Iraq corruption: US Army Failed to Act on Warnings
The $283-million arms deal was supposed to display the power of Iraq's new government. But under the guidance of a task force overseen by one of America's top generals, it has become another chapter in a rebuilding process marked by accusations of corruption.
The U.S. contractor working on the project repeatedly warned the task force headed by Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus that a Lebanese middleman involved in the deal might be routing kickbacks to Iraqi Defense Ministry officials. But senior U.S. military officials did not act on the contractor's pleas for tighter financial controls, according to documents and interviews.
"If we proceed down the road we are currently on, there will be serious legal issues that will land us all in jail," the contractor, Dale Stoffel, wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to a senior assistant to Petraeus
Eight days later, Stoffel was shot dead in an ambush near Baghdad. The killing is being investigated by the FBI, according to numerous sources who have been interviewed by the bureau.
Since then, senior U.S. military officials have continued to work with the middleman, Raymond Zayna, who has taken over part of Stoffel's contract, according to the documents and interviews.
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