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House Panel Questions Monitoring of Cash Shipped to Iraq
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, February 7, 2007
Posted: February 7th, 2007

A House committee report on Tuesday questioned whether some of the billions of dollars in cash shipped to Iraq after the American invasion mostly in huge, shrink-wrapped stacks of $100 bills might have ended up with the insurgent groups now battling American troops. Democrats sharply questioned the former American civilian administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, about lax management of the nearly $12 billion in cash shipped to Iraq between May 2003 and June 2004. Mr. Bremer defended his performance as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, noting that the United States had to bring tons of American dollars into Iraq because the country had no functioning banking system. Government auditors have repeatedly criticized the American and Iraqi governments for failing to monitor the money once it reached Iraq. We have no way of knowing if the cash that was shipped into the Green Zone ended up in enemy hands, [Committee Chairman Henry Waxman] said. We owe it to the American people to do everything we can to find out where the $12 billion went. Mr. Waxman, whose panel is pursuing investigations of fraud and abuse by the federal government and its contractors in Iraq, said he found it remarkable that the Bush administration had decided to send billions of dollars of American currency into Iraq so quickly after the United States occupied the country. The committee calculated that the $12 billion in cash, most of it in the stacks of $100 bills, weighed 363 tons and had to been flown in on wooden pallets aboard giant C-130 military cargo planes. Who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone? Mr. Waxman said.

Note: Think about Bremer's assertion that Iraq needed U.S. dollars as the banking system had collapsed. Banking systems have collapsed in numerous countries in the last century, yet that has never stopped the country from functioning, nor has the U.S. ever offered to send huge amounts of cash to help out in the past.

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