Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Iraq

The Senate will hear testimony Monday from a former Coalition Provisional Authority official, Frank Willis, who will say the cash flowed large and loose during the war.

In sum: inexperienced officials, fear of decision-making, lack of communications, minimal security, no banks, and lots of money to spread around. This chaos I have referred to as a 'Wild West,'" Willis said in testimony he prepared to give Monday before a panel of Democratic senators who want to spotlight the waste of U.S. funds in Iraq.

Willis' allegations follow by two weeks an inspector general's report that concluded the occupying authority transferred nearly $9 billion to Iraqi government ministries without any financial controls.

The money was designated for financing humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction, repair of facilities, disarmament and civil administration, but the authority had no way to verify that it went for those purposes, the audit said.

The CPA falls under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon. [link via Raw Story.]

Update: Paul Bremer and his handling of the media in Iraq will be on the hot seat as well.

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    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#1)
    by ras on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 04:28:39 PM EST
    Of more interest - a.o.t. an obvious witchhunt - would be the story of cash flowing before the invasion. A lot of Iraqi commanders had to have been turned beforehand - the full Special Ops story will be told one day, and will prove to have been at least as critical to the Iraq War as Enigma was to WWII, IMHO. Bridges weren't destroyed. Nor were oil facilities set ablaze(contrast to the Fires of Kuwait, for ex). Time & again Saddam's army just didn't even bother to try. I have to suspect a lot of deals - many involving a little baksheesh - were made with Iraqi commanders and tribal chieftans beforehand. Prob true in the immediate aftermath, as well. It's cheaper in the short-term to pay a few bribes, even those disguised as messy bookkeeping and sloppy disbursements - than to fight the war twice.

    TL, That's the fastest spam-removal I ever saw, Queeksdraw!

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#3)
    by john horse on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 05:05:51 PM EST
    According to the BBC, out of $20 billion in oil revenues, the Coalition Provision Authority cannot account for $8.8 billion. In the same story, the CPA failed to get a deposit slip on $1.4 billion. Finally, "Coalition officials are said to have openly demanded bribes of up to $300,000 in cash." There is more on this scandal at Alternet (Where Has Iraq's Money Gone?) Since alot of the money that is unaccounted by the CPA is from Saddam's treasury or from the sale of Iraqi's oil, and since it was appropriated without permission, can the Iraqi government file a claim against the US for theft?

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#4)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 05:10:21 PM EST
    Hmmm, time for a remake of the movie The Third Man?

    a panel of Democratic senators

    Missing 8 billion? Check Dick Cheney's pockets.

    I hear that MacAurthur lost $7.23 during the pacification and democratization campaign in Japan. Someone check under Haliburton's couch cushions. -C

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#9)
    by Adept Havelock on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 08:33:20 PM EST
    Yes Cliff, it will be investigated by a panel of Democratic Senators. The reason? Simple. The R's have proven that they are far more interested in holding power than being honest. The D's have done it in the past. However, isn't claiming "the other guy does it too" the very same moral relativism I've heard conservatives whine about for years? Sorry, but anyone who claims $5 billion in Govt. waste shouldn't be investigated is an ideologicaly driven fool. BTW- Ras, good point about the bribes to commanders before the war. "As critical to the Iraqi war as Enigma was to WWII" might also have some truth to it, though that's about the only linkage between the two wars I can clearly see. I don't know yet if the Bush family have taken opportunity for war profiteering in the recent conflict yet, though I suppose that would be another link.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#10)
    by ras on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 10:12:17 PM EST
    Adept, Putting aside your cheap shots (you get what you pay for) ... Yeah, I can hardly wait for the next couple of decades, or whatever it takes, to pass so we can learn about the Special Ops role in the Iraq War. I could quote Churchill (never have so many owed ...), but it seems likely history will record that the S.O. guys were the key to the relative cakewalk that ensued. p.s. I can see several other //'s to WWII - democracy vs. socialism/fascism; reconstruction of Germany a.o.t. reconstruction of Iraq; the relative strength & weaknesses of an overly-centralized command structure (Hitler & Saddam were both micro-managing personalities), etc. But you were trying not to see, weren't you?

    I take a break from this site for a few weeks and return to see....Ras still hijacking threads. Sadaam = Hitler, etc. I could sit here and write personality comparisons between right wing ideologues and Hitler all day, but I won't. Why? Because it is off-topic.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#12)
    by john horse on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 04:37:46 AM EST
    ras, "But you were trying not to see, weren't you?" Since your eyesight is 20/20, how about explaining: Why "Coalition officials are said to have openly demanded bribes of up to $300,000 in cash"? Why we cant account for $8.8 billion? How allowing companies to inflate their profits by setting up sham companies to send fake invoices benifited us? You say that this was part of a Special Ops to save American lives (though you present no evidence), but even if you make that assumption, wouldn't you want to keep good books to make sure that this money was spent for this purpose rather than being kept for personal enrichment? When you have billions being thrown around and no receipts being kept, you have the perfect recipe for corruption.

    There are tremendous opportunities for profit and riches during war time. We are busy saving the Iraqi countryside and looting the American treasury. It's very profitable.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#14)
    by ras on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 12:33:57 PM EST
    Adept, Please read.with.comprehension; it looks like you're only skimming my words. For ex, I did not say the CPA had anything to do w/Special Ops or vice-versa. I merely noted that bribes were likely a part of the pre-war effort - therefore, by extension, they may well have been part of the initial post-war period, too. As for my "trying not to see" comment, if you read.with.comprehension there too, you'll see that I was referring to your turning a blind eye to those similarities that exist between WWII and the Iraq War, not to a specific news story about $300,000 or whatever.

    There are no similarities between WWII and the illegal invasion of Iraq, though there are strong similarities between Hitler's invasion of Poland on trumped up charges that Poles were castrating Germans, and Bush's outright lies. Bush's father lied too; there was no incident with babies being thrown out of incubators in Kuwait. That public relations firm-invented lie is pretty close to Hitler's lie. But the boy Bush is by FAR the bigger liar. After the 2,000 soldiers killed, the $500 Billion blown (much of it into Bush's pals pockets), the 150,000 civilians slaughtered, what will we have? Another permanent Beirut, the sorrow of millions, and a blowback on us that will make your teeth roll over in your gums. So keep clinging to your WWII fantasies, ras. It's all you've got, you pathetic apologist for warcrimes and treason.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#16)
    by john horse on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 02:35:27 PM EST
    Cliff, We are talking about something more than the loose change in your couch cushions. We are talking about $8.8 billion. Let me put this into a little perspective. In order to transport $1.4 billion, 3 helicopters were required because it weighed 14 tons. If you've got that sort of change in your couch cushions I'll be happy to come over to your house and clean it for free. CA, The CPA was not only looting the American treasury but the Iraqi treasury as well. According to Alternet (see previous post for link) "more than half of the money the CPA was giving away did not belong to the U.S. government but to the people of Iraq. Most of it was generated by the coalition's sales of oil." In other words, Bush was confiscating resources belonging to the Iraqi people to help pay for their occupation.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#17)
    by Adept Havelock on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 09:18:48 PM EST
    Pay.attention.Ras. Your little rant at me should have been directed to john horse. I'm disappointed. Usually your trolling is among the highest quality to be found here. Earlier, I didn't bother responding to you. While I'm here though: Regarding WW2 comparisons: Democracy vs. Stalinesque Dictator resulting in an Islamic Republic strongly sympathetic with Iran is hardly the Federal Republic of Germany, nor is it likely to be. Besides, Truman would have had the head of Halliburton in Leavenworth.

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#18)
    by john horse on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 04:33:46 AM EST
    Lets get back to the topic. There is a substantial amount of money that was spent in Iraq that is unaccounted for. There is evidence that some of this went for personal enrichment. To profit off a war while young men and women are dying is not just criminal but immoral. I don't understand the kneejerk conservative reaction to this. This shouldn't be a Left versus Right issue. All of us should be demanding a full investigation. ras You.need.to.read.with.comprehension. Also.need.to.stop.overpunctuating. (Out of curiousity, are you any relation to William Shatner?)

    Re: Senate Hearing Monday on Cash Payments in Ira (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 08:16:43 AM EST
    Damn right it shouldn't be a left/ right isuue. Some of the more evil aspects of war are unavoidable, but this type of thievery while our young lose their limbs is totally avoidable and should be fully investigated. Knowing this admin., it won't.