Did anyone watch Bill Moyers Journal on Friday evening on PBS? I always knew the Bush administration was secretive and corrupt, and I am aware of Blackwater's mercenary army, but I still found the facts uncovered during the congressional hearings, discussed by Representive Waxman to be very disturbing.
I'll admit that until Friday at 9:00, I never heard of Lurita Doan. Have you? As head of the General Services Administration, Doan oversees $500 billion dollars worth of federal assets. Yup, $500 billion of our tax money. She was found to be in violation of the Hatch Act, a law prohibiting federal employees from using government resources for partisan purposes. She was asked to resign. So why is Doan still the head of the GSA? Please watch the video if you haven't seen it and tell me how we can hold people like Doan accountable? What about any employee appointed by the government to spend our tax dollars?
Although she handles $500 billion and misued her power, she is way down on my list of cheaters in the government today. The criminal acts of Bush, Cheney and Rice are far worse. Secret contracts with no competitive bids awarded? A billion dollars to build an embassy in Iraq that is still not finished? Kidnapping laborers and flying them to Baghdad using our tax dollars? Halliburton, Blackwater, and all the other private companies stealing billions from the American people and purposely stalling progress in Iraq for profit?
Go to Bill Moyers site and read the transcript, please. Watch the video. Listen to Kathleen Hall Jamieson when she asks "What is a protective over watch mission?" Maybe the program will be aired again. Check your listings.
Here's just a sample:
BILL MOYERS: Did you find fraud, waste and abuse in that process?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: Yes. We found billions of dollars that cannot be accounted for. That cannot be justified. And it's a scandal.
BILL MOYERS: A scandal made worse, Waxman says, because the person who should be cleaning it up - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- hasn't been forthcoming with the committee. Her Republican allies on the Committee said she was too busy to testify.
How about when Representative Carolyn Maloney asked Secretary Rice about a $4.2 million swimming pool that has never been built? This was her answer.
SEC. CONDOLEEZZA RICE: You can tell your constituents this is not a matter of having "lost" the money. This is a matter of invoices, as I am told by the people who are doing this. This is a matter of invoices and records that were not solid enough for us to be confident that the goods and services were being billed properly. This was a Department of State audit of its own procedures that came under new management because there were problems with the Bureau of INL. And that's very often the case with many of the things that have been mentioned here. It is the Department that finds problems and then seeks to fix them.
BILL MOYERS: When Condoleezza Rice came before your committee, she said, "That-- that's-- the money's not really missing. It's an accounting problem."
Last summer I remember when Rory Mayberry, an Emergency Medical Technician, testified that he believes that First Kuwaiti kidnapped 52 Filipino nationals to work on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. But seeing it again and hearing about the deplorable conditions these workers had to endure...well it gave me chills up and down my spine.
Please watch this YouTube video if you never saw Mayberry's testimony: