Instead of hiring reconstruction experts from NGO's, they hired from the Heritage Foundation [a right wing think tank]'s reject list. People who were ideologically sound were hired over the competant and trained. People like Michael Ledeen [a leading regime-change exponent, who works for another right wing think tank]'s daughter, Simone, were given the task of rebuilding Iraq's economy. Imagine the reaction of highly educated, Harvard, Oxford and Sorbonne trained Iraqi economists, when they could get into the Green Zone, dealing with these idiot children. By sending the pure, loyal and untrained, they told the Iraqis they were not serious people. The neocons were allowed to turn Iraq into their playground, and test their wacky theories. Meanwhile Iraqi oil facilities have been attacked 54 times since the occupation started.From here. "Running empty trailers to get paid"? If you like that, then how about hiring a non-existent audit firm for $1.6 million dollars? Watch it. (That's the head of the CPA in the earlier days of occupation being questioned). Corruption is a world-wide phenomenon, tough it does seem not to exist at the lower levels in the US.
Rumors of overcharging and kickback litter the news on a near daily basis. Halliburton has been accused of running empty trailers to get paid from the US government. Even so, the lack of security which is endemic in Iraq makes reconstruction a nightmare.
Update: And there is a more subtle kind of corruption too. For example, look at this report from The Hindu:
Washington: An ``alternative intelligence'' unit operating at the Pentagon in the run-up to the war on Iraq was dedicated to establishing a link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda, even though the CIA was unconvinced of such a connection, the U.S. Senate was told on Friday.The kind of corruption which tries to hoodwink the engine of a democracy - its people. More on this [the intelligence manipulation] here.
A report presented to the armed services committee by the Pentagon's Inspector General Thomas Gimble exposes the Bush administration to new charges of manipulating intelligence to make its case for going to war against Saddam nearly four years ago.