Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Why Did USAID Chief Quit?

According to whispers at the AEI this morning, it was because Condoleeza Rice forced him out. But why? A Democratic source has this today,according to Karen Finney of the Democratic National Committee, the reason may be that [sic] screwed up the reconstruction of Iraq:
USAID Director Who Predicted Cheap Rebuilding In Iraq Quit. "The head of the government's overseas relief agency (Andrew Natsios) , the U.S. Agency for International Development, is leaving his job... 'Secretary Rice asked him to stay but he felt it was time for new challenges,' Rice senior adviser Jim Wilkinson said. In 2003 Natsios confidently predicted that U.S. taxpayers would not have to pay more than $1.7 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq, a job that is now expected to cost tens of billions of dollars. The Washington Post later reported that a transcript of Natsios' remark on ABC's Nightline was removed from the agency's Web site. 'The rest of the rebuilding of Iraq will be done by other countries who have already made pledges,' Natsios said on the television program. 'The American part of this will be $1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.'" (Associated Press State & Local Wire, 12/2/05)