The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Saturday, May 3

here kitty kitty

We did wonder when the administration would get around to spending the $2.43 billion dollars it holds in seized Iraqi assets. Looks like the kitty has already been dipped into. What bpost would really like to know is how did it go from $2.43 billion down to $1.7 billion and what happened to that roughly $700 million dollars in between?
The U.S. Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance has already requested $20 million from the $1.7 billion in frozen assets to jump-start the economy. Some 3,500 government employees, dock workers and oil workers have received emergency payments of $20, Treasury officials said.
We're not sure how we feel about spending the money vs giving the money back to Iraq. First the US bombs Iraq. Then it places Americans as the head of its industries. Next step, hires the now unemployed Iraqis to work at the jobs they had before the country was bombed. Pays them with seized Iraqi assets. Something is not quite right in this formula.

In the meantime, does this qualify as aid and should bpost include this in the ongoing list of reconstruction contracts?
The United States suffered a major blow in its campaign to recruit friendly Shia clerics inside Iraq last month when it lost an influential religious ally to an angry mob - and up to $13 million the CIA had given him to cultivate supporters.

While he was widely perceived to be pro-American, Iraqis were unaware that the cleric, Abdel Majid al-Khoei, had agreed to use the CIA cash in a covert program to enlist support within the splintered Shia community, according to knowledgeable U.S. sources.
In case you are keeping track of the contracts/aid it might look something like this:

Company Abdel Majid al-Khoei
Award $13 million
Agency CIA
Date of RFP
Date of Award April 3, 2003
Nature of work To enlist covert support within the splintered Shia community

It would be interesting to know if the $13 million dollars the CIA "lost" came out of the $700 million now missing from the seized assets account. And why does anyone think we wouldn't notice the sudden dip in accounting? Someone please ask Ari Fleischer. Bpost wants to see how Ari evades answering the question.

Defense Policy Board sighting

Over at USA today, Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle shares more of his Perle's of wisdom with us. We're so lucky he likes to see his words in print.
We will find Saddam's well-hidden chemical and biological weapons programs, but only when people who know come forward and tell us where to look. While Saddam was in power, even a hint about his concealment and deception was a death sentence, often by unimaginable torture against whole families. Saddam had four years to hide things. We have had a few weeks to find them. Patience — and some help from free Iraqis — will be rewarded.
But what about all of the intelligence Colin Powell presented to the UN that said the US knew where the weapons of mass destruction were? oops? And what exactly does Perle mean by rewarded--mucho dinero? Perle's end quote held bpost as a captive audience.
Iraqis are freer today and we are safer. Relax and enjoy it.
Lie back and have that post war cigarette.


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