Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Guardian - How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish:
"To oversee the expenditure the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] was supposed to appoint an independent certified public accounting firm. Instead the CPA hired an obscure consulting firm called North Star Consultants Inc. The firm was so small that it reportedly operates out of a private home in San Diego. Mr Bowen found that the company 'did not perform a review of internal controls as required by the contract'.

However, evidence before the committee suggests that senior American officials were unconcerned about the situation because the billions were not US taxpayers' money. Paul Bremer, the head of the CPA, reminded the committee that 'the subject of today's hearing is the CPA's use and accounting for funds belonging to the Iraqi people held in the so-called Development Fund for Iraq. These are not appropriated American funds. They are Iraqi funds. I believe the CPA discharged its responsibilities to manage these Iraqi funds on behalf of the Iraqi people.'

Bremer's financial adviser, retired Admiral David Oliver, is even more direct. The memorandum quotes an interview with the BBC World Service. Asked what had happened to the $8.8bn he replied: 'I have no idea. I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it's important.'

Q: 'But the fact is billions of dollars have disappeared without trace.'

Oliver: 'Of their money. Billions of dollars of their money, yeah I understand. I'm saying what difference does it make?'"

It will be interesting to see how the supporters of the administration spin this away. Most likely they will simply ignore it and watch the story just fade away since it's not exactly tearing up the American press. So the plan was to just dump billions of dollars of American bills paid for by Iraq into the hands of random Iraqi's? And that would jump start the economy? That would rebuild the infrastructure? That would provide the clean water and consistent power? And it didn't matter, STILL doesn't matter, who got the money? AND THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL IN CHARGE???

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