McCaskill marks the departure of troops from Iraq
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2011 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who helped set up the congressional panel monitoring spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, today marked the departure by the end of this month of all U.S. troops remaining in Iraq.
In a statement, McCaskill, D-Mo., said she was among those "congratulating our troops on a job well done and thanking them and their families for their sacrifice."
"I've always supported the plan to withdraw all American troops from Iraq by this year, and I'm glad to see this day finally arrive," she added.
"Since it began, I've viewed this war through the eyes of a proud American but also those of a former auditor. We made progress in our efforts to stop rampant waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars in wartime contracting -- but the end of this conflict will allow us to turn our attention and our resources toward strengthening our own nation. I cannot think of the end of this war without thinking particularly of the thousands of service members who gave their lives or were seriously wounded in Iraq -- men and women we will honor forever."
In 2007, after arriving in the U.S. Senate, McCaskill teamed up with a fellow freshman senator, Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia to set up an independent, bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting that McCaskill has said was "modeled after the 'Truman committee' which investigated government waste and fraud during World War II."
McCaskill has credited the panel with uncovering billions of dollars in waste and questionable spending.