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Bush's stolen $6.6 bln cash aid to Iraq could turn out to be largest theft in national history

Washington , Tue, 14 Jun 2011 ANI

Washington, June 14 (ANI): As much as 6.6 billion dollars flown by the Bush administration to postwar Iraq may have been stolen when it got there in 'the largest theft of funds in national history,' investigators auditing the cash have revealed.


In 2004, the US sent 2.4 billion dollars to Iraq in a giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane, followed by 20 other flights full of cash. It is thought to have been the biggest international cash airlift of all time.


Investigators have suggested the cash may have been stolen on the ground, the Daily Mail reports.


The loss of 6.6 billion dollars in taxpayers' money is a continuous embarrassment to the Pentagon.


"Congress is not looking forward to having to spend billions of our money to make up for billions of their money that we can't account for, and can't seem to find," said Henry Waxman, the former chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.


In 2005, the committee charged that US officials in Iraq 'used virtually no financial controls to account for these enormous cash withdrawals once they arrived in Iraq, and there is evidence of substantial waste, fraud and abuse in the actual spending and disbursement of the Iraqi funds.'


It is thought that once the cash arrived in Iraq, officials stored the money in a basement vault in one of the palaces formerly owned by Saddam Hussein, before it was distributed to individual Iraqi ministries, the paper said.


The Pentagon has long said it could determine what happened to the money if given time, but it has yet to do so. Iraq's government says the US, which controlled the country at the time, is responsible for the funds.


According to the paper, Iraq's chief auditor, Abdul Basit Turki Saeed, warned US officials that his government would go to court if necessary to recoup the missing money. (ANI)


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