Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is Jim O'Beirne a Complete Idiot?

Jim O'Beirne apparently is an idiot.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.

...To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration

...Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.

The CPA had the power to enact laws, print currency, collect taxes, deploy police and spend Iraq's oil revenue. It had more than 1,500 employees in Baghdad at its height, working under America's viceroy in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, but never released a public roster of its entire staff.

There's plenty more at the link.

Obviously, the US could not send 1800+ genuine, certified experts in ALL the disciplines required to re-establish a complete economy, government, and military. So some of the people who went to the CPA had to be willing and bright enough to be decent functionaries.

But really...how stupid IS Jim O'Beirne?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't seem so surprised, Dad. This was SOP for the Bush crowd you elected into office. Call it organized incompetence.