Missing Billions

Billions set aside for post-Saddam Iraq turned up in Lebanese bunker

Rory Carroll in Los Angeles
More than $1bn earmarked for the reconstruction of Iraq was stolen and spirited to a bunker in Lebanon as the American and Iraqi governments ignored appeals to recover the money, it has been claimed.
Stuart Bowen, a former special inspector general who investigated corruption and waste in Iraq, said the stash accounted for a significant chunk of the huge sums which vanished during the chaotic months following the 2003 US-led invasion.
Bowen’s team discovered that $1.2bn to $1.6bn was moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon for safe keeping – and then pleaded in vain for Baghdad and Washington to act, according to James Risen, a journalist who interviewed Bowen for a book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, to be published this week.
“Billions of dollars have been taken out of Iraq over the last 10 years illegally. In this investigation, we thought we were on the track for some of that lost money. It’s disappointing to me personally that we were unable to close this case, for reasons beyond our control,” Bowen said in an excerpt from the book published by the New York Times on Sunday.

Money for Nothing

By PHILIP GIRALDI • October 24, 2005
The United States invaded Iraq with a high-minded mission: destroy dangerous weapons, bring democracy, and trigger a wave of reform across the Middle East. None of these have happened.
When the final page is written on America’s catastrophic imperial venture, one word will dominate the explanation of U.S. failure—corruption. Large-scale and pervasive corruption meant that available resources could not be used to stabilize and secure Iraq in the early days of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), when it was still possible to do so. Continuing corruption meant that the reconstruction of infrastructure never got underway, giving the Iraqi people little incentive to co-operate with the occupation. Ongoing corruption in arms procurement and defense spending means that Baghdad will never control a viable army while the Shi’ite and Kurdish militias will grow stronger and produce a divided Iraq in which constitutional guarantees will be irrelevant.
The American-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority could well prove to be the most corrupt administration in history, almost certainly surpassing the widespread fraud of the much-maligned UN Oil for Food Program. At least $20 billion that belonged to the Iraqi people has been wasted, together with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Exactly how many billions of additional dollars were squandered, stolen, given away, or simply lost will never be known because the deliberate decision by the CPA not to meter oil exports means that no one will ever know how much revenue was generated during 2003 and 2004

Investigation Into Missing Iraqi Cash Ended in Lebanon Bunker

By JAMES RISEN OCT. 12, 2014
Not long after American forces defeated the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein in 2003, caravans of trucks began to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington on a regular basis, unloading an unusual cargo pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills. The cash, withdrawn from Iraqi government accounts held in the United States, was loaded onto Air Force C-17 transport planes bound for Baghdad, where the Bush administration hoped it would provide a quick financial infusion for Iraq’s new government and the country’s battered economy.
Over the next year and a half, $12 billion to $14 billion was sent to Iraq in the airlift, and an additional $5 billion was sent by electronic transfer. Exactly what happened to that money after it arrived in Baghdad became one of the many unanswered questions from the chaotic days of the American occupation, when billions were flowing into the country from the United States and corruption was rampant.

What Happened To Iraq's Missing Billions?

Published on Sep 26, 2014

Iraq's Missing Billions 2006: Billions of dollars of Iraqi reconstruction money was entrusted to the American Coalition: nobody can explain where the money has gone.

Iraq Reconstruction

MARCH 15, 2009

Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), talked about waste and abuse he found while examining reconstruction efforts in Iraq. He also talked about how lessons learned in Iraq might be applicable in Afghanistan. Mr. Bowen has recently completed his 22nd trip to Iraq. While there, he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki


Billions In Hundred-dollar Bills Missing

Billions of dollars in cash sent from the U.S. during the war are missing in Iraq

Contracting in Iraq

FEBRUARY 14, 2005 

Contracting in Iraq Democratic leaders heard testimony about alleged contracting abuses by the Bush administration, the business of awarding contracts for reconstruction work in Iraq, and administration of reconstruction funds by the Coalition Provisional Authority.


Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Funds in Iraq

Witnesses testified about alleged waste, fraud and abuse in the spending of U.S. funds in Iraq. Topics included current efforts to combat corruption in the Iraqi government, trafficking of U.S.-supplied weapons, and illegal activities by members of the U.S. military and U.S. contractors. Future improvement in control and accountability in Iraq was also discussed.

Clip: Iraq Reconstruction Funds

"60 Billion" dollars lost to waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan

Commissioner Zakheim the Obama administration lacks the will to deal with the problem