U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s Continuing Woes

According to this article http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/22700.html the project manager for the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, James L. Golden, who was banished by Ambassador Crocker, is continuing to head the project from Kuwait.

I don’t entirely trust this article because the previous article I saw on this topic, in the Washington Post back in October,and which I blogged about, said that Golden was banished by Crocker because of how he handled the investigation of a worker’s death.

That official, James L. Golden, has been barred from entering Iraq by Crocker because he allegedly disobeyed embassy orders during an investigation of a worker’s death, sources said.

It’s not clear to me whether it’s Mr Golden or the U.S. diplomatic mission in Iraq that was trying to obscure the circumstances of the guy’s death. Or maybe there was nothing to hide. As Principal Seymour Skinner said in Treehouse of Horror VI, “There’s no mystery about Willie. Why, he simply disappeared. Now let’s have no more curiosity about this bizarre coverup.”

In any case, today’s article doesn’t mention the death at all. It blames Crocker’s banishing of Golden on his handling of contracting issues.

Golden and the Baghdad-based embassy construction coordinator, Mary French, have been implicated in a Justice Department criminal investigation into how embassy construction subcontracts were issued, according to current and former U.S. officials and congressional testimony.

State department officials are said to be outraged that Golden remains in charge of the 740 million dollar project.

Looks like it will be a while before we see the upshot of the investigation.

Many details of the probe remain under wraps.


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