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

Posted on June 15, 2011

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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.

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