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More Adults Like Russ, Please

Remember the middle-of-the-night congressional shenanigans  (tucked away a clause in the military appropriations bill quickly signed by George Bush) that terminated the mandate of Stuart Bowen, the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction?  Bowen had uncovered massive fraud, incompetence and war profiteering on the part of companies like Halliburton and Parsons.  There still is no indication of how the clause made its way into the bill*, but Bowen will not be standing in the unemployment line after all, courtesy of Russ Feingold.

It was Feingold who, in 2003, insisted that an IG be established as part of the CPA to "oversee the use of Taxpayer dollars sent to Iraq." Feingold has worked steadily to extend the term of the IG as well as his mandate.  So Russ was kinda sorta pissed when they axed one of the only adults overseeing the war profiteering quagmire.  And today, Bush backed down and signed the Iraq Reconstruction Accountability Act, extending Bowen's work. 


 "I applaud the President’s decision to sign into law the Collins-Feingold bill extending the important work of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  It would have been a costly mistake to shut down the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction prematurely.  The SIGIR has been successful in providing aggressive oversight over billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars allocated for the reconstruction of Iraq.  With the President’s signature, we have sent a strong bipartisan message to Americans that we are working to prevent the waste, fraud and abuse of their taxpayer dollars in Iraq.”

Collins may be a notch above your average Republican but I'll just raise my objection here to the notion of giving credit to anyone in the GOP who has enabled the drunken fratboy spending habits of the Republican thieves idealogues in charge of the trough in Iraq.  Had the Republican-dominated Congress exerted the slightest bit of oversight since the war began, things probably would not have achieved their currently horrible state.  The Republicans made this mess, and now the Democrats have to come in and clean it up.  Russ Feingold is an adult whose actions reflect the perspective of a sober realist in his evaluation of the war and its consequences from the start.  Let's not kid ourselves that there has been anyone on the Republican side of the aisle who can take credit for showing that kind of judgment througout.

*The language was evidently inserted by Duncan Hunter

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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