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Sounds Like We Succeeded

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bountyhunter, Oct 11, 2005.

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  1. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    In the mission to install a western style democracy. I wonder if Ken Starr is looking for work.....

    Netscape News
    http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/st...24.htm&ewp=ewp_news_1005iraq_govt&floc=NW_1-T







    Ex-Iraqi Officials Sought in $1B Theft

    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.

    On Tuesday, a suicide car bomb exploded in a crowded market in northwest Iraq, killing 30 Iraqis and wounding 45, police said.

    The blast occurred at about 11 a.m. in Tal Afar, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, in the town's main marketplace, said Brig. Najim Abdullah, Tal Afar's police chief.

    He said the victims of the attack appeared to be civilians. No Iraqi security forces or U.S. soldiers were in the area at the time, he said.

    Meanwhile, those accused include four other ministers from Allawi's government, which was replaced by an elected Cabinet led by Shiite parties in April, said Ali al-Lami of Iraq's Integrity Commission. Many of the officials are believed to have left Iraq, including Hazem Shaalan, the former defense minister who moved to Jordan shortly after the new government was installed.

    For months, Iraqi investigators have been looking into allegations that millions of dollars were spent on overpriced deals for shoddy weapons and military hardware, apparently to launder cash, at a time when Iraq was battling a bloody insurgency that still persists.

    In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a car full of mortars near an entrance to the fortified Green Zone on Monday, killing a U.S. soldier and six Iraqis in one of a string of insurgent attacks in which at least 13 other Iraqis also died.

    Gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying delegates from the Arab League in Baghdad during the organization's first visit to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The league has met resistance from Shiite and Kurdish leaders as it tries to piece together a reconciliation conference with Sunnis. A policeman was wounded in the shooting, but no one in the delegation was hurt.

    The violence comes five days ahead of Iraq's key vote on a new constitution, which Kurds and the majority Shiites largely support and the Sunni Arab minority rejects. Sunnis are campaigning to defeat the charter at the polls, though officials from all sides have been trying up to the last minute to decide on changes to the constitution to swing Sunni support.

    Whether the constitution passes or fails, Iraq is due to hold elections for a new parliament on Dec. 15. The corruption allegations are a blow to Allawi as he tries to assemble a coalition of moderates to run against the current ruling Shiite-led coalition in the election in a bid to get back into the government.

    With strong U.S. backing, Allawi was named head of the first transitional government after the U.S. returned sovereignty to Iraq in June 2004, but his Iraqi List party did poorly in January parliamentary elections that swept the Shiite-Kurdish coalition into power.

    Besides Shaalan, warrants were issued against Allawi's labor, transportation, electricity and housing ministers, as well as 23 former Defense Ministry officials, said al-Lami, who heads Iraq's De-Baathification Commission, part of the Commission of Public Integrity.

    He did not name all the officials, and Shaalan and the ministers could not be reached for comment.

    An attempt was under way to strip Shaalan, a member of parliament, of his immunity from prosecution. Parliament met Monday to do so but did not have a quorum.

    ``The warrant was issued against Shaalan due to the corruption allegations regarding the missing $1 billion in the Iraqi Defense Ministry. As soon as his immunity is lifted, the country where he is now living will be asked to extradite him to Iraq,'' al-Lami said, without naming the country.

    In Monday's worst attack, a suicide bomber drove his car toward a U.S-Iraqi checkpoint at an entrance to the Green Zone - the most fortified sector of Baghdad, where government offices and the U.S. Embassy are located behind a maze of blast walls and checkpoints.

    Iraqi police opened fire on the car as it approached, and it detonated. The car was packed with 11 mortar rounds and 60 pounds of explosives, Sgt. 1st Class David Abrams said.

    A U.S. soldier was killed in the blast, the military said. Three Iraqi policemen and three Iraqi civilians were also killed, said Capt. Qassim Hussein said.

    The American death brought to 1,956 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

    Within an hour of that explosions, suicide attackers set off car bombs in two other parts of Baghdad, though they caused no death. One hit near a police station, wounding four officers and leaving the twisted wreckage of the vehicle and the bomber's body lying on the pavement near a billboard advertising the constitution with the slogan, ``Iraq: A Promising Future.''

    Also Monday, a video was posted on an Islamic Web site showing purported Iraqi militants shooting dead two Iraqi policemen. The Ansar al-Sunnah Army said it carried out the executions, but the claim could not be immediately verified.

    In earlier scenes, the victims were shown sitting blindfolded. The men said they were captured while traveling from Baghdad to the northern city of Kirkuk. The group said the two were captured after a battle that killed 10 other policemen.

    In other violence:

    Four policemen were killed in shootings in Baghdad. In Kirkuk, a city 180 miles north of the capital, four Iraqi soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks, police said.

    Further north, two Sunni Arab political leaders, an Iraqi soldier and an Iraqi policeman died in separate drive-by shootings in Mosul, officials said.

    A roadside bomb blast killed an Iraqi policeman in the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.
     
  2. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Let's hope they invest it here rather than Switzerland.
     
  3. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

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    Am I the only one who found that article shoddily written? It seemed to be jumping between this corruption story, and reports of bombings.
     
  4. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    Funny you would say that. One of the hats I wear is a professional writer for magazine articles and I also write training material and service manuals. I noticed the same thing you did. It was like the guy had about three different articles he wanted to get out so he slopped all the material together and didn't do a very good job of "staging" it to get a coherent flow.

    In literature, writers who used that technique claimed it was 'stream of consciousness"..... I always figured it was just laziness and not bothering to do an outline of what they were trying to say.

    That one would have never gotten past my desk without a complete re-write.
     
  5. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about serious money.
     
  6. BTR

    BTR Member

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    Why don't you use less sarcastic and more accuarate thread titles?
     
  7. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    Now I know why it's called "The Green Zone".
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Why don't you use less sarcastic and more accuarate thread titles?"

    Read some of his posts. It's just his usual bias showing.

    John
     
  9. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    I think it would be pretty easy to make the case that the title is far more toward the "true" side than it is toward the "sarcasm" side.

    Either way, what does the title have to do with the reality content which is embodied in an article which I reprinted verbatim?

    In reality, we did indeed export a government which has the worst traits of our own western democracy: which is to say, the slimiest, most corrupt people were the ones we were trying to push into power and their primary agenda was to line their own pockets.

    The only thing that derailed it was that annoying election where the Iraqi's voted for the theocratic party..... which will eventually set up an Iranian satellite state in the place we sought to plant "freedom".
     
  10. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Nope—but considering the source, it's about average.

    I'd have sent it back to the "writer" with orders to write it right.
     
  11. ThreadKiller

    ThreadKiller Member

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    Everywhere ya go it's the same thing. Some people just revel in bad news. No wonder Liberalism is so adored by some. :rolleyes:

    Tim
     
  12. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Oh, it's more than that. Too many feel compelled to take something good and rationalize why it's bad.
     
  13. wingnutx

    wingnutx Member

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    Yes, we exported corruption.

    I lament the formerly stirling reputation of Arab government functionaries.
     
  14. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    I would be unsurprised if this is true.

    And why does it go from 1 billion cash laundered to
    I was interested in the 1 billion, and then it went off on bombings. Im tired of bombings. No one likes bombings except people looking for a higher death toll so they can use it as anti-war propoganda against a president runing a war that wont end till his terms over.
     
  15. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    OK, See If You Like This One Better

    This article covers the theft:




    What Has Happened to Iraq's Missing $1bn?
    By Patrick Cockburn
    The Independent UK

    Monday 19 September 2005

    One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defense ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons.

    The money, intended to train and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.

    "It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister, told The Independent.

    "Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."

    The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do.

    Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from Poland and Pakistan. The contracts were peculiar in four ways. According to Mr. Allawi, they were awarded without bidding, and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly with the foreign supplier. The money was paid up front, and, surprisingly for Iraq, it was paid at great speed out of the ministry's account with the Central Bank. Military equipment purchased in Poland included 28-year-old Soviet-made helicopters. The manufacturers said they should have been scrapped after 25 years of service. Armored cars purchased by Iraq turned out to be so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armor. A shipment of the latest MP5 American machine-guns, at a cost of $3,500 (£1,900) each, consisted in reality of Egyptian copies worth only $200 a gun. Other armored cars leaked so much oil that they had to be abandoned. A deal was struck to buy 7.62mm machine-gun bullets for 16 cents each, although they should have cost between 4 and 6 cents.

    Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped. In Baghdad they often ride in civilian pick-up trucks vulnerable to gunfire, rocket- propelled grenades or roadside bombs. For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blast because they worked without bullet-proof vests. These were often promised but never turned up.

    The Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit says in a report to the Iraqi government that US-appointed Iraqi officials in the defense ministry allegedly presided over these dubious transactions.

    Senior Iraqi officials now say they cannot understand how, if this is so, the disappearance of almost all the military procurement budget could have passed unnoticed by the US military in Baghdad and civilian advisers working in the defense ministry.

    Government officials in Baghdad even suggest that the skill with which the robbery was organized suggests that the Iraqis involved were only front men, and "rogue elements" within the US military or intelligence services may have played a decisive role behind the scenes.

    Given that building up an Iraqi army to replace American and British troops is a priority for Washington and London, the failure to notice that so much money was being siphoned off at the very least argues a high degree of negligence on the part of US officials and officers in Baghdad.

    The report of the Board of Supreme Audit on the defense ministry contracts was presented to the office of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Prime Minister, in May. But the extent of the losses has become apparent only gradually. The sum missing was first reported as $300m and then $500m, but in fact it is at least twice as large. "If you compare the amount that was allegedly stolen of about $1bn compared with the budget of the ministry of defense, it is nearly 100 per cent of the ministry's [procurement] budget that has gone Awol," said Mr. Allawi.

    The money missing from all ministries under the interim Iraqi government appointed by the US in June 2004 may turn out to be close to $2bn. Of a military procurement budget of $1.3bn, some $200m may have been spent on usable equipment, though this is a charitable view, say officials. As a result the Iraqi army has had to rely on cast-offs from the US military, and even these have been slow in coming.

    Mr. Allawi says a further $500m to $600m has allegedly disappeared from the electricity, transport, interior and other ministries. This helps to explain why the supply of electricity in Baghdad has been so poor since the fall of Saddam Hussein 29 months ago despite claims by the US and subsequent Iraqi governments that they are doing everything to improve power generation.

    The sum missing over an eight-month period in 2004 and 2005 is the equivalent of the $1.8bn that Saddam allegedly received in kick- backs under the UN's oil-for-food program between 1997 and 2003. The UN was pilloried for not stopping this corruption. The US military is likely to be criticized over the latest scandal because it was far better placed than the UN to monitor corruption.

    The fraud took place between 28 June 2004 and 28 February this year under the government of Iyad Allawi, who was interim prime minister. His ministers were appointed by the US envoy Robert Blackwell and his UN counterpart, Lakhdar Brahimi.

    Among those whom the US promoted was a man who was previously a small businessman in London before the war, called Hazem Shaalan, who became Defense Minister.

    Mr. Shalaan says that Paul Bremer, then US viceroy in Iraq, signed off the appointment of Ziyad Cattan as the defense ministry's procurement chief. Mr. Cattan, of joint Polish-Iraqi nationality, spent 27 years in Europe, returning to Iraq two days before the war in 2003. He was hired by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority and became a district councilor before moving to the defense ministry.

    For eight months the ministry spent money without restraint. Contracts worth more than $5m should have been reviewed by a cabinet committee, but Mr. Shalaan asked for and received from the cabinet an exemption for the defense ministry. Missions abroad to acquire arms were generally led by Mr. Cattan. Contracts for large sums were short scribbles on a single piece of paper. Auditors have had difficulty working out with whom Iraq has a contract in Pakistan.

    Authorities in Baghdad have issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Cattan. Neither he nor Mr. Shalaan, both believed to be in Jordan, could be reached for further comment. Mr. Bremer says he has never heard of Mr. Cattan.
     
  16. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/559/559_12_Theft.shtml




    Washington’s crooks in Iraq
    By Nicole Colson | September 30, 2005 | Page 12

    ONE OF the biggest thefts in history has happened in Iraq, under the nose--and very likely with the connivance--of the U.S. “liberators.” Iraqi officials say that between $1.3 billion and $2.3 billion in government funds was funneled out of the country during the rule of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, between June 2004 and February 2005.

    Independent journalist Patrick Cockburn revealed that much of the missing money was supposed to have been spent on training and equipping a new Iraqi Army. Nearly all of these funds went to contracts--awarded without bidding--for useless pieces of military hardware.

    Purchases included a fleet of 28-year-old Soviet-made helicopters--bought for $238 million--that should have been scrapped after 25 years of service, according to the manufacturers. Some armored cars purchased by the regime were in such poor condition that bullets from outmoded AK-47 machine-guns can penetrate their armor. Others were leaking so much oil that they had to be scrapped. A shipment of supposed MP5 American machine-guns, bought at a cost of $3,500 each, turned out to be cheap knock-offs worth only $200 per gun.

    “Huge amounts of money have disappeared,” Ali Allawi, Iraq’s finance minister, told Cockburn. “In return, we got nothing but scraps of metal.” In all, Allawi estimated, less than $200 million out of more than $1.3 billion was spent on usable equipment.

    The massive theft goes far beyond governmental incompetence. According to Cockburn, a May report by the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit concluded that U.S.-appointed Iraqi officials in the Iraqi defense ministry presided over the bogus transactions--and that there’s little chance that such massive looting could have gone unnoticed by U.S. military and civilian advisors.

    “Government officials in Baghdad even suggest that the skill with which the robbery was organized suggests that the Iraqis involved were only front men, and ‘rogue elements’ within the U.S. military or intelligence services may have played a decisive role behind the scenes,” wrote Cockburn.

    Former Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan, who is accused of being a key player in the theft, told the Independent that everything that he and other Iraqi officials did was with the knowledge of U.S. military and civilian advisers.

    The military procurement chief during this period was Ziad Cattan, a businessman who hadn’t set foot in Iraq for 27 years until the U.S. invasion in 2003. According to Shaalan, Cattan’s appointment was directly approved by Iraq’s U.S overseer, Paul Bremer.

    But Iraq’s Defense Ministry is just one of several government agencies where massive amounts of money have vanished. According to Ali Allawi, some $600-800 million is also missing from the ministries of transportation, electricity, interior and others.

    In the case of the Electricity Ministry--which to this day has been unable to effectively restore power to pre-war levels in much of the country--several contracts for power stations were cancelled in favor of building natural gas and diesel-powered stations, despite the fact that Iraq doesn’t have adequate supplies of natural gas or diesel fuel.

    When a special committee on contracts at the Electricity Ministry refused to sign off on the power station contract, the committee was promptly dissolved--and replaced by one that was more willing to agree to the deal.

    Also, according to resources expert Michael Klare, pervasive corruption in the Oil Ministry has meant a siphoning off of substantial amounts of Iraqi oil revenue. “Administrative corruption takes on so many forms,” Muhammad al-Abudi, the Oil Ministry’s director-general of drilling, said in March. “The robberies and thefts that are taking place on a daily basis and on all levels...are committed by low-level government employees and also by high officials in leadership positions in the Iraqi state.”

    In all, Cockburn notes, the amount of reconstruction money siphoned off during the eight months of Iyad Allawi’s rule is at least as much as Saddam Hussein allegedly received in kickbacks under the United Nations’ oil-for-food program between 1997 and 2003.

    As the group Transparency International (TI), which tracks governmental corruption around the globe, reported earlier this year, post-war Iraq could be “the biggest corruption scandal in history.” “I can see all sorts of levels of corruption in Iraq,” TI’s Reinoud Leenders told the Christian Science Monitor, “starting from petty officials asking for bribes to process a passport, way up to contractors delivering shoddy work, and the kind of high-level corruption involving ministers and high officials handing out contracts to their friends and clients.”
     
  17. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4260892.stm


    Ex-Iraqi minister 'facing arrest'

    Iraqi soldiers have been left with inferior weapons, it is alleged
    Authorities in Baghdad are preparing to issue an arrest warrant against a former defence minister, a senior Iraqi corruption investigator has said.
    Radhi al-Radhi, the head of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, said a warrant for Hazim Shaalan's arrest would be issued in days.

    It is in connection to the alleged theft of $1bn (£554m) from the post-Saddam Iraqi defence ministry.

    Mr Shaalan, who stood down in February, has denied any wrongdoing.

    He now lives in Jordan, but is also said to visit London.

    Speaking from the Jordanian capital, Amman, an aide to Mr Shaalan, Amer Hantouli, said the allegations were "politically motivated".

    'Disappearing money'

    The alleged theft took place under the former interim government, which was replaced after elections in February of this year.

    We got nothing but scraps of metal

    Iraqi finance minister Ali Allawi

    Ali Allawi, Iraq's finance minister, has called the matter "one of the largest thefts in history".

    The money was intended to buy the latest equipment for the Iraqi Army but cheap, out-of-date pieces were purchased instead, it is claimed.

    Cash was then siphoned abroad before disappearing, it is alleged.

    In one case, 28-year-old helicopters were said to have been purchased despite the fact they should have been scrapped after 25 years.

    In other examples, officials are said to have deliberately paid too much for such items as bullets, with the difference between the actual cost and the inflated amount paid also disappearing.

    Such has been the knock-on effect of the theft, it is alleged that Iraqi Army soldiers have been left without the basic equipment they need to fight the ongoing insurgency.

    "Huge amounts of money have disappeared," said Mr Allawi.

    "In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."
     
  18. akluvr

    akluvr Member

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    Yet another "All the news that's fit to print". :rolleyes:
     
  19. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Many thanks, this ones much easier to read and follow.

    It is a huge shame that this is so. And while i dont denounce the...stupidity and greed that this had to have recquired, i doubt that
    Not that it matters, since undoubtedly we will continue to give them that needed support.

    What i wonder, though, is what happened to all of saddams equipment?

    Foremost, Why did they need to purchase new small arms? There are plenty of Ak versions and other small arms in that area.

    I can understand that many of the tanks and helicopters, as well as aircraft, would have fled or been destroyed. All the vehicles, basicly.

    But i would think there would be at least enough APC's, helicopters, and at least a few tanks.
     
  20. Dmack_901

    Dmack_901 Member

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    That's really some of the best news I've heard in quite a while. There will always be corruption, but actually seeing Iraqis clean up their own government's corruption is a great sign of progression.

    I almost don't mind that there was corruption to begin with.
     
  21. macavada

    macavada Member

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  22. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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  23. dpesec

    dpesec Member

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    Like this didn't happen under Saddam, except it was even worse.

    Remember, these people don't have an understanding of democracy and the public good.
    You know sometimes I don't think our government understand that either. :what:
     
  24. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    good thing we saddled our children and grandchildren with debt to finance this war & theft. /sarcasm.
     
  25. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    Notice anything about this partial quote from the article?

    I noticed the same thing when I read an article on this topic in my local newspaper today: The article is about former Iraqi interim-government officials embezzling money -- lots of money. Yet the "journalists" reporting this news could not resist sticking a few paragraphs about bombings into the middle of the article -- incidents totally and completely unrelated to the topic, and just thrown in there gratuitously with no effort made to follow the flow of the story. The bombing references are such absolute non-sequiturs that it demonstrates just how blindly "the media" seem to be working to grasp any flimsy excuse to inform us about yet another terroristic insurgent bombing (yawn).

    This particular effort, however, falls well below even their normally basement-level standards.
     
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