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Misunderstanding the Job Responsibilities

It would seem that law schools have put out a few bad apples. Lawyers who don't quite understand what their job is really about. Patrick Fitzgerald, Eliot Spitzer, and James Comey to name a few. Well, here's another.

Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen's supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.

The order comes in the form of an obscure provision that terminates his federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, on Oct. 1, 2007. The clause was inserted by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee over the objections of Democratic counterparts during a closed-door conference, and it has generated surprise and some outrage among lawmakers who say they had no idea it was in the final legislation.


Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who followed the bill closely as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that she still does not know how the provision made its way into what is called the conference report, which reconciles differences between House and Senate versions of a bill.

Neither the House nor the Senate version contained such a termination clause before the conference, all involved agree.

"It's truly a mystery to me," Ms. Collins said. "I looked at what I thought was the final version of the conference report and that provision was not in at that time."

It would seem that even the politicians who are paying attention and actually reading the materials they're voting on still don't know what it is they're voting on since last minute provisions can be tacked on without telling anyone. Nice how the government works, isn't it?

It's his own fault, really. Bowen should have known that his real job was to cover up any embarassing instances of fraud or misuse of funds. Duh. Get on the ball, dude. Neo-cons don't like honest dealing.

By min | November 3, 2006, 9:46 AM | Liberal Outrage