Monday, President Bush lavished praise on L. Paul
Bremer, the outgoing head of the Coalition Provisional
Authority (CPA). Bush said that Bremer "has been
tireless and dedicated, and he returns home, with
the thanks of his country." But two new reports
- by the non-partisan Government Accounting Office
(GAO) and the CPA's own inspector general - reveal
that, under Bremer's leadership, the CPA was largely
ineffective and badly mismanaged.
to the GAO report, "electrical service in the
country as a whole has not shown a marked improvement
over the immediate postwar levels of May 2003
and has worsened in some [areas]." The Iraqi security
forces that the coalition was supposed to train
"collapsed in several locations" when violence
escalated in April 2004. And Bremer never hired
enough personnel to staff the CPA, which "generally
operated with about one-third fewer staff than
CPA inspector general found that Bremer's agency
"failed to exercise adequate control over $9 billion
in international aid." For example, the CPA
"failed to rein in the cost of housing government
employees at a hotel in Kuwait under a contract
with Halliburton." According to the inspector
general's report, Halliburton booked rooms for
CPA officials in the five-star beachfront Hilton
in Kuwait at a cost of $2.8 million.
Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair,
Whitehouse.gov, 6/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42815.
2. "Rebuilding Iraq," General Accounting Office,
June 2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42816.
3. "Coalition Faulted for Lax Controls," Los Angeles
Times, 6/30/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42817.
Posted: July 6, 2004