Ok, here’s the short version for all us slow readers (Kansans): After George HW, Cheney, Rummy and the gang declared MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, they had some plane-loads of money sent over to Iraq. Some 12 BILLION dollars sent there in fact. Cash, 100’s, 50’s…..CASH! Friggin pallets of bills stuffed into giant C-130 cargo planes.
The money was meant for reconstruction efforts, since we had bombed their cities to rubble. It never happened, and it seems that some 6.6 Billion has vanished. No records, nothing. Just gone. We know it was happening, it’s not been a secret. Now for the first time, the Pentagon has ‘fessed up and admitted they can make no case as to where the money went. From The L.A. Times:
For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”
The mystery is a growing embarrassment to the Pentagon, and an irritant to Washington’s relations with Baghdad. Iraqi officials are threatening to go to court to reclaim the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the United Nations’ oil-for-food program.
It’s fair to say that Congress, which has already shelled out $61 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for similar reconstruction and development projects in Iraq, is none too thrilled either.
[….] Theft of such a staggering sum might seem unlikely, but U.S. officials aren’t ruling it out. Some U.S. contractors were accused of siphoning off tens of millions in kickbacks and graft during the post-invasion period, especially in its chaotic early days. But Iraqi officials were viewed as prime offenders.
[….] But U.S. officials often didn’t have time or staff to keep strict financial controls. Millions of dollars were stuffed in gunnysacks and hauled on pickups to Iraqi agencies or contractors, officials have testified.
House Government Reform Committee investigators charged in 2005 that U.S. officials “used virtually no financial controls to account for these enormous cash withdrawals once they arrived in Iraq, and there is evidence of substantial waste, fraud and abuse in the actual spending and disbursement of the Iraqi funds.”
Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records. But repeated attempts to find the documentation, or better yet the cash, were fruitless. [….]
~~~~Wow. I wonder if truckloads of money disappeared with the WMDs? How convenient, all the former Bush regime has to do is put up a “Fog of War” type, half assed excuse, and we are not even going to pursue this. Even more ironic, we are too broke to spend our money putting people in prison. Really. I’m not kidding, they are saying that. Read the full article from the link above.
This is something I’ve said from the beginning would happen. This truly is a repeat of what happened in VietNam. Of course, the whole thinking was that we had to provide for the common people, in order to “win hearts and minds”; un-spin that, and it basically means buy the people away from the “insurgents”.
Whenever we send money overseas to further our interests, especially in open war, it will always end up in the hands of the people we supposedly are fighting. That’s just the way it works. We give a local money, he gets squeezed by the VietCong, Taliban, Al Queda, on and on. This whole process was driven home with a story from Neil Sheehan’s “A Bright Shining Lie – John Paul Vann in VietNam”. It goes something like this: The Army sets up some of our Vietnamese “allies” in a secured area. They get a couple of M60 machine guns, a bunker, lookout tower and lots of neat toys. We leave them there with 20,000 rounds of ammunition. They call a few days later needing ammunition. Seems they got into this huge shootout with the bad guys and need more bullets. Vann is in charge by this time, so he goes for a look-see and gets the truth. Truth is, they are selling the ammo and other supplies to the enemy. Their corrupt leaders haven’t payed them and they have families.
Well, you get the picture. Enjoy this info while the new congress continues to kill off the middle class and subsidize these fiascos overseas. ~sekanblogger
Now they’re planning the crime of the century
Well what will it be?
Read all about their schemes and adventuring
It’s well worth a fee
So roll up and see
And they rape the universe
How they’ve gone from bad to worse
Who are these men of lust, greed, and glory?
Rip off the masks and let’s see.
But that’s no right – oh no, what’s the story?
There’s you and there’s me
That can’t be right