Marketplace

 

     The "Marketplace" section of the WSJ (19 April '06) recently had an article on contractor fraud in Iraq.  In an adjoining column was an article about government foot dragging in False Claims Act cases.  Although the harm done by the conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering activities of military, government employees, and contractors supporting our war efforts in Iraq is heinous enough, my gut reaction to reading the article being that pictures should also have been posted to clearly identify to all those whose selfish motives have both undermined our efforts as well as contributed to additional American casualties, the government's delay in allowing more of these to come to light is also disconcerting.  You can hide a turd under the table by sealing cases, but it still stinks, and the origin of that stink will eventually come out, further damaging our efforts as well as our government's moral authority.  Perhaps that damage can be held off until after the upcoming elections, but it will eventually come out, as will recriminations which will only further damage our efforts.  On the other hand, perhaps we will not only limit the damage to our credibility but actually increase that credibility by aggressively pursuing these charges against any and all who would attempt to illegally profit from the blood of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.  Alright – they didn't pull the trigger.  They simply misappropriated funds meant to address infrastructure deficiencies in Iraq.  Maybe they weren’t aware that these efforts at providing for the basic necessities of the Iraqi people actually contribute to fewer American casualties.  Maybe they just didn't think about that.  Hopefully their sentences, whatever they turn out to be, will give them time for reflection.