Friday, April 11, 2008

$600 Million For Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Oh, That Reconstruction.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told Sen. Carl Levin that we're “no longer involved in the physical reconstruction business." What's funny is that as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Levin had just received a tiny little request:

The same day we’re asked to shift $600 million to reconstruction.” He (Levin) added that “today the president says we’re almost down to zero” in terms of reconstruction spending.

Gates told Levin that there must be some confusion and that perhaps the money was intended to pay Iraqi police or other military forces, but that it was most likely not for reconstruction.

About 15 minutes later, Gates was passed a note by an aide. He stopped the proceedings to offer an apology to Levin, concluding that the $600 million was in fact intended for reconstruction. “[T]here are actually things that go on that I don’t know about,” said Gates by way of explanation. “I will take a very close look at it. ... I think this is an area where there is broad agreement the Iraqis should be spending their own money.”
(Politico's "The Crypt")
This is yet another indicator of just how fucked up and unbelievably expensive Bush's Iraq Adventure has become that Gates (and Crocker too) has no idea that his DOD requested $600 million for a reconstruction program he thought no longer existed.

HT: TPM Muckraker