From Juan Cole at Informed Comment
The Bush administration can’t account for up to $12 billion handed out in Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Only 10 percent of it seems to have gone to firms or persons with written-down contracts. There are fears that some of it went to the building insurgency. Wolf Blitzer asked today on CNN why it had to be in cash, and didn’t they have banks? That one is easy. The banking system in Iraq collapsed and the Bush administration had made no plans for reviving it. So the CPA had to deal in cash. It was given out arbitrarily. Rory Stewart’s Prince of the Marshes tells some of that story; see also Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Also they gutted the Baath government ministries, fired party members, and let the records be burned, so there was no auditing capacity.
I was complaining about the missing billions years ago. It is finally on television only, I guess, because the Dems took the House. Why do US journalists feel they have to be authorized to write the news by majority political parties?