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Photograph of F B I Executive Assistant Director Mike Mason

Michael A. Mason
Executive Assistant Director
Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Iraq Theft Scheme Indictments
Washington, D.C.

February 7, 2007

Good afternoon. There are many things in the Iraqi combat theater—terrible things—that can be attributed to the fog of combat, the fog of war. But the diversion of public funds for personal use, funds intended for the rebuilding of Iraq, is not one of those things. It is a reprehensible crime.

According to the indictment, these five people and their co-conspirators, high ranking military personnel and civilians alike, abused the public trust. They abused their positions of authority, and they have betrayed those with whom they serve. In short, they traded their integrity for cash, computers, and luxury automobiles.

They may have believed that they were too far from the watchful eyes of law enforcement to get caught, but they were wrong. Today's indictment reinforces the importance of all the agencies represented here today, and those not here today, of working together to ensure those who break the law in this manner are brought to justice.

There are many ways to contribute to the war in Iraq. We in the FBI are fully committed to working with our partners in law enforcement, the Inspector General's office, and others in the military to investigate all allegations of fraud emanating from the Iraqi theater.

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