To the editor:

Do any one of you know anything about the U.S. Embassy that has been or is being built in Iraq by Bush? There has never been a picture published of it and I can understand why.

The Bush administration designed the 104-acre compound. The $592 million embassy occupies a chunk of prime real estate two-thirds the size of Washington National Mall, and the Senate report says the embassy campus will include six apartment buildings, two office buildings, residence for the ambassador and his deputy, a gym, pool, club, beauty salon, food court, vehicle-repair center, warehouse and an emergency exit, plus its own power and water.

This 21-building complex on the Tigris River was envisioned three years ago partly as a headquarters for the democratic expansion in the Middle East that President Bush identified as the organizing principle for foreign policy in his second term.

What we have here is a situation in which they are building an embassy without really thinking about what its functions are, said Edward Peck, a former top U.S. diplomat in Iraq.

This compound quickly could become a white elephant if the U.S. scales back its presence and ambitions in Iraq. I just wanted you to know what the Bush administration has been doing without publishing much or anything about it.

Martha Ours