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Monday, January 31

Nine Billion MIA in Iraq

by pissed off patricia

In my Palm Beach Post and probably in your paper too, there are headlines and photos of Iraqis voting yesterday. That's great for someone to go and vote under some pretty dire conditions. I suppose the lock-downs, curfews, closed borders, closed streets, and hoards of our military plus Iraqi military and police helped the situation a little bit. We probably can't imagine what it would be like to fear for your life when you go to vote. I don't believe that I personally can. During our last election my only fear came true. I was fearful for our country if bush was re?-elected.

Also, on page 14A of today's PB Post there's another story about Iraq. Seems according to the Associated Press article, there are some US dollars missing. Seems about nine billion dollars are MIA. Remember when the Senate voted to hand huge sums of money to the Iraq war/rebuilding fund and some Democrats wanted spending of the money to require accountability? That idea was shot down like a rabid animal. No, no the Republicans said, we should not require anyone to account for the money Just hand it over and I'm sure it'll be taken care of and spent responsibly. Bremer doesn't need to account for any of it. But today, almost nine billion dollars of the money is gone with no paper trail. Humm, that's not good.

According to the Associated Press, Bremer is quoted as saying that the report about this missing billions had "many misconceptions and inaccuracies." Quoting from the article, "Bremer complained that the report "assumes that Western-style budgeting and accounting procedures could be immediately and fully implemented in the midst of a war." Also, quoting from the article again, "The inspector general said the occupying agency disbursed $8.8 billion to Iraqi ministries "without assurance the moneys were properly accounted for."

I know you hate quotes but please allow me just one more. Toward the end of the article it states, "When staff members of the U.S. occupation government recommended that payrolls be verified before salary payments, Coalition Provisional Authority financial officials said the authority "would rather overpay salaries than risk not paying employees and inciting violence," the inspector general said."

Oh god no, we must not incite violence in Iraq. Can you imagine the consequences of inciting violence in a country that has been invaded, bombed all to hell and had thousands of it's innocent citizens killed as they were marched off to freedom? Hell, throw the money at them as fast as you can, do anything to avoid violence.

In April when you are figuring your income tax report, if it works out that you owe the government money, just write them a little note and tell them that the money you need to pay your taxes is missing and unaccounted for. Remind them that we are in the midst of a war. Tell them that they shouldn't assume that "Western-style budgeting and accounting procedures could be immediately and fully implemented in the midst of a war." I'm sure they'll understand, and what the hell, you might even receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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