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Iraq: The Great Rip-Off Continues

In his first interview since leaving the US Agency for International Development in January, former director Andrew Natsios tells Newsweek how these appointees brushed aside efforts to keep a handle on how reconstruction money was spent:

"They didn't have [monitoring] systems set up. They were very dismissive of these processes," he said. His U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was marginalized despite its expertise, and the [Coalition Provisional Authority] "didn't hire the best people," he said. "We were just watching it unfold. They [the CPA] were constantly hitting at our people, screaming at them. They were abusive."

So if they weren't concerned expertise, did the CPA keep an eye open for anything? Yes, Raphel told her interviewer: ideological inconsistency.

Q: Did you feel any hand or eye watching you about being right ideologically by the time you got there?

RAPHEL: Oh, yes, there were political people round and about. One had to be careful.