Bob's Links and Rants

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Friday, September 26, 2003

$87 billion, and what do you get?
A new curriculum for training an Iraqi army for $164 million. Five hundred experts, at $200,000 each, to investigate crimes against humanity. A witness protection program for $200,000 per Iraqi participant. A computer study for the Iraqi postal service: $54 million.
Those details include $100 million to build seven planned communities with a total of 3,258 houses, plus roads, an elementary school, two high schools, a clinic, a place of worship and a market for each; $10 million to finance 100 prison-building experts for six months, at $100,000 an expert; 40 garbage trucks at $50,000 each; $900 million to import petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel to a country with the world's second-largest oil reserves; and $20 million for a four-week business course, at $10,000 per student.

According to the Washington Post,

Such numbers, buried in President Bush's $20.3 billion request for Iraq's reconstruction, have made some congressional Republicans nervous, even furious. Although the GOP leadership has tried to unite publicly around its president, cracks are beginning to show.

Billmon has more on this, along with some interesting comments from his readers.

Do you think I qualify as a $200,000 expert to investigate crimes against humanity? That's $100 million for 500 experts! The 9/11 commission has a budget of about $12 million, upped from an original appropriation of only $3 million. Apparently finding out why thousands of Iraqis died is eight times more important to the Bush administration than finding out why thousands of Americans died.