Keeping tabs on the money in Iraq


Arguments about the merits of the war effort in Iraq aside, it would be nice to know that the money intended for rebuilding the country and doing positive things was actually doing just that. Sadly, it comes as no surprise to me that hundreds of millions of dollars can't be accounted for in Iraq.

The story goes like this: The Pentagon audited $8.2 billion of U.S. taxpayer money that was supposed to be spent for rebuilding. And almost none of it was accounted for properly. They can't even verify the receipt of goods and services totaling millions of dollars. Crazy items showed up, like $320.8 million paid based on an invoice that simply said "Iraqui Salary Payment." In another situation, $11.1 million was paid to a contractor based upon a voucher that didn't even show what (if anything) was delivered. Allies like the United Kingdom, Poland, and South Korea have been paid $134.8 million, but the Pentagon auditors have no idea why.

Originally published