BBC – BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions: A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq. For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations… Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious. It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that it cost more than a few paper dollars.
And while we’re on the subject…
Independent – Transatlantic relations: George Bush’s farewell tour: George Bush should be accustomed to protesters in Britain because each of his visits has provoked some kind of hostile reaction. For that reason, Downing Street is coy about giving details of his itinerary. It seems almost reluctant to admit the American President will be here at all. From the US end, we know that Mr Bush will drop into Windsor Castle at lunchtime to visit the Queen, and then go to 10 Downing Street for dinner with Gordon Brown. The fact that police have closed Whitehall until noon on Monday suggests there is more on the agenda.
There’s sure to be a ceremony at the Cenotaph. Ironically, it’s one of the few places that isn’t behind a large fence where Bush is safe from protestors… and not just because we’re not allowed to honour the dead without a permit.
His sackcloth is like a shield of steel.
Ah, me… if only we understood his pain.
UPDATE – And speaking of the need for permits:
Guardian – Anti-Bush protesters to defy march ban: Anti-war campaigners said today that they would defy a ban on a planned march to Downing Street at the weekend to protest against a visit by George Bush. The Stop the War Coalition said that it would press ahead with the protest on Sunday, and stage a march from Parliament Square to the gates of Downing Street.
– Protest at Bush visit – 5pm, Parliament Square, 15 June
– Operation Manticore, , . Weather permitting.