Bush's CPA Lost Track Of $8.8 Billion In Iraqi Oil Money
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues can be assured that the CPA is now more effectively delivering food and resources to the people of Iraq than Saddam Hussein ever did. Today, Iraqi resources are being used for the Iraqi people for the first time in decades. Our achievements are impressive in this area and should demonstrate our commitment to the people of Iraq.
Mr. Speaker, before I close, I would once again call for a full and thorough investigation of the expenditures of all funds involved in the Oil for Food program. The corruption was so deep in the Saddam Hussein administration and in those countries, companies and international institutions that propped up the regime, I am convinced that we will not like what we discover.
--GOP Representative Tom Cole (OK), May 11, 2004
Remember the uproar from the conservatives earlier this year when they claimed that the UN had mismanaged the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program for years through corruption and ineptitude? Well, it's sad to see that bringing a little Bush-style democracy and capitalism hasn't changed anything. It is reported late yesterday that $8.8 billion (that's billion with a "b") in Iraqi oil revenue just since we have been in charge cannot be accounted for.
Among the draft audit's findings were that payrolls in Iraqi ministries under Coalition Provisional Authority control were padded with thousands of ghost employees.
In one example, the audit said the CPA paid for 74,000 guards even though the actual number could not be validated. In another, 8,206 guards were listed on a payroll but only 603 people doing the work could be counted.
One of the main benefactors of the Iraq funds was Texas-based firm Halliburton, which was paid more than a billion dollars out of those funds to bring in fuel for Iraqi civilians.
The monitoring board said despite repeated requests it had not been given access to U.S. audits of contracts held by Halliburton, which was once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, and other firms that used the development funds.
Perhaps Congressmen Cole and his other GOP wing nuts may want to investigate Halliburton while they are investigating the UN? Perhaps they now want to retract their statements that the CPA did a much better job than the UN in this area? Perhaps the Washington Times and the other organs of the Mighty Wurlitzer like the Heritage Foundation will call for a full congressional investigation of how the Bush Administration mismanaged billions of dollars in Iraqi oil money to benefit Halliburton and other GOP campaign contributors. But I doubt they will. The CPA under Paul Bremer was really nothing more than an ATM machine for doling out Iraq reconstruction funds and oil revenue to Bush campaign contributors, staffed with unqualified conservative true believers.
It's time for Kerry and Edwards to talk a lot about Halliburton, the ineptitude if not outright graft of this administration, and the loss of our soldiers daily to provide the means for Halliburton and other GOP campaign contributors to rape the US taxpayers and the Iraqi people.
In fact, that would be the ideal message to hammer during the week of the GOP convention.