Third Party & Independents Archives

Fed conducts THIRD ‘probe’ of billions ‘missing’ from Iraq War funding

The U.S. official in charge of the funds that flow into Iraq has confirmed that $6.7 Billion, ear-marked for Iraqi re-construction, is missing and likely stolen. And that the $6.7 Billion is part of a larger $27.2 Billion sent to Iraq in cash that is simply “unaccounted for.”

According to CBS News, the inspector general for Iraq Stuart Bowen said Monday that he is carrying out a third audit (not counting the two conducted by his predecessor which generated a findings report that Dick Cheney immediately classified "Top Secret: Presidential Eyes Only") to see if it might determine what happened to $27.2 billion in cash that was flown into Iraq nearly nine years ago and inexplicably vanished from the Halliburton loading docks less than 12 hours after it arrived.

"It has not been properly accounted for," said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

The money -- which belonged to Iraq -- was part of a massive delivery of cash that was shipped into war-torn Baghdad in bricks of hundred-dollar bills. They were shrink-wrapped, stacked on palettes and flown in U.S. military cargo planes and delivered, under U.S. military guard to the loading docks of the main Halliburton compound in Baghdad. The cash was supposed to be stored in the Central Bank of Iraq to pay for reconstruction. But the money never got that far. Less than a sunset after it arrived into Halliburton's control, it "mysteriously disappeared."

Bowen blamed the system that existed then. "The system was too loose and unregulated in 2003 and 2004," he said. "Billions of dollars being flown into a war zone; an insurgency exploding into a civil war; and fairly continuous turnover in government ministers and ministry personnel presented an atmosphere that some have described as Wild West-like and I think that's a fair description."

Bowen said he did not want to speculate on who the potential criminals might be. During 2003 and 2004, he said, the money was under the aegis of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the entity created by the United States to govern Iraq after the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The Coalition Provisional Authority was engineered and managed by ... wait for it ... Halliburton executives appointed by Dick Cheney.

But to this day, the Pentagon has been neither able, nor willing, to explain just how Halliburton gained possession of all that money when neither the United States Congress nor the Iraqi government authorized its transfer to Halliburton in the first place.

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the George W. Bush administration flooded the conquered country with so much cash to pay for reconstruction and other projects in the first year that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full plane-load of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

There are three treasure chests that the Occupation authorities are allowed to dip their hands into. The $87 billion appropriation that Congress granted to the Bush administration in September 2003 was divided into two funds: the bigger chunk, some $65 billion, for military operations and $18.4 billion for reconstruction. The Development Fund of Iraq (a.k.a. the revenues accrued from the sale of Iraqi oil) is the third treasure chest.

Treasure Chest No. 1 was quickly diverted to Halliburton for "operational costs." And the Pentagon just as quickly exceeded this allotment by an estimated $12 billion in less than 60 days. This appropriation has been the source of most of the money spent in Iraq. It is also the money that has been subjected to a series of careful audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress), and Stuart Bowen's team of auditors in Baghdad – all of whom have fiercely criticized Halliburton for its pricing and spending practices. Not one of the DCAA's reports have been officially adopted into federal action.

The CPA barely touched the $18.4 billion allocated by Congress for reconstruction (Treasure Chest No. 2) because of stringent bidding and oversight requirements to prevent fraud or waste. Many of the reconstruction bills were instead paid for with revenue from the sale of Iraqi oil (Treasure Chest No. 3). The vast majority of this money was literally handed to Halliburton for the repair of the oil infrastructure; a much smaller amount was simply handed out in cash to local Iraqis by soldiers as part of the "winning their hearts and minds" initiative.

And while every daily newscast is headlined by red-flagged reports on politicians' "urgent" efforts to control spending and battle our $14 Trillion debt, with 10 seconds of effort, we can see exactly how, why and when this kind of blatant theft was allowed to happen.

Back on September 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reported that $2.3 *TRILLION* in Pentagon funding was missing and unaccounted for, and he vowed to get to the bottom of it. Then 9/11 happened, and Rumsfeld did a literal 180 and declared that the Pentagon needed cash - more than $48 Billion more immediately - just to "get the Pentagon's house in order."

Interestingly enough, the exact spot the Pentagon was supposedly attacked by a "rogue missile" on 9/11 was precisely the location where all computer records and files pertaining to the missing $2.3 Trillion was stored, and conveniently destroyed. Quite a coincidence; much like how Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed two days after 9/11 for no logical, structural or discernible reason whatsoever and that WTC7 just happened to be the storehouse for all records and bookkeeping for many of the United States' largest oil companies and banks. Add in the fact that the owner of WTC7 had inexplicably (and later deemed needlessly by insurance authorities) taken out a $20 Billion fire and damage policy on that building just two months prior; and you've got quite a fascinating little conspiracy theory to work with.

Bowen said the missing cash "may be the largest theft of funds in national history."

My question is, "Why send U.S. hundred-dollar bills?"

The official reason given was that the banking system in Iraq was a mess and there was no effective and safeguarded way to distribute pay to Iraqi workers. But why American dollars in cash? Certainly Iraq was not using U.S. dollars when Saddam Hussein was in power. Doesn't it just seem painfully logical that injecting U.S. dollars would be more disruptive than helpful in recovering the Iraqi economy since it automatically ensures that Iraqis would have to have that cash converted to Iraqi Dinars? And how easy would that mass conversion of money be if "the banking system in Iraq was a mess"?

However, since US dollars are a world standard (at least for now), $27.2 Billion cash in unmarked, easy to spend small bills sure would be useful to anyone who wanted to spend (or bank) the money anywhere they want.

I understand that Swiss and Cayman Island banks just love storing hundred-dollar bills in their vaults for their "premiere" and undisclosed account holders.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at June 15, 2011 11:22 AM
Comment #324481

The crime of the century:

“Money also disappeared in truckloads and by helicopter. The CPA reportedly distributed funds to contractors in bags off the back of a truck. In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the courier’s name or provide a good description of him.”

I often wonder. Who was that guy? What did he do with the money? Did he get away with it?

Here is two-time Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler’s summary of war:

“WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

Iraq was a criminal enterprise on a massive scale.

Posted by: phx8 at June 15, 2011 12:25 PM
Comment #324488

I can think of no citizenry more deserving of being ripped off in this manner.

Posted by: jlw at June 15, 2011 4:15 PM
Comment #324490

Really, maybe we should sit here and talk about it more.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 4:55 PM
Comment #324496

The time to talk is before capitulation. The only think left to do after capitulation is elect more Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by: jlw at June 15, 2011 5:56 PM
Comment #324500

Gary St. Lawrence, are you saying the U.S. official in charge of the funds that flow into Iraq is Stuart Bowen?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 6:55 PM
Comment #324503

Did he lose it in 2003 and 2004? I thought we went over this. Would you stand up and hand out dollars in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, Gary St. Lawrence?

I don’t think you would.

Are you crying over spilt milk, Gary St. Lawrence?

I think so.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 6:59 PM
Comment #324505

Don’t you know the families of the 9/11 victims don’t want to hear about conspiracy theories, Gary St. Lawrence!

There is nothing worse than even suggesting the 9/11 attack was a conspiracy. Those buildings fell because they pancaked onto each other. There’s no other way they could have fell down like that.

You’re starting to sound like Rosie O’donnel and Charlie Sheen!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 7:13 PM
Comment #324506


Maybe we got ripped off.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 7:17 PM
Comment #324507

You’re all frackin’ cowards for not realizing our country is being taken from us.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 15, 2011 7:50 PM
Comment #324519

Weary Willie,

Why don’t you try reading what’s actually written once in awhile, instead of just the words that conveniently fit into your limited vocabulary and comprehension.

Stuart Bowen is the US special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. All the news articles today cite him. You do the math as to whether he is the U.S. official in charge of the funds that flow into Iraq.

And before you spank yourself into another misinformed frenzy, try reading up on what happened to WTC7 before you go making more asinine statements about the buildings pancaking into each other. WQTC7”>”>WQTC7 was *MANUALLY IMPLODED BY A DEMOLITIONS TEAM, hired by the building’s owner, Larry Silverstein. WTC7 was never hit by any aircraft, no debris, and no large-scale fires that could cause structural damage.

Silverstein took out a $20 Billion insurance policy just six weeks before 9/11 and it has been documented that he hired a demolition team to wire and implode the building at 5:20 pm on 9/11.

If you’re naive enough to watch WTC7 drop in 7 seconds in exactly the same manner as a Las Vegas hotel being imploded, then you’re too stupid to argue with in the first place.

Nowhere in my post did I say or imply that the Twin Towers were part of any conspiracy. But WTC7 was insurance fraud, plain, simple and proven.

And all your pathetic and childish frightwing troll baiting won’t change that.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at June 16, 2011 12:05 AM
Comment #324560

I don’t get it, Gary St. Lawrence. You’re saying the WTC7 was a conspiracy but the twin towers weren’t?

They happened on the same day! They all fell the same way! How do you separate the twin towers from WTC7? How can you say the twin towers was different from WTC7?

I’m on your side with this issue, Gary St. Lawrence. I forgot the to put a sark tag in my previous comment. I guess that confused you.

9/11 was a controlled demolition of an out-of-date building that was almost 50% unoccupied. They needed to come down and be replaced, but the person you insist is responsible for fraud chose to make money off of a fraud, our government chose to start wars off of a fraud, and we are too ignorant and apathetic to realize it.

We are reduced to bickering amongst ourselves while the perpetrators of this fraud enjoy an undeserved freedom to benefit from it and perhaps do it again!

What happened to the Federal Reserve’s gold that was stored there, Gary St. Lawrence? Do you think they made 150 billion dollars worth of trinkets out of that gold? Or, did someone cart it away before the planes hit the buildings.

We should be asking questions and expecting answers that make sense, Gary St. Lawrence. Not bickering amongst ourselves and chastizing people who do.

That’s why I use the word coward.

I’m not afraid to ask these questions. I’m not afraid to question authority. Are you?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 16, 2011 7:37 PM
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