Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"What Difference Does It Make?"

Paul Kiel reports:

What happened to billions in Iraqi funds that were overseen by the Coalition Provisional Authority? That's not "important," according to David Oliver, the former Director of Management and Budget of the agency.

A recording of the unfortunately candid remarks, previously made by Oliver to the BBC, were played during this morning's oversight hearing by Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA). The hearing has focused on the CPA's administration of nearly $9 billion in Iraqi funds in 2003 and 2004 -- money that Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, has said was inadequately accounted for.

"I have no idea, I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it is important," Oliver says on the tape . "Billions of dollars of their money disappeared, yes I understand, I'm saying what difference does it make?"

As Glenn Greenwald says about finally getting some oversight thanks to hearings that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is holding:
Again, this was just the first day. And this is one topic. But aggressive oversight -- relentless pursuit of information, compelled disclosure and testimony via subpoena, confrontation between the branches regarding oversight powers of Congress - - can be a very potent weapon for shining light on what this administration has been doing for the last six years while its obscenely loyal, duty-abdicating Congressional servants purposely looked the other way. When conducted the right way, these hearings can be dramatic, publicity-generating, and leave a lasting impression in the public mind. There are many worthy and necessary areas awaiting meaningful inquiry.

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