U.S. Fraud In Iraq

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  • #1
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Investigators looking into corruption involving reconstruction in Iraq say they have opened more than 50 new cases in six months by scrutinizing large cash transactions — involving banks, land deals, loan payments, casinos and even plastic surgery — made by some of the Americans involved in the nearly $150 billion program.

Some of the cases involve people who are suspected of having mailed tens of thousands of dollars to themselves from Iraq, or of having stuffed the money into duffel bags and suitcases when leaving the country, the federal investigators said. In other cases, millions of dollars were moved through wire transfers. Suspects then used cash to buy BMWs, Humvees and expensive jewelry, or to pay off enormous casino debts.

Some suspects also tried to conceal foreign bank accounts in Ghana, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain, the investigators said, while in other cases, cash was simply found stacked in home safes....
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35858776/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times
 

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  • #2
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And this is surprising because...?

I kinda just assumed this was happening even without a news story about it.
 
  • #3
mgb_phys
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This isn't fraud - it's simple theft.
There were also lots of cases of fraud and on a much larger scale, it's tricky to steal a few $10,000 in cash, but very easy to defraud on a $Bn contract.
 
  • #4
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And this is surprising because...?
It's not so much a matter of being surprising as being outrageous. Is the conflict over there just a big scam to funnel taxpayer dollars to the corrupt?

What does it do to the morale of the average Marine over there to find he's been duped into being a sort of mafia soldier for corrupt contractors?

It hands Islamic fundamentalist insurgents confirmation that they've been right all along, that we're the "Great Satan", and should be pushed from the Middle East.
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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This isn't even outrageous, whenever large sums of money are involved ina nything, expect corruption. Throwing a big number out there like $150 billion is just journalism trickery to make the problem immediately seem big but that's not actually telling us how widespread the corruption is. $10,000 here and there, a new car here, a couple million there.... when you're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars per year... is it that crazy? It practically should be expected...
 
  • #6
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It is totally disgusting that the government knew that this was going on and did nothing.

Haliburton was charging the government $45 for a six pack of Pepsi that was purchased locally in the middle east.

 
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  • #7
turbo
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Cheney's companies were raping the US during this faux "war". Even now, Obama can't disentangle cleanly from that rape. Is anybody surprised? This country could have had better education, better roads, and much better health care for the costs of undeclared wars that were not allowed to be "on budget". Thanks, neo cons.

Real conservatives would never have allowed any of this to happen, but they were purged from the Republican party 30 years ago.
 
  • #8
turbo
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I had industrial experience much earlier with Halliburton and KBR. They would send untrained workers onto mill-sites to flush our black liquor evaporators, Kraft digesters, etc, and those workers had no idea what they were getting into. They came up north and earned good wages (comparitively) for doing work that no rational workers would agree to do. They would put themselves in danger of grievous harm for high wages and then retreat, so that their employers could not be implicated in health-suits, that are usually required to be tied to long-term exposures.
 
  • #9
I had industrial experience much earlier with Halliburton and KBR. They would send untrained workers onto mill-sites to flush our black liquor evaporators, Kraft digesters, etc, and those workers had no idea what they were getting into. They came up north and earned good wages (comparitively) for doing work that no rational workers would agree to do. They would put themselves in danger of grievous harm for high wages and then retreat, so that their employers could not be implicated in health-suits, that are usually required to be tied to long-term exposures.
When they were working on bringing some of the old power plants here in California back online the fresh out of school techs they had hired had no idea what they were doing and an old acquaintance of mine who was retired and had experience with the plants was called in to clean up their mess. When they didn't want to listen to him because they were younger and "better educated" he said "**** it" and quit. He was more than willing to give up his extremely generous pay and go back to volunteering his time at the veterans hospital.

I think it was the mayor he said that called him up and begged him to come back. He was offered more pay (he showed me one of his checks and it was enough to make any of us blush) and only asked for days off that would allow him to continue volunteering at the VA while he worked.

If only these were the sorts of decisions that more politicians made. If they choose people they know to take on jobs because the person is vetted and they know they can handle the job and not just because their friend can use the money.

Its too bad that I do not have contact with him any more since I think that you two would get along famously if I could direct him here.
 
  • #10
Borek
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It hands Islamic fundamentalist insurgents confirmation that they've been right all along, that we're the "Great Satan", and should be pushed from the Middle East.
To some extent you are right, but I think it is more complicated than that. From what I understand bribery is a part of Middle East culture and they are used to both giving and receiving gifts. Refusing to give or receive baksheesh can be considered impolite. Anyone trying to make bussiness in Iraq has to take it to some extent into account.

I am not saying US Army officials were innocent victims, just public opinion there about their actions can be culturally skewed.

If you eat your dog in western culture you risk infamation if not arrest, in China you will be just asked if it was tasty.

But I can be wrong.
 
  • #11
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To some extent you are right, but I think it is more complicated than that. From what I understand bribery is a part of Middle East culture and they are used to both giving and receiving gifts. Refusing to give or receive baksheesh can be considered impolite. Anyone trying to make bussiness in Iraq has to take it to some extent into account.

I am not saying US Army officials were innocent victims, just public opinion there about their actions can be culturally skewed.

If you eat your dog in western culture you risk infamation if not arrest, in China you will be just asked if it was tasty.

But I can be wrong.
You may well be right. It might look like S.O.P. to them.
 
  • #12
To some extent you are right, but I think it is more complicated than that. From what I understand bribery is a part of Middle East culture and they are used to both giving and receiving gifts. Refusing to give or receive baksheesh can be considered impolite. Anyone trying to make bussiness in Iraq has to take it to some extent into account.

I am not saying US Army officials were innocent victims, just public opinion there about their actions can be culturally skewed.

If you eat your dog in western culture you risk infamation if not arrest, in China you will be just asked if it was tasty.

But I can be wrong.
You are wrong. In only small parts of China. Usually the part near North Korea and the poorer people. China is very different in many areas. To generalize anything in China would actually be foolish. Even the language and writing isn't the same throughout the country and I mean different. I'm not talking different dialect either.

Just saying.

It would be like me saying... Americans buy winter coats for winter.

Clearly that is not a true statement.

So eating dog is a North Korean thing... not Chinese.
 
  • #13
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This has turned into fraud much bigger than the Madoff scandal.

Despite the vast sums expended on rebuilding by the US since 2003, there have been no cranes visible on the Baghdad skyline except those at work building a new US embassy and others rusting beside a half-built giant mosque that Saddam was constructing when he was overthrown.

One of the few visible signs of government work on Baghdad's infrastructure is a tireless attention to planting palm trees and flowers in the centre strip between main roads. Those are then dug up and replanted a few months later.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/a-fraud-bigger-than-madoff-1622987.html
 
  • #14
kyleb
This isn't fraud - it's simple theft.
There were also lots of cases of fraud and on a much larger scale...
Exactly, the documentary http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6621486727392146155&ei=XaOeS5nIFpiaqALV7MT6DA&q=iraq+for+sale&hl=en&view=3#" [Broken] which sum up the situation well.

Is the conflict over there just a big scam to funnel taxpayer dollars to the corrupt?
I've yet to see a reasonable argument for it ever having been anything but.

From what I understand bribery is a part of Middle East culture and they are used to both giving and receiving gifts. . Refusing to give or receive baksheesh can be considered impolite.
Considering what we're been doing in Iraq along with http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml", this seems more a problem with our own culture than anything one could rightly blame on the East.
 
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