Wednesday, February 4, 2009

GOP watched $12 billion in cash disappear in Iraq

[Guarding $12 billion in cash - photo from the guardian.co.uk)

I'd forgotten about this, but was forcefully reminded by Jon Ponder in a post at Pensito Review.

In 2003, it happened. Bush and his GOP cronies took almost "$12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent. The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee."

Why wasn't something done and the culprits hauled off to justice?

The GOP was in charge! You know, the same SOBs that are now fighting the stimulus bill claiming, as usual, that it includes too much wasteful spending. Hah!

Ponder notes further how incredibly stupid it is for the Dems to allow themselves to be put on the defensive about the stimulus bill "by the same Republicans, who, with George Bush, ran the national debt into the trillions in just six short years."

In fact, says Ponder, "this would be a good time to remind Sen. McConnell, Rep. Boehner and the rest that it was they who sat idly by while Bush's men shrink-wrapped $12 billion in U.S. currency -- 363 tons of $100 bills - loaded it onto pallets and flew it on transport planes into the Iraq war zone in mid-2003.

"The money vanished into thin air, and Republicans have stonewalled Democrats' efforts to find out what happened to it ever since."


Ponder's article is here. A more detailed article by the guardian.co.uk. is here.

4 comments:

Bob Poris said...

That is why it is so important for the Attorney General to be able to call witnesses and find out what happened and how it happened. If laws were broken there should be an investigation. If it was just sloppy paperwork, it should be known so the problems can be fixed. I do not think the Republicans should object to honest investigations. If they do, find out why? We still have troops in two places and have no way of knowing if the abuses have stopped. No one should be above the law!!!

Anonymous said...

Been there... Seen the money disappear first hand. It's a combination of terrible tracking mechanisms/paperwork and a little bit of fraud. A lot of cash was given to the Iraqi leadership for legitmate that was just never properly documented. The reason no one wants to approach the subject is that no one can document where the money went.

I can honestly say that this is not a republican/democrat issue. This is an Army issue with their poor internal controls and procedures. The same thing would've happened if a different party was in power.

Jacob said...

Anon - You may be right. But what the hell are we doing hauling $12 billion IN CASH around the world and then handing it out like a Mafia payout?

There's got to be a better way to do business. And maybe smarter people in charge of our government would have figured out that better way.

Bob Poris said...

I am not so sure this would have happened under a different administration or either party. The Bush administration has shown itself to be totally inefficient when it regarded money and the occupation of Iraq. Inexperienced kids were sent to rebuild cities, utilities etc. Many had no experience in construction, administration, etc. They were selected because they were loyal Republicans! We never sent such people to rebuild Europe, Korea or Viet Nam. We used private contractors to take over jobs that were done by the military before Congressman Cheney changed that system just before retiring and taking a wonderful job at Halliburton WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN BUSINESS, LET ALONE THE SPECIALIZED WORK Halliburton does.

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