Last week, an Iraqi-American translator was arrested and charged with offering over $60,000 in bribes to win a $1 million contract for providing flak jackets and other equipment to Iraqi police officers.
According to the New York Times, it is believed that Faheem Mousa Salam of Livonia, Michigan, was acting on behalf of others and that more arrests will be made. Mr. Salam was employed by the Titan Corporation, a division of the L-3 Government Services Group.
The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., was quoted as saying that this kind of fraud is limited to "… just a few individuals who took advantage of a chaotic situation early on."
This statement further highlights the need for a bipartisan Independent War Profiteering Commission.
To be sure, Mr. Bowen has done important work such as uncovering $9 billion "lost" by the Coalition Provisional Authority. But according to the Washington Post, Bowen is a lawyer from Texas who worked as Deputy General Council for then Governor George Bush; he worked in Florida for 35 days on the election recount in 2000; and he joined the Bush White House as an Associate Counsel.
These investigations need to be free of any hint of partisanship and empowered to follow any lead no matter how high it goes. That is the only way the public will get the answers it deserves.