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June 10, 2008

War Biz War and Peace

We all know that private contractors and others have been siphoning off billions of dollars in Iraq, but nobody has really tried to put a number on the total. Now the BBC thinks they have the number: $23 billion. With a B. BBC:

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC's Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources.

A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.

The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies.

While George Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.

To date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq.

The president's Democrat opponents are keeping up the pressure over war profiteering in Iraq.

Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: "The money that's gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious.

"It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history."

In the run-up to the invasion one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth seven billion that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company, which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president.

Unusually only Halliburton got to bid - and won.

If nobody goes to jail over this, we will well and truly know that we are living in a terminally corrupt, dying empire. A kleptocracy. When war is this profitable, and nobody is held accountable, war will never stop.

Will the Democrats act? I'm guessing they won't have the stomach for it. Prove me wrong.

Posted by Jonathan at June 10, 2008 10:17 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb

Comments

Most of the Democrats in Congress have violated their oath to defend the Constitution, and are as complicit as the Bush administration in this. Hopefully they will be held accountable for their part in the Bush war crimes. In my opinion, Pelosi and Clinton are just as deserving of jail time as Bush and Cheney.

I've come to see the Iraq War as history's largest armed robbery. Kleptocracy is an excellent way of putting it.

And it's not only the theft of Iraqi resources. Remember that single largest disbursement ever made from the US treasury? 363 TONS of cash loaded onto pallets and "disbursed" from the back of pickup trucks into contractor's duffel bags?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1

http://www.truthout.org/article/us-sent-billions-cash-pallets-baghdad

Posted by: at June 11, 2008 08:54 AM

Most of the Democrats in Congress have violated their oath to defend the Constitution, and are as complicit as the Bush administration in this. Hopefully they will be held accountable for their part in the Bush war crimes. In my opinion, Pelosi and Clinton are just as deserving of jail time as Bush and Cheney.

I've come to see the Iraq War as history's largest armed robbery. Kleptocracy is an excellent way of putting it.

And it's not only the theft of Iraqi resources. Remember that single largest disbursement ever made from the US treasury? 363 TONS of cash loaded onto pallets and "disbursed" from the back of pickup trucks into contractor's duffel bags?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1

http://www.truthout.org/article/us-sent-billions-cash-pallets-baghdad

Posted by: Oroboros at June 11, 2008 08:55 AM

DISGUSTING!! Nothing would make me happier than to see, for starters, Bush, Blair and Cheney in jail. It has been widely rumoured that 3 weeks after taking office in 2000, this enormously corrupt administration was looking for ways to attack Iraq. I've not seen written proof of this but seeing what kind of a corporate feast has taken place with the war and with Haliburton getting the most spoils, it lends some- if not a lot- of credibility to the rumor. What makes me mad is that all this information is out there but we are expected to swallow it all, keep faith in our governments and tell the rest of the world we are just in what we do. Go figure

Malcolm

Posted by: at June 12, 2008 12:33 PM