by David Phinney
Monday August 20th 2018

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Baghdad Embassy Coverup

by David Phinney

Oct. 19, 2007 — A project manager and the State Department Inspector General covered up “enormous problems” in the management of the $592-million embassy project in Baghdad, McClatchy newspaper reporters Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay report today.

Problems became apparent after a mortar shell smashed into the sprawling new U.S. Embassy last May, damaging a wall and causing minor injuries to people inside the building:

The State Department contractor in charge of the project, James L. Golden, attempted to alter the scene of the blast, according to government officials familiar with the incident. The State Department inspector general prevented Department officials from investigating the incident, according to interviews and documents.

Meanwhile: A congressional committee is examining whether the walls of the still-unfinished embassy complex, which are supposed to be blast-resistant, performed as they should have during the mortar attack.

More Delays: Problems with the fire suppression system were “serious,” according to Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s director of management policy.

Joints in underground water mains supplying the sprinklers leaked when they were tested — but he emphasized that this and other problems were discovered as part of OBO’s rigorous inspections.

Asked when the structure would be ready to occupy, Kennedy said, “Soon. But I’m not going to tell you whether soon is in two weeks, or six weeks or eight weeks.”
Here’s the McClatchy story.

More details to follow when I get a moment.

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