Pentagon Admits $6 Billion In Cash Was Stolen In Iraq

419-iraq-moneyThey shouldn’t beat themselves up over it — just yesterday it took me twenty minutes to find my keys. The Los Angeles Times reports:

In the year after the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration flooded the conquered country with cash to pay for reconstruction — wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload 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.

This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash. For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said the missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

Theft of such a staggering sum might seem unlikely, but U.S. officials aren’t ruling it out. 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.

Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records. But repeated attempts to find the documentation, or better yet the cash, were fruitless.

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. Abdul Basit Turki Saeed, Iraq’s chief auditor, has warned U.S. officials that his government will go to court if necessary to recoup the missing money.

“Clearly Iraq has an interest in looking after its assets and protecting them,” said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States.

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  • jfs950

    Foreign aid in U.S. dollars?  I guess if one were to purchase something from the black market, they would need cash…  

  • jfs950

    Foreign aid in U.S. dollars?  I guess if one were to purchase something from the black market, they would need cash…  

  • Mamagriff50

    Puleeze…..We are not idiots…The war machine put the money where they wanted it…..Not where it was legally supose to go. Were suppose to just sit back and accept their story about lost/stolen money. I don’t think so. Wake up people.

  • Mamagriff50

    Puleeze…..We are not idiots…The war machine put the money where they wanted it…..Not where it was legally supose to go. Were suppose to just sit back and accept their story about lost/stolen money. I don’t think so. Wake up people.

  • Tyler Durden

    “The largest theft of funds in national history.” 

    No, that would be the $700 billion Banker bailout.

  • Tyler Durden

    “The largest theft of funds in national history.” 

    No, that would be the $700 billion Banker bailout.

  • Tyler Durden

    “The largest theft of funds in national history.” 

    No, that would be the $700 billion Banker bailout.

  • Tyler Durden

    “The largest theft of funds in national history.” 

    No, that would be the $700 billion Banker bailout.

  • FeathermerchantUSMC

    Whew!!! That’s a relief.
    I thought it was pissed away on welfare moms, veterans services and grammar school improvements.
    Thank Odin it went to someone who could appreciate it!!

  • FeathermerchantUSMC

    Whew!!! That’s a relief.
    I thought it was pissed away on welfare moms, veterans services and grammar school improvements.
    Thank Odin it went to someone who could appreciate it!!

  • Vicki

    I’m confused. We took 12-billion dollars to Iraq which it seems they were in possession of when ‘lost’ and now they are threatening the U.S. to go to court to recoup the missing money? I wonder if I can take my creditors to court and sue them for money I squandered.

  • Vicki

    I’m confused. We took 12-billion dollars to Iraq which it seems they were in possession of when ‘lost’ and now they are threatening the U.S. to go to court to recoup the missing money? I wonder if I can take my creditors to court and sue them for money I squandered.

  • KxBk6U

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was found somewhere connected to Bush/Cheney?

    • jackedu317

      you mean like Halliburton…

  • KxBk6U

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was found somewhere connected to Bush/Cheney?

  • jackedu317

    watch IRAQ FOR SALE.

  • jackedu317

    watch IRAQ FOR SALE.

  • DrDavidKelly

    Did they check in between the cushions on the couch of Airforce 1? I was looking there the other day in my own couch and found enough money for a bottle of beer!

  • David

    Did they check in between the cushions on the couch of Airforce 1? I was looking there the other day in my own couch and found enough money for a bottle of beer!

  • David

    Did they check in between the cushions on the couch of Airforce 1? I was looking there the other day in my own couch and found enough money for a bottle of beer!

  • David

    Did they check in between the cushions on the couch of Airforce 1? I was looking there the other day in my own couch and found enough money for a bottle of beer!

  • jackedu317

    you mean like Halliburton…

  • Curumim

    No surprise there. US gov has become a pirate estate since ages ago. You people attack a country, loot it and pretend that it was all for a good cause, the good fight. Lets see how you people will manage to loot Libya. And dont try to use the escuse that it was your gov that did it all since the gov is suposed to represent its people, if you americans didint bother to all monstruosity that you country unleash onto the world its because you people agrred whith it. If you people didnt agreed whith what your gov did e is still doin you people would put a stop to it ages ago.

  • Curumim

    No surprise there. US gov has become a pirate estate since ages ago. You people attack a country, loot it and pretend that it was all for a good cause, the good fight. Lets see how you people will manage to loot Libya. And dont try to use the escuse that it was your gov that did it all since the gov is suposed to represent its people, if you americans didint bother to all monstruosity that you country unleash onto the world its because you people agrred whith it. If you people didnt agreed whith what your gov did e is still doin you people would put a stop to it ages ago.