Political conflict intensifies over Bush’s Iraq war lies
By Patrick Martin
19 November 2005
The political conflict within US ruling circles over the debacle resulting from the American intervention in Iraq intensified sharply this week.
Vice President Dick Cheney denounced Bush’s critics as “reprehensible,” saying they were “playing politics in the middle of a war,” while a leading Democratic war hawk, Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania, startled official Washington on Thursday by calling for the immediate withdrawal of US troops in Iraq.
Republican congressmen responded to Murtha’s statement with furious denunciations, accusing the congressman of cowardice and all but branding the Democrats as allies of terrorists and traitors.
Iraq fraud arrests expose criminality of US occupation
By Bill Van Auken
19 November 2005
The arrest this week of a private contractor and a former US government official in connection with a multimillion-dollar contract-rigging and bribery scandal has exposed a piece of the corruption and criminality that is pervasive in America’s continuing military occupation of Iraq.
It has likewise offered a glimpse of the layer of con men and profiteers who have flooded into the country in the name of reconstruction and democracy.
Formally charged on Thursday were Philip H. Bloom, a US expatriate entrepreneur, and Robert J. Stein Jr., a former employee of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which ruled Iraq from April 2003 until June of last year.
According to court papers outlining the charges against the pair, Stein accepted $546,000 in bribes from Bloom during the first six months of last year in exchange for steering more than $13 million in reconstruction contracts to the Romanian-based businessman.
Another unidentified US occupation official, who also took bribes from Bloom, is cooperating with federal prosecutors.