"Court records show that last month investigators subpoenaed the personal bank records of Col. Anthony B. Bell, who is now retired from the Army but who was in charge of reconstruction contracting in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 when the small operation grew into a frenzied attempt to remake the country’s broken infrastructure. In addition, investigators are examining the activities of Lt. Col. Ronald W. Hirtle of the Air Force, who was a senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004, according to two federal officials involved in the inquiry.
It is not clear what specific evidence exists against the two men, and both said they had nothing to hide from investigators. Yet officials say that several criminal cases over the past few years point to widespread corruption in the operation the men helped to run. As part of the inquiry, the authorities are taking a fresh look at information given to them by Dale C. Stoffel, an American arms dealer and contractor who was killed in Iraq in late 2004." NY Times
There has been a lot of "tarnish on the blade" in the aftermath of this major war. A lot of money was thrown around, and is still thrown around much too loosely. Some of that is inevitable, but not this much. The Obama Administration needs to tighten up the controls on what is being done with contract money spread across networks of American contractors and sub-contractors and trickling down eventually to Iraqis who actually do the work. pl