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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov 18, 2011 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan 5772

Shine a light on America's Afghan-Iraqi rathole

By Diana West




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan closed shop on Sept. 30, it reported its "sobering but conservative" estimate that U.S. taxpayers had lost between $31 billion and $60 billion in waste and fraud of the $206 billion Uncle Sam has spent on contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, that's not all. According to the commission's final report, "a similar amount could be lost due to unsustainable projects and programs."

These staggering, if "conservative," figures are the result of three years of the commission's work, including 25 hearings and eight reports to Congress. What the commission neglected to mention in its final press release, however, was that it was trucking all of its records to the National Archives where, as The Wall Street Journal reported, also on Sept. 30, they would be sealed for 20 years.

News traveled slowly up Capitol Hill. "We learned of this development after the fact," the two original Senate co-sponsors of the commission, Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb, wrote in a Nov. 7 letter to the archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero. Noting that the commission hadn't thought to ask or even inform Congress about deep-freezing the documents for the next two decades, the senators asked "that the National Archives make a full disclosure of the commission's files and records as quickly as possible, consistent with protections for privacy, proprietary information and other applicable laws."

There, as they say, the matter stands. And what an outrage. Locking up vital public records and throwing away the key is not behavior becoming to a democratic republic; it is a peremptory and arbitrary act of authoritarianism. With the "overclassification" of government documents rampant, it fits into a democracy-imperiling trend. "Simply stated," the senators wrote, "we need to live in the light."

Amen -- no matter what crawls out from under the piles of paper. The fact is, these wartime contracting expenditures are not for run-of-the-mill public works projects flawed by cost overruns, fraud and waste. They form the foundation of a failed American foreign policy to use our armies to build nations in regions culturally and religiously hostile to our principles. In increasing desperation, as these documents no doubt attest, that foreign policy has become one of bribery on a grotesque scale.

I don't know what else to call a 2009 USAID agricultural project that started as a $60 million initiative to distribute vouchers for wheat seed and fertilizer in the north -- generous enough -- and ended up, "under pressure to inject $1 million each day into a dozen or so key terrain districts," dumping $360 million into the south and east not just for seeds and fertilizer but also "cash-for-work" -- hmm -- and something dubiously called "community development."

Or how about the U.S. mission to train and equip Afghan National Security Forces at a cost to American taxpayers of $6.4 billion a year? "Such costs far exceed what the government of Afghanistan can sustain," the commission determined, "so it is unclear how those costs will be funded in the future."

Uh-oh.

"Meanwhile," the report continues, "$11 billion of facilities constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for (Afghan National Security Forces) are 'at risk.'"

Needless to say, $11 billion worth of facilities is a terrible thing to waste.

Then there's a category called "Diversion of U.S. Funds" -- as in diversion of funds to the enemy. No official estimate here, the commission reports; it's anyone's guess. While the opium trade is considered to be the primary funding for the jihadists, guess who's next on the list?

You are. "During a March 2011 trip to Afghanistan, experts told the commission that extortion of funds from U.S construction projects and transportation contracts is the insurgents' second-largest funding source."

This record must be open to citizens, scholars and journalists -- not to mention the Justice Department fraud squad -- ASAP. Otherwise, the bucks won't stop anywhere, ever.

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© 2009, Diana West