https://webworks.typepad.com > Iraq Photos - May, 2004 to March, 2006

Pictures of Iraq during my 23 months there and items related to anti-corruption. Most scenes are in the Green Zone plus a few convoy trips into the Baghdad area.

Dept of Defense Inspector General at Iraqi IG meeting

Dept of Defense Inspector General at Iraqi IG meeting

In 2004, the head of the Dept. of Defense's Inspector General Dept. came to Baghdad, and here he (Joseph Schmitz) is shaking hands with some of the Iraqi Inspector Generals. In 2005 or 2006, Schmitz resigned after a scandal arose where one of his department's audit reports redacted ( blanked out) the names of Boeing and officials engaged in a botched attempt to get a major Air Force Tanker contract.


CPA Administrator Paul Bremer and Founding CPI members

CPA Administrator Paul Bremer and Founding CPI members

Taken in May, 2004, this is the original group of founding US advisors in IRMO to establish the Iraqi Commission of Public Integrity (CPI). In the center is Paul Bremer, and to his left is Judge Radhi, the newly selected Iraqi former Judge, to lead CPI. Radhi is now in exile in Washington DC and has appeared on 60 Minutes twice as well as before several US Senate and House Investigation Committees. To the left of Radhi is Lt. Col. Chuck Grinnell (in military uniform), who wrote the White Paper approved by Bremer to form CPI. Grinnell was a reservist who in civilian life was a prosecutor of the mafia in New Jersey. I am in the second row, far left, wearing sunglasses and a blue shirt. These are the folks that helped Radhi fund and set up CPI so that it grew to over 1000 employees by early 2006. Unfortunately as posts on this blog indicate, Radhi was forced to leave Iraq by Prime Minister Al-Maliki who appointed a known corrupt official as the new head of CPI, and its influence has dropped considerably.


Visiting Udai's Villa

Visiting Udai's Villa

Eagle statue in front of Udai Hussein's waterfront villa


Saddam's Parade Ground with Crossed Swords

Saddam's Parade Ground with Crossed Swords

This is the parade ground seen in news videos before invasion when Saddam would be seen firing an AK-47 in air while parade of tanks, etc. went by. Was later used by coalition security teams to practice responses to terrorist attacks on convoys. This is still in the Green Zone and visited by many people.


Picture Opportunity with Gen. Colin Powell - 2004

Picture Opportunity with Gen. Colin Powell - 2004

After speech at Presidential Palace in Baghdad - 2004


Firing Range practice with chrome AK-47

Firing Range practice with chrome AK-47

During 2004, before State Dept. took over and made us turn in all guns


Presenting $1500 Check from Baghdad Optimists Club to Iraqi Scouts

Presenting $1500 Check from Baghdad Optimists Club to Iraqi Scouts

2004 - while on convoy visit to new scout base being constructed on old site of Saddam's training school for secret police.


Baghdad Embassy Iraqi-Americans Show their Voter's Finger!

Baghdad Embassy Iraqi-Americans Show their Voter's Finger!

January 30, 2005 was the second round of Iraqi elections, and many Iraqi Americans who worked in the Embassy were eligible to vote, and did. When voting, Iraqi's were required to press their finger into some ink that was very hard to remove. This was how they could detect if someone had voted, and could prevent voting more than once. This scene occured in the Baghdad Embassy dining room. CPI advisor Elizabeth Warner started to take pictures of some of the voters, and more ran over from dining tables to get into the picture and show their ink stained "voter's" finger. Then, the 2004/2005 US Ambassador John Negroponte ( in 2008, he is now the Deputy Secretary of State, reporting to Condi Rice) jumped up from his table and joined in (he was not eligible to vote). Even though there was some violence against Iraqi voters in some precincts, they ignored the problem and many stood in long lines to vote because they were so proud to be allowed to vote in free elections.


IRMO - Iraq Reconstruction Management Office

IRMO - Iraq Reconstruction Management Office

IRMO was comprised of about 300 "subject matter experts" and managers who were direct advisors to the heads of each of 28 Iraqi Ministries, like Oil, Agriculture, etc. I became acquainted with many of them in 2005 and early 2006. I worked in CPI (Commission of Public Integrity) which was one of the advisory groups in IRMO. Not many people have heard of IRMO because State would not let us talk to the press. Instead, USAID and USACE (Army Corps of Engineers) took credit for many reconstruction projects when IRMO advisors were the ones setting the strategy or working out issues with the Ministries.


Baghdad Embassy Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG)

Baghdad Embassy Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG)

Taken in March, 2006, just before I returned to the US. This group was supposed to develop and support anti-corruption initiatives, and related organizations like CPI, Board of Supreme Audit and the Iraqi Inspector General departments. However, it was run by the ECON section of the Embassy, and they refused to take any meaningful action, such as use Diplomacy to get the Parliament or the Prime Minister to remove a law that prohibited prosecution of staff in Iraqi Ministries without the permission of the head Ministers. I also asked them to work to get Iraq to adopt international accounting and audit standards, which went nowhere. Thus, Iraq is still using outmoded communist based accounting systems used under Saddam, and which are so weak that no investors will rely on their reports to invest in Iraqi firms.


Rocket Explosions near the "Green Zone Cafe"

Rocket Explosions near the "Green Zone Cafe"

I was sitting in the Green Zone Cafe with a newly hired Iraqi accountant when a series of rockets came in and exploded nearby, and everyone hit the ground. Later, we found they hit near the USAID compound. A few months later, a suicide bomber entered the cafe and blew it up and killed 6 people. It was since rebuilt.


Presenting a Check to the Iraqi Boy Scouts

Presenting a Check to the Iraqi Boy Scouts

In 2004 (not 2008), I went in a convoy to a former Iraqi secret service training camp that had been given to the newly reformed Iraqi Boy Scouts. A well known Embassy PR guy (and cartoonist), Chip Beck, had collected funds for the scouts, but could not go on the trip, so he asked me to give them the funds plus this blown up check. I am in the blue shirt with the side arm.


Cartoon about the Cycle of Corruption

Cartoon about the Cycle of Corruption


Worldwide Anticorruption Impact Chart

Worldwide Anticorruption Impact Chart

Worldwide Anticorruption Impact Chart - I found this chart on the internet in 2005, but unfortunately did not include the source. It was in some white paper I found. Notice that USAID and the State Dept. were lightweights vs Transparency International and the World Bank. The bigger the circle, and the more it was filled in indicates a ranking on impact on anti-corruption initiatives.


IRMO Flag Graphic

IRMO Flag Graphic

IRMO (Iraq Reconstruction Management Office) didn't have a logo, so during a leave in California, I visited a local flag maker and had them create this design and make a 48" wide flag which was used a IRMO Sr. Advisor events. It appears in many pictures. Anyone from IRMO who wants this graphic can use it. If it is not big enough, let me know - I have the original which is a 1.4 mb jpg file.


CPI - Commission of Public Integrity Flag

CPI - Commission of Public Integrity Flag

I had this graphic and a flag made during leave in California in January, 2005. It was used at CPI events. I have the larger original file if any CPI former member wants it. The original jpg file is 783mb. And, yes, the name was wrong... the flag says Commission on Public Integrity, when it should say Commission of Public Integrity. The graphic was designed the same time as the IRMO flag, so the figures are similar with different things in their hands. The CPI flag has a calculator in the ladies hand to represent the auditors I was in charge of, and the "antenna disc" in the man's hand was to represent long distance listening devices for the anti-corruption investigators listening to discussions by suspects doing corruption deals.


Corruption_in_un_cartoon

Corruption_in_un_cartoon

Can you say "Oil for Food" UN program and NOT think of corruption?


Iraq_oil_for_food_corruption_pipeline_ca

Iraq_oil_for_food_corruption_pipeline_ca

Another cartoon about the corruption in the UN's Oil for Food Program


Corpwatch_iraq_anticorruption_cartoon

Corpwatch_iraq_anticorruption_cartoon

Another Iraq corruption cartoon showing all the vulture sectors benefiting by corruption in Iraq.