We Need a 9/11 Commission Style Look at Iraq Contracts (Sen. Claire McCaskill)

The contracting commission amendment that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and I are cosponsoring, along with our seven other freshman colleagues, would try to do for war contracting what the 9/11 Commission did on the 9/11 response, and that is take a broad, comprehensive look at contracting in the Iraq conflict so that we can learn some lessons.

There are billions of dollars that have been wasted and misspent. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that have gone into the wrong hands, and certainly we now know there are millions and millions of dollars that have been stolen in this effort. We made a lot of these mistakes in Bosnia and didn’t fix them, so we’ve got to get them fixed.

We now have more contractors on the ground in Iraq than we have military, and their roles are not clear, their contracts are not being overseen, and the contracts haven’t even been drafted in a way that definitively says what they’re supposed to be giving us and for how much.

We’ve got to change the way we’re entering into contracts for privatization, and this contracting commission would be a good bipartisan way to take a look at it without turning it into a big he said she said food fight about the Republicans vs. the Democrats.