Friday, February 13, 2009

Our Shitty Foreign Policy Continues to Produce Shit Fruit

Well more of the same. People keep forgetting that we are just pouring insane resources into the great sinkhole of the middle east. Maybe people aren't forgetting but they sure as hell aren't constantly reminded about it. We're reminded of the sacrifices of soldiers, progresses made and attacks on the fragile peace by religious zealots. Yes thats all good and true but often overlooked is just how totally fucked and corrupt that part of the world is. Stuff like this is happening all the time and has been since we got there.

Stuff like "One Third of All Weapons Procured for Afghan Forces Are Missing - Presumed Sold" and countless stories of Billions Lost or Missing in Iraq.

There were no banks or wire transfers to pay them, no bean counters to keep track of the money. Just vaults and footlockers stuffed with billions of dollars in cash.

"Fresh, new, crisp, unspent, just-printed $100 bills. It was the Wild West," recalls Frank Willis, who was the No. 2 man at the Coalition Provisional Authority’s Ministry of Transportation.

The money was a mixture of Iraqi oil revenues, war booty and U.S. government funds earmarked for the coalition authority. Whenever cash was needed, someone went down to the vault with a wheelbarrow or gunny sacks.

"Those are $100,000 bricks of $100 bills and that’s $2 million there," Willis explains, looking at a photo of brick-shaped stacks of money wrapped in plastic. "This, in fact, is a payment that we made on the 1st of August to a company called Custer Battles."

Willis says the bricks of money were also sometimes referred to as footballs, "… because we passed them around in little pickup games in our office," he says laughing.

Oh what fun to be a war profiteer

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