US Embassy in Baghdad Sees Widespread Iraqi Corruption

09.19.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“Currently, Iraq is not capable of even rudimentary enforcement of anticorruption laws,” according to a confidential draft assessment prepared by the United States Embassy in Baghdad.

As a result, corruption has become “the norm in many [Iraqi government] ministries.”

“All indications point to corruption as undermining the support of the population for Iraq’s government.”

The new report (pdf) presents the detailed findings of an Embassy review of corruption cases in major Iraqi government ministries and the ineffectiveness of the anti-corruption Commission on Public Integrity.

The Maliki government is an enabler of the spreading corruption, the report said.

“The Prime Minister’s Office has demonstrated an open hostility to the concept of an independent agency to investigate or prosecute corruption cases.”

“The Iraqi Government has been withholding basic support and resources” from the anticorruption Commission.

The 82-page document, which has not been approved for public release, is marked “Sensitive But Unclassified: Not for distribution to personnel outside of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Iraq.”

It was first reported by David Corn in The Nation. See “Secret Report: Corruption is ‘Norm’ Within Iraqi Government,” August 30.

A copy of the Embassy report was obtained by Secrecy News and posted today on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

“Corruption is rampant,” according to the December 2006 Report of the Iraq Study Group (at page 20). “One senior Iraqi official estimated that official corruption costs Iraq $5 to 7 billion per year.”