The U.S. official in charge of the funds that flow into Iraq has confirmed that almost $7 billion, ear-marked for Iraqi re-construction, is missing and likely stolen.According to CBS News, the inspector general for Iraq Stuart Bowen said the missing cash may be “the largest theft of funds in national history”.
$12 billion in cash was flown into Iraq following the U.S. invasion to pay state employees and keep operations in the country running smoothly. While the greenbacks were shipped from the Federal Reserve currency repository in East Rutherford, N.J., the money never belonged to the U.S. — it was just withheld during the years of sanctions on Saddam.
Now the Iraqis want the billions back and they’re threatening litigation to get it. It’s a case Congress doesn’t want to see go to court. Not only because the U.S. just paid $61 billion to help rebuild Iraq, but because the last holder of the funds before they disappeared was the U.S. government.
Showing where the missing money went is proving more difficult than expected as the Iraqis are ignoring repeated requests for details crucial to the investigation. Bowen remains hopeful the Iraqis will comply before his office begins its final year of operation.
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