$6.6 Billion Missing From Iraq; May Have Been Stolen
Stuart Bowen (pictured), special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, says this could be “the largest theft of funds in national history.” Federal auditors are saying, for the first time, that the funds may have been stolen.
Some U.S. contractors were accused of siphoning off tens of millions in kickbacks and graft during the post-invasion period, especially in its chaotic early days. But Iraqi officials were viewed as prime offenders…
…U.S. officials often didn’t have time or staff to keep strict financial controls. Millions of dollars were stuffed in gunnysacks and hauled on pickups to Iraqi agencies or contractors, officials have testified.
House Government Reform Committee investigators charged in 2005 that U.S. officials “used virtually no financial controls to account for these enormous cash withdrawals once they arrived in Iraq, and there is evidence of substantial waste, fraud and abuse in the actual spending and disbursement of the Iraqi funds.”
…Iraqi officials argue that the U.S. government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq. That makes Washington responsible, they say.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Liberaland