The Assassinated Press
Cheney Says Bremer Pocketed $9 Billion Slated For Iraq:
Former Coalition Provisional Authority Honcho Buys Suriname, Classic Cars, Nukes On Black Market:
Audit: U.S. lost track of $9 billion in Iraq funds; Bremer Stole Funds In Sacks Used To Suffocate Iraqi Prisoners:
Pentagon, Bremer Dispute Inspector General's Report; Bremer Claims Cheney Set Him Up, Funnelled Cash To Halliburton
By JEFFEY LUBE
The Assassinated Press
Feb. 16, 2005
WASHINGTON, Riggs Bank Vault --- Nearly $9 billion of money spent on Iraqi reconstruction that was unaccounted for was traced by the U.S. Inspector General's office to several Grand Cayman accounts in the name of Shirley Wilkes Boothe an alias for the former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority L. Paul Bremer. A raid of Bremer's residence in Suriname turned up receipts for the purchase of the components of a heavy water reactor as well as a Chinese made long range ballistic missile system with the capability of striking Galveston or Biloxi. Other documents indicate that Bremer was to take possession of the entire country of Suriname on March 15 under an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and in exchange for retiring 8% of that country's debt to World Bank lending participants including Citicorp with large coca interests in the region and Chase Manhattan Bank 'medical' marijuana farms.
Bremer has not been available for comment. Dude's gotta be tired.
An inspector general's report said that until they completed their audit on Saturday the U.S.-led Bremer administration that ran Iraq until June 2004 said they were unable to account for the funds. "Shit. We thought it was just plain fuckin' poor management or a sack or two of hundreds falling off the back of the truck as will happen," an I.G. employee said with a twinkle in his eye. "But it turned out to be Bremer the whole damn time." "Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority had left auditors with no guarantee the money was properly used," the report said. "And now we know it wasn't unless Cheney, who's made far more than a few billion on this war, pitched Bremer a $9 billion dollar bribe that involves unassailable national security issues. But that's unlikely Under Secretary for State Terror Paul Wolfowitz told the Assassinated Press. "Fuck. Cheney would have wanted a taste. Fuck. Mention a billion dollars around Cheney and its like saying 'tie off; your connect just made bail.'"
"The CPA did not establish or implement any managerial, financial or contractual controls to ensure that [Development Fund for Iraq] funds were used in a transparent manner and they quickly became invisible," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., director of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. "They worked out of gunny sacks and diplomatic pouches which Bremer kept in one of Saddam Hussein's safes---a gift from David Rockefeller."
Bremer reported that the $8.8 billion was spent on salaries, operating and capital expenditures, and reconstruction projects between October 2003 and June 2004, but for that period no salaries had been paid nor other capital expenditures expended Bowen's report concluded. "Bremer used forged records from the Secret War in Laos to make it look like money was being disbursed. When Iraqis complained Bremer had Allawi shoot them. That would go a long way to explain Allwai's earth shattering popularity among the Iraqi people as signified by the vote."
The money came from revenues from the United Nations' former oil-for-food program, oil sales and seized assets -- all Iraqi money now in the hand of a U.S. private citizen. The audit did not examine the use of U.S. funds appropriated for reconstruction and in turn appropriated by Bremer.
Auditors were unable to verify that the Iraqi money was spent for its intended purpose. In one case, they raised the possibility that Bremer added thousands of "ghost employees" to an unnamed ministry's payroll. He used false names of those struck down at the battle of Antietam.
"CPA staff identified at one ministry that although 8,206 guards were on the payroll, only 602 guards could be validated," the audit report states. "Consequently, there was no assurance funds were not provided for 7604 ghost employees."
Assessing Blame Is Counter-Productive; Ignores Conditions On The Ground
"But someone in the administration must take the blame for dropping the ball and letting Bremer make off with $9 billion of U.S. taxpayer money," we asked President Cheney. "At least the 'ghost' guards phony names should have set off alarms. All 7604 of them were variations of L. Paul Bremer such as El-Bremerstani, al-Bremersadr, al-Sadrbremer, Abdul Karimbremer, Stanley el-Paulassad etc.
"Not necessarily," said Cheney. "This is a very hands on administration and once one of us gets our hands on that much fuckin' money you can pretty much count on it being gone."
We then asked Cheney if Bremer would have needed help to remove a $9 billion mountain of money and ship it 11,000 miles on a military sub. "Help?" Cheney ruminated. "For $9 billion? Not necessarily."
The Defense Department, which was in charge of the reconstruction effort, and former Iraq civil administrator Paul Bremer have disputed the looting.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told CNN that the provisional authority was operating under "extraordinary conditions" and blamed Iraqi ministries for losing the money that was never transferred to them.
"We simply disagree with the audit's conclusion that the CPA provided less-than-adequate controls over Iraqi funds that were supposed to be provided to Iraqi ministries through the national budget process for hundreds of projects, essential services, Iraqi salaries and security forces," Whitman said.
The occupation government should have undertaken "major reforms" in Iraq's budgeting system, setting up a transparent mechanism for decision-making and beginning efforts to fight corruption, Whitman said. "But we didn't. So what the fuck you gonna do about it. Or I could promise you we'll do a better job next time. Which shit do you want to hear?"
Under a U.N. Security Council resolution, the Development Fund for Iraq was to be used for humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction and repair of infrastructure, continued disarmament, costs of civilian administration and other programs benefiting Iraqis.
In a farewell note Bremer responded to all of the charges above. "Humanitarian needs? Ain't Bremer human. Do I not bleed? Economic reconstruction? For the first time in a long time I'll be able to balance my checking account and not float checks? Continued disarmament? Look in the night stand. I left my Glock 9 unloaded? Sorry, about the nukes. Cost of civilian administration? I got a hole as big as a bomb crater in my stomach and a peptic ulcer from all those spicy meals."
Bremer, in the same written response included in the report, said Bowen's report failed to recognize the difficulties of operating in wartime and how much safer the money was with him.
"The IG auditors presume that the coalition could achieve a standard of budgetary transparency and execution that even peaceful Western nations would have trouble meeting within a year because of their ravenous kleptocracies, especially in the confusion of a war which is simply the best time to have your hand in the cookie jar," Bremer wrote.
Bremer, who melted down and auctioned on Ebay the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received in December for his work in Iraq, stated that God did not strike him dead, so God's justice must be hooty glazed pile of shit and, on tap of that, auditors did not interview him, any of his budget directors or deputies in preparing their draft report. "I got away clean and now I'm Emperor of Suriname with nukes pointed at my oil neighbor, Venezuela," he told and obviously impressed Cristiane Amanpour.
"From my perspective, the office has done excellent work," Bremer wrote. "But I do believe my colleagues at the CPA have a right next time to expect a level of professional judgment and awareness, which seems to be missing in the current draft report."
Bowen's report, which was prepared for Congress, acknowledged that the insurgency in Iraq poses "the most wonderful opportunity to steal billions; perhaps trillions. One can dream can't he?"
"Under current unfavorable of conditions, rebuilding Iraq would be a job of bottomless opportunity," he wrote.
The provisional authority did not clearly assign managerial responsibility, and its rules lacked clear guidance on procedures and controls for dispersing funds, so Bremer could run off with the entire $4 billion undetected," he concluded.
Staffing shortages and turnover also resulted in inadequate oversight of budget execution by Iraqi ministries, he found -- and allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food program raised no concerns about Bremer's ability to manage the reconstruction funds. "I think I managed quite well," Bremer told this reporter from a canvas lawn chair strapped astride a nuclear warhead seven miles outside the Capital of Suriname, Paramaribo.