Was The Iraq War Merely A Smokescreen For "The Largest Theft Of [Taxpayer] Funds In National History"?

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in 2004, following the disastrous Iraq war, started on false Weapons of Mass Destruction pretenses, and which was nothing but a backdoor subsidy to various energy contractors close to the Bush administration, the US government decided to impose a mini Marshall Plan and literally flood the country with billions in crisp $100 bills. The LA Times reports: "Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time." And here we are making fun of the Chairsatan and his puny helicopter. Yet where the story gets very disturbing is that it now seems that more than half of this "reconstruction" funding was blatantly stolen! "Despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash — enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things. For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be "the largest theft of funds in national history."" Is another huge political embarrassment in store for the current US administration (even if on this occasion it can legitimately be blamed on the predecessor?): it appears so: "The mystery is a growing embarrassment to the Pentagon, and an irritant to Washington's relations with Baghdad. Iraqi officials are threatening to go to court to reclaim the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the United Nations' oil-for-food program." Prepare for many more hearings involving Halliburton et al. As for where the money is - why, it has long been spent.

From LA Times:

Theft of such a staggering sum might seem unlikely, but U.S. officials aren't ruling it out. Some U.S. contractors were accused of siphoning off tens of millions in kickbacks and graft during the post-invasion period, especially in its chaotic early days. But Iraqi officials were viewed as prime offenders.

The U.S. cash airlift was a desperation measure, organized when the Bush administration was eager to restore government services and a shattered economy to give Iraqis confidence that the new order would be a drastic improvement on Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The White House decided to use the money in the so-called Development Fund for Iraq, which was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to hold money amassed during the years when Hussein's regime was under crippling economic and trade sanctions.

Where did the cash come from? Take a wild guess:

The cash was carried by tractor-trailer trucks from the fortress-like Federal Reserve currency repository in East Rutherford, N.J., to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, then flown to Baghdad. U.S. officials there stored the hoard in a basement vault at one of Hussein's former palaces, and at U.S. military bases, and eventually distributed the money to Iraqi ministries and contractors.

A truly "Swiss Watch" operation:

House Government Reform Committee investigators charged in 2005 that U.S. officials "used virtually no financial controls to account for these enormous cash withdrawals once they arrived in Iraq, and there is evidence of substantial waste, fraud and abuse in the actual spending and disbursement of the Iraqi funds."

Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records. But repeated attempts to find the documentation, or better yet the cash, were fruitless.

Iraq is obviously pissed.

Iraqi officials argue that the U.S. government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq. That makes Washington responsible, they say.

Abdul Basit Turki Saeed, Iraq's chief auditor and president of the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit, has warned U.S. officials that his government will go to court if necessary to recoup the missing money.

"Clearly Iraq has an interest in looking after its assets and protecting them," said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq's ambassador to the United States.

Iraq also happens to be the marginal producer of crude as was highlighted in yesteryday's JPM report.

Ah, the good old USofA: making international friends with every single ever more unbelievable theft from its own taxpayers.

h/t Manal

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SparkyvonBellagio's picture

$6.6 Billion is nothing. Let them keep it, for our stupidity, well our Govt worker stupidity. 


The Highest Ranking Fools in the US GOVT are nothing more than a chud-recepticle gaggle of Losers and Thieves.


The representation of the citizens of the USA is so pathetic so embarrassing that we're doomed unless we kick out EVERY DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN IN OFFICE.  The vast majority are working against the best interests of the USA. They're pandering fools, pawns, puppets.


Wake up America,,,,, pull your heads out of your greedy asses and use the brain-stem you've been given!  


Toss them ALL Out!!!!!!!





eureka's picture

hey sparky - RE: "Toss them ALL Out!!!!!!!"


AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Just saw this graphic on ICYMI.

And, don't forget this announcement from the day before 9/11.

ToNYC's picture


The tables turned on 2-11-2011 when bombing for change went through the wormhole of time and was replaced by people sitting in square without guns and gold.

falak pema's picture

Yes we can or yes we are in hell's kitchen?...

Recent american history, both military and financial, gets more and more bizarre. As if there is a weird sinister pattern that feeds a trend that knows no end and will bend backwards to defend its privileges pertaining to elitist rights ordained in some secret circle of skull and bone community that flies an unknown flag whose outward manifestation is ole glory but whose inner core spirit is  more represented by the jolly roger...Are we still in Jefferson's land nourished by the blood of fallen sons of honest toil or in the lugubrious fantasy world of cauldron bubble, toil and trouble NWO-Unpatriot's riot act-GS zombie land?

I need a straight drink with no gut-twister...like a straight political line with no spin tongue twister.

AnAnonymous's picture

Are we still in Jefferson's land nourished by the blood of fallen sons of honest toil or in the lugubrious fantasy world of cauldron bubble, toil and trouble NWO-Unpatriot's riot act-GS zombie land?


Rhetorical question indeed.

The US has not changed one bit since its inception. And today US citizens are as much in living off honest toil as Jefferson and his peers were.

The US citizens nature is eternal. Once a thief...

falak pema's picture

((( ...there go all my illusions...like hot air balloons up in the air!

Antipodeus's picture

And certain parties criticise Australia as being founded by convicts?


Diogenes's picture

Ha ha ha, your thieves got caught.

GoinFawr's picture

Not after they got there.

adeptish's picture

lol...reminded me of a guy i was working with in London back in '94, he had just hooked up with a hot aussie sheila(girl) and went to Australia House on the Strand to inquire about emigrating,  they asked him if he had a criminal record, his reply...I didn't think you still needed one...

Ergo's picture

See TARP, ZIRP, AIG bailout, QE1, QE lite, QE2, QE reinvestment, etc...

Wealth transfer is ongoing.

Gully Foyle's picture


I think those pallets were superbills.


Super-Counterfeit $100's Baffle U.S. By CHRISTOPHER DREW and STEPHEN ENGELBERG
Published: February 27, 1996

During the last six years, counterfeiters in the Middle East have turned out millions of dollars in exceptionally high-quality $100 bills, defying intense American efforts to find and halt their operation, senior American officials say.

Aided by the Central Intelligence Agency, teams of Secret Service agents have crisscrossed the Middle East, recruiting informants and collecting samples of the fake currency, said to be the most realistic counterfeit ever made.

Several Administration officials said the inquiry had turned up hints of sponsorship by foreign governments, including suspicions that Iran might be printing the bills and Syria sanctioning their distribution. There also are signs that some of the bills have been used by people with ties to terrorist organizations, the officials said.

But senior officials acknowledged in interviews that it remained unclear precisely where the currency, known as the Superdollar or Supernote, was being produced, or by whom.



Weird stories on this black-ops British website supposedly in the know. Great fun for the paranoid nutballs. I always assume there is some truth here and there in these sorts of rants. Deciding what the truths are is the challenge. You need a map.

One operation in which Tatum has knowledge, regards the so called ?Superbills,? or ?Supernotes? sting. Years earlier, in the late sixties or early seventies, the CIA had secretly provided to the Shah of Iran a perfect set of printing plates that could reproduce US$100 bills without blemish. Also provided was an intaglio printing press. This special printing press ensures that the etched plate meets paper with tremendous force, creating the distinctive embossed feel of a genuine banknote. In addition, the Shah was also given the ink and banknote quality paper enabling him to produce perfect counterfeit US Dollar banknotes. The Shah later fled Iran and left the plates and press behind in his confusion. The whole caboodle sat in the mint at Tehran, according to some experts.[viii]

According to Tatum, a deal was arranged in the early mid-eighties between VP George Bush, Panama?s Manuel Noriega and the Iranian leadership. A sum of US$8 billion deposited in the Banco Nacional de Panama on behalf of Colombian Cocaine king, Pablo Escobar was ?lent? to George Bush. Of this, US$4 billion was shipped by plane to Iran where it was exchanged at a ratio of one good bill for two counterfeit bills. On the return trip, the aircraft, an 707 cargo container carried two shrink-wrapped pallets containing US$4 billion each

Here’s an odd post claiming the bills come from West Africa, which would explain why they have not been eradicated: http://kevincameron.tripod.com/2003/071903.html (cut and paste in seperate window as Tripod sites are disabling the “return” arrow on some browsers for some reason)

Meanwhile this fellow sees the bill matter-of-factly coming from Lebanon. You start to get different leads when you change the investigation word from Superbill to Supernote.

This new note owes its existence largely to a near perfect counterfeit dubbed the ?Supernote? that came out of the Middle East, specifically the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

It gets more dodgy when we read this assertion that North Korea is the supplier of the “Superdollar.” This would explain our sudden interest there too.

Now, according to Panorama , US intelligence had discovered in the late Eighties that North Korea had acquired the Intaglio, a highly sophisticated printing press similar to that used by the US Treasury and their printing and engraving offices. In 1989, a counterfeit $100 note of such quality that it became known as a ‘superdollar’ was spotted in the Philippines and forwarded to the US secret service.

Subsequently, similar notes turned up again and again in the diplomatic bags of North Korean officials (along with businessmen, the only people allowed to travel). Balbwa Hwang, an Asian policy analyst, said on Panorama that, “North Korea has a state-sponsored programme in which it is counterfeiting US dollars, and they do so with a dual purpose: the first is obviously the profits that the regime can earn immediately; but they also have a longer-term strategy of attempting to destabilise the US economy.”

A North Korean defector confirmed to Panorama that he had spent his working life counterfeiting: “We bought the best equipment and the best ink, but we also had the very best people.”

Can it get weirder? Yes, this website asserts that the bills cam from Ireland and were going to be funneled through China in some clandestine manner. That “accidental” bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was a warning not to do it.

A summary of the report was distributed to the highest-ranking ?officials in the Clinton-Gore administration in early June 1997. Among the items it contained were details of North Korea?s first launch of a new antiship cruise missile, Russia?s launch of a new generation spy satellite, and a warning from a Mexican drug lord about an upcoming raid by Mexican troops on a farm suspected of housing drug production equipment.

But it was the following passage that caught the eye of senior intelligence officials:

Suspected Supernote Distributor Meets with Chinese to _Discuss Undis?closed Business Deal (TSC OC)

(TSC OC) Sean Garland, Managing Director of GKG Comms Inter?national Ltd., in Dublin, met recently with Cao Xiaobing, Bureau Director-General within the Central Committee, to discuss unidentified business opportunities according to late May 1997 information. (COMMENT: Garland is suspected of being involved with counterfeiting U.S. currency, specifically, the Supernote, a high quality counterfeit $100 bill.) (W9B2, 3/00/18224-97, ILC)

Aside from his business interests, Garland was secretary general of the Workers? Party in Ireland. A telling document obtained from Soviet archives revealed that Garland wrote to the secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on September 15, 1986. In the ?dear comrade? letter, Garland stated that the Workers? Party of Ireland had developed a five-year program and asked Moscow to provide one million pounds to help. The cash would be ?of benefit to the world struggle for Peace, Freedom and Socialism.? The document was posted on the Internet by Vladimir Bukovsky, the well-known Russian dissident who spent years in the Gulag Archipelago.

The meeting between Cao and Garland in 1997 showed how China had become the ideological leader of what was left of the world communist movement. U.S. intelligence officials saw Communist China clandestinely supporting international communists, including those involved in international criminal activities-even those suspected of developing counterfeit $100 bills.

The one interesting thread in all this is that anyone who seems to be messing with the stability of the US greenback seems to suffer from the attempt. If this what all this military action is really all about then you gain a whole new perspective. Of course keeping the public in the dark isn’t helping anything is it?

JW n FL's picture

are you the only person in the world that does not know Iran has our printing press and can duplicate our bills and has been doing so since the fucking 1970's when we sent the press to them for free! as a gift???

SheepDog-One's picture

How about when the US was declared a bankrupt corporation in 1933 in the Emergency Banking Act? Its all been a total sham for over 100 years.

Jason_1sandal's picture

My suspicion has been that the $100 bills sent to Iraq were excess bills that were printed with a slight "defect" and were in storage for destruction at a later date. Instead of destroying them they had the idea to use them in Iraq. Unfortunately the $6.6 billion missing may have ended up in some of our underpaid GI's pockets and brought home. I have seen photos of U.S. soldiers tossing shrink-wrapped bundles around like footballs. If security was that loose what's to stop them ? I'm sure most of it ended up in the likes of Halliburton's purses too.

Confused's picture

I seem to remember soldiers "stumbling" upon warehouses with huge amounts of cash in them. It really stuck in my head because it seemed so outlandish. 






Ratscam's picture

i once read a report that substantial amounts of gold were stored in the cellars of the world trade center. anybody knows the remains of it?

Cathartes Aura's picture

mmmm, yes, apparently "vaporised". . . like the pentagon's record of rumsfeld's lost trillions, *nods*

Orly's picture

No, again.

The gold belonged to the Bank of Nova Scotia and was housed in vaults beneath WTC Four.  A couple of days later, the gold was moved out and back to Canada.

Ratscam's picture

you mean the molten gold? There were very high temperatures on the ground for weeks.

Any conformation on that?

molecool's picture

That is always the reason for wars - has been for hundreds of years.

Ray1968's picture

Blood and treasure. Nothing is new under the sun.

firefighter302's picture

+1   "Blood and treasure".

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 2 for "Nothing is new under the sun."

Whatta's picture

Now the valley cried with anger; mount your horses, draw your sword,
  and they killed the mountain people, so they won their just reward.
Now they stood beside the treasure on the mountain, dark and red,
  turned the stone and looked beneath it. "Peace on earth" was all it said.

      Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.
      Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end.
      There won't be any trumpets blowin' come the judgment day
        on the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.

Republi-Ken's picture




Were in charge of 100% of US GOV.




The same guys who removed many financial regulations / repealed Glass-Steagal that allowed sub prime mortgages to be rated AAA.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Wrong. It was the Clinton Administration that pushed that legislation through with plenty of Democrats voting for it.

  • November 12, 1999: Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act
  • December 21, 2000: Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000

    Transformer's picture

    And the difference between Republicans and Democrats is....... exactly what?

    Confused's picture

    + All the "missing" money. 

    Bay of Pigs's picture

    Absolutely nothing. No difference at all. That is why I corrected his error and yet I get junked for pointing that fact out.


    tmosley's picture

    If you think they are any different from the Democrats, you're an idiot.

    I have said for a long time now that most presidential administrations should leave office at the end of a rope.  Fed board members and chairpersons included.

    falak pema's picture

    I think they all agree with you...only in their case, the rope is attached not to their necks but to the government safe deposit...which leaves with them.

    JW n FL's picture
    by tmosley
    on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 11:58


    If you think they are any different from the Democrats, you're an idiot.


    Are you saying that Obama is NOT!?! any different than Bush? Say it aint so Joe! say it aint so?!


    I would typing that I am LOLing but I really am laughing with a tear coming out of my eye!


    God Love Ya! "T" hang in there man! You are doing Great!

    Zymurguy's picture

    No... Ken, they weren't.  They didn't have control of both houses and the financial industry lobbiests were the one's paying off politicians to loosen the restrictions on lending and bundling of financial instruments that led to this whole economic fiasco.  C'mon... only Liberals believe everyone has a RIGHT to own a home, etc. - these new proposals from the financial industry just sounded peachy to them so they voted it through.  Sure, Bushey and Chaney did nothing to stop them... so the real problem is, politicians only worry about getting re-elected, never about actually doing the right thing - the core of the problem is embedded within human greed.

    They are not "leaders" - they are elected representatives and they have not been doing a very good job.  I say we fire all of them.

    Drastic political campaign finance reform is actually the key to solving most of our Country's problems.  It's got to start with the core of the motivations for our politicians.  The amount of money paid to politicians to their "election funds" is unreal - it's flat out bribery.  Combine this will all the deals via lobbiests, etc. has made the political career one of the easiest paths to becoming a multi-millionaire.  This has to be eliminated first before anything will ever be done "right" by the U.S. taxpayer.

    SheepDog-One's picture

    No there havent been any demicans or republicrats in charge of anything for decades, just ask JFK who really controls it.

    blunderdog's picture

    Largest theft of *currency,* sure, but not "funds."  $6.6 billion compared to TARP?  I think it's safe to say extortion is theft.

    jeff montanye's picture

    and then there's the missing $2 trillion rumsfeld announced on 9-10-01: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU4GdHLUHwU

    Orly's picture

    Hes said that they were unable to properly track the money; not that it was missing.

    Years of bureaucracy and differing computer systems made it next to impossible to tell where the money was.  That's all.

    It would help our cause if this misinformation were allowed to die a proper death.

    john39's picture

    of course, these are not the droids you are looking for, just simple confusion in record keeping. the lost trillions is just an tin foil hat nonsensical story.

    Orly's picture

    The conspiracy theorists- myself included firmly in that camp- have to pick their battles carefully.

    JFK, 9/11 was an inside job and on and on about the Bush's malfeasance...sure.  But to espouse an easily disprovable claim and calling it in the same realm as the other "real" conspiracies does no one a service except the CIA trolls who would like nothing more than to have the idea that the Pentagon somehow lost $2.3T cast in the same light that Eisenhower was visited by aliens.

    We have to be more careful than that.  Unless your job is to see this myth perpetuated, John...


    falak pema's picture

    Well money never gets lost. It gets devaluated, it gets white washed, it gets spent, it gets stashed in secret places, it gets converted to assets like arms n bullets. Take your pick...getting lost is only for little girls named Susan. Until they grow up as Madonna!

    Truly found after being temporarily lost!

    Orly : how about a recipe for tarte aux myrtilles...Blue berry tart for "blueberry hill" blues.

    "I found my thrill..."

    Orly's picture

    Any marinating recipes for chicken to be fired over the grill, Turkish-style?

    JW n FL's picture

    Orly can I come over and eat.. I hate to ivite myself, its brash but given your inability to not describe your cooking skills.. well you will just have to get ove my brashness!


    Good News Bad News..

    Good News I will bring whatever food you will cook.

    Bad News.. I have a feeling that I am not the only looking to bribe Tyler for you IP address so that we can track you down! Sorry!!

    falak pema's picture

    yes if you like tandoori or tikka...that is very hot here these days. If you have an Indian community in neighborhood just buy tandoor powder sauce  add yoghurt and lemon to taste and let it marinate overnight...hot grill, b-bq or oven and presto...prost!

    Orly's picture

    I like them baked as empanadas.

    One pint of blueberries, juice from one lemon with half the zest, one-half cup of water, one-quarter cup white sugar, one-eighth cup of brown sugar.  (You can use this simple recipe for any fruit, by the way.  It was stolen from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten...)

    Melt the sugars and lemon in the water until glistening, then pour the sugar mix over the blueberries.  Refrigerate for one hour, then drain the blueberries in a strainer over a small bowl for about twenty minutes, to make sure the blueberries are not too wet.  Reserve the syrup to pour over the baked empanadas.

    Wrap the blueberries in the empanada skins- do not overstuff them!- and bake at 425 degrees F for about twenty minutes.


    falak pema's picture

    you are cordon bleu...I am chief supervisor ...I just watch my other half do it...it's called "exorbitant privilege"...except of course for grills! and steak au poivre!

    My favorite spuds dish with grills : gratin dauphinois!

    hangemhigh's picture
    TO:  Orly
    on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 11:44

    "He  said that they were unable to properly track the money; not that it was missing.

    Years of bureaucracy and differing computer systems made it next to impossible to tell where the money was.  That's all.

    It would help our cause if this misinformation were allowed to die a proper death."


    isn't there something a bit odd about continuing to provide massive funding to a federal agency with such a rat's nest of computer systems that can't provide simple accounting information.  

    perhaps their budget allocation should be put on hold until they can turn out accurate info......

    falak pema's picture

    That's like stopping the Wells Fargo coach for repairs at Dodge city when the Cole Younger gang hits town... All they'll leave is the wood work. The show must move on!