Find the missing Iraq funds cut off in Lebanon
Find the missing Iraq funds cut off in Lebanon
translation – Anis al-Saffar
has not been a long time to defeat the American forces to Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003, when he began convoys of trucks access to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, the movement regularly emptied its load unusual .. That was the payload packets papers of class 100 Balselovan coated dollars. These funds, which have been withdrawn from the accounts of the Iraqi government retained in the United States, was loaded aboard transport planes “C-17″ belonging to the Air Force to go to Baghdad, where the Bush administration hopes to them that believe in the uninterrupted flow of financially quickly to the new government and the country’s economy collapsed.
over a year and a half of the total amount sent to Iraq by air about 12 to 14 billion dollars, in addition to another $ 5 billion sent via EFT. But the fate of those funds after their arrival at Baghdad remained of the questions that did not show her answer from the days of chaos, the American occupation of that, when the billions of dollars flowing into the country from the United States in an atmosphere of widespread corruption.
become to find an answer to this question is the first duty and carefree concern for “Stuart Bowen,” a friend from Texas for President “George W. Bush”, who was appointed in 2004 to become a competent inspector general investigated the corruption and waste in Iraq. It is believed Bowen that he may have hit a success in his mission (at least partially) before it is closed circle finally in the last year.
concludes Bowen that the Iraqi government may have used most of that money one way or another, but over those years could not determine the fate of billions of dollars to be hit Mhakqoh finally opened no matter when they discovered that between $ 1.2 to $ 1.6 billion has been stolen and then transferred to a fortified underground cellar in a rural area of Lebanon where there safely save. Says Bowen: “I do not know how you got that money to Lebanon, even if we can determine how to have made progress in this case.”
kept Bowen ordered this discovery under wraps as well as the operations of the inquiry carried out by the basement full of money in Lebanon, which it calls the constituency name symbolically is “Tracker brick effect”, where He declined to discuss it in public before now. The frustration appeared evident in a series of interviews for not being able to, he or his investigators, access to the full result for the fate of the missing money. Says Bowen: “We have taken out billions of dollars from Iraq illegally over the past ten years have we thought that we pursue impact correct some of those lost money, and not being able to close this case for reasons beyond our control is disappointing to hope I am personally.”
frustrated also Because the Bush administration, except for the constituency is, you do not conduct investigations into reports that huge amounts of money have disappeared, and that the Obama administration is the other did not bother to follow the evidence until after that issue was discovered Mhakqoh cellar. Bowen says that investigators working with him has told Central Intelligence Agency, “CIA” and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “FBI” including their findings. Bowen then adds that the reason for his belief that made American officials are reluctant to pursue the matter is, “she Iraqi funds stolen by Iraqis,” he said. The spokesmen declined to each of the above-mentioned agencies to comment on this statement.
Iraqi government is no other attempt is made to recover the money and remained silent on the information relating to the cellar of the Lebanese. Bowen says he spoke with the former Prime Minister “Nuri al-Maliki” on the money lost and discovered the cellar where the reservation, however, that the latter did not take any action despite expressing the intensity of his anger at the way the United States has dealt with those funds.
those funds, which were transferred to Iraq has been in all of the large facility in New Jersey under the administration of the Federal Reserve Bank, has been withdrawn from the Development Fund for Iraq, which was established by decision of the United Nations in May 2003 to retain the proceeds of Iraqi oil. It was supposed to be used by the Fund in the reconstruction of Iraq, and it was the decision of the United Nations have also called for the establishment of a committee to pursue its mission to verify that the Coalition Provisional Authority, led by the United States, which took power in Iraq in 2003 and the first half of the year 2004, which directed the transfer of funds Airborne, will use the money properly, including the benefit of the Iraqi people.
had the advantage of using money from the Development Fund, for the Coalition Provisional Authority, rather than the funds allocated by Congress for Iraq is that the first will not be imposed on the disbursement of many rules and will not be subject to controls federal or control Congress in order to learn aspects of their spending. Those Iraqi funds not American taxpayers.
except that the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, “Paul Bremer,” the way in which he defended his agency has dealt with the fund, where he explained in an interview that the need was urgent to those funds to sustain the work of the Iraqi ministries. Bremer defended specifically about the decision to expedite the shipment of funds in June 2004, just before the end of the work of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi interim government solutions misplaced. During the last two weeks of the month of June instructed the Coalition Provisional Authority to ship 4 to 5 billion dollars in cash by plane to Baghdad from New York in quick succession of flights.
Bremer says that the Iraqi government was suffering bankruptcy at the time, and the staff did not receive their salaries for three months, so It was important to get the money quickly. He adds Bremer that Iraq was conducted in which a balancing act to determine the amounts that are requested from the Federal Reserve.
continues, Bremer said: “the important issue is what happened to the money after it has been distributed by the Minister of Finance. because we from our side we reserve the record is very clear for funds the disposal of the Iraqi side. ”
But Bowen does not accept this defense Bremer for the CPA. The system of financial accounting, he says, was Rjua and records that can be relied upon on a few modes of exchange. It goes Bowen Msttrda: “We have conducted Accountants from us interviews with many of the senior advisers to the CPA, and whom we learned that controls the funds Development Fund for Iraq were not enough. We did not make up this speech but Astqenah of cadres that were operating under the authority of the coalition.”
as well as Former officials of the Treasury Department has raised questions about the need to send all the money urgently. Where that the ministry had already sent $ 1.7 billion in cash from the accounts of the Iraqi government in Baghdad to the United States during the first weeks of the fall of the former regime, and then was issued a new Iraqi currency introduced for trading in the month of October. It goes on officials, saying that the new currency ended the need for more shipments of cash from the United States.
says “good Smith” who was head of the team and the Treasury Department employed in the financial aspect of the process of reconstruction after the fall of the regime: “We did not know that Bremer’s request Shipping all So Monetary atmosphere, and I can not find it justified. ”
says Bowen, that the process of “tracker impact brick”, which was the most rigorous investigation conducted by his department sensitivity, began in 2010 when he received Wael Zein, an American of Lebanese descent, work within a team , confidential information about the stolen money hidden in Lebanon. Has told him the detective ordered the cellar, which contains in addition to the cash amounts of gold equivalent value of 200 million dollars back all of the Iraqi government.
due Bowen recalled the back and says that officials in Washington were during this time may have forgotten is air cargo from the base of Andrews, and the CIA did not shown little interest in, and told the FBI that he needed to judicial authorization. When he tried to Bowen and his team are conducting an investigation into the missing money in Lebanon Joppeoa there also impedance by the American Embassy in Beirut.
Bowen did not allow for travel to Lebanon on a mission official act. And Almhakqan of his team, who traveled to Lebanon already did Eoffqa in obtaining permission from the embassy access to the basement themselves because of the seriousness of the situation. When he met the members of the team Bowen in Beirut port General in Beirut Saeed Mirza expressed this consent initially to cooperate in the investigation, but returned altered for that decision later.
in the year 2013 was closed circle of the Special Inspector General in Iraq, and Bowen is now working in the private sector. However, some of those funds, at least, also believed Bowen, may have been moved. He adds that it is impossible to determine whether any of them stays in the cellar until now.
Bowen says he still feels frustrated by the lack of cooperation shown by the Government of his country with his efforts to hunt down the missing money.
for The New York Times