Shadowproof

Lost Iraqi Billions Found?

Iraq

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction briefed the CIA and FBI on the suspected location of approximately $1.6 billion, but no one took any action

It can be hard to keep track of your money. You charge stuff and misplace the receipts, you forget to record a check written and before you know it, $12-14 billion is unaccounted for in Iraq. Even then, after one authoritative source thinks he’s found some of it, no one bothers to go get it.

New information from the former Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGAR) Stuart Bowen, reported by perhaps the bravest journalist alive today, James Risen, shows that of the multi-billions of U.S. dollars cash literally shipped on pallets to Iraq in 2003, over one billion was traced into Lebanon (the other billions remain unaccounted for.)

Risen reports that in the first days after the fall of Baghdad and continuing for over a year, American proconsul Paul Bremer, on his own, somehow ordered $12-$14 billion (note the uncertainty factor of two billion dollars, itself a crime) to be sent to Iraq in the airlift, and an additional $5 billion was sent by electronic transfer. Some sources put the total as high as $20 billion.

“We did not know that Bremer was flying in all that cash,” said the head of the Treasury Department team that worked on Iraq’s financial reconstruction after the invasion. “I can’t see a reason for it.”

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