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U.S. paid $32M for an Iraqi base never built

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posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 10:55 PM

U.S. paid $32M for an Iraqi base never built

U.S. paid $32M for an Iraqi base never built

By Matt Kelley - USA Today
Posted : Friday Dec 14, 2007 8:13:15 EST

The U.S. military paid a Florida company nearly $32 million to build barracks and offices for Iraqi army units even though nothing was ever built, Pentagon investigators reported.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related Discussion Threads:
$1B In Military Equipment Missing In Iraq

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 10:55 PM
Ok, so the U.S. paid Ellis Environmental Group $31.9 million but could not obtain rights to the land in Iraq? Don’t you think that that should have been the first item on the agenda? However, they had already started construction BEFORE getting the go-ahead.

“The report said the military didn’t keep adequate records of equipment”

Why not? Here is a government that does not have millions of dollars to spend but they are paying companies to build barracks in Iraq for the enemy? However, they are apparently not even getting the equipment and weapons? As to not repeat another thread see link…

So now that the contract is off, does the company give back the money? Apparently, this is a company that the U.S. has been using for many years?

“Although the inspector general’s report said the Air Force was considering suing the contractor, Hawkins said any talk of a lawsuit was premature until the Air Force audit is complete.”

What do YOU think of this?
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 12/15/2007 by CHIYANNE]

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:36 AM
Well the War on Terror can certainly do without private sector leaching off the US tax payer. Contracts like this one should be given to to local Iraqi firms where possible that way unemployment is reduced and the local population is less likely to side with the enemy. Of course adequate oversight is still required but at the moment the profits of a minority are taking priority over everything else including the very freedoms that are being fought for.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:39 AM
Hey at least they say what the money was going to, instead of the 10 billion that they just "lost". Honestly, in this whole, corrupt, money grabbing endeavour, 31m is just a drop in the bucket.

It is truly disgusting the amount of money that has been stolen from the American taxpayer.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:54 AM
Or the fact that the $3.3 trillion dollars was missing and now all of the people who live in the U.S. have to pay for it.

The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.

How can so much money be embezzled and not be found?

“According to the Comptroller General of the United States, there are serious financial management problems at the Pentagon, to which Mr. Cooper alluded.
Fiscal Year 1999: $2.3 trillion missing.
Fiscal Year 2000, $1.1 trillion missing.
~ Rep Cynthia McKinney, 2005-03-11

And guess what happened to make everyone forget? 9/11, and the war on Iraq. If I was an American citizen I would raise hell about this!

"According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted.

[edit on 16-12-2007 by Equinox99]

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 03:46 AM
In many of these cases it's usually a good idea to look at the company that received the contract and those who run it. Often they have the right political connection, donate to the right party and politicians etc.
There is then the audit of costs for the project. What did they base their materials and labour costs on? Even in the private sector I have had to take a US supplier to task on costs for projects in India and China where they have sneakily tried to factor in labour charges based on US rates when they'd be subcontracting the work out to local companies anyway

I remember reading a report 2 or 3 years ago now about a bridge damage / reconstruction assessment in Iraq. The local Iraqi civil engineers assessed the bomb damage and repair costs to be in the region of about $300K USD, along came a favoured US contractor and estimated a repair bill in excess of $3M USD - guess who won the contract

Political connections and sleaze will always trump honesty and accountability.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 04:30 AM

Originally posted by Britguy
Political connections and sleaze will always trump honesty and accountability.

You're right about that. What really chaps me is that, sure, the US Government screwed up and lost control of the money, but not too many people get mad at the company that DID the screwing!!! I think both are equally at fault.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 05:44 AM
For those of you who are wondering how these contractors can get away with charging ridiculous sums and never be held to account for it, the answer is simple. Your government wants it that way. That's why nobody's investigating the Pentagon's missing 2.3 trillion, and that's why Iraq and Afghanistan has cost us almost a trillion dollars more.

War = Profit (who do you think the shareholders and board members of the big defense contractors are? Political families.) and here's what happens when you threaten the WOT Cash Cow.

As the special investigator for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen has uncovered HUGE instances of mismanagement by government departments and civil defense contractors. In some instances, as little as 1% of contractor's payments can be accounted for, and his office is currently handling 57 cases of criminal fraud. So, in my book at least, this guy is a hero.

Let's see what the administration thinks about him..

In 2006 they tried to shut his office down entirely.

US Vote Saves Iraq Audit Agency
The US Senate has voted to extend the lifespan of the US government agency that has exposed reconstruction corruption in Iraq.

The vote is an attempt to reverse an earlier law that said the office should close by 2007.

The Senate vote, which comes soon after the Democrats gained control of both the Senate and House of Representatives in mid-term elections, gained support from both parties.

The move to prolong the office's existence was linked to a bill on military construction spending.

In May 2007, they started an investigation into his office based on an "anonymous complaint".

In May, the White House confirmed that Bowen's office, whose revelations of waste and corruption in Iraq have repeatedly embarrassed the Bush administration, was being investigated by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency after complaints from former employees. The executive branch organization was created to investigate allegations of misconduct by inspectors general at federal agencies.

At the time, the White House rejected suggestions the integrity inquiry was an act of retribution against Bowen, with then-press secretary Tony Snow saying the council was "an independent investigative organization" that did not directly follow the White House's direction.

That investigation, triggered by a lengthy anonymous complaint filed by former staff members, focused on a number of fraud and abuse allegations, as well as descriptions of possible workplace violations, including sexual harassment. It included charges that Bowen's office overstated the amount of savings that it generated in order to justify a budget request and that money was wasted on the book project.

December 2007...

US Iraq fraud office investigated
Much US cash for reconstruction in Iraq has gone astray
The office which investigates cases of waste and fraud surrounding reconstruction efforts in Iraq is being investigated itself, reports say.

Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, and his team are the focus of four probes, among them one by the FBI, US media reports.

WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Justice Department officials said, following allegations of misconduct from former employees.

The investigation of Stuart Bowen involves possible electronic tampering, including alleged efforts by the inspector general to go through e-mails of employees in his office, two officials close to the inquiry said Thursday. It is being handled by the FBI's Washington field office, according to law enforcement officials, who like the first officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

So there are currently FOUR government agencies investigating the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction on the basis of an anonymous complaint filed by former employees. You can bet they've crawled right up his ass with a flashlight and the best they can come up with is that he wanted to look at employees emails (completely legal as I understand it) and he may have overspent on a booklet he made to promote his office... And for this they've convened a Grand Jury.

This is your government at work folks. Selling this and the next generation into debt and screwing over anyone who interferes with their profits. I wonder if Stuart Bowen has gotten the message yet?

US Vote Saves Iraq Audit Agency

Millions Missing from Iraq Fund

US - Iraqi Contract "In Disarray"

US Money is Squandered in Iraq

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 10:53 AM
reply to post by mythatsabigprobe
you are right... however i think it is going to get alot worse... i trade stocks and there has been huge selloffs of individual stocks over the last 4 months....the dollar has lost 25% of it's value in the last 4 years ( one of the reason gasoline has been so high) and the talk of resession has been slowly heating up from investment firms. my off as much debt as you can...put on hold any large purchase and try and put any money you have, into some locked-in interest vehicle...housing is going to continue to get worse in the short term...and how does that affect the average person? fewer home owners...fewer taxes paid to local governments...local governments cut back on building, maintainence and staff...less money goes into the local economy meanig less spending on everything, cars, furniture, home inprovement,entertainment, etc....more people will start losing there jobs. and the cycle will continue for a while...

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 07:00 PM
Ok, so I did some more research and located some more information concerning this story. But now I have more questions…

Ellis Environmental Group located in Florida

reassigned this project out to Ellis World Alliance Corp, located in Florida also

Both companies state that they are “small” companies but yet they handle this sort of massive construction? Am I mistaking this company for the real one?

I also found a CNN site that has the following quote below. (Hopefully I put this in right) you will find this towards the middle so be patient.

But an Air Force spokesman insisted to CNN that taxpayers were not billed and for one thing, they did get $15 million worth of equipment and supplies. MICHAEL HAWKINS, SPOKESMAN, AIR FORCE CENTER FOR ENGINEERING AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Along the way, work was done. And materials and equipment were purchased. We have the materials and equipment in hand to be used down the road when they're needed. I believe that the business process that we have in place is working.

How can the taxpayers NOT be billed for this? Would someone please explain this to me? And um, please correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t that 15 million stolen and eventually ending up in the “wrong hands”?

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