Commentary - 05/23/2008

Audit Proves Financial Predators Lie and Steal

Yahoo posted this article by the Associated Press today:
Audit finds lax oversight in contractor payments and it is subtitled:

Audit of $8B in contractor payments finds nearly every transaction lacked proper paper trail

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An internal audit of some $8 billion paid to U.S. and Iraqi contractors found that nearly every transaction failed to comply with federal laws or regulations aimed at preventing fraud, in some cases lacking even basic invoices explaining how the money was spent.

Of the money paid during a five-year period -- from 2001 through 2006 -- $7.8 billion in payments skirted billing rules with some violations egregious enough to invite potential fraud, warned the Defense Department's inspector general.

Obviously, the War Department will say that this is only a drop in the bucket, compared to the multi-billions that were and will be spent on this War On Terrorism. The problem is, this $8-billion-drop greases a lot of palms to keep the rest of the funds flowing to those who feed at the War Department. The sad part is that legitimate needs are kept on a very tight leash, which was pointed out:
"There is something very wrong when our wounded troops have to fill out forms in triplicate for meal money while billions of dollars in cash are handed out in Iraq with no accountability," said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Thus if you're one of the people involved in this war that pays the price with blood, sweat or tears, the War Department makes sure every penny is triple-counted.

Furthermore, these examples of financial abuse are disgusting:

In one example, $11 million was paid to a U.S. company without any record of what goods or services were provided, the IG wrote.

Overall, investigators estimated that the Army made some $1.4 billion in commercial payments that lacked even minimum supporting documentation, such as a certified voucher or invoice.

"Payments that are not properly supported do not provide the necessary assurance that funds were used as intended," the IG concluded.

Of course the funds were not used as intended. You can't have records of paying off people who shouldn't be paid. No smoking guns allowed when financial predators lie and steal.

Financial predators are the real "Dogs of War" that are unleashed each and every time there is war. Those who plan and finance these wars are the real enemy of mankind, but on Memorial Day they never seem to be mentioned or even thought of. There is no doubt that we should honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in all wars. However, in Kansas City is this great World War One Memorial and exhibit, and there is no display nor information about financial predators who financed and enriched themselves at everyone else's loss. More on those who profit here.

That's why Sometimes The Dragon Wins way too often.

2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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