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"Cashpaks" Incoming at Three O'Clock

10.18.2005 07:33 | DISPATCHES

I defy anybody to read Philip Giraldi's American Conservative article on corruption in Iraq, "Money for Nothing," and constrain his or her reaction to an American's usual facile cynicism: "That's politics." The scale on which the administration has doled out money staggers the imagination.

Of course, that's standard operating procedure for Bush & Co.: Do whatever they want, secure in the knowledge that the extent of their excesses will overwhelm Americans. It stands to reason, however, that conservatives would eventually rediscover their pride in fiscal responsibility, which they misplaced during their lost years.

Some fin de siecle excerpts from Giraldi's piece:

"Most of the money was flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 'cashpaks' [containing] $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004 [weighing] an estimated 363 tons [think about that].

". . . contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return. . . The White House [is not interested in] investigations of fraud in Iraqi contracting, preferring to regard the CPA as a 'multinational entity' and thereby limiting its vulnerability in American courts."


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