Where Did the Money to Rebuild Iraq Go?

 Data.Tumblr.Com Tumblr L691Ejwfwq1Qz6F9Yo1 1280

From the Good Blog: Where Did the Money to Rebuild Iraq Go?

From the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, July 27, 2010 (PDF):

Weaknesses in DoD's financial and management controls left it unable to properly account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in DFI funds it received for reconstruction activities in Iraq. This situation occurred because most DoD organizations receiving DFI funds did not establish the required Department of the Treasury accounts and no DoD organization was designated as the executive agent for managing the use of DFI funds. The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss.

74

  1. Cutting edge web journalism scooped by a William Gibson novel and an episode of Leverage.

  2. No surprise if you’ve read Rory Stewart’s excellent “Occupational Hazards”, his account of his time as a regional governor after the war. It’s published in the US as “The Prince Of The Marshes”.

    1. Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s “Imperial Life in the Emerald Palace” is also a good read if you’re interested in learning more about the trainwreck that was post-war Iraq.

  3. Since 2004. Roughly $1.5 billion per year over the last 6 years.

    We just dropped $34 billion to extend unemployment benefits for a couple of months. Which will no doubt be extended again when that runs out. Goldman got $12.9 billion in the AIG bailout, taking no losses, and shipped over $4 billion of that to overseas investors and banks. We’re planning to add $1,470 billion to our debt this year alone.

    $9 billion over six years unaccounted for? Petty cash.

    1. Petty cash.

      That’s the most disturbing part. We reduced them to rubble based on lies and rumors and spent a tiny fraction of what we’ve spent to bail out our own corporate leeches after they destroyed their own businesses due to greed and stupidity.

  4. The first thing I would do is given the majority of the top military brass (most are Republican persuasion), a lie detector test – we all know any Republican who lives up their political brand is all about money and NOTmuch else and getting as much as they can, as fast as they can and ANYWAY they can (stealing is simply a shortcut and early retirement if you don’t get caught), for the majority that would fail the lie detector test – off to prison (GitMo), isn’t a bad choice for the ones especially that believe THEY are better than everyone else and NO retirement pension either – so that they may retire in the employment of walmart.

    1. That probably wouldn’t work because many are conservative Christians. If they can lie their way into the Kingdom of God a lie detector is a breeze!

  5. Weaknesses in financial and management controls means you lose the last significant digit, not that you lose 95% of tracking. My financial controls are weak, which means I only know the first two digits of the amount in my accounts.

  6. Let’s see: 8.7 billion = 8,700 millions. (1 billion = 1,000 millions)

    Total number of Pac-man coin operated games installed: 293,822 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-man#Impact_and_Legacy )

    Gee that’s enough $$ to pay $29609.76 for every coin-operated pac-man machine in existence at the peak of Pac-man’s popularity.

    Yeah, hahaha good pac-man jokes.
    Nothing to see here. Or here either:

    http://warnewstoday.blogspot.com/

    Ha ha ha who cares what US politicians do with taxpayers $$ so long as people die horribly and early as a result?

    1,366,350 dead iraqis, according to iraq body count:http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq

    Let’s make some jokes about it. No?

    How is this war not simply evil?

  7. The US government takes enough of my tax dollars that I figured at least some of them would go to hiring accountants. You know, to account. For money.

    I wish they’d be this negligent when it came to the amount of taxes I had to pay.

  8. Shouldda coloured the proportional number of bricks red instead of using a pie chart. Kind of a “this much of the wall is missing” kind of metaphor thing.

    1. When it’s hard to swallow and stands a ghost of a chance of being recovered, the pac-man chart is probably best.

  9. This cannot be true.

    Republicans started the war and ran it before they handed it off to Obama a year or so ago and everyone knows Republicans run government like a business -and they cut spending -they wouldn’t have spent more than that Democrat President. That’s just silly talk.

    And they’d certainly never throw billions at a useless war without accounting for each and every nickle. No Sir, can’t be true.

    Spending a billion on stimulus here at home? Now there’s some irresponsible waste lemmetellya!

    Someone should get to the bottom of this Socialist propaganda! Where’s Andrew Breitbart when you need him?

    1. Hey don’t forget the other two “Patriots All The Way To The Bank” it reads Dick, Don & W.

    1. No may (or may not) notice that the link you provided is not about Iraq, but about the one you didn’t invade yet.

      With topological accuracy like this I’m guessing that the missing money went to Iran by mistake.

  10. Questioning the budget for the War on Terror is unpatriotic!
    Nothing is too much to ask for our brave military on its mission to keep us safe from Terrorists. BoingBoing should be ashamed for publishing this story, which helps the Terrorists!
    Mark Frauenfelder, why do you hate America?

  11. ::in enraged voice::

    The next time some asshole politician bitches about anything on Wikileaks, I’m pointing them to THIS.

    Ridiculous ineptness like this is WHY Wikileaks exists- someone in government DOES know where the money went, and they aren’t talking. The rest of them are admit to being effectively either too inept to figure it out, or are in cahoots with the bastards that “misplaced” the money.

    I don’t care who you are- Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, The US GOVERNMENT- NO ONE loses 8.7 Billion dollars!!!! That is not a small amount by any relative standard. Especially an 8.7 Billion dollars that was specifically set aside for a major issue. The moment we start allowing for loss at a government level with casualness simply due to it’s scale compared with the rest, we enable cronyism and thieves to work in government.

    I call absolute heinous bullshit on these people!

    ::end enraged voice::

    When they said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, they left out government accountants.

    This makes my blood boil!!!

  12. I hope the missing money at least wound up in Iraqi pockets, instead of Halliburton Swiss bank accounts.

  13. “I think everybody knows where the money went.”

    Ponies? We bought everyone in Iraq ponies so they’d like us?

    W is another Nixon in that Republicans hate him and what he did for entirely different reasons that Democrats. Their post-war plan for Iraq was to give control over to the UN, but one bombing (killed a UN official that was a close friend to the Secretary General at the time) made the UN refuse to take over the reconstruction. The US backup plan was:

    *crickets*

    Seriously, there was no backup plan. I swear the W stands for WTF.

  14. I wonder why the Department of Defense is in charge of “reconstruction” at all. It seems to me that the purpose of the military is to kill people and break things with the goal of crushing enemies. That they are tasked with “reconstruction” is in my mind, a misuse of the military. Rebuilding should have been given to another agency, or perhaps even to an international organization.

      1. Absolutely. My Dad was an Army Engineer. But nation building or rebuilding is not a job for the military.

  15. The pentagon wants 50 BILLION for next years Black Ops budget. No transparency. Did you think the Blackwater boys were working “pro bono”?
    Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

  16. If the government “loses” 8.7 billion dollars related to the war, I really hope none of you call it into question or doubt the integrity of the US Government/Military.

    Last I checked, if you question anything about the Government when it pertains to the Military, you are a traitorous, socialist liberal who has no idea what it’s like to fight for everyone else’s freedom.

    The armed forces and their string of command fight every single day for your freedom to even make comments on this message board.

    At least that’s what I’ve been told.

    Literally, every single day the armed forces are eagerly blowing off hundreds of thousands of dollars of ammunition at middle eastern enemies and civilians (and sometimes each other), all fighting for blog commenters.

    Show a little respect guys.

    1. Gosh. No doubt, and keep your comments on the blog. Do not talk about them in an office setting or in public in general unless you have your crystal ball and can tell which party everyone is prepared to defend before you say anything even sorta liberal.

  17. If this is shocking to you, look back to September 10th, 2001. Rumsfeld announced that the pentagon couldn’t track down what happened to $2.3 TRILLION! that makes this look like peanuts.

    Though, this wasn’t picked up by the news cycle, because we all know what happened the next day…

    for reference:

  18. Why bother with a pie chart or event trying to quantify the theft? Anyone remotely familiar with the events leading up to our damaged and dysfunctional trainwreck of a system knows full well it is just a giant Ponzi scheme.

    I don’t mean some politicians, certain political parties, or some corrupt functionaries. I mean our entire fucking nation from the lowest citizen right to the top. We tell each other lies after we’ve lied to ourselves. Iraq is just ONE aspect of this monstrosity. It’s all around us.

    So what comes next, friends?

    And no, this is not a result of 9/11, Bush, or the GOP.

  19. At the outset of the first Gulf War, if you were watching TV closely, you might have caught a segment about a US airbase that -had- been buried in the sand, complete with runway and sealed concrete bunker/hangars.

    There was no internet at the time, and I never saw anything about that segment anywhere else, nor was it mentioned. But if you’re wondering where the money might go, that’s one example. Several very large US airbases now exist in Iraq, and perhaps they didn’t get the full funding they ‘needed’. Or, it all went to some Sheik for some favor, let your imagination run wild … it’s war, anything goes.

  20. I’ve got your spare change right here!
    8.7 Billion is greater than the GNP of most of the countries on this planet and we just tossed it out. We didn’t loan it to a coporation that we can sieze the assets of if they can’t pay. We didn’t give it to people who are struggling to pay their bills who will pump the money immediately back intot he economy. We put the money on a plane and flew it into a region where people hate us and we’re not sure what happened. We know we didn’t use it to build infrastructure for Iraq, we know we didn’t spend it on rewards or other financial incentives or even bribes, because those costs are cataloged. We just put that shit on a plane and flew it into destiny.

    Anyone who had control of those finances that cannot account for it every cent of the money they were allocated needs to go to prison. Losing 96% of the warchest of our most expesive conflict is criminal.

  21. I just love this BS!

    I Quote “Weaknesses in DoD’s financial and management controls left it unable to properly account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in DFI funds it received ”

    key words = “properly account for”

    To be properly accounted for, certain procedures MUST be followed TO THE LETTER. The money wasn’t lost, mis-allocated, stolen, burned, wall-papered or any such thing. The agencies that spent and/or distributed the funds may have complete records that simply don’t meet the government’s accounting procedures. Not properly account for doesn’t mean unaccounted for!

  22. If only I was a conservative war-monger…I coulda been rich, I tells ya! Rich beyond avarice!

  23. I think Bush’s library should only be 4% completed, and left as a monument to his efficacy.

  24. I heard the reminaing money was actually funneled into their secret black ops research facility in Yosemite for a project code named, “double rainbow”.

  25. Typical government spending. They spend billions on a secret Pac-Man project and then when it falls into enemy hands they have to spend even more on Ghost Ops to take it down.

  26. did you expect any thing different
    the money went straight to Dubi who else would have that kind of money to invest in a desertn

  27. I think we all know that Bush only started the Iraq war to cover for the money he wanted to spend building secret spaceships.

    Why do you think the man was always so smug about his “legacy”?

    1. Not exactly. That was a Republican administration, and the Republican Party is devoted to proving that government can’t do anything right and should be starved of funding. Therefore, it only makes sense that once in office, their goal is to leave a mess.

      And yet people keep voting for them. Makes as much sense as an Anarchist running for Governor.

      1. Not exactly. That was a Republican administration, and the Republican Party is devoted to proving that government can’t do anything right and should be starved of funding. Therefore, it only makes sense that once in office, their goal is to leave a mess.

        And yet people keep voting for them. Makes as much sense as an Anarchist running for Governor.

        No, brother. This is not a question of ideology. This is a question of bureaucracy. It doesn’t matter what party was in charge, what matters is the the federal government’s singular ineptitude in efficiently and properly executing large-scale operations of any kind, be they in war or peace. The government accomplishes things by simply flooding the problem with enough time and money that enough people get their fill and make something happen. And even that’s never a forgone conclusion. No performance reviews, no oversight, no regulation (they ARE the regulation, remember?), no incentive to improve, no risk of being fired (short of, oh, a felony committed during work hours). The problem with that kind of a “business model” is that it bankrupts the country, as we see today. Do you also believe this recession is of Republican doing? If you do, I’d ask you to stop being naive and examine the problem apart from your Democrat/liberal echo chamber. I don’t say that to be rude. It’s unrealistic and irrational to believe our government and its problems stem from the attitudes of one ideology, one party (inevitably the “other” party).

        Think about it.

        1. Nonsense…far from being ineffectual, “big government” defeated the Nazis and Imperial Japanese Forces simultaneously.
          The reason the “bureaucracy does not work” is because of intentional sabotage by ‘small-government-is-best” (or is that “no-social- controls-on-big-business”?) politicians…who like the opportunities for graft that come along with the “privatization” of essential government functions.

          Small government is a rip-off…you NEED economies of scale.
          if you’re gonna have big businesses like Exxon or lockheed-Martin, you’ll need big government to protect little people from their right-wing-admitted tendency to think of their own pockets first, before thinking of what’s good for society as a whole.

          But if you think democracy ought not to be allowed, I think that you could be less…dis-ingenuous about it.
          Why not just say that Government ought not to protect people from big business, ever?

          1. Nonsense…far from being ineffectual, “big government” defeated the Nazis and Imperial Japanese Forces simultaneously.

            That’s completely beside the point I was making. I never said that government can’t accomplish things. And you’re talking about a radically different federal government of seventy years ago.

            The reason the “bureaucracy does not work” is because of intentional sabotage by ‘small-government-is-best” (or is that “no-social- controls-on-big-business”?) politicians…who like the opportunities for graft that come along with the “privatization” of essential government functions.

            That’s a very lazy argumentative tack. You provide no support for your claim that there is a systematic trend of intentional sabotage by corporatist interests on the federal government. My argument is exactly the same as yours, but mine actually has support: a system without regulatory oversight on its operations is ripe for corruption, indifference and conflict of interest. That describes both corporations AND the federal government, but here we are expecting the federal government to be the ones regulating the corporations. Who do the federal regulatory bodies answer to? More politicians with even LESS oversight. You see how this is a problem?

            Small government is a rip-off…you NEED economies of scale.

            Let’s be clear: I’m not arguing for the abolition of the federal government. I would simply argue for a very strict justification and restriction on the expanse of power of the federal government–something that is functionally nonexistent in the game-plans of politicians of nearly every stripe. It is abundantly clear that the federal government has no idea how to properly run or enforce large operations (like Medicare, like a war, like border security). Why are we so pissed at the federal government for botching a war in Iraq/Afghanistan and then so quick to trust them with our physiological well-being? I don’t get it.

            if you’re gonna have big businesses like Exxon or lockheed-Martin, you’ll need big government to protect little people from their right-wing-admitted tendency to think of their own pockets first, before thinking of what’s good for society as a whole.

            I agree. But your extreme of pervasive regulation is just as bad as no regulation all. You’re simply trading several selfish, bloodthirsty corporations for one selfish megalith of a government. You don’t want either, believe me.

            But if you think democracy ought not to be allowed, I think that you could be less…dis-ingenuous about it.
            Why not just say that Government ought not to protect people from big business, ever?

            I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

  28. Are you kidding me??
    The report signed by Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion is unaccounted for. Somebody with access to the money has to have given it to somebody. Is it hard to find who these somebodies are??

  29. oh course it’s unaccounted for, because most of it went to questionable forms of dealing with the locals. or i’d like to think that the rich pocketed the money and they are going to get away with it.

    nope. they will be prosecuted when they are found and will be held responsible.

Comments are closed.