Monday, October 29, 2007

"Our bad, we can't account for $1.2 billion spent in Iraq"

Just when you thought we’d heard enough bad news from Iraq, there’s an admission from the State Department that they can’t figure out where $1.2 billion went that was to cover the cost of training local forces in Iraq to prepare them for taking over from the coalition and providing for their own security.

I've misplaced a receipt, but we have an over-zealous housekeeper, who tends to toss shopping bags. The worst scenario is I'm unable to return an item to a small store. But how do you explain a governmental agency having no documentation for $1.2 billion? Who's in charge? How do they train the staff? Will the ones responsible be kept? Are they invited to holiday parties?

Our State Departments Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is the agency responsible for this major goof. They’d contracted with DynCorp International to handle this assignment, but sloppy paperwork now makes it impossible for them to account for what they got for the money. $1.2 billion is a huge amount to try to keep in your head. Maybe they should separate the Law Enforcement Affairs branch from the people dealing with Narcotics.

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