Monday, January 02, 2006


Sorry about no electric and water. We needed the money to put you in jail.

Ellen Knickmeyer , writing for what remains of The Washington Post after it was destroyed by insurgents: [T]ens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people...[A]t least $2.5 billion from the rebuilding of Iraq's decrepit electrical, education, water, sewage, sanitation and oil networks to build new security forces for Iraq and to construct a nationwide system of medium- and maximum-security prisons and detention centers Bottom line: Roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein. Her editor probably redacted the rest of the list: Bush cronies, payments to death squads, black ops into Iran and Syria, etc. And I hate to bring up the name Jeff Gerth in polite company, but he co-authored a piece with the following information: The Lincoln Group, a Washington-based public relations company, was told early in 2005 by the Pentagon to identify religious leaders who could help produce messages that would persuade Sunnis in violence-ridden Anbar Province to participate in national elections and reject the insurgency, according to a former employee. Since then, the company has retained three or four Sunni religious scholars to offer advice and write reports for military commanders on the content of propaganda campaigns, the former employee said. But documents and Lincoln executives say the company's ties to religious leaders and dozens of other prominent Iraqis is aimed also at enabling it to exercise influence in Iraqi communities on behalf of clients, including the military.... Internal company financial records show that Lincoln spent about $144,000 on the program from May to September. In a country where the annual family income is a couple of thousand bucks, spending at that rate pays generous annual salaries to something like 70-200 clerics. (Math available on request.] Spreading freedom and democracy, my Aunt Franny.
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