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US: Iraq reconstruction billions 'may have been stolen'

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    14 June 2011 Last updated at 12:47 ET [h=1]US: Iraq reconstruction billions 'may have been stolen'[/h][​IMG]
    Mr Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said a third audit is being carried out

    Some $6.6bn (£4bn) flown into Iraq eight years ago may have been stolen, according to a US official investigating fraud in the country.
    The missing money may represent "the largest theft of funds in national history", investigator Stuart Bowen told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
    A third audit is being conducted to find the money, which was shipped from the US between 2003-2004, he said.
    The cash, which belonged to Iraq, was intended to pay for reconstruction.
    The money came from a special fund set up by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with Iraq's own money, which was previously withheld from the country under harsh economic sanctions imposed against Saddam Hussein's regime.
    The funds were airlifted aboard C-130 military cargo planes by the Bush administration in shrink-wrapped bricks, as part of a $20bn reconstruction package.

    'Loose and unregulated' Mr Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, blamed the system that existed at that time for the missing money.
    "The system was too loose and unregulated in 2003 and 2004," he said.
    The Los Angeles Times reported that some officials in Baghdad have threatened to take the US government to court to reclaim the missing cash, which primarily came from Iraqi oil sales.
    Mr Bowen did not speculate on who he believed may have made off with the loot.
    "But this money was delivered to Iraqi control, and we have in the past had a number of cases reported to us about interim ministers who did steal," he said.
    Pentagon officials have said for the past six years that they could account for the money if provided with enough time to track down the records.
  2. AshaDii

    AshaDii Platinum Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    That is where the US officials/Government always sound fishy in such matters because at present Hosni Mubarak is of no use to them thus the investigation. Of course Mubarak has been doing this siphoning for years and they knew (partner in crime in fact to the people of Egypt..); I am in fact very impressed with how Egypt is handling the issue for it is an old time story were we always here frauds of milllions in pounds and dollars but they just let go of the sit but not what they got while in the sit. The US have been said to have head been aware since Regan's time (late 70s..) HAYA mambo ya US na mambo of their interference always has to do with what they wll get at end of the day!! the part of the story below shows how they have always been tangled with Gaddafi as well as Mubarak though then declared as the bag of Anwar Sadat PLEASE observe the following;

    White House Knowledge The mysterious fortune of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak got an early boost from millions of dollars in cash bribes delivered by CIA-connected arms merchants in the late 1970s

    Former CIA officers Thomas Clines and Edwin P. Wilson claimed that President Ronald Reagan’s White House knew of the bribery and how much Mubarak and Sadat walked away with. Besides helping Sadat and Mubarak build their personal fortunes, the cash from the EATSCO deal strengthened their ties to the U.S. government, according to Wilson. However, the sweetheart EATSCO contract ran into trouble in the early 1980s when Pentagon investigators found that EATSCO had skimmed some $8 million from U.S. weapons sales. As a result of the investigation, EATSCO paid over $3 million in penalties. Clines was personally assessed $110,000 for filing false invoices. Hussein Salem, a close friend and associate of Mubarak’s, pleaded guilty and paid a $40,000 fine.

    In that same time frame, Wilson was arrested on charges of shipping explosives to Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya. Though Wilson claimed he was sent to Libya by senior CIA official Ted Shackley to spy on Gadhafi’s terrorist operations, a CIA affidavit was submitted at Wilson’s trial denying any substantive CIA contacts with Wilson after his intelligence career officially ended in 1976. At the 1983 trial, that affidavit persuaded the jury that the CIA had not authorized Wilson’s assistance to Gadhafi. The ex-CIA officer was convicted and sentenced to 52 years in prison. However, in 2003, Wilson managed to pry loose an internal memo describing doubts among government lawyers regarding the truthfulness of the affidavit. The lawyers nevertheless had used it to secure Wilson’s conviction.

    The discovery of this prosecutorial abuse – after Wilson had been imprisoned for two decades, including much of it in the high-security prison in Marion, Illinois – led a furious U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes to vacate Wilson’s conviction for selling military items to Libya.
    “There were, in fact, over 80 contacts, including actions parallel to those in the charges,” Hughes declared. “The government discussed among dozens of its officials and lawyers whether to correct the testimony. No correction was made.”

    Editor’s Note: After publication of this story, former U.S. intelligence officer Edwin Wilson contacted us and disputed the quotes and other comments attributed to him. When asked about Wilson's complaint, author Morgan Strong said he stands by the accuracy of the quotes.
  3. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jun 20, 2011
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    [h=1]Iraq hunting $17 billion missing after U.S. invasion[/h][​IMG]

    By Waleed Ibrahim Waleed Ibrahim– Sun Jun 19, 2:16 pm ET

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq's parliament is chasing about $17 billion of Iraqi oil money it says was stolen after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and has asked the United Nations for help to track it down.

    The missing money was shipped to Iraq from the United States to help with reconstruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

    In a letter to the U.N. office in Baghdad last month, parliament's Integrity Committee asked for help to find and recover the oil money taken from the Development Fund of Iraq (DFI) in 2004 and lost in the chaos that followed the invasion.

    "All indications are that the institutions of the United States of America committed financial corruption by stealing the money of the Iraqi people, which was allocated to develop Iraq, (and) that it was about $17 billion," said the letter sent to the U.N. with a 50-page report.
    The committee called the disappearance of the money a "financial crime" but said U.N. Security Council resolutions prevent Iraq from making a claim against the United States.
    "Our committee decided to send this issue to you ... to look into it and restore the stolen money," said the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
    U.N. officials were not immediately available for comment.

    The DFI was established in 2003 at the request of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the U.S. body headed by Paul Bremer that governed Iraq after the invasion. The fund was to be used to pay the salaries and pensions of Iraqi government workers and for reconstruction projects.
    In 2004, the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush flew billions of dollars in cash into Iraq. The money came from the sale of Iraqi oil, surplus funds from the U.N. oil-for-food program and seized Iraqi assets.
    Last July, an audit report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said the U.S. Department of Defense was unable to account properly for $8.7 billion of Iraqi oil and gas money after the 2003 invasion.

    Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Al Jazeera television on Sunday: "No one on the Iraqi side was controlling the work of Paul Bremer at that time. So I think the administration of the United States needs to give the answers for where and how this (money) was being used.
    "We do understand that Iraqis are also engaged in such lack of transparency and corruption related to the Paul Bremer time in Iraq," he added.

    Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraq's parliament speaker, said a committee was investigating what happened to some $20 billion of DFI money.
    "Some of these funds were spent and are documented. But some do not have such documents," he said. "We as a parliament are working together with the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audits and with coordination of SIGIR to know where this money ended up."

    The appeal to the United Nations could help Iraq recover its money by putting its case before the international community, said Bahaa al-Araji, the head of the Integrity Committee.
    "We cannot sue the Americans. Laws do not allow us to do that. All we want is to get this issue to the U.N.," Araji said. "If this works, it will open the way for Iraq to restore its stolen money."

    In 2003, the CPA issued an order granting immunity to U.S. personnel and institutions working in Iraq.(Editing by Jim Loney)