The Pentagon cannot account for the over $8 bn. given out to cronies in the first years of the Iraq occupation, money which came from Iraq’s oil proceeds to begin with.
The reason is that in the chaotic days after the fall of the Baath government and the collapse of the old economy, Paul Bremer & Co. attempted to jump-start the Iraq market economy by giving out large sums in brown paper bags with no questions asked. They did not understand that the Iraqi market had been killed by decades of government control and that no magic hand any longer existed, so they might as well have taken that money and buried it in the ground. (Actually some of it probably was buried, in back yards in Fairfax County, Va.)
The real problem, though, is not petty larceny but that no one can account for our whole country being gone in the aftermath of the 2003 illegal war– with a cancellation by John Roberts of our Bill of Rights, $2 trillion missing from the treasury for the wars and their related costs (at least), torture still permitted overseas, arbitrary no-fly punishments meted out to peaceful protesters, the entire Republican Party kidnapped and stealthily replaced with glaze-eyed Manchurian cultists, and habeas corpus permanently embezzled and bamboozled out of existence.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was wrong when he declared in 1840 that ‘property is theft.’
But I can offer a more solid and more consistently true aphorism: “War is theft.”
And not only of money; of supposedly inalienable rights, as well.
Nor is it over with. AP notes that the US has put $51 billion into Afghanistan since 2001 for education, roads, water, jobs and electricity. Now Washington is planning to spend another $20 bn. in Afghanistan the coming year alone. That total sum, $71 bn. is greater than what was spent (from US monies) on Iraq. The news service writes:
“An Associated Press investigation showed that the results so far — or lack of them — threaten to do more harm than good. The number of Afghans with access to electricity has increased from 6 percent in 2001 to only about 10 percent now, far short of the goal of providing power to 65 percent of urban and 25 percent of rural households by the end of this year. ”