Communication Network FUBAR in Iraq

Slate, via Atrios

A WorldCom/MCI Iraqi cellphone network commissioned by a no-bid contract cannot call land phones in Iraq. It cannot call a separate network established for security forces in June.

According to a Defense Department official, if someone working for the U.S. occupation authority needed to talk with a battalion commander, there was no way to make direct contact. He or she had to call a desk officer back in the Pentagon, who would jot down the message and call the commander himself. If the commander wanted to reply to the message, the same desk officer would jot down the response and call back the occupation authority.
And Bush wants $87 billion more to rebuild Iraq? He can't even get a competent phone network off the ground!