Shoddy workmanship and poor planning have left construction of the new US embassy in Iraq—the biggest in the world—months behind schedule, and tacked $144 million onto what was originally a $592-million project. Scheduled to open last month, it won't be fully habitable until 2009. The State Department, already under fire for failing to adequately supervise private security firm Blackwater, is taking heat from Congress for the poor performance
State blames various contractors, but has asked for last-minute redesigns of a variety of buildings, adding delays and cost overruns, the Washington Post reports. To complicate matters further, the Washington official overseeing the project was banished from Iraq by Ambassador Ryan Crocker, because Crocker suspected him of destroying evidence in the investigation of a worker’s death, the Post reports.