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Ex-Bush Insider Andrew Natsios Blasts Iraq Reconstruction

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AGENDA21 Donating Member (862 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 09:59 AM
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Ex-Bush Insider Andrew Natsios Blasts Iraq Reconstruction
Edited on Thu Mar-23-06 10:14 AM by AGENDA21
March 22, 2006 - Andrew Natsios has taken a lot of flak over his role in Iraq. The longtime director of America's foreign-aid program has been pilloried for his April 2003 remark, in an ABC News interview, that the U.S. government would spend no more than $1.7 billion to rebuild Iraq. In the ensuing three years, Natsios, a lifelong Republican, has played the loyal soldier for the administration. He regularly defended the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq even as he was lumped with other errant prognosticators like Paul Wolfowitz (That's wildly off the mark") and Dick Cheney ("We will be greeted as liberators"). After Natsios resigned in January to take a teaching post at Georgetown University, he maintained his silence about Iraq.

But this week, for the first time, Natsios publicly gave vent to his long-suppressed frustrations over the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq occupation. In an interview with NEWSWEEK on Tuesday, he harshly criticized the Coalition Provisional Authority led by L. Paul Bremer III for botching the reconstruction effort and allowing ill-qualified or corrupt contractors to dominate it. "They didn't have systems set up. They were very dismissive of these processes," he said. His U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was marginalized despite its expertise, and the CPA "didn't hire the best people," he said. "We were just watching it unfold. They were constantly hitting at our people, screaming at them. They were abusive."

Natsios's low-cost estimate from April 2003, he made clear, was not based on the kind of chaotic, top-heavy occupation that he says Bremer eventually installed in Iraq but on the more traditional, streamlined U.S. aid effort that Natsios had urged.

Dan Senor, former spokesman for Bremers CPA, dismissed Natsioss criticisms, saying the insurgency in Iraq made ordinary contracting procedures impossible. "I'm not familiar with the traditional USAID program that was recommended, Senor told NEWSWEEK. If it was traditional and conventional, it may have made sense for the reconstruction of Switzerland. But it sounds like it was completely irrelevant to the facts and conditions on the ground that we found in Iraq. Senor added that the CPA had "recruited some of the top career Foreign Service officers from the State Department to serve in the CPA's management roles. We would have welcomed suggestionsfrom Andrew or anyone elseof who would have been better experienced.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11965317/site/newsweek/
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 10:21 AM
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1. Natsios was in charge of the Big Dig accounting also...enuf said.
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AGENDA21 Donating Member (862 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 10:52 AM
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2. How many more people is it going to take!!!!
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