Matt Taibbi has written an important piece in Rolling Stone about the rampant fraud by contractors in
It’s not that the point hasn’t been made before. Robert Greenwald made a very good film about it called Iraq for Sale. There have been excellent reports on this and many other shameful aspects of the debacle from the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, Mother Jones, The Nation, and other places in print and on the web. Here, however, we have a rock music publication aimed primarily at younger people—far more ephemeral in content than in its 1970s heyday—that has saw fit to print good, hard-hitting journalism from time to time. And that’s what Taibbi’s piece is: actual journalism with a point of view, not the empty “objective” version of reality we get from the corporate news outlets. The piece is curiously uncredited in its online version, but I’m guessing that’s a mere oversight. Rolling Stone has put Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News to shame as the rags they are. We need more pieces like this, in more widely read popular magazines.
Among other essential points, the author makes what I consider a crucial connection between the unbelievable level of swindling and the very nature of this war and occupation. In World War II, the country was fighting for its survival. If a contractor had delivered equipment that didn’t work, it would not have been tolerated. But in the case of
Besides the devastating truth that the administration is deliberately countenancing theft from the public treasury, this fact also makes clear that the basic claims of national security on which the war is justified are a fabrication. If this conflict is the great challenge of the century, part of the great struggle against terrorism, Islamo-fascism, or whatever they’re calling it now—if this war, in other words, is a struggle of true importance for our national security, our freedom, our safety, the future of democracy, etc., as we are continually told by its supporters—would fraud on such a scale be allowed? Here's Taibbi's answer: “Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's
The Bush administration is a danger to the security of the