Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

06 February, 2007

In unmarked, non-sequential bills, please

Paul Bremer made an appearance before Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) House Oversight and Government Reform committee today. The lede in the WaPo was not kind:
The former U.S. occupation chief in Iraq on Tuesday defended the way he haphazardly doled out billions of dollars in Iraqi funds after the U.S. invasion as Democrats began a two-year effort to scrutinize fraud, waste and abuse under the Bush administration.

[...]

[Waxman alleged that] Bremer failed to establish any control over the money after 363 tons of cash was loaded onto airplanes and sent into the war zone in 2003. Waxman, one of the chief investigators for Democrats who took control of Congress this year, said U.S. officials had "no way of knowing whether the cash would wind up in enemy hands."

Am I reading this right? They just loaded tons of cash, literally, on to planes, flew them to Iraq, unloaded 'em and just left it at that? Holy shit!
Bremer, who was head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, said, "I arrived in Baghdad at a time when much of the city was burning. Looting was still widespread. My responsibilities were to kickstart the economy."

Maybe that was part of the problem. Instead of working to secure the country and engaging in the restoration of Iraqi civil society, Bremer thought it was his job to make manifest the AEI's free-market wet dream. We all know how that worked out.
The special inspector general for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, reported in January 2005 that $8.8 billion in the Iraqi funds could not be accounted for. Waxman said the total amount shipped to Iraq was $12 billion.

They have no idea what happened to almost three-quarters of the 12 billion dollars they shipped over there in airplane shaped suitcases. Again, holy shit!

The Waxman-led investigations, following the money in the most out-sourced war in our history, are going to be very interesting.

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