Tuesday, August 28, 2007

American Taxpayer? If You Read Nothing Else Today, Read This: The Great Iraq Swindle

If you're a Yankee Taxpayer you would do well to neck a handful of Xanax before reading this catalogue of graft, corruption, embezzlement and just plain old highway robbery, in fact on reflection you'd be better advised to neck the whole bottle.

It really is a shocker, what I excerpt below is nothing compared to what unfolds, that below just lays out the conditions under which some of the greatest scams in the history of the world were allowed free rein to bloom like a desert flower after a downpour.

O'Beirne proved to be a classic Bush villain, a moron's moron who judged applicants not on their Arabic skills or their relevant expertise but on their Republican bona fides; he sent a twenty-four-year-old who had never worked in finance to manage the reopening of the Iraqi stock exchange, and appointed a recent graduate of an evangelical university for home-schooled kids who had no accounting experience to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget. James K. Haveman, who had served as Michigan's community-health director under a GOP governor, was put in charge of rehabilitating Iraq's health-care system and decided that what this war-ravaged, malnourished, sanitation-deficient country most urgently needed was . . . an anti-smoking campaign.......

In short, some $8.8 billion of the $12 billion proved impossible to find. "Who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?" asked Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. "But that's exactly what our government did." Rolling Stone

The Rolling Stone article makes mention of this:

BAGHDAD — Iraq's deadly insurgent groups have financed their war against U.S. troops in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. rebuilding funds that they've extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar province.

The payments, in return for the insurgents' allowing supplies to move and construction work to begin, have taken place since the earliest projects in 2003, Iraqi contractors, politicians and interpreters involved with reconstruction efforts said. story

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