Rice covers up ‘endemic corruption’

Four powerful Democratic lawmakers on Friday warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “endemic corruption” in Iraq was fueling the insurgency, and accused her department of covering it up.

The House of Representatives committee chairmen also accused US officials of refusing to answer questions on corruption in Iraq, and complained the department had reclassified data on the issue after it had been released.

They sent their letter a week after the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen testified to a House committee that corruption was imperiling the US mission in Iraq.

“We are writing to express our concern that endemic corruption in Iraq may be fueling the insurgency, endangering our troops, and undermining the chances for success,” the four committee chairman wrote.

They complained to Rice that the department had taken steps to suppress information about the extent of corruption in the Iraqi government.

“We have learned that on September 25, 2007, the State Department instructed officials not to answer questions in an open setting” on questions about the ability or determination of the Iraqi government to tackle corruption.

They said the department had also retroactively classified two reports on corruption in Iraq and slapped a classified tag, on sections of a report by a government watchdog body after it had been made public.

State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey rejected suggestions that the United States was not taking corruption in Iraq seriously, and said the committee had received all the information it had asked for.

“I don’t think anyone could argue that the State Department or the US government or the Iraqi government is trying to deny that corruption is a serious problem and is one that needs to be addressed,” he said.

Casey also said that two “working-level” officials had been asked not to provide “broad policy assessments” and that policy officials should do it.

“That’s hardly a directive for people not to comment on corruption.”

Casey also said that it was important that certain data be classified, to preserve Iraq’s ability to fight corruption, and to protect the names of certain Iraqi officials.

The letter was signed by Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Ike Skelton, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Tom Lantos chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and David Obey, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.


  1. JudyB

    Endemic corruption calls for agressive treatment. When treating diseased plants/crops there certain diseases that will kill the entire plant/crop if not treated by using a systemic treatment. Our current crop of politicians are diseased with a deadly fungi known as caries quod furta (corruption and deceit. The one way we can even hope to return it to a healthy state is by agressive pruning and applying OUR OWN SYSTEMIC solution. This can done by VOTING THE ONES RESPONSIBLE OUT, and if its not too late, we may be able to save it! Bush and everyone who was ever in his cozy company have got to be ousted, never returning in any capacity to serve in our government! (that they serve time in a federal penitentiary would be more like it)

    “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
    Patrick Henry

  2. SEAL

    Congress needs to weild the power they have. The purse strings. Cooperate with us or no money. At this point, I think the public would support that.

  3. Helen Rainier

    There’s an old saying: “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way” or, put more crudely “S*it or Get Off the Pot.”

    If our Congress and other federal officials, whether elected or appointed do not want to job they have been entrusted to do which is to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution … nor to listen to what We, the People want done, then they need to Get Out of The Way or Get Off the Pot.

    I’ve seen better leadership skills and qualities in the many junior NCOs I was honored to serve in the Army with. I was willing to cut the Democrats some slack after they first took over the sets of power after the November elections but have become increasingly disgusted with their milquetoast approach to good governance, which should be based on the “law of the land” and not on corruption, greed and power.

    For a so-called nation based on “Judeo-Christian” traditions and/or principles we have certainly gone down the wrong road. I will take my chances with secular humanists, agnostics and/or atheists any day of the week over any one who professes to be a “religious” person — be it Christianity, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, yadda, yadda, yadda.

  4. Jenifer D.

    It is amazing how certain departments classify their activities under the guise of ‘national Security’; in truth, it’s just one way of covering their butts because they know they’re doing something highly illegal, or keeping their jobs because they have a lot to lose if the real story did come out. How do these folks sleep at night?

    Condi better start stockpiling her cash, she may very well wind up like her predecessor, Colin Powell; used up and hung out to dry.

  5. mary cali

    Of course there is corruption in the Mid East.
    Unfortunately, that seems to be the only way they know how to do business. Bakish they call it. Anyone who has spent time over there knows about it. Now, without any government really in control it is a free for all.
    The American taxpayer is getting hosed from all sides. US contractors overcharging and the Iraqis squandering the rest of our billions.