Warehouse G

Extreme Crimes

Federal Investigators Closing In On Bush Administration Crimes

By James Donahue

With high government officials pre-occupied since Inauguration Day with plugging the wild money melt-down and a long list of other critical issues there was concern that President Barack Obama, U.S. Attorney General  Eric Holder, and the Democratic legislators might be overlooking something most Americans really want to see . . . the villains that caused all the pain revealed and brought to justice.

Not to worry. It seems our new president is very good at multi-tasking. He hasn’t been talking about it, nor has Holder. But reports by Newsweek and the New York Times reveal that federal investigators are busy tracking the people responsible for the theft of $125 billion in reconstruction money sent to Iraq and “the conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics” used on prisoners captured after the 9-11 attacks.

According to Newsweek, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), an ethics watchdog wing of government, has been digging into the behavior of former Bush Administration Department of Justice attorneys. That agency even submitted a draft of a report of its findings only days before Bush left office.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his deputy, Mark Filip, not surprisingly objected to the report arguing that “OPR is not competent to judge” the legal opinions of “constitutional scholars” such as they, according to the Newsweek story.

OPR plans to submit a final draft of the report to Holder’s office, but is giving both Mukasey and Filip time to submit comment. If Holder accepts the findings, the report could at least go to the state bar associations for disciplinary action, the story said.

That might be just the beginning of troubles for the former Bush legal team as well as high White House officials. The story said OPR researchers looked into whether the legal advice was “deliberately slanted” to give the White House the “conclusions it wanted.”

If this is correct, it means Mukasey and his legal staff crafted legal opinions to support the wishes of high administration officials who wanted to use illegal torture techniques on detainees. Both Mr. Bush and former Vice-President Dick Cheney openly admitted in televised interviews that they were involved in the decisions to order waterboarding and other forms of torture.

The investigation of the missing reconstruction money in Iraq has been focusing on senior American military officers who oversaw the program a New York Times story has stated. This investigation involves the Special Inspector General For Iraq Reconstruction, the Justice Department and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.

The project was so carelessly run that former U.S. officials told of payments to contractors “from huge sums of cash dumped onto tables and stuffed into sacks as if it were Halloween candy,” the story said.

Senator Claire McCaskill said: “You had no oversight, chaos and breathtaking sums of money. And over all of that was the notion that failure was O.K. It doesn’t get any better for criminals than that set of circumstances.”

The investigation also is looking into the death of Dale C. Stoffel, and American arms dealer and contractor who played a major role as a whistleblower in exposing the corruption that was occurring.

The newspaper story said that Stoffel was gunned down on a road north of Baghdad after drawing “a portrait worthy of a pulp crime novel: tens of thousands of dollars stuffed into pizza boxes and delivered surreptitiously to the American contracting offices in Baghdad, and payoffs made in paper sacks that were scattered in ‘dead drops’ around the Green Zone.”

This was the way President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfelt and all the other wheeler-dealers in Washington and the Pentagon were watching American tax dollars in those days.