Pentagon loses track of $500 million in weapons, equipment given to Yemen
The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.
With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. The situation has grown worse since the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa, the capital, last month and withdrew many of its military advisers.
In recent weeks, members of Congress have held closed-door meetings with U.S. military officials to press for an accounting of the arms and equipment. Pentagon officials have said that they have little information to go on and that there is little they can do at this point to prevent the weapons and gear from falling into the wrong hands.
We have to assume its completely compromised and gone, said a legislative aide on Capitol Hill who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
U.S. military officials declined to comment for the record. A defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon, said there was no hard evidence that U.S. arms or equipment had been looted or confiscated. But the official acknowledged that the Pentagon had lost track of the items.
And previously on, !HOLY FUCK WHERE DID ALL THAT TAXPAYER MONEY GO!...
Not long after American forces defeated the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein in 2003, caravans of trucks began to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington on a regular basis, unloading an unusual cargo pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills. The cash, withdrawn from Iraqi government accounts held in the United States, was loaded onto Air Force C-17 transport planes bound for Baghdad, where the Bush administration hoped it would provide a quick financial infusion for Iraqs new government and the countrys battered economy.
Over the next year and a half, $12 billion to $14 billion was sent to Iraq in the airlift, and an additional $5 billion was sent by electronic transfer. Exactly what happened to that money after it arrived in Baghdad became one of the many unanswered questions from the chaotic days of the American occupation, when billions were flowing into the country from the United States and corruption was rampant.
Finding the answer became first the job and then the obsession of Stuart W. Bowen Jr., a friend from Texas of President George W. Bush who in 2004 was appointed to serve as a special inspector general to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq. Before his office was finally shut down last year, Mr. Bowen believed he might have succeeded but only partly in that mission.
Much of the money was probably used by the Iraqi government in some way, he concluded. But for years Mr. Bowen could not account for billions more until his investigators finally had a breakthrough, discovering that $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion had been stolen and moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon for safe keeping. I dont know how the money got to Lebanon, Mr. Bowen said. If I knew that, we would have made more progress on the case.
Mr. Bowen kept the discovery and his investigation of the cash-filled bunker in Lebanon, which his office code-named Brick Tracker, secret. He has never publicly discussed it until now, and his frustration that neither he nor his investigators can fully account for the missing money was evident in a series of interviews. Billions of dollars have been taken out of Iraq over the last 10 years illegally, he said. In this investigation, we thought we were on the track for some of that lost money. Its disappointing to me personally that we were unable to close this case, for reasons beyond our control.
He is equally frustrated that the Bush administration, apart from his office, never investigated reports that huge amounts of money had disappeared, and that after his investigators found out about the bunker, the Obama administration did not pursue that lead, either. Mr. Bowen said his investigators briefed the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. on what they found. But Mr. Bowen added that he believed one reason American officials had not gone after it was because it was Iraqi money stolen by Iraqis.
Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and C.I.A. declined to comment for this article.
I wonder whose off shore bank accounts the money is in?
He is robbing our country blind, with the help of Steve Mnuchin and Mulvaney.😳
$500 millions in weapons come up missing? Crickets.
Was Iran's to begin with. The propaganda that the right-wing media spewed: "Obama gave them our money to buy the deal."
They are ending our freedom while pretending to be red, white, & blue.
Stuart W. Bowen Jr. wrote a book titled: "Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience"
"...dramatic and frequently reactive course-changes in reconstruction strategy - the turbulence engendered by continual personnel turnover at every level - the waste caused by inadequate contracting and program management practices - the poor integration of interagency efforts caused by weak unity of command and inconsistent unity of effort. ..."
Defend our military machine at all costs. What a damn waste that war was. Cheney and Rumsfeld must have filled their pockets full.
How again did they defend that war? There was never any "yellow cake" coming from Niger and shipped to Iraq per Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Didn't an Italian news paper report on that pre-war?