US Needs Some “Fraud Busters!” Pentagon Lost $6.6 Billion

Posted by Bridgette

“Where Does the Money Go?”
“Who Signed for the Cash?”
“Who Was Responsible After Receiving the Cash?”
“Why Would the Government Send Bundles of $100 bills?
“The Inspector General Can’t Follow the Paper Trail?”

U.S. Pentagon

Judicial Watch reports,

“Oops! Pentagon Loses Track Of $6.6 Billion”
June 13, 2011

In a mind-boggling example of government corruption, billions of dollars flown to Iraq for post-invasion “reconstruction” have vanished and may never be recovered.

Bundled in chunks of $100 bills, the cash was sent from the U.S. to Iraq in turboprop military cargo planes known as C-130 Hercules. About $2.4 billion fit in each aircraft and 21 flights made trips, transporting a total of $12 billion in American currency to Iraq by 2004.

For years federal audits have determined that more than half the money cannot be accounted for but there seemed to be some hope that some of the funds could be retrieved. However, this week the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Stuart Bowen) essentially confirmed that $6.6 billion in cash was likely stolen and may never be recovered.

Inspector General Stuart Bowen

Bowen referred to it as “the largest theft of funds in national history,” in a newspaper report that points out the missing money is enough to run a major public school district for an entire year. The story also says that the mystery is a growing embarrassment to the Pentagon, which has long asserted that it could track the cash if given the time to do it.

This is simply the latest of many reports documenting the pervasive fraud and waste in Iraq reconstruction efforts, which have received more than $100 billion from U.S. taxpayers. In the last few years Inspector General audits have exposed the sordid details of costly projects that never got completed or are rife with excessive delays and shoddy work.

#######

Isn’t it about time that we hold the government agencies that handle OUR money accountable?  If it isn’t one agency, it is all agencies that are unable to track assets and liabilities.  Where are the checks and balances?  If they can’t do the job, let us spend our money wisely and hire an accounting firm to do the job.   Mismanagement  and misappropriation of funds should lead to  firing or convictions.  Normal businesses would get to the bottom of their problem…when will the government  adhere to rules that are prevalent in the private sector?  [When Pigs Fly?] Enough of the rampant corruption that is in our government.      Whose job is it to track down the crooks?

Let us spend the rest of the “stimulus money” and create jobs…!  To start with, those jobs would entail hiring “private sector”  firms to investigate each and every government agency, examine their books,  detail overlapping positions,  set up rules and regulations for distribution of funds, conduct audits of personnel and funds, and  examine contracts and grants, etc.   We can call them “Fraud Busters!”  Just the fact that they are there and present will  cause fraud and waste to drop substantially.   About time for government workers to fear for their jobs!  Let’s take on Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie and Freddie first!  Audits will lead to those who are perpetrating and aiding these crooks..and it will lead to those who are the  head honchos …and even our politicians.

Enough is enough…   

It’s  Time to Get Our Priorities Straight!

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4 responses to “US Needs Some “Fraud Busters!” Pentagon Lost $6.6 Billion

  1. A perfect example of why we need smaller government. They are so accustomed to spending other people’s money that it matters not to them what they do with it. So out of touch are they–they forget that every red cent they spend comes out of someone else’s HARD-EARNINGS. It’s funny money to them. Like Monopoly money. Airplanes full of it. This is a CRIME, but who will investigate?

    Of course, this plays right into Barry’s meme: Reduce the Pentagon. Reduce defense. Iraq was unnecessary. Done on GWB’s watch (which is true). Where’s the accountability? McCaskill, former auditor, would be a good one to put on this. Show us your accounting skills, Claire. Do something useful for a change.

    Speaking of defense spending, Gates tells Europe that they need to step up to the plate and contribute (invest?) more in NATO. Good going because it’s about time THEY DEFENDED THEMSELVES. But what do the Europeans respond: “Jan Oberg, a director of the Transnational Foundation, a think tank in Sweden, said the strains were of Washington’s own making: by devoting too much money to defense — or roughly 45 percent of the total $1.7 trillion spent worldwide each year.

    “If the secretary of defense of that country tells the rest of the alliance that they are paying too little, the objective truth is that it’s a perverse level that the United States is on, and it can forget about ever having the European countries invest as much — because we’re not having any military troubles within Europe,” he said.”
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/article_58ebd6cf-0558-5ee2-bd8d-cf27c1af7630.html

    Get that? We’re “perverse” and they’re not having any military troubles. Why not? Because we freaking DEFEND them! Ya think without us on that wall they might have some troubles with say, Russia, Red China, Iran? Nah. Who would think that?

    I’m beginning to become a fan of Pat Buchanan. Bring them all home. Let the Euros fend for themselves. Defend our homeland. NO more foreign aid. NO global community. Fbbbtttt! (Spitting sound.)

  2. Stewart-Stuart ?
    BOWEN ? Like Valerie Jarret’s family name ?
    hummm…..interesting…..

  3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304778304576373793871521406.html?KEYWORDS=Iraq

    That story is about a group of soldiers and civilian contractors who stole (and hid) money sent to Iraq for the efforts there. “Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is ramping up its investigation and prosecution of soldiers and civilians accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars since the fighting began in 2003.

    Sigir, as the agency is known, monitors the disbursement of billions of dollars in the war effort for everything from buses to bottled water. With the agency’s budget of $225 million since 2004, Sigir chief Stuart W. Bowen Jr. said his auditors have saved taxpayers $1.1 billion in financial benefits and more than $150 million in seizures or forfeiture orders. … Sigir has 18 months of sleuthing left before Congress shuts it down. Staffers worry about money that may still be hidden in offshore accounts that could be recovered by corrupt officers, now or after serving time in prison. …In maintaining his innocence, George Lee has portrayed himself in interviews as a victim of a “tainted” Army investigation motivated by racial bias, as almost all of the suspects probed in the Cockerham case are African-Americans. In an email to the Journal last month, Mr. Lee again asserted his innocence, adding that “our persons, companies, etc., were targeted scapegoats and part of a premeditated, fabricated conspiracy.” Sigir’s Mr. Bowen says race has nothing to do with the probe.”

    So they “saved” $1.1 billion for the taxpayers, while apparently letting 6 times as much disappear. Somewhere. That last part about African-American offenders must be a thorn in the side of Waxman, who’s running some of the investigations. This story says, “Theft of such a staggering sum might seem unlikely, but U.S. officials aren’t ruling it out. Some U.S. contractors were accused of siphoning off tens of millions in kickbacks and graft during the post-invasion period, especially in its chaotic early days. But Iraqi officials were viewed as prime offenders.” http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-missing-billions-20110613,0,4414060.story

    Doubtless Waxman wanted to blame it all on Halliburton or defense contractors. But wait! I thought this was taxpayer money. Turns out, it apparently belonged to the Iraqis: The money came from”the so-called Development Fund for Iraq, which was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to hold money amassed during the years when Hussein’s regime was under crippling economic and trade sanctions.”

    But even though it appears that most was stolen by Iraqis themselves, the Iraqis think We the Taxpayers of the USA will pay them back! “Abdul Basit Turki Saeed, Iraq’s chief auditor and president of the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit, has warned U.S. officials that his government will go to court if necessary to recoup the missing money. ‘Clearly Iraq has an interest in looking after its assets and protecting them,’ said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States.”

    Hmmm. And so do We the People of the USA value and hope to protect our assets. Therefore, if Iraq sues for this money back, I suggest we present Iraq with the bill for saving them from Saddam Hussein. I’m beginning to agree with Donald Trump: We SHOULD have seized the oil. After all, we paid for it with blood and treasure.

    • I agree Miri. Maybe every country we have helped out should get a bill too. They forget their friends so quickly. A bill may help remind them.

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