Army Secretary Invited to Hearing on Arming Iraqi Forces

Posted on by Jesse Lee

Chairman Tierney of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs sent a letter today to Army Secretary Pete Geren inviting him to testify at a hearing on September 6th, “Bringing Accountability to U.S. Arms Transfers,” on the transfer of arms to Iraqi Security Forces.

Full letter:

The Honorable Pete Geren
Secretary of the Army
U.S. Department of Defense
101 Army Pentagon
Washington D.C. 20310-0101

Dear Secretary Geren:

On Thursday, September 6, 2007, at 10:00 AM in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing entitled, “Bringing Accountability to U.S. Arms Transfers: The Train and Equip Program for Iraqi Security Forces.”

The New York Times today, in an article entitled “Iraq Weapons Are a Focus of Criminal Investigations,” reported on some of the Army's efforts to bring accountability to U.S. arms transfers in Iraq. The Committee would like your assistance in helping us to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter.

We have already requested testimony from the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Defense Inspector General, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. We would also like to invite you to testify at our September 6th hearing.

In addition, by Tuesday September 4, 2007, at the latest, we request the following:

    A briefing into the Army's efforts to account for arms transferred to Iraqi Security Forces. Such a briefing should include, among others, the leaders of the panel of contracting and logistics experts you are reportedly forming.

    Copies of any reports and summaries of investigations the Army has conducted to date into the issue of transfers of arms in Iraq.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the principal oversight committee in the House of Representatives and has broad oversight jurisdiction as set forth in House Rule X. The Subcommittee on National Security Affairs has jurisdiction over issues relating to national security, foreign affairs, and homeland security.

Information for witnesses appearing before the Committee is contained in the enclosed Witness Information Sheet. Also enclosed with this letter is a document providing additional information about how to respond to the Committee's document request.

If you have any questions, please contact Andy Wright or Dave Turk of the Subcommittee staff at (202) 225-5248.


John F. Tierney
Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs

Iraq Weapons Are a Focus of Criminal Investigations
James Glanz and Eric Schmitt, New York Times – August 28, 2007

Several federal agencies are investigating a widening network of criminal cases involving the purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other matériel to Iraqi and American forces, according to American officials. The officials said it amounted to the largest ring of fraud and kickbacks uncovered in the conflict here.

The inquiry has already led to several indictments of Americans, with more expected, the officials said. One of the investigations involves a senior American officer who worked closely with Gen. David H. Petraeus in setting up the logistics operation to supply the Iraqi forces when General Petraeus was in charge of training and equipping those forces in 2004 and 2005, American officials said Monday.

There is no indication that investigators have uncovered any wrongdoing by General Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, who through a spokesman declined comment on any legal proceedings.

This article is based on interviews with more than a dozen federal investigators, Congressional, law enforcement and military officials, and specialists in contracting and logistics, in Iraq and Washington, who have direct knowledge of the inquiries. Many spoke on condition of anonymity because there are continuing criminal investigations.

The inquiries are being pursued by the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other agencies.

Over the past year, inquiries by federal oversight agencies have found serious discrepancies in military records of where thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces actually ended up. None of those agencies concluded that weapons found their way to insurgents or militias.

This entry was posted in Iraq & Afghanistan, Oversight. Bookmark the permalink.