U.S. Iraq embassy costs rise again

Oct. 7, 2007 at 2:01 PM

BAGHDAD, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Shabby workmanship, poor planning and bureaucratic infighting has pushed the cost of the U.S. embassy in Iraq to an estimated $736 million.

The embassy in Baghdad originally was projected to cost $592 million and be completed last month as the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Now it could cost at least $144 million more and will not be ready until early 2009, U.S. officials told the Post.

The delays and growing cost are seem by many members of Congress as the latest in a series of State Department blunders in Iraq, the newspaper said.

The project has been complicated by a dispute between Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, and James L. Golden, the U.S. official charged with overseeing the project. Crocker has banished Golden from Iraq because Golden allegedly disobeyed embassy orders and destroyed evidence during an investigation of a worker's death, sources told the Post.

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