I am really concerned about Arlington's school children lacking access to computers. Here's where our tax dollars are going:
The New York Times, September 26, 2010, Page 1
U.S. Gift for Students in Iraq Offers a Primer on Corruption
By Stephen Lee Myers
"BAGHDAD -- The shipment of laptop computers that arrived in Iraq's main seaport in February was a small but important part of the American Military's mission here to win hearts and minds. What happened afterward is a tale of good intentions mugged by Iraq's reality.
The computers - 8080 in all, worth $1.8 million - were bought for children in Babil, modern day Babylon, a gift of the American taxpayers. Only they became mired for months in customs at the port, Umm Qasr, stalled by bureaucracy or venality, or some combination of the two. And then they were gone.
The laptops arrived in two shipments on Feb. 20 and Feb. 23. The original shipping documents mistakenly listed the computers' destination as Umm Qsar, not Babil, which caused confusion. By April, though, the American military had tracked them down and repeatedly tried to clear them through customs and truck them to Babil.
Then, in August, Iraqis auctioned off 4,200 of the computers - for $45,700. There whereabouts of the rest are unknown.
Prodded by the Americans and Iraqi officials in Babil, Mr. Maliki ordered an investigation buy the Commission on Integrity, a besieged independent watchdog whose investigations have led to clashed with Mr. Maliki and other senior officials.
In early September the auctioned computers were recovered, according to Iraqi officials who nevertheless declined to discuss how or where.
Still, seven months after the computers arrived< no child has used one.The recovered computers are now in possession of the Americans, awaiting the resolution of the mystery over the missing ones."
Carlin Springs Parent