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Discussion Starter #1
Just when I thought I heard it all... This takes the cake...


"The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The money, which had been held by the United States, came from Iraqi oil exports, surplus dollars from the U.N.-run oil-for-food program and frozen assets belonging to the ousted Saddam Hussein regime.

Bills weighing a total of 363 tons were loaded onto military aircraft in the largest cash shipments ever made by the Federal Reserve, said Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," the California Democrat said during a hearing reviewing possible waste, fraud and abuse of funds in Iraq.

On December 12, 2003, $1.5 billion was shipped to Iraq, initially "the largest pay out of U.S. currency in Fed history," according to an e-mail cited by committee members.

It was followed by more than $2.4 billion on June 22, 2004, and $1.6 billion three days later. The CPA turned over sovereignty on June 28.

Paul Bremer, who as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority ran Iraq after initial combat operations ended, said the enormous shipments were done at the request of the Iraqi minister of finance.

"He said, 'I am concerned that I will not have the money to support the Iraqi government expenses for the first couple of months after we are sovereign. We won't have the mechanisms in place, I won't know how to get the money here,"' Bremer said.

"So these shipments were made at the explicit request of the Iraqi minister of finance to forward fund government expenses, a perfectly, seems to me, legitimate use of his money," Bremer told lawmakers.


Democrats led by Waxman also questioned whether the lack of oversight of $12 billion in Iraqi money that was disbursed by Bremer and the CPA somehow enabled insurgents to get their hands on the funds, possibly through falsifying names on the government payroll.

"I have no knowledge of monies being diverted. I would certainly be concerned if I thought they were," Bremer said. He pointed out that the problem of fake names on the payroll existed before the U.S.-led invasion.

The special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, said in a January 2005 report that $8.8 billion was unaccounted for after being given to the Iraqi ministries.

"We were in the middle of a war, working in very difficult conditions, and we had to move quickly to get this Iraqi money working for the Iraqi people," Bremer told lawmakers. He said there was no banking system and it would have been impossible to apply modern accounting standards in the midst of a war.

"I acknowledge that I made mistakes and that, with the benefit of hindsight, I would have made some decisions differently," Bremer said.

Republicans argued that Bremer and the CPA staff did the best they could under the circumstances and accused Democrats of trying to score political points over the increasingly unpopular Iraq war.

"We are in a war against terrorists, to have a blame meeting isn't, in my opinion, constructive," said Rep. Dan Burton (news, bio, voting record), an Indiana Republican."

This war is being run by absolute retards...

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8,433 Posts

This war is being run by absolute retards...

Pissed me off reading that. First thing I thought of was extortion. If money was wired to an account, it would be secured. Sending cash in to a war zone and it disappears? How convenient. Sounds like a scam. This is an example why we are getting our a$$es kicked over there. This whole thing has been mismanaged from the git go. Our troops are being used as target practice. The Iraqi leadership is going to turn on us, wait and see. They already are not helping like they should. The troops are doing the best they can with morons leading them. The money that "disappeared" is being used against us.

2,100 Posts
It's symbolic of the looting that's taking place in this country as a whole. The $600,000,000,000 on this stupid war. The record deficits. Yikes.

111 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I read about billions of dollars missing in Iraq years ago (early 2005) but GOP leaders in congress didn’t want to investigate it – IMO, might be embarrassing to them… And thus refused oversight… Just like the GOP ignored Tom Foley…


Alleging incompetence and cronyism, US House Democrats opened an investigation into billions of missing dollars meant for rebuilding Iraq under former Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer.
"There were extraordinary reports last fall that the CPA was filled with inexperienced and unqualified political cronies," House government reform committee head Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) said.
"This hearing will give us a chance to probe these allegations and find out what role incompetence and political cronyism played in the debacle that Iraq has become," he said.
Bremer served as the chief US civil administrator in Iraq from May 2003, shortly after the US-led invasion to topple late dictator Saddam Hussein, until June 2004. In December 2004, Bush honored Bremer with the Medal of Freedom.
But with the continuation of civil strife and the setbacks to rebuilding in Iraq nearly four years after the invasion, Bremer's work has come under deeper scrutiny.
In his first appearance before the Democratic-controlled Congress, Bremer admitted there had been problems.
"The prewar planning was inadequate," he offered in testimony to the committee.
But to an official audit that in January 2005 revealed the "disappearance" of some nine billion dollars under his responsibility in Iraq, Bremer testified: "I know of no person who spent some meaningful time in Iraq who thought it was possible, under the conditions we worked," to impose modern accounting practices on money the authority spent.
Bremer also took the blame for another of his controversial decisions, to remove members of Saddam's Baathist party from institutions, which analysts say has increased sectarian violence.
"The mistake I made was to let the Iraqi officials implement it," and they took de-Baathification farther than he had intended it.
"The CPA laid a solid foundation for waste and fraud, with its lack of transparency and accountability," said Democrat Lacy Clay said.
Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for the US Iraq authority, urged the committee to continue its work.
"This situation cries for more oversight, something that provides feedback to the interim government about how the money was used," he told the committee.
Republicans hinted Democrats were grandstanding in the hearings, which will continue through the week, taking aim at military contractors working in Iraq.

Somehow, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of what really has been happening over there…

Mismanagement like never before witnessed in the history of America…

Does anybody see a pattern here? Perhaps Katrina comes to mind…
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