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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Iraq: The Sinkhole for Our Money

Paul Bremer and the Missing Billions * Secret Contracts for Haliburton

Former head of Coalition Provisional Authority -- Paul Bremer, the all-powerful proconsul of Iraq who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2004, faced questions from Democratic members of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about lack of accounting for funds disbursed by his office.

Washington Post January 7, 2007

The funds were provided to the Iraqis in cash, often in shrink-wrapped packages of $100 bills. The committee's chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), said the U.S. government flew nearly $12 billion in cash into Baghdad on military cargo planes from May 2003 to June 2004.

"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," Waxman said. Because of the way the CPA kept track of the payments, Waxman said, "we have no way of knowing whether the cash shipped into the Green Zone ended up in enemy hands."

Washington Post January 6, 2007

The chief purpose of today's hearing is to focus on the Coalition Provisional Authority's spending of Iraqi oil revenue in 2003 and 2004. Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, issued an audit stating that the CPA engaged in "less than adequate" managerial and financial control of approximately $8.8 billion given to Iraqi government ministries.

Secret Contracts

The usual suspeccts, with connections in high places, reaped the benefits of government contracts in Iraq. They are still making money hands down but have come under scrutiny.

Washington Post (Larry Margasak, Association Press)
WASHINGTON -- After numerous denials, the Pentagon has confirmed that a North Carolina company provided armed security guards in Iraq under a subcontract that was buried so deeply the government couldn't find it.

The secretary of the Army on Tuesday wrote two Democratic lawmakers that the Blackwater USA contract was part of a huge military support operation by run by Halliburton subsidiary KBR.

Vice President Dick Cheney ran Halliburton before he became vice president.

Several times last year, Pentagon officials told inquiring lawmakers they could find no evidence of the Blackwater contract. Blackwater, of Moyock, N.C., did not respond to several requests for comment.

The discovery shows the dense world of Iraq contracting, where the main contractor hires subcontractors who then hire additional subcontractors. Each company tacks on a charge for overhead, a cost that works its way up to U.S. taxpayers.


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