Set against the epic corruption that has defined the war in Iraq, Mr. Riechers’s tragic tale is but a passing anecdote, his infraction at most a misdemeanor. The $26,788 he received for two months in a non-job doesn’t rise even to a rounding error in the Iraq-Afghanistan money pit. So far some $6 billion worth of contracts are being investigated for waste and fraud, however slowly, by the Pentagon and the Justice Department. That doesn’t include the unaccounted-for piles of cash, some $9 billion in Iraqi funds, that vanished during L. Paul Bremer’s short but disastrous reign in the Green Zone. Yet Mr. Riechers, not the first suicide connected to the war’s corruption scandals, is a window into the culture of the whole debacle.Perhaps the Iraqi government realize that the Bush administration has no intention of actually rebuilding their country and that's why they have contracted with the Iranians and the Chinese to do it. The Bush administration probably knows that the war can't be won but they want to keep the lid off the cookie jar for another 15 months so their friends can pocket some more of our children and grand children's money. As Peggy Noonan suggested a week ago the Bush administration might actually prefer that a Democrat wins in 2008. The Bush administration will attempt to blame the inevitable humiliating withdrawal on the next president, that's what the surge was really about - buying time. They would probably prefer a Democratic President and the hated Hillary would be ideal.
Through his story you can see how America has routinely betrayed the very values of democratic governance that it hoped to export to Iraq. Look deeper and you can see how the wholesale corruption of government contracting sabotaged the crucial mission that might have enabled us to secure the country: the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure, from electricity to hospitals.
The pure evil of the Bush/Cheney administration is monumental and the damage done may well prove to be fatal. The standing of the United States will never be the same and the US economy will become a follower rather than a leader as a result of the eight years of the Bush administration. The Bush Cheney legacy will not be known for incompetence but for selfish greed on an unprecedented scale that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.