen. Collins is still the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. And from the Times article, we now know that there were an alarming 283 electrical fires at American military bases in Iraq between August 2006 and January 2007. And that:

A log compiled earlier this year at one building complex in Baghdad disclosed that soldiers complained of receiving electrical shocks in their living quarters on an almost daily basis.
So why isn't Sen. Collins using her position, today, to fix this pressing problem?

Mainers and other Americans are clearly hungry to root out waste and malfeasance in Iraq--especially when it threatens our women and men in uniform. So in her capacity as a representative of the people, why isn't the junior senator using her clout to get to the bottom of this dangerous situation?

Why isn't she doing it right this minute?

I don't think we've heard anything resembling to an answer to this question. I'm not even sure Collins has been asked it.

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