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Rumsfeld admits corruption problem in Iraq

[JURIST] US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] acknowledged in testimony [PDF] before the US Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] Tuesday that corruption is a serious problem in Iraq, saying that "it's critically important that [corruption] be attacked and that the new leadership in that country be measured against their commitment to attack corruption." Previously, the Bush administration has shrugged off suggestions that corruption is fueling the insurgency, even after Army Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency [official website], told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] in a hearing last Thursday that corruption is the foundation of some of the daily violence in Iraq: "I see that a great deal of the violence that we are experiencing in Iraq today does have a relation to a criminal element, as opposed to an insurgent element with a political purpose." Along with reports that Iraqi oil field profits fund the insurgency [Telegraph report], Iraq must also deal with corrupt US officials, such as Robert Stein, a former US Defense Department contract official for the Coalition Provisional Authority, who pleaded guilty [JURIST report] last Thursday to conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering. AP has more.

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