Sunday, November 06, 2005

Corruption Iraqi Style

The Los Angeles Times is continuing its run of impressive international reporting. In Sunday's paper, "Before Rearming Iraq, He Sold Shoes and Flowers," Solomon Moore and T. Christian Miller tell the story of Ziad Cattan, a former used-car dealer who U.S. officials made the chief of procurement for the Iraqi Defense Ministry. Responsible for equipping the Iraqi Army, Cattan spent hundreds of millions of dollars, often using no-bid contracts that enriched his friends. Some of the equipment was good but some "was shoddy, overpriced or never delivered," Moore and Miller write. "The questionable purchases — including aging Russian helicopters and underpowered Polish transport vehicles — have slowed the development of the Iraqi army and hindered its ability to replace American troops, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.",0,1152440.story?track=tottext


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