February 7, 2007

I could have sworn I put that 363 tons of cash down here somewhere, now where did it go?

Item one: L. Paul Bremer, the second guy Bush sent to Iraq to be our "overseer" just after the invasion, needed a title. There had to be a meeting where this was discussed at the highest level. Should he be the Provisional Governor? Nah. Maybe other suitable titles? No, Bremer wanted the title "Viceroy".

Think about that. There actually had to be a discussion, and not only did he request being named "Viceroy", but Bush and Cheney approved it.

Since when has there ever been a position of "Viceroy" in American government?
A Viceroy is the representive of the king in a conquered foreign country, so maybe it was Bush's idea. We're not after "empire" they say, but they acutually named the guy "Viceroy" of Iraq. Try to believe it.


Item two: Old L. Paul, or "Big Roy" as I like to refer to him, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday where he was asked about his many serious mistakes. Some interesting, though rarely reported, facts were discussed. For instance...

363 TONS of cash in hundred dollar bills were shipped to Iraq in the middle of the chaos following the invasion and just two weeks before handing over control to the Iraqis. It was like a mad dash to steal all the loot they could before handing over control.

Pallets piled high with cash were shrink-wrapped into $400,000 bricks and flown into Bagdhad on C-130 cargo planes. on Bremer's request. The total amount in cash sent to Iraq was over $12 BILLION DOLLARS ($12,000,000,000.00).

Committee chair Henry Waxman echoed every rational person's thoughts when he asked, ""Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what [this government] did." And with limited oversight, he said, "we have no way of knowing whether the cash shipped into the Green Zone ended up in enemy hands."

But what was this mind-boggling amount of money spent on, you may well ask. Who received this mountain of cash and how was it spent?

No one knows.

Every dime of it has vanished with no accounting for it and no paper trail whatsoever. Yep, you read that right. It's disappeared and no one seems to know where it went, including the guy that requested it be sent, "Viceroy" Bremer. How convenient, eh?

Bremer also ordered the disasterous "de-bathification" policy and disbanded the Iraqi army which doomed the post-war effort to restore some semblance of order and sent Iraq careening into the chaos and anarchy we suffer today.

Bush awarded Viceroy Bremer the Medal of Freedom, this country's highest civilian honor.

If you spent a dollar every minute, 24/7, it would take you 22,831 years to spend $12 Billion dollars.

There were reports from the time of contractors and others taking pallets of cash delivered in pickup trucks and posing in front of the mountains of cash before taking all they could get. They'd even have "snowball fights" with the wads of cash.

It was like free money. It was the largest payout of U.S. currency in Fed (Federal Reserve Bank) history.

Bremer testified before a congressional committee yesterday. He said the billions in stolen and unaccounted for money was "old news" and pointed out that the cash was from the United Nations Oil-for-food program and seized Iraqi assets, as if that excused the fact that it was lost.

So they seized Iraqi assets and then passed it out like candy to who knows who in the middle of a war zone.

Testimony also revealed that much of the billions could well be funding the insurgency which are killing our troops.

The lost and stolen money represented fully one third of the Iraq reconstruction budget for 2003.

Discuss.

What would have been the press and public reaction had this occured under Clinton?

Did you see this story covered widely by the supposed "liberal press"? Is the country more outraged by the outright theft of billions of dollars with zero accountibility, or more interested in a mentally disturbed astronaut?

**UPDATE**

Here's one official response to the looted BILLIONS, which quite possibly went to finance the killing of our troops... "Who cares?"
What happened to billions in Iraqi funds that were overseen by the Coalition Provisional Authority? That's not "important," according to David Oliver, the former Director of Management and Budget of the agency.
...
"I have no idea, I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it is important," Oliver says on the tape . "Billions of dollars of their money disappeared, yes I understand, I'm saying what difference does it make?"

Welcome to BushWorld.

9 Comments:

At 2/07/2007 5:51 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope... what's your source of Bremer wanting to be called Viceroy? I've never heard of him referred to as such nor ever read anything like that. Point me in the right direction. Or are you pulling my leg?

 
At 2/07/2007 11:15 PM, Blogger illinidem said...

Clinton got a BJ. A Bush crony lost $12 Billion with no oversight and we can't discuss impeachment? Where does the buck stop?

 
At 2/07/2007 11:51 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

BH. I wish I were (pulling your leg), but that's what I've heard from more than one reliable source. I don't have a link to a story, but will see if I can find one.

 
At 2/08/2007 12:08 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

BH,
A very quick google search came up with several news sources which refer to Bremer as the U.S. Viceroy, including this one from the Washinton Post.

And here is a Washington Post review of "My Year in Iraq", a book written by Bremer. The piece is entitled "The Viceroy" and is written by the author of "The Assasin's Gate".

And here you'll find an opinion piece in the Wall St. Journal which refers to "Former Viceroy L. Paul Bremer"

As of yet, I couldn't find anything which details his official title, but obviously Viceroy was in common usage. Any sources which deal with the official title are likely archived now and hard to access without spending $ and undertaking a painstaking search.

 
At 2/08/2007 12:14 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

By the way, this statement by Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state (in which he happens to refer to Bremer as viceroy) certainly bears a read.

 
At 2/08/2007 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benton Harbor.

You read about this and are more concerned with whether Bremer was officially called Viceroy than the quandering of over 12 billion dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse?

 
At 2/08/2007 2:22 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope, thanks for the references. They made very interesting reading!

To anonymous 12:30:36

I happened to want to know where that title came from. Just because I didn't mention anything about the waste doesn't mean it doesn't piss me off.

But where do YOU get to decide what I want to ask, question, or comment on?

By the way Dope, interesting verification word "yturdq"

 
At 2/08/2007 5:56 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

BH.. ha!! I think you should win a prize for that or something. I mean, I've filled those damn things out thousands of times and I can't recall once getting anything resembling an actual word. They now even require me to fill that out every time I put up or edit a post.
A hassle, but one made a necessity due to spammers who utilize automated programs to send spam comments.

 
At 2/09/2007 6:05 AM, Blogger nicodemus said...

They might as well have dropped that money in the middle of New Orleans, East St. Louis or Gary, Indiana. Talk about a feeding frenzy! I am curious, did this story get much play in the New York Times ? ("that great bastion of liberalism")

 

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