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Reply #70: Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say ($6.6 billion) [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 09:00 AM
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70. Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say ($6.6 billion)
Source: Los Angeles Times

Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say
U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion, sent by the planeload in cash and intended for Iraq's reconstruction after the start of the war.


Reporting from Washington After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the George W. Bush administration flooded the conquered country with so much cash to pay for reconstruction and other projects in the first year that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things.

For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be "the largest theft of funds in national history."

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mis...
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