Rich Galen

  • 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:

    Abu Ghraib.

  • 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.

  • Priceless.

  • 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.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at

    Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm of our readers it has become necessary to transfer our commenting system to a more scalable system in order handle the content.