Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Billion Goes AWOL In Iraq

By Cernig

Guess who paid for this...that's right, you did!
Tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, crates of machine guns and rocket propelled grenades are just a sampling of more than $1 billion in unaccounted for military equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces, according to a new report issued today by the Pentagon Inspector General and obtained exclusively by the CBS News investigative unit. Auditors for the Inspector General reviewed equipment contracts totaling $643 million but could only find an audit trail for $83 million.

The report details a massive failure in government procurement revealing little accountability for the billions of dollars spent purchasing military hardware for the Iraqi security forces. For example, according to the report, the military could not account for 12,712 out of 13,508 weapons, including pistols, assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and machine guns.
The only reason they could account for the remaining 796 weapons, according to the PDF report, is because they were still in the warehouse.

Other missing equipment include: 18 out of 31 heavy tracked recovery vehicles ($10.2m); 2,126 out of 2,943 electric generators ($7.0m); an entire shipment of four fuel tankers, five tractor trailers, and six low boy trailers ($1.5m) and a payout of $31.9 million for a construction contract that had already been cancelled!

This goes way beyond the normal run-of-the-mill lack of oversight everyone has come to expect from government. Some venal buggers are getting rich at the American taxpayer's expense and at least some of them are still surely either in U.S. military uniform or haunting the corridors of D.C. power. I don't believe for a moment that the officers and officials indicted for bribe-taking or corruption already are anything more than the tip of an enormous iceberg of a coverup.

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