Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Graft in Iraq Investigation

This investigation is long overdue. According to the article, they're reviewing information provided by Dale Stoffel, an arms dealer who was killed in a drive by shooting in 2004. Stoffel described clandestine drops of cash hidden in pizza boxes to investigators shortly before he was killed.

I have no idea what relationship, if any, this investigation will have on the case of Ryan Manelick.

Inquiry on Graft in Iraq Focuses on U.S. Officers
By James Glanz, C.J. Chivers, and William K. Rushbaum, New York Times, February 14, 2009

The investigations, which are being conducted by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Justice Department, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command and other federal agencies, cover a period when millions of dollars in cash, often in stacks of shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills, were dispensed from a loosely guarded safe in the basement of one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.

Former American officials describe payments to local contractors from huge sums of cash dumped onto tables and stuffed into sacks as if it were Halloween candy.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susie,
Have been burning up the internet all morning talking to a friend of mine in Colorado about Kirk von Ackermann's case. I am from the Bay Area and have followed it since the beginning. As soon as I saw this story this morning I thought of the implication of possible connections to Kirk's case.
It also struck me how close the name HALL is to BELL. Has the military connection Hall, that was supposedly being paid of by John Dawkins, ever been identified?
THEN I refresh your page and see you have posted the story on here.
All of this certainly begs the question: who really killed some of the contractors in Iraq? Surely some or most were killed by insurgents but it opens a whole new line of discussion about the investigations that were done over there in many of these deaths and disappearences.

Susie Dow said...

who really killed some of the contractors in Iraq?
We may never know. Certainly Ryan Manelick and Kirk von Ackermann and the other men who are still missing in Iraq deserve better than that.

Regarding Hall: Major Rich Hall of the U.S. Army signed the majority of the contracts issued to Ultra Services. It is my understanding that as a result of Ryan's death - and his father's push for answers - an aggressive investigation into fraud allegations was pursued. As far as I know, no charges were ever filed, so I'm left to assume that there wasn't any substance to those allegations. That in and of itself is interesting. Why? It lends credence to Dawkins' accusation that the fraud allegations were made up to damage his reputation. Now, why is that important?

Taken as a whole, one of the things that's always struck me is this: if CID could have gotten everyone at Ultra Services to sit down - without the bickering and backstabbing - might they have gotten further in their investigations? We'll never know, of course. It's far too late to find out. But I can't help but wonder if the investigation was doomed from the start because of the extreme bitterness within the group. I hope that makes sense.

Meanwhile, here's to hoping that CID gets some renewed vigor in pursuit of what happened to Kirk and Ryan. Certainly public interest has never waned.

Regarding Dale Stoffel: Dale Stoffel was a very well-connected player. And yet, his murder didn't get much attention. There's a good article from 2005 that's worth the read.
The Unquiet American, by Aram Roston, Washington Monthly, June 2005.