In just over two months you will officially end your presidency at MSU. You’ve been here since 1993, and have impacted the MSU community in many ways. But before you pack up and move out of the Cowles House, there is one question I must ask:
What really happened in Iraq?
Last year, you spent about five months in the war-torn country, helping to rebuild the economy as the principal financial and economic policy advisor to Jay Garner, chief of the U.S. Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA). Your responsibilities included controlling Iraq’s oil revenue and managing the Central Bank of Iraq.
The United States and its allies reportedly had the sole power to spend money put into the central bank’s Iraqi Assistance Fund on relief, reconstruction and disarmament operations and for other purposes thought to help the Iraqi people. The ”funds in the Iraqi Assistance Fund shall be disbursed at the direction of the [U.S.-led coalition], in consultation with the Iraqi Interim Authority,” a U.S. resolution to the U.N. stated. You were at the forefront of this U.S. coalition as financial advisor.
Sounds like a great honor, but wait, isn’t this the same war that so many of your students were and are against? You are supposed to be our leader and a representation of our university. Your involvement in Iraq surely won you great personal recognition across the country, but it also tossed MSU’s name into the news stories. We are forever the school with the president who left in order to “rebuild” the Iraqi economy. Many students protested the U.S. involvement in Iraq, especially with the Bush Administration’s reason for going to war being so wish-washy. Did you know there were no weapons of mass destruction? Why were we really there?
Many people suggest the motive for involvement in Iraq was oil. Since you were amongst those in charge of oil revenues, maybe you could offer some explanations. How much money was actually involved? Where precisely did it go? How much did you stand to profit off of this war?
The largest private oil contractor for American forces in Iraq is Halliburton, where your buddy Dick Cheney served as chief executive before becoming vice president. According to The New Yorker, as of February 2004 Halliburton had received contracts worth over eleven billion dollars for its work in Iraq. Cheney still makes money off of the company, through stock options and deferred compensation. It’s not a stretch to think that there could be some major corruption taking place.
Your involvement in Iraq undoubtedly made you very rich. It provided a paycheck way higher than MSU ever could. You became an even wealthier man as the U.S. attempted to convert a dictatorship into a “democracy.” So many people have died in this war against terrorism, on both sides. You were actually there. Was it worth it?
Before you leave on January 1, all I ask for is the truth.
Sincerely,
Suspecting A. Problem

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