The Missing Pallet of Cash

Remember the giant pallet of raw cash that the Bush Administration sent to Iraq? The pallet of cash which mysteriously vanished into the wind upon its arrival never to be seen again?

The original estimates for how much money went missing were between $6 billion and $9 billion, but now it turns out that two or three times that much may have gone missing, totaling roughly $18 billion dollars.

Recent estimates had the amount of missing money at about $6.6 billion, but according to Al Jazeera, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi says the figure is closer to three times that amount.

Officials were supposed to distribute the money to Iraqi government ministries and U.S. contractors tasked with the reconstruction of Iraq, but it now appears that the bulk of the cash was stolen in what may be one of the largest heists in history.

The Iraqi government argues that U.S. forces were supposed to safeguard the cash under a 2004 agreement, making Washington responsible for the money's disappearance. Pentagon officials claim that given time to track down the records they can account for all of the money, but the U.S. has already audited the money three times and no trace of what happened to it can be found.

I can think of so many better things to do with $18 billion dollars other than shrink-wrapping it and shipping it to Iraq on wooden pallets only to have it disappear. I'm not going to dive into conspiracy theories, but I will say the whole thing stinks.

  • Eileen Kelly

    $18 billion? That’s not all that much. Just a bit over two months of the Afghanistan war.

  • trgahan

    Its just the price tag to insure that we only have to “fight them over there, and not here.” Right?

  • mrbrink

    Oh, sweet freedoms.

    And if you learned anything about liberty and freedom from the Bush administration(God rest its soul. What’s it been? 36 months, now?)you would learn that:

    Occupied people are free.

    Refugees are just freed gypsies, I think.

    Private sector mercenaries are “the troops.”

    The Iraqi suicide bomber phenomenon is a cultural greeting of appreciation.

    Partitioning neighborhoods keeps the freedoms in, and the sectarian warfare out.

    The oil fields are better left to the private sector.

    Holding people down while you drown them keeps the freedom flowing.

    Occupied peoples’ constitution is better authored by the occupying forces.

    Just like the founders intended.

    • IrishGrrrl

      I hear you, Mr. Brink. The money can be found 1) in the pockets of Iraqi politicians playing both sides, or 2) in the pockets of Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. It hasn’t done a damn thing for law-abiding Iraqi citizens or American citizens.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Most likely, that money went to paying bribes to local leaders. It’s not like Bush would want something like that appearing as a budget line item.

    • Josie Kung

      Those must have been some very expensive bribes– the entire economic output of Iraq, BEFORE the war, was less than $20B. After the war, it would be likely half that.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Hey, paying militant insurgents not to shoot at us is a very expensive proposition.

  • mrbrink

    Bush Republicans LIBERATED that money!

    They set it free when they were setting the Iraqi oil fields free.