Coalition Provisional Authority

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Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) web site

Following the establishment of limited Iraqi sovereignty: June 30, 2004, the CPA is scheduled to cease existence. In its stead will be the US Mission to Iraq.

None the less, "A comprehensive examination of the U.S.-led agency that oversaw the rebuilding of Iraq has triggered at least 27 criminal investigations and produced evidence of millions of dollars' worth of fraud, waste and abuse, according to a report by the Coalition Provisional Authority's inspector general," Stuart W. Bowen Jr. [1]

"...the Web site for the Coalition Provisional Authority,, lists 36 recent solicitations, including those for contractors who might sell new AK-47 assault rifles, nine-millimeter ammunition and other goods for new army and security forces." New York Times, September 30, 2003

Incredulously, contractors accused of fraud in the fulfillment of CPA contacts have been claiming that the United States Federal Court system does not have juristiction in deciding these cases. (see David Phinney, "Iraq Contractor Claims Immunity From Fraud Laws Seized Oil Assets Paid For Offshore Overbilling", CorpWatch, December 23rd, 2004)

A study publishd by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), authored by L. Elaine Halchin, Analyst in American National Government Government and Finance Division: "The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA): Origin, Characteristics, and Institutional Authorities", April 29, 2004 - {FAS Hosted PDF file} discovered that there was a great deal of murkiness surrounding the conception of the CPA, and that documents offered by the Bush Administration have served to increase the cloudiness:

"It is unclear whether CPA is a federal agency. Competing, though not necessarily mutually exclusive, explanations for how it was established contribute to the uncertainty about its status. The lack of an authoritative and unambiguous statement about how this organization was established, by whom, and under what authority leaves open many questions, particularly in the areas of oversight and accountability. Some executive branch documents support the notion that it was created by the President, possibly as the result of a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD). (This document, if it exists, has not been made available to the public.) The other possibility is that the authority was created by, or pursuant to, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 (2003)." - {page 2}
"Detailed information that explicitly and clearly identifies how the authority was established, and by whom, is not readily available. Instead, there are two alternative explanations for how it was established: one version suggests that the President established CPA; the other suggests that it was established pursuant to a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council resolution. While these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, the lack of a clear, authoritative, and unambiguous statement about how this organization was established and its status (that is, is it a federal agency or not) leaves open many questions, particularly regarding the area of oversight and accountability." - {page 7}

The Department of Justice was not quickly forthcoming on a request by Reagan appointed U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is deciding a case brought under The False Claims Act against Custer Battles LLC by two of its former employees which allege fraud. The Justice Department had declined in the Fall of 2004 to enter into the case on the side of the plaintiffs, and had failed to respond to the judge's request for several months until Sen. Charles E. Grassley(R-Iowa) wrote Attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales. - (see Griff Witte, "Justice Dept. Says U.S. Law Applicable in Iraq Contracts", Washington Post, April 2, 2005)

Other Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • CPA Orders, Regulations and Memoranda
  • 14 November 2003: "Won't Run, Will Bug Out" by Molly Ivins, AlterNet: "Now we're going to bug out before next year's election, Paul Bremer has been called in for an emergency confab, troops must be down to 105,000 by spring. The CIA, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, has sent a report from Baghdad saying the whole thing's going south. We're back to bombing Baghdad. Forget a constitution, we have to hand it all over to the Iraqis right away. ... I'm glad all this bug-out stuff is coming from the administration - if some liberal said it, we'd all be accused of treason." (See Treating dissent as treason for reference.)
  • 23 November 2003: "Corruption Charge Deals Fresh Blow to Iraq Handover" by Colin Freeman and Julian Coman, Sunday Telegraph/UK.
  • 24 November 2003: "War After the War. What Washington doesn't see in Iraq" by George Packer, The New Yorker.