Allegations of misappropriations related to the Iraq War
Iraq War misappropriation refers to allegations that billions of dollars have not been properly accounted for or were misappropriated during the Iraq War from funds released by the United States Congress for programmes, including the re-construction and re-building of Iraq. Gag orders from the United States Department of Justice/White House are preventing further inquiry into the allegations.
Official audits and investigations
In July 2008, the United States Department of Justice had to investigate around 900 cases of alleged fraud committed by contractors. Similarly, the Defence Contract Audit Agency has uncovered $10 billion in questionable Iraq contracts, and a US audit found that the occupation authority had lost track of reconstruction funds totalling nearly $9 billion.
Henry Waxman, Chairman of the United States House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reform, said: "The money that's gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, it's egregious. It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history."
In an October 2007 article, two Vanity Fair writers examined the fate of $12 billion in U.S. currency which was transported from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad in April 2003 and June 2004, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. They concluded that of this sum, "at least $9 billion has gone missing".
BBC television program Panorama (9 June 2008) investigated and claimed that "as much as $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or not properly accounted for in Iraq. Panorama used US and Iraqi government sources to research how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding.
Current government expenditure
Twelve billion dollars or more per month is currently being spent in Iraq with little accountability or oversight.
Immunization of contractors and gagging orders
It has been alleged that there may also have been some "immunized foreign contractors" involved in this scandal. US gagging orders are currently preventing discussion of the allegations. The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies.
Missing UN funds
At the start of the Iraq war, the United Nations awarded $23 billion of Iraq money to the US-led coalition to re-develop Iraq. Around $12 billion was flown to Iraq in cash, in $100 notes, because of the collapse of the banking system.
- Barbara Ferguson: "Private contractors steal billions from Uncle Sam". ArabNews, 30 July 2008
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/feb/01/iraq.suzannegoldenberg Audit reveals abuse of $9bn works funds
- "BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions", Jane Corbin, BBC News, 10 June 2008
- Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steel: Billions over Baghdad. Vanity Fair, October 2007
- "Daylight Robbery", BBC, 9 June 2008
- "'Iraq was awash in cash. We played football with bricks of $100 bills'", Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil, The Guardian, 20 March 2006
- Use of Iraq Contractors Costs Billions, Report Says - New York Times - The United States this year will have spent $100 billion on contractors in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, a milestone that reflects the Bush administration’s unprecedented level of dependence on private firms for help in the war, according to a government report to be released Tuesday.
- Iraq a bottomless cash pit
- Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Former U.S. official admits to kickbacks in Iraq
- Parsons, Military Wasted Millions in Iraq, Inspector Bowen Says
- CNN.com - Audit: U.S. lost track of $9 billion in Iraq funds
- So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?
- The case of the Missing $21 Billion
- Roy H. Park School of Communications - Selection of Links and Resources on Media Coverage of the War in Iraq