Iraq War Fund Diversion

Bush Sinks MORE Money, MORE Troops into Iraq Just to Quell the Chaos He has Created
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Indystar: "Shifting its priorities amid a rising insurrection, the Bush administration announced Tuesday it would divert $3.46 billion in congressionally approved assistance to Iraq to build up security and economic development. Spending for police, border patrols and other security measures will be boosted by $1.8 billion to a total of $5 billion, State Department officials said in making a long-anticipated announcement. There will be 45,000 more police, 16,000 more border patrol guards and 20 additional National Guard battalions, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman said." Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis remain without clean water, electricity, or sewage - a situation that for many has remained unchanged in many areas since US bombing attacks razed the infrastructure.

Pentagon Wants another $12.3 Billion - But Refuses to Reimburse Soldiers and their Families for Protective Gear
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Back in June, the Senate voted unanimously to reimburse soldiers and their families for protective gear. Because the Pentagon failed to supply this life-saving gear, soldier's families and communities have been forced to raise the money themselves. Tho' the Senate amendment passed 90 to 0, "the Pentagon opposed the amendment, saying the government would end up paying for unapproved equipment that hadn't been adequately tested.[as if the Bush Pentagon cares! Remember cammie tents they supposedly "tested" that turned out to be laced with toxic chemicals?] Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the author of the proposal, dismissed the argument as "unreasonable," adding "In spite of the millions (the Department of Defense) spent on testing equipment, the fact remains that they failed to outfit our soldiers with the gear they needed." Yet now the Pentagon is back asking Congress for $12.3 BILLION more!

White House Is Withholding Info from UN Auditors on Huge Iraq No-Bid Contracts
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Moscow Times: "[The White House] is withholding information from UN-sanctioned auditors examining more than $1 billion in contracts awarded to Halliburton and other companies in Iraq without competitive bidding. Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, the chairman of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, said that the US has repeatedly rebuffed his requests to turn over internal audits, including one that covered three contracts valued at $1.4 billion that were awarded to Halliburton. It has also failed to produce a list of other companies that have obtained contracts without having to compete. The dispute comes as the board released an initial audit by the accounting firm KPMG Thursday that sharply criticized the U.S.-led coalition's management of billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue. The audit also raised concerns about lax financial controls within some Iraqi ministries, citing poor bookkeeping and duplicate payments of salaries to government employees."

GAO Said Bush Spent Iraq's Money Even Faster than It Spent US Taxpayers' on Reconstruction
Iraq War Fund Diversion

AP: "The US spent far more of Iraq's money than its own in the first year of reconstruction, according to a [GAO] report. As of April, about $58 billion in grants, loans, Iraqi assets and revenues has been made available or pledged to reconstruction and relief efforts in post-Saddam Iraq, the GAO said. That includes $24 billion in U.S. funds, $13.6 billion in international pledges and $21 billion largely from sales of Iraqi oil and assets of the former regime that had been frozen or seized by various nations. Of the $24 billion in American funds, the occupation authority signed contracts and obligated $8.2 billion and actually handed out $3 billion. Of the $21 billion in Iraqi money, authorities made commitments for $13 billion and actually spent $8.3."

Christian Charity Accuses Iraq Coalition of Diverting $20 Billion from Relief and Reconstruction Efforts
Iraq War Fund Diversion

UK Guardian: "A Christian charity has accused the coalition authority in Iraq of failing to account for up to $20bn of oil revenues which should have been spent on relief and reconstruction projects. At the same time, the UK Liberal Democrats are demanding an investigation into the way the US-led administration in Baghdad has handled Iraq's oil revenues. The coalition is obliged to pay all oil revenues into the Development Fund for Iraq, but according to Liberal Democrat figures, the fund could be short by as much as $3.7bn. Sir Menzies Campbell, Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, said yesterday: 'This apparent discrepancy requires full investigation'. Christian Aid, in a report today, claims that the US-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority, which hands over power to an interim administration in Iraq this week, is in flagrant breach of the UN security council resolution which gave it control of the country's oil revenues."

In Last-Minute 'Stealth Move,' Most of Iraq's Revenues Have Been Committed to US/UK Corporations, NOT to Iraqis
Iraq War Fund Diversion

The New Standard: " According to documents posted on its own web site, Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority's little-known Program Review Board has quietly committed billions of dollars in Iraq's oil revenues to new contracts that critics say will enrich US and British corporations while limiting the amount of revenue Iraq's new interim government will have at its disposal when it assumes authority from the CPA on June 30. Why are such large amounts of discretionary cash being committed to programs prior to establishing mechanisms for implementing them?' the report asks. 'And why are these spending obligations being introduced at the last minute rather than allowing the in-coming government to make such decisions?' "

Illegal South African Mercenaries in Iraq Were Behind Earlier Armed Coup Plot in Africa
Iraq War Fund Diversion

UK Observer: "Mercenaries accused of planning a coup in an oil-rich African state also worked under contract for the British government providing security in Iraq, raising fears about the way highly sensitive security work is awarded. The Department for International Development signed a 250,000 (British pounds) deal in 2003 with the South-African based Meteoric Tactical Solutions to provide 'close protection' [mercenary bodyguards] for department staff." Btw, it is against South African law for its citizens to work as mercenaries anywhere in the world. Now it turns out that the same "company" was behind a bloody coup in Equatorial Guinea, staged while employees were hired to guard diamond mines. So while US/UK troops are poorly paid and overworked, thousands of armed thugs are handsomely paid and treated like corporate contractors.

Dems Want Details on AfghanIraq Spending
Iraq War Fund Diversion

"Democrats said Monday that Bush had failed to give Congress enough detail on how $40 billion had been used for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and for fighting terrorists. They asked him to provide the information... 'Transparency in this regard is critical. We need a full accounting of the entire $40 billion' fund, said the letter by Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrats on the Senate and House Appropriations committees. In their letter, Obey and Byrd said they had no record that Congress was consulted before the $178 million was spent and had not gotten sufficient detail in later reports 'to indicate whether funds were used to prepare for the war in Iraq.' The two Democrats also said although the law required the White House to report quarterly on how the $40 billion was being spent, Congress has not received a report since May 2003." You Go, ByrdObey!

The Iran-Contra Gang Strikes Again: The $700 Million Kuwait Diversion
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Eric Alterman writes: "The United States Constitution is meaningless to these people: The Bush Administration decided to lay out $700 million on a 'massive, covert public works program' in Kuwait in 2002, even though, as Woodward aptly notes, they did not inform Congress. This is a violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution, which vests the power of the purse in Congress, along with various statutes that bar the executive from unilaterally moving money out of areas explicitly mandated by spending bills. It is, moreover, an explicit violation of the post-9/11 emergency supplemental bill, which gave the President discretion to direct the $40 billion it appropriated but specifically required him to 'consult with the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committees on Appropriations prior to the transfer' of any funds. There is no evidence of any such consultation, and indeed the White House is not claiming any exists."

AfghanIraq Day 5: The Secret $700 Million
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Prof. Cass Sunstein writes, "Did President Bush consult with those leaders before committing millions of dollars to preparations for the war in Iraq? ... If not, then the Sept. 14 appropriation appears not, in fact, to give the president the authority to use funds in the way that Woodward suggests that he did. In any case, the act also requires the director of OMB to 'provide quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations on the use of these funds, beginning not later than January 2, 2002.' Were such reports provided, and did they include the information that Woodward reports? ... No mere quibble is involved. Under the Constitution, funds are appropriated by Congress, not the president. Even when national security is threatened, the president is constitutionally obliged to follow congressional restrictions on the expenditure of federal funds."

AfghanIraq Day 4: Pentagon Admits Diversion of $178.4 Million But Denies Criminal Intent
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Wall St. Journal reports, "The Pentagon acknowledged that in tandem with its secret planning for the Iraq war two years ago, it funded 21 military-related projects in the Mideast when the Bush administration had yet to seek a war resolution from Congress. The administration said in late summer 2002 that $178.4 million was spent on projects that could be justified [oh REALLY?] as part of the larger war against terrorism. The heaviest concentration of projects was in Kuwait, including a $24 million contract to build up an ammunition storage and supply system for an Army brigade, and $15 million for communications equipment at the Arifjan Base Camp. A $3 million detention facility for unspecified prisoners also was funded, together with almost $6.5 million for an inland petroleum-distribution system, including fuel trucks." How were these projects related to AFGHANISTAN? Impeach Bush Now!

AfghanIraq Day 3: Creating a Smokescreen
Iraq War Fund Diversion

"Desperate to tamp down outrage from Congress, the White House and its allies yesterday spun out various responses to Woodward's allegation that the administration secretly took $700 million from the hunt for al Qaeda in Afghanistan and diverted it into Iraq war planning in 2002. Yet no one provided any proof that Woodward's charges were inaccurate. As a new American Progress backgrounder shows, if Woodward's charges are true, the administration's actions not only raise constitutional questions, they also raise statutory questions; federal law required the president to notify Congress before moving any money. While the administration sent two documents to Congress outlining some spending, both the 8/9/02 and 10/17/02 White House notifications in question said nothing about Iraq, instead only mentioning deliberately vague things like 'increased situational awareness' and 'increased worldwide posture.'" You'll be shocked and awed by Rove's smokescreen to hide this impeachable crime...

Busheviks Deny Illegal Diversion of Funds for Iraq War
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Anonymous Pentagon officials "said the money was properly spent on projects to support the global war on terrorism that were 'not specific' to war planning. The Pentagon carefully reviewed a request from the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Tommy Franks, for $750 million in 'improvements' he wanted as part of the contingency planning for POSSIBLE WAR WITH IRAQ, officials said. A senior budget official said 'NOTHING IRAQ SPECIFIC' was authorized and that $178 million in funds were reprogrammed to cover fuel, additional humanitarian rations and improvements to CentCom's forward operating headquarters in Qatar. Those expenditures were 'fully consistent' with the requirements of the supplemental funds provided by Congress in 2001 and 2002, the official said. The rest of projects in CentCom's request -- which actually cost about $800 million -- were not approved until after October 25, when Congress had voted to authorize the war." What about runways and pipelines in Kuwait???

Bush Defied Procedures for Secret Spending
Iraq War Fund Diversion

David Corn writes, "in the summer of 2002, the Pentagon, following Bush's orders, spent $700 million preparing for war with Iraq--upgrading airfields, bases, weapons storage facilities--and did not tell Congress... Section Nine of Article One of the U.S. Constitution [reads] 'No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.' This means Congress decides where the money goes. Congress did not appropriate funds for these purposes. That is, Bush took money appropriated for other reasons and had the Pentagon use it for his war in Iraq. There are, of course, procedures governing secret spending by a president and the Pentagon, but such spending still--in theory--is supposed to be overseen by members of Congress. Then, at least, spending hidden from the public is not kept secret from the public's representatives. But in this instance, if Woodward is correct, Bush assumed imperial power and violated a basic premise of the republic."

Bush Broke the Law Twice with Afghan War Appropriations
Iraq War Fund Diversion

Center for American Progress writes, "DID THE WHITE HOUSE VIOLATE THE LAW?: Woodward reveals that in July 2002, Bush secretly approved diverting $700 million meant for operations in Afghanistan into war planning for Iraq. Bush kept Congress 'totally in the dark on this,' which raises serious legal questions reminiscent of Iran-Contra: Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution vests the power of the purse with Congress, and statutes bar the executive from unilaterally moving money out of areas explicitly mandated by spending bills. On CBS's Face the Nation, Rice tried to defend the move, claiming 'resources were not taken from Afghanistan.' Not only did this response contradict the fact that special forces were pulled out of Afghanistan in 2002 and moved to Iraq, but it did not address legal questions... In the same supplemental bill, Bush further ignored the will of Congress, blocking a bipartisan, House- and Senate-passed homeland security funding package."

Impeachment Alert: Condi Says the Pentagon Can Steal Money to Start Unauthorized Wars
Iraq War Fund Diversion

On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer twice asked Condi Rice whether it was illegal for the Pentagon to shift $700 million out of funds appropriated by Congress for war in Afghanistan, to use to prepare for war in Iraq. She said Gen. Tommy Franks was "the CINC for CENTCOM, which means the Middle East, Afghanistan and so forth. And so if resources needed to be moved around in that region I would think that the general could do that... The secretary of Defense manages the appropriation that he is given from Congress. The secretary of Defense, I am quite certain, would propose to the president things that he believes are inside his purview--purview to do with the allocation that he gets from Congress." Congress authorized war in AFGHANISTAN, not IRAQ. Neither Bush nor Rumsfeld can start a second war with money approved for a first war. Impeach Bush Now!