Iraq: What Happened to the Money?

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Fox News pulls together some of the brewing controversy about a forthcoming report from the inspector general of Iraq's former Coalition Provisonal Authority indicating that they can't adequately account for $8.8 billion they spent. Some congressmen are getting in the act:

FOX News confirmed that Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tom Harkin from Iowa and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota want Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to tell them what the funds have been used for by the CPA, which handed over sovereignty to the Iraqis in June.

"The CPA apparently transferred this staggering sum of money with no written rules or guidelines for ensuring adequate managerial, financial or contractual controls over the funds," said the letter sent by the senators on Thursday, obtained by Reuters. "Such enormous discrepancies raise very serious questions about potential fraud, waste and abuse."

In one example reported by Reuters, "8,206 guards were listed on a payroll but only 603 people doing the work could be counted."

[Link via Rational Review.]

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  1. I wonder if FOX will ride that as hard as they’ve been riding the alleged UN “oil for food” thing.

  2. Uh Jon H., the “Alleged UN for Oil Thing” Problems accepting the truth there me old son? The allegations are “who” and “how much” not “Did it happen.” The “Oil for Palaces” Program Scandal is NOT alleged, save in the sense that Scott Peterson is ALLEGED to have killed his wife or Mohammed Atta is ALLEGED to have masterminded 9-11. The only question(s) are how much did they scam, did Kofi Anna benefit PERSONALLY or just his family, and who else got kickbacks or how much EXACTLY did they receive.
    Jon, you’re never gonna get better until you can admit to the truth….

  3. But since this ball is hovering right beside the net, I’ll say it, “CHECK DICK CHENEY’S MATTRESS!”
    There, now Justin Raimondo and Michael Moore can save themselves the effort of logging in…
    Oh one last thing, Jon H. you might as well go on for the whole ride and say “wonder if FAUX NEWS will ride that as hard as they’ve been riding the alleged UN “oil for food” thing?” Come on, if you’re going to go there you might as well go there in style.

  4. “Problems accepting the truth there me old son? The allegations are “who” and “how much” not “Did it happen.””

    Actually, much of the evidence was known only to Ahmed Chalabi. He wouldn’t let anyone else look at it, if they weren’t one of his flunkies, and it disappeared when his offices were raided.

    So the ‘evidence’ may never have existed.

    I’m not about to take the word of an Iranian agent who is known to have betrayed the US.

    Maybe there is a significant UN oil-for-food scandal, but I’m going to wait and see.

  5. It ain’t just Chalabi, there are DOCUMENTS from the Oil Ministry. You just have to accept that the Iraqi’s were bribing a LOT of folks. What is the problem with accepting this? It makes people you like look bad, it makes the war in Iraq seem better?
    This is where we ahve come, we do not judge EVIDENCE we judge on outcomes… “This must be UNTRUE, because it hurts my cause.”

  6. Why does Fox News hate America? They should be talking about all the good things this money is being used for, like buying new 90-foot yachts for the presidents of banks in the Cayman Islands.

  7. Joe L,

    The only question(s) are how much did they scam, did Kofi Anna benefit PERSONALLY or just his family, and who else got kickbacks or how much EXACTLY did they receive.

    Even if that’s the case, the question retains validity. Will Fox and other news outlets ride this as hard as other news stories? After all, this is $8.8 billion of our money.

  8. Gary, do you hate America? Saddam was much worse. That’s all you need to know! Just ask any hawk: No matter how badly our government screws up, we still have the moral high ground so that’s all that matters.

    And, in all fairness, if you define your moral high ground relative to Saddam then I guess we have carte blanche to do anything we want.

    Brilliant, no?

  9. thoreau,

    You’re a man after my own heart. 🙂

  10. Waste, fraud, and abuse are our friends. Just think of the trouble we’d be in if we got all the government we pay for.

    Better to piss it away in Iraq than to spend it on what the Democratic senators want to spend it on.

  11. Bruce H.,

    Yeah, that’s one way to spin theft. 🙂

  12. Well, then, I guess the ideal government would be one in which every penny of the taxes (minus a little bit of money for defense and law enforcement) is put directly into the pockets of the politicians and their cronies, without any of the social engineering programs that they want to spend it on.

    Hey, isn’t that what Robert Mugabe is doing right now? And Yasser Arafat? Sweet!

  13. What? A government program that misappropriated large sums of money? Get the **** out of here.

  14. Did you hear that? I coulda swore I heard Ronald Reagan turning over in his grave…

  15. Saddam was much worse. ‘Nuf said! 🙂

  16. thoreau,

    Actually, as I recall the amount that has been claimed to have been skimmed off the oil for food program is well under a $1 billion. 🙂 So maybe Saddam wasn’t as a good a crook as some of these folks who were involved in America’s largesse in Iraq apparently were. 🙂

  17. “Better to piss it away in Iraq than to spend it on what the Democratic senators want to spend it on.”

    Uh, sarcasm, right?

    Some of this stuff has gotten so weird that I can’t tell anymore.

  18. I coulda swore I heard Ronald Reagan turning over in his grave

    You’re joking, right? Unless you mean that Ronnie would have wanted the ill-gotten gains to go to some “honorable” cause like bloodthirsty counter-terrorists in Nicaragua instead of being gifted to some worthy multi-millionaire.

  19. I’d be willing to bet that if we audited any government agency here in the US they would be unable to account for where all their money was spent. Not that it makes it ok, but is it really a shock to find out the CPA has messy books? Fraud waste and abuse? How else would you spend the money?

  20. “It ain’t just Chalabi, there are DOCUMENTS from the Oil Ministry.”

    Seen any? Got a link?

    I haven’t seen any. I can’t recall ever hearing from an actual journalist or investigator than they’ve seen any. I’ve seen Ahmed Chalabi telling people he’s seen them, and people who work closely with Chalabi saying they’ve seen them, and/or testifying that Chalabi can be believed. But we’ve seen where taking the advice of people who find Ahmed Chalabi credible will take us.

  21. It obviously went to their fledgling Olympic programs. They are currently set to medal in soccer and boxing. The funding had to come from somewhere. Hearts and minds anyone?

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