Saturday, February 24, 2007

So...What Happened In February?
Henry Waxman Follows the Missing Money...

Cross Posted at Green Mountain Daily

The question sort of just hangs out there...what happened to the TONS of cash that the U.S. shipped to Iraq?

That's right...TONS of cash. According to a Denver Post Article, 363 tons, to be exact. In true better late than never fashion, I started following this February story just as March was rolling over the horizon...oh, but what interesting reading it is...if only you can find it.

I'm going to post a link to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform here at Rip and Read.

That way, I might remember to check it out from time to time- if I rely on the "Liberal Media" to keep me informed, I'll grow old.

In the meantime, here's part of an opening statement by Chairman Waxman. As you may recall, his congressional committee is looking into the billions of dollars that has simply disappeared in Iraq.

You can find more committee documents at: http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1175, if you can stand to read more:

Opening Statement of Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing on "Iraq Reconstruction: An Overview"
February 15, 2007

Last week, our Committee focused on the $12 billion in cash that our government sent to Iraq.

We learned that no one knows what really happened to that money or even whether it ended up in the hands of terrorists. All we know is that the cash is gone and billions were wasted.

Today we get more bad news. The Director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency is going to testify that there are more than $10 billion in questioned and unsupported costs relating to Iraq reconstruction and troop support contracts.

This estimate is three times higher than the $3.5 billion in questionable charges that the Government Accountability Office warned us about last year. And in this new report, $2.7 billion in suspect billings are attributed to just one contractor: Halliburton...

Even worse, the actual amount of waste is likely even higher. The Defense Contract Audit Agency arrived at its $10 billion estimate after reviewing only $57 billion of Iraq contract spending.

But American taxpayers have already spent over $350 billion for the war in Iraq. There's $300 billion still to audit. The total amount of waste, fraud, and abuse could be astronomical.

Let's add it up. Last weekĂ‚’s $12 billion in cash and today's $10 billion in questionable charges combines for $22 billion. And there's still the potential for tens of billions more in waste.

It's no wonder that taxpayers all across our country are fed up and demanding that we bring real oversight to the "anything goes" world of Iraq reconstruction.

Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, will tell us about a particularly egregious example of wasteful spending. It involves the State DepartmentĂ‚’s contract with DynCorp to train and equip the Iraqi police.

...the government could not demonstrate that it had actually received tens of millions of dollars in critical equipment, including armored vehicles, body armor, and weapons.

This is the equipment that is supposed to be going to the Iraqis so they can take up the fight and allow our U.S. service members to come home.

... I want to assure the American people that we aren't going let a handful of corporations walk away with enormous windfalls while thousands of American soldiers are sacrificing everything to defend their country.

...To Be Continued.


Anonymous said...

this is SO disturbing. And you're right; having my yahoo as my home page is keeping me informed!

Kate said...

disturbing, but not suprising. my depression after re-election was credited not to clairvoyance, but to common sense. teapot dome scandal anyone?