MPR's Midday: Meet the candidate series - Norm Coleman
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) appeared on Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidate series as part of Midday with Gary Eichten. Norm was in top form spewing Norm-speakTM across the public radio airwaves between 11:00am and Noon today.
Norm: Absolutely. Absolutely..."
There you have it, folks. Norm's record is fair game. But let's be serious for just a minute. You know Norm doesn't want his record to really be fair game. He wants it to be fair game upon his terms.
Here's the whole answer to that question:
So let's review the facts after all that Norm-speakTM. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has done little. The efforts have been a mere drop in the bucket. The US currently spends $12,000,000,000 per month occupying Iraq. We spend approximately $60,000,000,000 per year on reconstruction.
(p. 5 of SIGIR's latest report, danger pdf!)
$58m is 0.58% of our monthly military expenditures in Iraq and 0.01% of our annual reconstruction costs. Norm is simply a Senator you can count on when it doesn't matter. SIGIR is such a tiny drop in the bucket and a rather corrupt one. After all this is a Republican Administration so just about every department has had corruption issues.
- But Bowen's office has also been roiled by allegations of its own overspending and mismanagement. Current and former employees have complained about overtime policies that allowed 10 staff members to earn more than $250,000 each last year. They have questioned the oversight of a $3.5 million book project about Iraq's reconstruction modeled after the 9/11 Commission report. And they have alleged that Bowen and his deputy have improperly snooped into their staff's e-mail messages.
The employee allegations have prompted four government probes into the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), including an investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors into the agency's financial practices and claims of e-mail monitoring, according to law enforcement sources and SIGIR staff members. Federal prosecutors have presented evidence of alleged wrongdoing to a grand jury in Virginia, which has subpoenaed SIGIR for thousands of pages of financial documents, contracts, personnel records and correspondence, several sources familiar with the probe said.
So let's review, just to be clear when Norm is for oversight.
- When it is someone or some institution that conservatives hate. Norm relentlessly pursued corruption in the United Nations Iraq Oil for Food program.
- The second circumstance is when conservatives have thrown one of their own under the bus to avoid answering bigger questions. Heckuva Job Brownie is the perfect example.
- The third circumstance is oversight where conservatives will not be targeted or in any way harmed. For example, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction's (SIGIR) oversight of U.S. efforts in Iraq.
Here's everything I'm aware that he's investigated:
- United Nation's Iraq Oil for Food program
- FEMA Chief Michael Brown
- Doctors owing back taxes but still collecting medicare and medicaid payments.
- Civil servants who travel business or first class instead of coach
- Safe importation of prescription drugs (protecting the pharmaceutical industry)
- Human Rights Council of the UN
- Music industry's battle with computer downloading
- U.S. companies setting up sham offshore tax shelters
Here's the list of items he could have investigated when he was Chair of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations:
- Intel reports on WMD's
- Dispersal of the Iraqi Army
- NSA's secret wiretapping program
- Cronyism in appointments in Provisional Govt
- Torture at Abu Ghraib
- No bid contracts
- Billions of dollars of State Department cash disappearing in Iraq
- Corruption among contracting companies in Iraq
- Poorly constructed facilities built by contractors
- Contaminated water drunk and used by troops
- Abuses committed by contracting companies in Iraq
- Production problems for MRAP vehicles
- Wrong or not enough armor for troops and their vehicles
- Death of Pat Tillman
- Lies surrounding abduction and rescue of Jessica Lynch
- Overcharges among contracting companies in Iraq