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Monday, September 19, 2005

One Billion Dollars Are Gone

Independent: What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?:
"One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence 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."
via [ Atrios ]

Juan Cole has this today too.
Americans should be outraged at this news, which has now been reported twice by fine journalists in Iraq, but which has not become an issue in American politics. The embezzlement at the ministry of defense left the Iraqi military poorly equipped, and greatly delayed the moment at which it could take over from the US in providing security to the country. The embezzlement is directly tied to the Iraqi government losing control over its own capital, as reported here yesterday. The scale of it matches Saddam's kickbacks in the oil for food scandal, but the US journalists who were so outraged at the former don't seem to have the time of day for the embezzlement story.

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