Marketplace started a four-part radio series on Tuesday called "Spoils of War", on the rampant corruption that is the rebuilding of Baghdad. From the Web site:
"The spoils of war add up to more than capturing expansive palaces and luxury cars. As Marketplace reporters have discovered, not all of the $22 billion being spent to rebuild Iraq is going where it should. Who's watching the money as it streams through Baghdad? Just about no one, and bribes and black marketeering are rampant, witnesses say. A leading anti-corruption group claims as much as 90 percent of U.S. money spent in Iraq is being lost to corruption. From Halliburton subsidiaries charging double for gas, Iraqi officials and Arabic translators unrestrained from pocketing millions of dollars, or even members of the interim governing Council accusing each other of taking tens of millions in bribes. Trouble is, the root of the problem can't be found anywhere near the Green Zone. Try the White House, and Capitol Hill, where oversight of Iraqi construction crews and U.S. contractors like Halliburton has only just begun to be assigned ... more than a year after the war began."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.