So this is how the US government does business!
Cash from the New York Federal Reserve is loaded on to C-130s and shipped to Bagdad — to the tune of $12 billion since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003.
The money originally came from Iraqi oil sales under Saddam and was held in trust under the rules of the UN oil sales program. Now it is handed out to Iraqi and US government contractors in the form of cash. Or “candy,” as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) puts it.
In the end, $8.8 billion can no longer be accounted for. And the Pentagon acknowledges Halliburton “requested that information in the audits be withheld” from the Congressional subpoena, “including allegations that the firm had spent too much money in purchasing fuel.”
“By law, contractors can request that the government withhold any proprietary information from release.”
Interesting law, when corporations can decide information about their public contracts is proprietary.
But anyway, it’s all just “pocket change,” says an e-mail circulating at the Fed.
(See article: “Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005.)
And who can argue with that?
* * *
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two… Continue reading
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two point three trillion dollars, or the equivalent of six annual Pentagon budgets.)
This matter was presented by CBS as a question of waste and incompetence, as though it were possible to lose $2.3 trillion under a couch somewhere. (It had earlier been covered on PBS in February 2001. Interestingly, the Bush Administration did not seek to place any blame on the Clinton administration for the missing assets, which should prompt questions about how much of the shortfall was invented in the course of the audit itself.)
One day after Rumsfeld’s admission of Sept. 10, this mother-of-all-scandals in the making disappeared from the corporate media’s vision. For good.
The comptroller who arrived at the figure, Dov Zakheim, was a primary author of the infamous Project for a New American Century manifesto of September 2000, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” This detailed a manic plan for US military domination of the world and re-ordering of the Middle East, observing that this process might require a “new Pearl Harbor” before Americans were willing to pay the costs.
And what was Zakheim’s explanation for the missing 2.3 trillion? His testimony to the House Budget Committee (July 11, 2002) begins as follows:
April 22, 2009
By Chris Floyd
With the release of the U.S. Senate’s report on the Bush Administration torture
program, it is now incontrovertibly clear — and officially established
by the highest, most respectable Establishment institutions — that George
W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and a host of other top officials deliberately,
willingly, and with malice aforethought, established a system of interrogation
using brutal techniques that they knew were against the law. Hence the need
for the torture memos that attempted to give retroactive legal cover for atrocities
that were already taking place at the orders of the White House and the Pentagon.
They were also told repeatedly that these tortures were ineffective at producing
What’s more, it is now undeniable that they began this program long before
they had captured even one "high-profile al Qaeda detainee," and that
they were using these heinous techniques not in a desperate bid to save the
nation from further attacks — which has long been their preening, self-serving
claim — but instead to produce spurious data about the non-existent link
between Iraq and al Qaeda. In other words, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald
Rumsfeld ordered their minions to beat and torment captives in order to get
them to say something a — anything — that could then be used to
"justify" a war of aggression that these grand statesmen had been
planning long before the September 11 attacks.
You cannot disentangle the torture program from the war… Continue reading
“War on Terror” advocates want civilians to die to justify “War
The Corbett Report
6 July, 2009
CIA analyst Michael Scheuer’s recent call for bin Laden to kill more Americans
would be shocking if we hadn’t already heard it dozens of times before from
other “War on Terror” advocates. “It’s an absurd situation,”
FOX News personality Glenn Beck on his program last week. “Only Osama
can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand that their government
protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary.”
The comments have provoked much shock and outrage among pundits and websites like Jon Stewart and NewsHounds who may have considered him to be on their side. After all, he seemed to be a vociferous and effective critic of the neocons, having authored books like Imperial Hubris and having supported Ron Paul during the 2008 Presidential debates by asserting that 9/11 was merely blowback for American interventionism in the Middle East. With his latest comments, Scheuer is now relegated to the ignoble company of neocon shills like Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who dreamed of another terrorist attack back in 2007 to rally people around the flag (and, presumably, George W. Bush) once again; Donald Rumsfeld, who complained in 2006 that the Bush regime was a victim of its own success in the “War on Terror” and that another terrorist attack was needed to remind people that the war was still necessary; and… Continue reading