Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grand Corruption in Iraq

Dear Colleagues

There has been grand corruption in Iraq, it appears, since the very early days of the American occupation. More than five years into the occupation, and the total funds that have been mis-used seems to be more than anything ever experienced in history.

And yet there is no news about it, and no outcry from either the American political or business leadership. One has to wonder what is going on.

CBS's 60 minutes has just aired a piece on the corruption in Iraq ... and it is clearly a huge issue ... and off the radar, for all practical purposes.

In my career which has always had a component of interest in accountancy and accountability ... I would not have had any toleration for this sort of financial mismanagement, and I know full well that when there is a toleration for this sort of situation, there are reasons ... and not good reasons.

The corruption that is being described in Iraq is clearly a benefit to many in the hierarchy of Iraq's leadership ... but it must also be anticipated that there are big beneficiaries on the American side as well. A lot of money available to do work, and all sorts of excuses for not achieving goals is an ideal situation for diverting fund flows.

Nobody seems to know anything ... but that it not surprising. There is a big mess, and my guess is that not many in leadership positions are able to talk about it without incurring the wrath of others in the leadership.


Peter Burgess