Thursday, September 28, 2006

Iraq Police Academy declared a catastrophic disaster

While I'm on the subject of fucked-up construction projects, this is special. Everyone remembers all the money that got -- um, "lost" would be the euphemism -- by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, about $9 billion of a total $21 billion allocated to reconstruction. The money was ostensibly being used to build hospitals, prisons, and other government buildings, but there's no accounting for what/where/who any of it went to. Well, here's a fine example of where about $75million of it went, the Baghdad police academy.

According to the Washington Post, the police academy project was so mis-managed that the building poses a health risk to police recruits, and may have to be demolished. With $75million to spend, the company who had the contract to build the academy, Parsons Corp., managed to construct the building so poorly that "feces and urine rained from the ceiling in the student barracks". Water drips everywhere and floors have heaved inches off the ground and split apart. In addition, substandard plumbing allowed human waste to "cascade through the building". One light fixture had stopped working because it was filled with urine and fecal matter. E-fuckin-gads.

My own familiarity with hillbilly construction projects tells me that construction of a 1000 square foot building would cost about $50,000 (if that). Say the police academy was 500,000 square feet. That should only cost $25million, or $20million USD (a lot less actually, because of volume and contractor discounts). And that's to build to something you can actually walk around in without an umbrella, hip waders and a hazmat suit. So somebody skipped off with about $50million, give or take. I wonder who benefitted, and how they're related to the bush administration?