Tuesday, February 6, 2007

This is What Congressional Oversight Looks Like

Below are clips from Chairman Henry Waxman's Oversight Hearing on Iraq. It's about time that Congress started doing its job of asking questions. For six years, Republicans gave this Admnistration carte blanche to conduct itself in any manner it so pleased. Now, things are different. Democrats are asking questions and expecting answers. Republicans are even joining forces with the Dems to get Cabinet agencies to comply with information requests. The wheels of Congressional Oversight are a bit squeaky, but thanks to Waxman, they are slowly beginning to hum along once again.

In this video, Paul Bremer, the once "Administrator" of U.S. occupied Iraq, talks about the lessons that Congress should learn about the time that we occupied Iraq as we move forward with rebuilding the country. He even suggests that Congressional legislation may be necessary. But, apparently, this is the first chance he's had to pass along any of his wisdom......(this video is very short)

While Administrator of the Coalition Provisional authority, Paul Bremer, was responsible for the oversight of giving hundreds of billions of dollars of contracts. We've all heard horror stories about who received those contracts. Thankfully, somebody thought ahead and required a certified accounting company to audit all of these contracts that were being awarded. But.....that company wasn't all it was cracked up to be.......(this video is around five minutes)

Here is a paragraph from the Washington Post article that this last video clip is about.

The CPA was designed to be a grand experiment in nation-building, a body of experts who would be Iraq's guide for transforming itself into a model for democracy in the Middle East. Unlike previous reconstruction efforts, it was to be manned by civilians -- advisers on politics, law, medicine, transportation, agronomy and other key areas. They were supposed to be experts, but many of the younger hires who filled the CPA's hallways were longer on enthusiasm than on expertise.

"Grand experiment in nation-building." So much for "grand experiments." But at least now we know part of the reason that our presence in Iraq has been a failure......(this video is around five minutes too)