The Bush Administration appointed political cronies to run Iraq and gave lucrative no-bid contracts to the former employer of our Vice President.

No wonder the occupation is turning out so badly.

Of the $18 billion spent on the now-halted Iraqi reconstruction, half is still missing. Since October 2004, the Department of Defense has not had one internal investigator on the ground.

Corruption has run rampant under such circumstances, with Halliburton the leading beneficiary.

Today, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held its tenth hearing on contracting abuses in Iraq. An earlier hearing found that Halliburton had been unable to substantiate $1.4 billion in charges to the government. Today’s hearing focused on how Halliburton billed taxpayers for a Super Bowl Party, among other luxuries–and also knowingly sent truck drivers into hotspots without warning or protection.

Yet the Bush Administration has done nothing to curtail such conduct, refusing to investigate these abuses under the False Claims Act. “The last thing the Administration wants, it appears, is more bad news out of Iraq, and it is willing to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery of justice to prevent that,” testified attorney Alan Grayson, who Taxpayers Against Fraud recently named lawyer of the year.

Many of the revelations from today’s hearing–and more–are featured in Robert Greenwald’s new film, “Iraq For Sale.” The film opens tonight. Go see it.