Behold Your Afghan Air Fleet: How U.S. Paid $549 Million For Defective Cargo Planes and Then Sold Them For $40,257 Of Scrap Metal

If you want to know why waste and conflicts of interests are so prevalent in the United States, you need to look no further than the recent report of he Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on the so-called G222 program. I wrote about this program in 2013 but we now have the result of the criminal investigation. Under the program, the United States Air Force spent $549 million to buy 20 Italian-made cargo planes for the Afghan government. They were found to be unreliable and turned into scrap metal for $40,257. No action was taken against the company, Alenia North America, or the Air Force General responsible for the outrageous contract (despite a finding of a conflict of interest).  The Justice Department refused to take action because such cases are “unheard of.” Perhaps, but government officials and contractor heard the message loud and clear: there is virtually no contractual waste that you can commit in the United States military that will result in sanctions. This picture from SIGAR is what remains of over half a billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money.

According to SIGAR, the Pentagon was repeatedly warned that the planes were unreliable and that there were both failures of maintenance and spare parts. Yet, the General continued to approve the spending and then sent the planes directly to the scrap yard. The officer later retired without any action taken against him. There was a push for prosecution by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, along with officials from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI, but the Justice Department killed the prosecution.

SIGAR concluded “Unfortunately, no one involved in the program was held accountable for the failure of the G222 program.”  So this company was enriched for planes that did not fly. Military officials were able to retire without prosecution. Yet, over half a billion dollars just evaporated. Poof.

One problem cited by the Justice Department is that the United States accepted the delivery of the aircraft despite the company violating contract requirements. So, by accepting the aircraft, the military not only effectively barred a criminal prosecution but also allowed the responsible officials to quietly go into retirement. It is like saying that we could not prosecute the bank robbers because the bank teller willingly gave them the money and we cannot prosecute the bank teller because no one told him he could not just give the money away.

Now here is the kicker. SIGAR the former Air Force officer “had a clear conflict of interest because he was significantly involved with the G222 program while on active duty, then retired and became the primary contact for Alenia on the same program.”

We have become a nation of chumps . . . and chumps get clumps of scrap metal while others get rich on waste.

65 thoughts on “Behold Your Afghan Air Fleet: How U.S. Paid $549 Million For Defective Cargo Planes and Then Sold Them For $40,257 Of Scrap Metal”

  1. There appears to be more to this story than Prof. Turley’s blog indicates. First, the G.222 is not a new airplane design.. The type dates back to the 1970s. The Italian Air Force has been using them since 1978. These particular airplanes were not new; they were existing models that were upgrade with new equipment for service in Afghanistan. But they turned out to be unsuitable for operations in Afghanistan even though Alenia, the company that refurbished the airplanes said they were exceeding the Air Force’s requirements. The Air Force decided not to renew the contract for support of the airplanes, which led to them being junked. Now, bear in mind that this ALL occured during the Obama Administration.

    1. Is there any part of this that is surprising ?

      Is there any part of the mess that the US has made int he mideast dating back to the 1940’s that has not been a corrupt failure ?

      While I have no doubt that failures such as this were more prevalent under Obama – this type of corruption is not particulary unique to one party.

      It is more common under democrats purely because they have greater faith in govenrment and less mistrust of govenrment.

      A sad change from the 60’s.

  2. The government procurement system has long been in desperate need of reform.

    It’s easy to waste other people’s money. It will go on indefinitely as long as no one is held accountable.

    Another case is point: Gavin Newsom, Democrat governor of CA, spent nearly $1 billion on masks manufactured in China in 2020 by a company called “Build Your Dreams”, or BYD in a backdoor deal that entirely circumvented state legislature. This was at a time when masks, especially N95 masks, were no where to be found. There were American companies willing to make them, but Newsom chose China. Unfortunately, at the time, China was not exporting any masks, and stockpiling them. When they did start releasing masks, the manufacturer repeatedly failed filtration testing. We could have sent that money to American manufacturers, received them in a timely manner, and helped keep more companies afloat. When the masks finally did arrive, months late, Newsom sent 17 million of them out of state, even though CA hospitals were still facing shortages.

    Poof. It’s just other people’s money.

    1. I have no complaint about trying to make government procurement better, but everything government does is going to be subject to corruption.

      There are only two choiuces with govenrment – accept some level of corruption – or monstrous inefficiency.

      Worse you will ultimately get both.

      It is a mistake to presume that government is in any way like free markets.
      It is not, and can not be.
      While theft and corruption occurs in free markets it is nearly completely self regulating.
      Nearly always the money being spent is being held accountable – both by those it belongs to – and by the market place.
      Even if a business does not care about waste and fraud – it will be inefficient, and uncompetitive and fail as a result of corruption.

      Contra the left – and even far too many on the right, truly free markets act constantly to purge inefficiency – and corruption is a form of inefficiency.

      Trillions of free exchanges take place every single day in the real world. Only a tiny portion of those are corrupt.

      While corruption in government dealings is orders of magnitude greater.

    2. I am not committed to “Made In America”.

      Each of us should individually be free to buy whatever we want – including masks from wherever we want – including china.

      But the real story of Covid should be the success of the free markets.

      For maybe 30 seconds at the start of this there was the appearance of a shortage of masks.
      As you note american companies stepped in.

      Whether it was masks or ventalators, or anything else – the free market delivered whatever we wanted.

      Shelves in LA were cleared of all the Toilet paper a store could stock shortly after opening.
      And overnight the store was restocked. This continued until everyone had horded enough TP to cease buying it all up.

      Within a few weeks of the start of C19 in the US I was able to go to Ollies and buy Hand Sanitizer buy the pallet.

      Everything that was purportedly in short supply was only short very briefly. Quickly it became abundant.

      The free market delivered not one but over a dozen vaccines in 1/6th the prior record time for vaccine development.
      Further the new mRNA vaccines can safely be modified in days to adjust for C19 mutations.
      And they offer even more in the future. There is one thing that the Vaccine skeptics are correct about – the mRNA vaccines are an entirely new treatment, They offer the possibility of obliterating myriads of viral illnesses – the common cold may be the next target of mRNA vaccines. Nor are viruses the only potential uses of this form of treatment. The mRNA vaccines are not traditional vaccines.

      They are themselves viruses – though they do not reproduce themselves. They “infect” a person, take over the machinery of some of their cells and use that to produce vast amounts of whatever they are designed to do. In this case produce C19 Spike protein that the persons immune system then develops protection against.

      But this can also be a means to delivering drugs or other treatments – or targeting specific cells – like cancer.

      This is all the results of free markets.

      And so much more.

      Conversely with few exceptions government and government “experts” have been near universal failures from the start.

      While Trump has honestly been disasterous in dealing with C19 – it should be obvuious that democrats have been FAR WORSE,

      Inarguably we would have all been better off had government done NOTHING.

      You complain about failures in govenrment procurement – do you really beleive the “experts” are somehow magically better at the CDC or FDA or WHO ?

      Even if we credit the “experts” with sincerity – which is a reach. They have been wrong about nearly everything from the start.

      We spent months ranting about chinese wet markets – yet the SCIENCE since indicates these were NOT the source of C19.
      There is todate no actual evidence of a zoonotic source for C19. While it is certain that C19 has a common ancescestor in other animal coronaviruses, There is no evidence that it jumped directly from those animals to humans or from those animals to an intermediate host to humans. Absent such evidence it is near certain the result of laboratory work. Which governments and much of the medical community is highly incentivized to bury.

      First masks did not work. Then they did, now that the evidence is in – PREDICTABLY, their long term effectiveness is extremely low.

      It does not require much knowledge of epidemology – just a small amount of math to predict this.

      Humans have NEVER stopped a respiratory virus once it has gained a foothold. They have NEVER stopped a virus with a transmission rate that is more than twice that of the Flu – we have never stopped the Flu without a vaccine.

      Every single measure that experts and governments have pushed, mandated, imposed, have accomplished nothing.

      At very best – and the evidence strongly suggests even this did not really occur, policy measures slowed the spread – “flattened the curve”.

      But it was well known to those who were honest that “flattening the curve” does little beyond prolong the pain.

      Absent a vaccine there are only two things that we should have done:

      Protect the most vulnerable. Those were clearly identified before C19 ran rampant accross the US.

      We never ever should have allowed this to get into nursing homes.
      Those governors that litterally forced that are murderers.

      We never should have shut ANYTHING down – not schools, not businesses.
      Focussing solely on protecting those who are most vulnerable.

      For 90% of people C19 is LESS lethal and LESS debilitating than the Flu.
      For a small portion of the sick or elderly – and espeicially the elderly and sick it is extremely life threatening,
      and those ALWAYS should have been our focus.

      And we knew that BEFORE this reached the US.

      Covid has been used BY THE LEFT to terrify people. It has been used in much the same way as the Nazi’s to scare people into giving them power.

      As a consequence we have given the left vast political power in this country.
      And despite promises to the countrary they have accomplished nothing meaningful.

      Biden and the left who Ranted about Trump – have done no better.
      More than 1/2 of all US C19 deaths occured AFTER the election.

      Biden who promised he knew how to handle this is doing NOTHING that is going to have any effect.
      He has ordered people to wear masks – who were all already all wearing masks.

      Honestly – how many places in the country can you go where masks are not mandated – if not by govenrment, then by businesses ?

      200,000 people have died since Biden was inaugurated. It is likely that there will be more deaths in a shorter period under Biden than under Trump.

      I am not looking to blame Biden – atleast not for anything but knowingly false promises. Nothing Trump did made C19 worse.
      Nothing Biden is doing is making it better.

      Even the vaccines – which are an amazing accomplishment – which govenrment is predictably botching delivery, are not the real cause of the more recent declines – those started BEFORE the vaccines could possibly have made an impact.

      C19 has peaked for the winter and is in decline – because like all viruses, not everyone gets infected. Some of us are naturally immune.
      Some of us are lucky. and ultimately herd immunity does kick in. It is near certain that 6 states – all small red with low population density have reached herd immunity. And the rest of the country is slowly following.
      The vaccine will start to help, but just the total number of infections has caused c19 to peak and fall.

      So all in all – government, experts, have accomplished nothing – but lie to us and scare us all more than was ever necescary.

      1. John, we should not forget an important aspect of the creation of the vaccine and its production. It was a very simple item and starkly differentiates Democrat thinking from free market thinking. Democrats had control over the use, creation and control of vaccines locked up in the federal bureaucracy where movement was slow, expensive and very non productive. That is why our earliest attempts were failures. A simple step that involves little more than common sense opened vaccine production up so it was produced in less than a year. Trump removed the federal restrictions on private enterprise with the development and production of the vaccine. Democrats want to take credit for that tiny executive order but the truth is they didn’t want it because it took power away from the bureaucracy and gave it to individuals.

        1. Valid point.

          I would note we are seeing the same problems right now as we try to vaccinate people.

          There is a supply problem – the market will fix that, but the demand is in the billions of doses and that can not be accomplished instantly.

          SOME natural limits on supply or anything are normal – and markets are by far the most efficient means of overcoming those limits.

          But there is a separate distribution problem.

          The govenrment – federal, state and local has interfered in the distribution to everyone’s detriment.

          There is not likely one objectively correct way to dole out the limited vaccine that we have.

          But there are infinte numbers of objectively WRONG ways.

          All those share one factor in common – they deliver the vaccine less rapidly than it is produced.

          Every single distribution method that does not vaccinate people as fast as supply allows is inferior to every single method that does.

          I do not give a $h!t whether the elderly are vaccinated first or health care workers or ….

          There are meaningful debates – with good arguments for many choices.
          It is likely that if we model it – vaccinating a very small number of people who travel cross country alot would be the fastest way to bring rates down.

          But we do not need perfection.

          What we do not need is what we have seen under Biden – game playing stalling infighting, power struggles and delays.

          With all the problems of starting a vaccine program from scratch – Trump averaged 500,000 doses a day from the first day vaccine arrived until inauguration day. By January the norm was 1M doses a day. Biden has promised 1M doses a day between now and the end of April.

          By the end of April they should have more than doubled that.

          Instead what we have seen is the Biden administration – and states and governors playing favorites with the vaccine.
          Not just over who gets it, but over who gets to distribute it.

          My wife and daughter were vaccinated while Trump was president – by a local pharmacy.
          I was vaccinated last week – in a hospital by a giant healthcare conglomerate.

          Why does it not surprise that as Biden has become president we are no longer interested in how fast we vaccinate people – but in who gets rewarded by delivering the vaccine.

        2. “Let the best man for the job do the job.”

          – Anonymous

          Freedom as creator of wealth.

          Freedom as consumer.

          Free markets engender competition.

          Competition engenders the best product at the lowest price.

  3. This is nothing less than endorsed corruption. Think about what this country could be if it eliminated waste and corruption. What is going on here is no different than in Latin America. The difference is the volume in Tax revenue. In the US, there is enough volume to hide the crooks.

  4. “Behold Your Afghan Air Fleet: How U.S. Paid $549 Million For Defective Cargo Planes and Then Sold Them For $40,257 Of Scrap Metal”

    – Professor Turley

    Thank you so much, George W. Bush, Special Agent, Deep Deep State.

      1. Absolutely there are more of these types of problems when the left is in power than the right.

        Who expects that the Biden administration will not be rampant with this kind of self dealing ?

        Biden may not be the most dishonest politician there is – but the dishonesty of the Biden’s is on the greatest public display.

        But in the end this is bad, and it occurs under both parties – if not equally.

        If you want less corruption in govenrment the only solution is less government.

        1. Absolutely there are more of these types of problems when the left is in power than the right.

          The Right hasn’t been in power since the 1920’s, if then.

          1. Depends on what you call “the right”.

            Even the left is an unclear term over time.

            In the 60’s the left was:
            free speech

            Today Joe MacCarthy would be at home in much of the left.

            1. “Today Joe MacCarthy would be at home in much of the left.”

              Joe McCarthy was more honest than the left.

              1. Too some extent

                MacCarthy wanted “communists” driven out of education and entertainment.

                While that is unamerican – the real world facts are that assorted marxists have wreaked real havoc on our education system and the damage to the country is enormous.

                Not only are kids indoctrinated into stupid ideologies – but they are incapable of competence in the 3R’s.

                1. “MacCarthy wanted “communists” driven out of education and entertainment.”

                  We all have our desires and have the ability to effectuate change. What law or action was McCarthy advocating to do the above that required him to be part of the legislative branch. I’m not discussing what he wanted, but I am not sure what he actually did in a legal sense to effectuate such desires.

  5. Since World War II the United States has NEVER won a War. After WWII the United States Military became a Police Force and not a Military Force. In Korea we acted like chumps fighting to an imaginary line (latitude38° N) refusing to fight past this point. Sending hundreds of thousands of troops and spending billions of dollars in Viet Nam only to surrender in disgrace. Allowing the Embassy to fall in Tehran, Iran, Running away from Beirut with our tail tucked like scared dogs, and jumping passed other endeavors we left in worst shape came Kuwait, and our refusal to complete the War against Iraq’s aggressions. The tragedy in Kosovo. The Islamic Terrorists bombing of our Embassies in Africa or the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. To the not too distant past the war’s in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our expanded presence in Syria. The United States does not fight to win, we choose to police the population in hopes they will see the foolery of war. Having chosen to be a Police force the wars can drag on allowing the corrupt to continue to pilfer the coffers with impunity. Having carried a Rifle and a Radio on my back in Viet Nam I can say with certainty, that some folks made a lot of money during that War, but it sure wasn’t the soldier as I was paid $112 per month. With the amount of money being cast about from Washington DC, and the fog that is ever present in War, it is no wonder there are those who exploit the cracks were the money can be found, including those at the very top of the food chain. The tragedy is those that are found out seem to never face the consequences.

    1. George, if you remember Clausewitz, war is a continuation of politics by other means. Hence, politics is the activity of which war is a subset. If there are larger political objectives which demand containment of a war, then the war will be contained. Korea is a good example of that. Would it have been wiser to have world war III go hot and use nukes? I dont think so.

      The US objectives in war are usually NOT total military victory. If I had to guess the most common interest, would be, to secure strategic geographic locations which are important to international trade of which the US has been the beneficiary by virtue of being the world reserve currency since the end of WW II. If that was our main goal, then the US has succeeded quite well.

      It seems to me, that in supporting corrupt and ineffective regimes like the RVN, the US may simply have been buying time to readjust forces outside Vietnam to the eventual capitulation to nationalist forces bent on kicking the foreigners out. One surmises the same about the US propping up the incompetent and corrupt Kabul regime in Afghanistan.

      Military victory against the Axis was a matter of total war. Ever since then, the game has been about preserving the fruit of that singular total victory: US dominance of international trade, and finance. Total-war style victories, would have generally undermined US strategic objectives. Indeed if trade was a goal, then ruining a country to the degree we decimated Japan and Germany, would be counter-productive. Consider how much more American global corporations have extended their reach in the middle east since 9/11, and then tell me, if success in international trade and finance was the real goal, then has the goal not been achieved?

      Now perhaps we as average citizens have not enjoyed the benefits that the captains of trade and finance have enjoyed, but, if we though that these wars we being fought for our benefit in the first place, then, perhaps we were naïve?

      Sal Sar.

      1. Sal Sar, what you say is true. I being a naïve young man volunteered to go to Nam as our way of life was in peril “The Communists are coming” and all that malarkey. I also couldn’t see others go without also joining. But having seen men die on the battle field for no reason other reason than we couldn’t return fire because there wasn’t a desire to win a war at all costs, required me come to the conclusion we were there to police the political structure of the South’s regime, corrupt as it was. It’s easy for those without a dog in the fight to send men to their death for the sake of the commerce that is until its one of your own being sacrificed. Some wars are necessary and should be fought to a final conclusion, and I do personally believe Iraq was one such war considering the threat that they posed not only to the region (which at time supplied a majority of the oil to the world) but the human tragedy the regime posed to its people. Other fronts which we should have entered include Uganda and Rwandan in Africa (and there are others) but since commerce is one of the supposed purposes of war they were considered non-essential. Wars should be fought to win otherwise stay out of the conflict.

        1. “I being a naïve young man volunteered to go to Nam as our way of life was in peril “The Communists are coming” and all that malarkey. I also couldn’t see others go without also joining. But having seen men die on the battle field for no reason other reason than we couldn’t return fire because there wasn’t a desire to win a war at all costs, required me come to the conclusion we were there to police the political structure of the South’s regime, corrupt as it was. It’s easy for those without a dog in the fight to send men to their death for the sake of the commerce that is until its one of your own being sacrificed.”

          – George W

          My goodness, that must have been a very difficult time in your life.

          If we may inquire, what were your MOS, unit, duty station and awards in Vietnam?

          1. 311 and trained in 331—I Corps 3rd Marine—Khe Sanh Combat Base— Dong Ha, metals my business. Stuck with Prick 19 because of deep voice.

    2. Made that same trip in 1968 to “the big rifle range” also, George, and agree with your comments. The only thing that I would add was that ” our ” war had been over for 2 years. I’m sure that when they all signed off , not too many of the American signatories expected the North Vietnamese to honor their word, and only promised the south VN material and financial help. They seemed to be holding their own until the NVN saw the disarray in the US with the ” Watergate” situation ( which in comparison to the deeds of the clintons, obama and the” Russian collusion” cabal, rose to the level of an unpaid parking ticket.) and a baffled, brand new president Gerry Ford seemed to be too fatigued with everything to really care about the invasion from the north. The democrats in congress ensured that we could also be as vile and untruthful as the N Vietnamese, and also violated and abandoned their obligations of the treaty.

  6. The purpose of the war in Afghanistan had little to do with “terrorism.” It had many other important strategic objectives however:

    1`– securing Kandahar as a US airbase, and important geographic location and stop in flyover between Europe and fear east of Asia
    2– securing Kabul as a green zone for American and globalist enterprises
    3– exploration of strategic mineral deposits
    4– some kind buffer on the growth of Pakistan’s influence in the region

    I suspect getting rid of the Taliban was never really an authentic objective. Most people I have talked to who played in that sandbox always thought that was impossible anyways. They have run the countryside nearly the whole duration of the war.

    Our incompetent lying mass media never gave us a straight story on this. Why? because the war was accomplishing important objectives for global capital, which owns the mass media, that’s why. See, always ask, who owns the media, and how does this narrative serve their interests, and then you can get an idea of how bogus the reporting likely is, or not.

    Sal Sar

    1. How has that worked out ?

      Was it worth several trillion dollars and the lives of thousands of US soldiers as well as possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians ?

      Every bad act has a purpose. Nearly all have a long list of “good purposes”.

      The Justified use of force requires more than good intentions. It requires more than even good goals and objectives.

      It requires actually acheiving good goals and objectives, at a justifiable cost in blood and treasure and without significant unintended negative consequences.

      Those requirements are extremely difficiult to meet – which is why govenrment is supposed to be limited.

    2. The purpose of the Mossad operation on 9/11, to “handle” and deploy Saudi terrorists and to destroy three buildings at the World Trade Center by controlled demolition, was to justify the deployment of U.S. military forces sufficient to “shape” the Middle East into favoring and incorporating Israel, as Roosevelt used Pearl Harbor to justify the entry of U.S. forces into WWII.

      Mission accomplished.

  7. Jonathan: Waste and conflicts of interest in the Pentagon’s procurement programs are legend. Remember the over $600 toilets taxpayers got saddled with? This kind of corruption has occurred in both Republican and Democratic administrations. We could probably cut the Pentagon’s budge in half and still ensure homeland security. Conflicts of interest were widespread during the Trump administration–a subject you ignored. One case is now in the headlines. Last year the Transportation Department’s IG asked the DOJ to open a criminal investigation of Elaine Chao, Trump’s former transportation secretary and wife of Mitch McConnell. The IG found that Chao violated federal ethic’s rules by using her staff for personal tasks and promoting the shipping business of her father and sisters. At the time Chao denied the IG’s charges saying, bizarrely, that such activity was part of her “official duties”. No doubt Chao could have argued that her boss at the time, Donald Trump, engaged in this kind of activity almost every day so why should she be singled out for investigation. I mean if the boss does it it must be OK. Neither Chao or Trump thought as public servants they were obligated to serve the public interest not their family’s private commercial interests. As it turns out your buddy, AG Willian Barr, refused to take up the IG’s request–probably as a favor to his boss. Whether the new AG, Merrick Garland, will want to revisit the Chao case is uncertain. He will have a lot on his plate–but the many cases of conflicts of interest and corruption during Trump’s reign should be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted. There must be accountability.

    1. Does this blabbermouth Dennis ever say something germane to the topic, or is it just a weekly puke of talking points repeated from his betters?

        1. Anonymous, the other anonymous wasn’t talking incessantly and was less than 10% of the size of Dennis’ response. Your comment typically in error once again insults another. How many people have you insulted in the last hour or so?

            1. “” >>How many people have you insulted in the last hour or so?”

              Pretty non-responsive and dumb answer. Probably a half a dozen different people.

    2. What do you expect of Chao – Joe Biden has used the power of govenrment for decades to enrich his family and friends.

      I have no problem prosecuting Chao – if you have half the evidence against her that exists against Biden.

      Are you prepared to prosecute Biden ?

      So long as you are blind to the misconduct of those who share your views you can expect our government to be massively corrupt.

      We listened to 4 years of rants about Putin and Trump.

      Except that Putin is more competent mentally, what distinguishes Putin from Biden ?

      You claim Chao followed Trump’s example.

      Fine – cite actual examples of Trump using his power in office to his or his families personal benefit, and we can prosecute him along with the Biden’s.

      But after 4 years of digging, after being chased by all the media on the planet, 2 years by a democratic house, and 2 years by a special counsel, you cam up with Zip.

      I have no personal comittment to Trump.

      But I would like EVIDENCE before I convict someone.
      There is plenty of evidence of corruption by the Biden’s (and the Kerry’s and numerous other leading democrat families), I suspect if we look hard enough we can find a few similar examples among republicans.
      Maybe Chao is one of those.

      But so far you have come up with NOTHING on Trump.
      And yet you keep ranting.

  8. My first introduction into this wasteful mindset was back in 1985. We had active duty technicians that worked side-by-side with a civilian contractor for maintenance of our training systems. One Friday, 5 of these sailors left for the weekend and on Monday, they were all in civilian clothes working the same job, but for the contractor; at twice the pay and without all those pesky active duty complications.

  9. Like him or hate him, it was Paul Bremer III that handled a big money bag for Iraq.

    Bremer’s office was a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, and as Administrator he reported directly to the United States Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States.

    Under Bremer’s stewardship the CPA requested $12 billion in cash from the U.S. Treasury. Under Bremer’s stewardship the CPA paid out $12 billion in cash. When the external auditors arrived, they learned that Bremer had not made sure the CPA lived up to the commitment to hire internal auditors to help set up a reliable accounting system. On the contrary they learned that a single contracted consultant kept track of the CPA’s expenditures in a series of spreadsheets.

    On January 30, 2005, an official report by Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen cited by Time stated that $9 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq might have disappeared in fraud, corruption, and other misbehavior. On one particular salary register, only 602 names among 8,206 could be verified. As another cited example, the Coalition Authority authorized Iraqi officials to postpone declaring the reception of $2.5 billion, which the provisional government had received in spring through the Oil for Food program.

  10. “We have become a nation of chumps “

    A nation of bureaucratic thieves where when thieves are caught they can’t be prosecuted because the rest of the thieves are in the same boat.

  11. We have seen government waste for decades. That’s why I am a conservative. Every business the government touches wastes my money from healthcare to Amtrak to USPS to the military to education and the private sector loves it. They can do any business better than the government. Elon Musk and FedEx and home schooling plus private schools like Catholic schools destroy the competition. With the government everything goes to the lowest bidder and government jobs pay much better with the best benefits for life. And almost impossible to fire any government employee. Let’s take a USPS mail carrier and snail mail. I have heard way to many stories about their mail routes. They are told to not come back until your shift is over. If you finish early go to a movie, go to a park and take a nap, go to a friends house but never come back early because it makes everybody else look bad. Same thing with unions. You have 1 job and if you are needed for another job you can refuse the other job because you were not hired for that job and the company cannot fire you. We have all heard of the 500$ hammer paid by the government when it could have been bought for 5$ or less at any hardware store. The only thing government is good at is war…killing a lot of young men and women in battle or bringing them home with PTSD and/or missing body parts.

  12. “We have become a nation of chumps . . . and chumps get clumps of scrap metal while others get rich on waste.”
    They don’t care; its not their money to any significant degree. it’s what Trump told you about the Swamp and every letter above proves him right. We aren’t chumps. We’re badly led and we need to re-evaluate all our institutions who have failed us so miserably. Let’s start with the monkey house that is Congress and hold them criminally responsible first. Then we can move onto education, so-called charities and the military which for all the abuse at least protects us to extent. We do need a renaissance in this country and we start by moving out the powers in both parties who insult us regularly. Maybe an insurrection isn’t such a bad idea. It worked fine in 1776.

    1. Trump promoted and signed off on a huge increase in defense spending in a time of relative peace. Bet on how much pork and over spending was in that bill. He did nothing about government spending and restraint.

        1. House COVID Bill Includes Paying Federal Employees Up to $21K if Kids Have No School…haha big government at work again, now you know why they want Biden to keep the country locked down…are they paying the private sector 21K$…NNNOOO

        2. MMC-“thinking of Trump”, they need their Boogie Man as a diversion. Like Racist, White Supremacy and White Privilege.

      1. Actually Trump did fight to reduce government spending. You just don’t know about it.

        The new embassy in Jerusalem was going to cost in the billion $ range. He saw to it that a different building was used and renovated for $1 million or less. That angered a lot of people since many were hoping to make money off of the expensive deal. Figure just 20% of a billion leaves $200 million on the table to be divided by the bureaucracy.

        We have problems with spending because of Democratic spending habits plus the fact that all politicians are beholden to those that make their income off of the federal government. Too much corruption as Nancy Pelosi knows. She is part of it.

      2. Trump promoted and signed off on a huge increase in defense spending in a time of relative peace.

        Courtesy the online data tables of the Bureau of Economic Analysis

        “Table 3.11.5. National defense consumption expenditures and gross investment” (billions of dollars)

        2014: $743.4
        2015: $729.7
        2016: $728.7
        2017: $747.2
        2018: $794.3
        2019: $852.4
        2020: $885.6

        The ratio to gross domestic product was as follows:

        2014: 4.2%
        2015: 4.0%
        2016: 3.9%
        2017: 3.8%
        2018: 3.9%
        2019: 4.0%
        2020: 4.2%

        NB, the increase recorded in 2020 was a consequence of the fall in private sector production on account of the lockdowns.

        1. I will be happy to agree that the left misrepresents this type of information all the time – i.e. Trump’s defense spending was in line with prior norms.

          But Why do we need 800B in defense spending ?

          Our Military – particularly our Navy is the most formidable int he world.

          The US has 14 Nuclear powered SuperCarriers – atleast one of which has been retired and we can not figure out how to scrap.
          Number in the entire rest of the world – Zero.

          Counting those in mothballs the US has about 40 supercarriers with catapult launch systems which double the payload of carrier launched warplanes.
          Number in the entire rest of the world – Zero.

          The Best and newest carriers of any other nations in the world are not equal to that of US Vietnam ERA Carriers that were retired in the 80’s.

          I am not opposed to a strong defense, but the US would have the strongest military in the world if it spend 1/3 of what it currently spends.

          FURTHER – whether on the left or the right there is no rational argument that the cost of govenrment should track GDP.

          Does increasing standard of living mean more crime ? More demand for courts ? Public Housing ?

          Why does rising standard of living mean that government much cost more ?

          Nearly all other expenses DECLINE over time as a portion of GDP.

          In 1700 we spent 99% of our effort securing food, shelter and clothing. Today it is less than 20%.

          Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.

          Adam Smith

      3. It’s fascinating how Mespo brings up Trump, you respond to him about Trump, then YOU are attacked for bringing up Trump. They probably fancy themselves “rational critical thinkers”, too.

      4. Well, he could have just used his line-item veto authority and cut out the pork he didn’t request. Shame on him for accepting a defense spending bill that was porked up by Congress. By the way, did Congress have the votes to override his veto?

  13. Start prosecuting Government Officials for these kinds of acts….are you out of. your mind?

    That would be killing the Golden Goose for Congress right on down the line through every government Department and Agency.

    That would kill wonderfully funded retirements.

    Look back at the “Military Monk” who the Left just adores….and check out his affiliations upon retiring from the Marine Corps…..that is just one example.

    Look at the current one…..same thing…he retired from the Army and immediately landed a very well paid gig in Civvie Life.

    1. Ralph:

      Agree about Mattis.

      Look up his involvement with Theranos; he made a lot of money for being part of what appears to have been a scam (lots of people certainly lost lots of money).

    1. All the top brass should be purged. They are sycophants of the billionaires, ever misusing the military to implement their schemes. They are insubordinate to civilian control in the past few years more than once and in serious need of chastisement. Sal Sar

  14. Consequences deter; when there are no consequences, criminals are emboldened.

    Americans (who paid for this) are angry and wonder what profitable opportunities they are missing.

    Once again proves that there are two criminal justice systems in the U.S.

  15. Turned into scrap metal in 2014. That’d be the Obama administration. Was this some kind of Cash for Clunkers scheme?

  16. Who in the justice department was quoted as saying “these cases are unheard of”

    That person should be prosecuted and imprisoned as an enemy of the state!

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