Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Noble Cause?

Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq

Perhaps this is what Casey Sheehan and his 1800 brethren died for:

It weighed 28 tons and took up as much room as 74 washing machines. It was $2.4 billion in $100 bills, and Baghdad needed it ASAP.
It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed.
Both Republicans and Democrats appeared taken aback by the volume of cash sent to Iraq: nearly $12 billion over the course of the U.S. occupation from March 2003 to June 2004, said a report by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), who had reviewed e-mails and documents subpoenaed from the bank.
Rep. Christopher Shays ( R-Conn.), chairman of the House national security subcommittee, criticized the Pentagon's handling of the money known as the Development Fund for Iraq.
"I can't believe that all this cash just floating around all went perfectly to the right place."

Those concerns were echoed by Democrats on the panel, who criticized Halliburton Co., the oil services firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Democrats repeatedly have questioned the use of the Iraqi funds to pay Halliburton, pointing to Pentagon audits that found the company might have overcharged as much as $200 million for fuel and other purchases.
There was "hardly any accountability," Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) said.

"In effect, we were handing out $100 bills on contracts like candy."
From the standpoint of the pigs at the trough once known as Congress, which are quite accustomed to $100 bills being handed out like confetti, it all makes sense: we were exporting an American way of life - theirs.


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