Tons of Cash

Chairman Waxman Follows the Money

Henry Waxman, the veteran Representative who now chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is following the money trail of $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the U.S. treasury that Bush's cronies shipped to the "Green Zone" in Baghdad between May 2003 and June 2004. The 363 tons of cash was stacked on wooden pallets, loaded onto C-130 transport planes, and shipped into the middle of a war zone.

The former viceroy of Iraq, Paul Bremer, testified yesterday that he turned over the cash to the Iraqi "Finance Ministry," but he admitted that he had disbanded the top tier of the bureaucracy, and there were an indeterminate number of "ghost employees" that received American tax dollars with no oversight of accounting.

During the hearing, Representative Dennis Kucinich projected a document on a screen showing a transfer of $500 million that vanished into a category labeled "TBD" for "To Be Determined." Kucinich asked Bremer where the half a billion dollars went. Bremer, clearly flummoxed, dissembled Kucinich's query with such skill that it would have brought a tear of pride to Paul Wolfowitz's eye. Kucinich documented the disappearance of a substantial sum of American tax dollars and the Bush Administration's top official in Baghdad at the time had no explanation

It likely isn't correct to call the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills tax money. They were probably printed up for the purpose, and to the extent they stay in Iraq, would have no more effect on the US than if they had been printed as $300 bills.

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