The Defense Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Development Fund for Iraq monies it received for reconstruction in Iraq, reports Federal News Radio today.
The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) issued a report today that claims a “weakness” in the DoD’s “financial and management controls left it unable to properly account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in DFI funds.” The money vanished “because most DoD organizations receiving DFI funds did not establish the required Department of the Treasury accounts and no DoD organization was designated as the executive agent for managing the use of DFI funds,” explains the Inspector General. “The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss.”
DFI revenue is generated from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas from Iraq, and surplus funds from the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program as well as frozen Iraqi assets, according to SIGIR.
If you believe the money was simply lost through shoddy accounting practices, you may also be interested in a bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn. Simply put, the money was pilfered.
You may recall then Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s admission on September 10, 2001, that the Pentagon lost $2.3 trillion. This money was supposed to go for our “national defense” against CIA assets like Osama bin Laden and tin horn dictators like Saddam Hussein and the mental case Kim Jong-Il.
It became a non-story of little interest the next day when cave Muslims violated the laws of physics and supposedly attacked us for our freedom. It now basically resides in the corporate media memory hole.
$2.3 trillion amounts to $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
Nobody knows exactly where the $2.3 trillion went. But some think it was siphoned off through companies like DynCorp, AMS, and Lockheed Martin, which control the bookkeeping for federal agencies, where fraud is rampant, unchecked and very lucrative for corporate and government insiders, writes Uri Dowbenko. “The fraud is so egregious, in fact, that the sovereignty of the nation itself can be questioned when bogus accounting systems can mask the revenue streams and expenditures of federal agencies to such an extent.”
At the time the money disappeared, Dov Zakheim was the Comptroller of the Pentagon. In addition to serving as a member of the notorious Project for a New American Century, Zakheim was chummy with the military-industrial merchants of death complex. He was an executive at System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor specializing in electronic warfare technologies including remote-controlled aircraft systems.
Fraud and thievery is rampant in Iraq. In June, it was reported that tens of millions of dollars in federal property went missing or unaccounted for at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. A report from the State Department revealed that 159 of the embassy’s 1,168 vehicles, worth $18.5 million, are unaccounted for and pays nearly $270,000 per year in charges for more than 2,000 cell phones that have not been registered to authorized users, according to the Associated Press.
Money slotted for Iraq development — rebuilding what the Pentagon destroyed — has a funny way of disappearing. Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad. More than $9 billion went missing. “The simple truth about the missing money is the same one that applies to so much else about the American occupation of Iraq. The U.S. government never did care about accounting for those Iraqi billions and it doesn’t care now. It cares only about ensuring that an accounting does not occur,” write Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele for Vanity Fair.
Grilled by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the former Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Paul Bremer, told Rep. Henry Waxman that if the cash had gone to “ghost employees” he would have known about it. Bremer sheepishly told Rep. Dennis Kucinich he had no idea where the money went.
Instead of launching a criminal investigation and tracking down the thieves, the SIGIR study suggests “that the Secretary of Defense create new accounting and reporting procedures to avoid such mistakes in the future. It also recommends designating an executive agent to oversee progress, establishing measurable milestones, and determining whether any DoD organizations are still holding DFI funds.”
In other words, the solution is to have the same pack of wolves watch over the chicken coop.
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