Thursday, February 08, 2007

Turn turn turn

I am on the road again and might not post for a while, so it seems apt and timely to recap a major issue I have been prodding since I began this blog in September 05 and before that on the site.

The new Democrat majority is finally getting a handle on the $ billions missing from the earliest stages of the CPA occupation in Iraq.

Stories began surfacing almost immediately, about the apparent waste occurring in Iraq, but were largely ignored. .

In December 2005 I posted Where is that Nine Billion Dollars? On this blog, and the question is still relevant, though the amount appears to have blown out.

My frequent comments on the Oil for Food scandal, particularly in relation to Australia’s wheat cheats, the AWB, raised more questions about squandered cash.

Two former executives where levered into key positions in the Coalition Reconstruction Authority, by the Australian government, and against strong US opposition.

Trevor Flugge, (above) had been Chairman of the newly privatised AWB, the country’s monopoly what exporter. He proved to be a bit of a cowboy in Baghdad, looking after his own interests as well as assuring further wheat sales to the country.

As early as 2003 questions were being asked - Iraq: the missing billions /23.10.03

“A staggering US$4 billion in oil revenues and other Iraqi funds earmarked for the reconstruction of the country has disappeared into opaque bank accounts administered by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the US-controlled body that rules Iraq. By the end of the year, if nothing changes in the way this cash is accounted for, that figure will double.”

But it was Flugge’s colleague, Michael Long, who jangled the alarm bells with pictures of him distributing boxes of cash (right).

His first trip to Iraq was 1997 and he took over the Middle East desk in 2001. In January 2002 Mr Long was appointed as the first Australian representative to the peak international grain body, Grain and Feed Trade Association.

Well versed in the ways of Iraq, Long was entrusted with distributing cash which has never really been accounted for.

It has been a long and frustrating story, and It is great to see some serious effort to investigate it now. I doubt the cash will be recovered or the real story known, but other uncomfortable aspects will certainly be canvassed.

Chief among them should be the real reason Iraq was invaded in the first place.


reality-based educator said...

You were on that story a long, long time ago, cartledge. It's good to see it get investigated. All that cash handed on by Bremer and his Heritage Foundation interns - and no receipts! Amazing!

Boy, wouldn't it be nice to see Bremer go to jail?

Cartledge said...

RBE along with a few congressmen, current and former and some admin people...
I'm just sorry I am otherwise occupied for now and can't really bask in it all.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the cash will be recovered or the real story known, but other uncomfortable aspects will certainly be canvassed.

...assuming that the Democrats are doing more than putting on the typical 'dog and pony' show. But seeting that aside, I can remember reading your earlies posts on this and echo what R-bE said...nice to see some scrutiny here, nice to see Bremmer sweat.

Where are you off to now?

Cartledge said...

Thanks kvatc.

"Where are you off to now?" There is an election coming up in NSW. I have been invited onto a campaign team. Could never resist a campaign :)

reality-based educator said...

Sounds like fun, working a campaign. Good luck, cartledge.

thepoetryman said...

These bastards (etc) felt for sometime that nobody (fear) could touch them and they could run rough shod over Iraq and the rest of the world and the US...well, let us hope that soon the chips will fall where they may, on either side of the aisle, and these thugs are brought to their soiled knees!


Cartledge said...

Right on poetryman, and no poetic justice either, it is time for the real thing!