Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Iraq was a bottomless pit of money for grabs

Budget Cuts?? Hell, We’ve Lost More Money Than That.

Here is a picture showing the size of a billion dollars in 100 dollar bills, relative to a person. Those smaller stacks in front of the huge pallets of bills are 1000 dollars and 1 million dollars, again in 100 dollar bills.

During the earlier part of the Iraq war, seems the operation was “cash strapped” so to speak because they needed some money to throw around. But this is not the kind of cash strapped that you or I could just go the ATM machine a couple of times for. This was SERIOUS CASH STRAPPED.

So the U.S. government decided to send off some money to Iraq in some military cargo planes. Pallets and pallets of 100 dollar bills loaded up into c-130 Hercules transport planes. Now I don’t know if everyone has seen the size of a C-130 plane but it is HUGE! They put tanks and helicopters in these things, no problem.

The amount of cash sent over? Around 12 billion dollars in 100 dollar bills, 361 tons of 100 dollar bills for a total of 21 loaded C-130 planes of cash. The largest transfer of cash in the history of the United States by far!

Do you want to know something crazier? They don’t know where most of it went.

Poof… gone… disappeared. As Rep. Waxman asked in 2007:
“Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?”

12 Billion dollars! 

Let’s add up some numbers to show just how large 12 billion dollars can be.

How about we use the new deficit reduction bill and add up all the cuts to various agencies. I mean… it was so important to get these cuts in that the government basically shut down from doing anything else for weeks.
List of some cuts in the  Continuing Resolution Discretionary Budget Bill


The Department of Labor is set to lose $870 million for the rest of the fiscal year from job training and creation programs,community college curriculum for dislocated workers and a fund that aims to prepare workers for new green jobs.


The Women, Infants and Children program – which provides food and infant formula to low-income families- would receive $504 million less than it did last year.


The National Science Foundation would take a cut of $53 million which means it would fund 134 fewer grants to outside researchers than it did in fiscal year 2010. That cut would translate to a loss of NSF support for 1,500 researchers and support personal.


The resolution would cut $942 million from the funds enacted in fiscal 2010 for the Community Development Fund, which includes block grants designed to help rehabilitate housing and invest in primarily low-income neighborhoods.


Ha Ha… made you look. You don’t think any cuts are going to come from here did you? The Defense Department would be allocated $513 billion, a $5 billion increase from 2010 levels.
Okay, what does that add up to? WHAT? We’re only 2.37 billion and that’s only 4 C-130 transport planes worth. We still got lots more to equal those 20 planes.


$148 million would be cut from programs to help juveniles avoid the criminal justice system


The measure would cut about 15 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency budget, decimating a program that provides money to states to reduce water pollution for a total of 1.35 billion dollars


The Department of the Interior could soon be prohibited from enforcing rules that protect animals such as wolves. Also a program that helps recover endangered species was slashed by $25 million, a 31 percent cut. And a wildlife grant that helps states manage at-risk species before they become endangered would be sliced by $28 million, also a 31 percent cut. Total of 53 million.


Cuts of $16.5 million from programs developing technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants and $6.3 million from nuclear energy programs. Apparently those “Carbon Emission Free” nuclear plants take priority over…carbon emissions.
So that brings the total of the amount of cuts to 3.92 billion dollars. But still not even close to that Iraq cash flotilla of 12 billion


This well oiled machine is not going to receive any cuts at all. The Securities and Exchange Commission would receive a 7 percent increase in its budget or 1.185 billion to the agency, an increase of $74 million above the 2010 levels.

What could they possibly need more money for? Certainly not for audit forms or criminal investigations. Keep up the good work, you eagle eyed guardians of the wealthy.

U.S. Iraq inspector general report that concluded this week that $6.6 billion in shrink-wrapped cash the U.S. government previously feared had gone missing in the chaotic early days of the Iraq occupation has in fact been safely accounted for.
"The mystery of $6 billion that seemed to go missing in the early days of the Iraq war has been resolved, according to a new report," CNN national security producer Charles Keyes reported Wednesday. "New evidence shows most of that money, $6.6 billion, did not go astray in that chaotic period, but ended up where it was supposed to be, under the control of the Iraqi government, according to a report from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction or SIGIR."
Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, had previously testified that as much as $6.6 billion of the $10 billion the United States shipped to Iraq had disappeared due to "weaknesses in [the Department of Defense's] financial and management controls," Keyes wrote, citing the bureaucratese from a previous SIGIR report.

The cash had in part been drawn from Iraq's own international assets, accrued during the pre-war, UN-run Oil for Food program. It was flown to Iraq in the wake of the U.S. 2003 invasion; the idea was that it would help pay for the Iraq reconstruction and development efforts under the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-led occupation outfit that dissolved in 2004. The original idea was to store most of the money in accounts in the Central Bank of Iraq; U.S. occupation authorities also apparently stored a few hundred million in a vault at one of Saddam Hussein's palaces they used as their headquarters for various cash needs.
After the Coalition Provision Authority dissolved in 2004, however, it wasn't clear where the funds had gone, the previous SIGIR report said. But apparently, the money was properly transferred to accounts held at the Central Bank of Iraq, the new SIGIR report found.

"But the inspector general's new report says almost all the $6.6 billion was properly handed over to Iraq and its Central Bank," Keyes writes. "'SIGIR was able to account for the unexpected [Development Fund of Iraq] funds remaining in DFI accounts when the [Coalition Provisional Authority] dissolved in June 2004,' the new report says. 'Sufficient evidence exists showing that almost all of the remaining $6.6 billion remaining was transferred to actual and legal [Central Bank of Iraq] control.'"

This is not to say that the mystery of all the billions and billions the U.S. spent in Iraq has been entirely resolved. The SIGIR report says that inspectors are still trying to piece together the fate of some of the few hundred million that U.S. officials stowed at one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.

"While the bulk of the money was transferred to the Central Bank of Iraq, $217 million remained in a vault in a former presidential palace and was held by the U.S. Defense Department and most was doled out for a variety of projects and payrolls, the report says," Keyes reported. A February 2008 SIGIR audit found that $24.45 million of the $217 million stored at the palace vault remained, and was later turned over to Iraq.

The next SIGIR report on DoD spending on contracting projects in Iraq is expected in January 2012--after the formal withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from the country.

190,000 weapons 'missing in Iraq'

The US military cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to the Iraqi security forces, an official US report says.The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Pentagon cannot track about 30% of the weapons distributed in Iraq over the past three years.
The Pentagon did not dispute the figures, but said it was reviewing arms deliveries procedures.
About $19.2bn has been spent by the US since 2003 on Iraqi security forces.
GAO, the investigative arm of the US Congress, said at least $2.8bn of this money was used to buy and deliver weapons and other equipment.
Correspondents say it is now feared many of the weapons are being used against US forces on the ground in Iraq.
The GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005.
AK-47 rifles: 110,000
Pistols: 80,000
Body armour pieces: 135,000
Helmets: 115,000
During this period, security training was led by Gen David Petraeus, who now commands all US forces in Iraq.
The GAO reached the estimate - 111,000 missing AK-47s and 80,000 missing pistols - by comparing the property records of the Multi-National Security Transition Command for Iraq against records maintained by Gen Petraeus of the arms and equipment he ordered.
Deputy Assistant Defence Secretary Mark Kimmitt told AFP the Pentagon was "reviewing policies and procedures to ensure US-funded equipment reaches the intended Iraqi security forces under the Iraq program".
Weapons delay
The report comes as a political battle rages in Washington over the progress of the war in Iraq.
Gen Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are scheduled to report to Congress by mid-September on the success of efforts to halt sectarian violence and return Iraq to viable self-governance.
Meanwhile, at the end of July, the US Defence Department admitted that the US-led coalition in Iraq had failed to deliver nearly two-thirds of the equipment it promised to Iraq's army.
The Pentagon said only 14.5m of the nearly 40m items of equipment ordered by the Iraqi army had been provided.
The US military commander in charge of training in Iraq has asked for help in speeding up the transfer of equipment.
Iraq's ambassador to the US said the delays were hindering the fighting capacity of its armed forces. | A documentary on the privatisation of the Iraq war and the problems such policies have led to not least of all the creation of the militrary industrial complex. 

No comments:

Post a Comment