Remember the giant pallet of raw cash that the Bush Administration sent to Iraq? The pallet of cash which mysteriously vanished into the wind upon its arrival never to be seen again?
The original estimates for how much money went missing were between $6 billion and $9 billion, but now it turns out that two or three times that much may have gone missing, totaling roughly $18 billion dollars.
Recent estimates had the amount of missing money at about $6.6 billion, but according to Al Jazeera, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi says the figure is closer to three times that amount.
Officials were supposed to distribute the money to Iraqi government ministries and U.S. contractors tasked with the reconstruction of Iraq, but it now appears that the bulk of the cash was stolen in what may be one of the largest heists in history.
The Iraqi government argues that U.S. forces were supposed to safeguard the cash under a 2004 agreement, making Washington responsible for the money’s disappearance. Pentagon officials claim that given time to track down the records they can account for all of the money, but the U.S. has already audited the money three times and no trace of what happened to it can be found.
I can think of so many better things to do with $18 billion dollars other than shrink-wrapping it and shipping it to Iraq on wooden pallets only to have it disappear. I’m not going to dive into conspiracy theories, but I will say the whole thing stinks.