Audit Shows Billions Unaccounted for in Iraq

Almost $8.2B in Iraq War funding evaded federal rules, reports the Pentagon
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 11:20 AM CDT
Audit Shows Billions Unaccounted for in Iraq
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell speaks during a news conference, Friday, May 9, 2008, at the Pentagon in Washington.    (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in taxpayer money spent in Iraq found that nearly all of the handouts skirted federal rules, and millions of dollars in contracts were awarded with little or no record of what they were for, reports the New York Times. Take the $320.8 million that was issued to 1,000 Iraqis for "Iraqi Salary Payment"—$320,800 a head—with no explanation of what they were compensated for.

Another voucher cited an $11.1 million payment to IAP, an American contractor, with no specification of services. “We were giving or providing a payment without any basis for the payment," said the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for auditing. The audit, released yesterday as part of a congressional hearing, is the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged the misuse of funds on a large scale, the Times reports. (More Iraq war stories.)

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