U.S. Justice Department
DOJ Spurns Iraq Whistleblower Suits
Posted Jun 20, 2007 9:06 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A lawyer who represents whistleblowers accuses the Justice Department of dragging its feet in investigating fraud and corruption by companies hired by the government to work in Iraq.
Lawyer Alan Grayson told the House subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security that the department appears to be stonewalling, the Boston Globe reports.
"In our fifth year in the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has not litigated a single case against any war profiteer under the False Claims Act," he said.
The department has declined to join 10 Iraq whistleblower suits filed under the False Claims Act, the newspaper reports. The government used the law last year to recover more than $3 billion in domestic cases, but it has recovered only $6.1 million--in settlements rather than verdicts--since the war began.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Barry Sabin told the committee the department has not joined in the cases because it is difficult to gather evidence in an active combat zone. He pointed to criminal prosecutions of individuals as evidence that the department takes corruption seriously.