Peter Van Burn, a retired foreign service officer who worked for the US state Department during the Iraq war, recently gave a talk about his new book ‘We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.’  and the atrocious government spending that took place by the US government during the war. Van Buren was in charge of reconstruction projects in Iraq and tells the account of negligent spending that went on that were supposed to help the Iraq people get back up on their feet but actually were just a cover to bolster the image of the US government in Iraq. For publicizing what went on over in Iraq the US government and chiefly the State Department tried to crucify him and strip him of his career and any entitlements he had until the nonprofit Government Accountability Project and American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and backed his story up.

For the US government this is a lesson learned that the negligent use of power has consequences and that wasteful spending will not be tolerated by the American people. Its infuriating to think that the money the American people thought was being used to help iraqi war victims out was actually carelessly being used and in some cases not even used at all on the Iraqi people. If anything this tells us that there need to be greater checks in place to monitor war time spending so that we know that funds are being  appropriated correctly and that we can limit the loss of financial security when we engage in war.

-Matt

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120921/NEWS01/309220025/1001/Whistleblower-who-revealed-U-S-waste-Iraq-speaks-IdeaFestival?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cs

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/09/29/how_i_became_a_state_department_outcast