If It's Not Halliburton, It's Rove and a Neo-Nazi At CPB
How Many More Ghost Employees [Don't] Exist?
Tomlinson Still in Important Position - Pulls a "Brownie"
Two similarly-themed stories greeting Blogenfreude in this morning's NYT, and one bit of corruption involves, guess who? Karl Rove, who seems to have his tentacles in every bit of administration corruption:
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the head of the federal agency that oversees most government broadcasts to foreign countries, including the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, is the subject of an inquiry into accusations of misuse of federal money and the use of phantom or unqualified employees, officials involved in that examination said on Friday.
An auditing board sponsored by the United Nations recommended yesterday that the United States repay as much as $208 million to the Iraqi government for contracting work in 2003 and 2004 assigned to Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary.
You will recall that Tomlinson is the Repug who went to war with Bill Moyers (and seemingly lost) over the "liberal" content of public broadcasting. This tidbit stands out: "Mr. Tomlinson remains an important official
as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The board, whose members include the secretary of state, plays a central role in public diplomacy. It supervises the government's foreign broadcasting operations, including Radio Martí, Radio Sawa and al-Hurra; transmits programs in 61 languages; and says it has more than 100 million listeners each week."
The juiciest bit comes after the jump:
In recent weeks, State Department investigators have seized records and e-mail from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, officials said. They have shared some material with the inspector general at the corporation, including e-mail traffic between Mr. Tomlinson and White House officials including Karl Rove, a senior adviser to President Bush and a close friend of Mr. Tomlinson. Mr. Rove and Mr. Tomlinson became friends in the 1990's when they served on the Board for International Broadcasting, the predecessor agency to the board of governors. Mr. Rove played an important role in Mr. Tomlinson's appointment as chairman of the broadcasting board. The content of the e-mail between the two officials has not been made public but could become available when the corporation's inspector general sends his report to members of Congress this month.
Per the KBR story, "[t]he Bush administration repeatedly gave Halliburton special treatment and allowed the company to gouge both U.S. taxpayers and the Iraqi people," Representative Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat who is the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, said in a statement on the new audits. "The international auditors have every right to expect a full refund of Halliburton's egregious overcharges."
Just to show they can contribute, the Iraqi ruling class stepped in too:
But some of the [private] K.P.M.G. audits that were carried out, relying on Iraqi ministry documents, turned up what appears to be clear evidence of mismanagement and corruption among Iraqi officials that was apparently unrelated to the K.B.R. work. In its report on the Iraqi Oil Ministry, the auditing firm used the euphemism "nonrefundable fees" for bribes in the awarding of oil contracts. "We found two cases," the report said, "where nonrefundable fees ($10,000 and $20,000) were charged to obtain tender documents (total contract value $150,302,897)." Other entries suggest the existence of $600,000 in ghost payrolling in the Electricity Ministry and additional evidence of bribes.
All emphasis supplied.
tags: kenneth tomlinson corporation for public broadcasting iraq halliburton karl rove corruption K.B.R.
Spasibo comrade Blogenfreude