Thursday, February 08, 2007

Guardian: How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish
Paul Bremer, the head of the CPA, reminded the committee that "the subject of today's hearing is the CPA's use and accounting for funds belonging to the Iraqi people held in the so-called Development Fund for Iraq. These are not appropriated American funds. They are Iraqi funds. I believe the CPA discharged its responsibilities to manage these Iraqi funds on behalf of the Iraqi people."

Bremer's financial adviser, retired Admiral David Oliver, is even more direct. The memorandum quotes an interview with the BBC World Service. Asked what had happened to the $8.8bn he replied: "I have no idea. I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it's important."

Q: "But the fact is billions of dollars have disappeared without trace."

Oliver: "Of their money. Billions of dollars of their money, yeah I understand. I'm saying what difference does it make?"

2 comments:

Fellow Traveller said...

Oliver sounds like a Mafia capo in The Sopranos:

"Billions of dollars missing? Fuggedabouddit!"

Fellow Traveller said...

The first scene in Shakespeare's Richard II involves accusations by Henry Bolingbroke of the misappropriation of state funds by Thomas Mowbray, during the War in France:

BOLINGBROKE:

Look, what I speak, my life shall prove it true;
That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.

[...]

MOWBRAY:

Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers;
The other part reserved I by consent,
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen:
Now swallow down that lie.

Not a lot changes in history when it comes to war and the affairs of state does it?