Bomb maker to raise Iraq from rubble
The retired general tapped by the Bush administration to oversee rebuilding of post-war Iraq was, until just a few weeks ago, an executive at a leading defense contractor working on missile systems that would be used to bomb Baghdad.Read more...
Although a Pentagon official said Jay Garner's new role as head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance does not constitute a conflict of interest, ethics experts say the appointment raises troubling questions.
Why, they ask, would the White House pick a man from a company directly concerned with attacking Iraq to spearhead the country's aid and restoration?
"It's very curious," said Ben Hermalin, a professor at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business who studies professional ethics. "You have to wonder what the Iraqis will think of this guy and how much trust they'll place in him."
He added: "If it's not a conflict of interest, it's certainly being tone deaf."