Bloom, according to the Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen, bribed Stein and others (including at least two Lt. Cols.) with "jewelry, first-class plane tickets, and sexual favors from women he employed at a villa in Baghdad."
The LA Times' Christian Miller adds "real estate lots, weapons, new SUVs, cigars, Breitling watches, and alcohol" to the list of goodies Bloom was handing out.
Stein had the authority to sign contracts up to $500,000. To escape detection, Bloom submitted multiple bids on phony letterheads and Stein awarded contracts in the amount of $498,900.
A Sergeant in the US military with six years of service will earn - before bonuses and allowances - some $26,500 per year. That is the equivalent of five Breitling watches.
Put another way, an E-5 would have to serve in Iraq for nearly 19 years to make as much as one of those phony contracts cost US taxpayers.
Between the two of them, Bloom and Stein are facing jail terms of up to 70 years. Here's where I think they should serve their time:
Now some good news. If you've been reading MULLINGS for the past week you know I've been asking you to considering sponsoring a group of young Marines who are running in two marathons to raise money for an outfit called the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
As of this writing, they have blown through the $19,000 mark on their way to a $30,000 goal.
That would buy a half dozen of those Breitling watches, but it will earn the thanks of all the Marines of Companies A, E, G, and H, Marine Security Guard Battalion.
On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, a link to the LA Times coverage of the scandal; a link to the pay charts of US military personnel; one of those very popular vanity license plate Mullfotos and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
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