Corrupt officials ain’t what they used to be
Captain Renault: This is the end of the chase.
Rick: Twenty thousand francs says it isn’t.
Captain Renault: Is that a serious offer?
Rick: I just paid out twenty. I’d like to get it back.
Captain Renault: Make it ten. I’m only a poor corrupt official.
In Iraq, evidently, the corrupt officials are anything but poor.
From “Human rights laws “˜apply to Iraq death,– by Michael Settle for The Herald:
Meanwhile, corrupt Iraqi officials are pocketing the pay of thousands of “ghost” policemen and soldiers who exist only on paper, a senior US officer claimed yesterday.
Lieutenant-General Martin Dempsey, who until recently headed coalition military training teams in Iraq, said the payroll scam went as high as the governors of the Shi’ite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.
The general estimated up to 20% of the declared security force manpower in the two cities were part of the “ghost army” providing senior officials with a second income or retirement nest-egg.
But it also meant, when Iraqi units were mobilised for active duty, average turnout was 50% of their declared strength.
“Iraqi army rolls are also inflated by soldiers who have been severely wounded but are still being paid because the government lacks funds and a system for retiring them on a pension,” General Dempsey added. “Units which showed up in Baghdad at half strength for 90-day rotations left US officers angered by the poor turnout.”