Unaccountable billions

October 26, 2011 | By | Reply More

What kind of idea is this: Let’s send $40 billion in paper cash to Iraq on military airplanes and then quickly lose track of how it is being used.

What do you think of this idea? Here’s the beginning of this surreal story, as reported by Common Dreams.

“Wait, one person?” Shays asked. “One person received $40 billion?”

Asked what he thinks about that, Shays said, “It just blows you away.”

The enormous undertaking of moving the billions began in the heavily guarded Federal Reserve compound on 100 Orchard Street in East Rutherford, NJ. There, carefully screened employees loaded pallets of cash into tractor-trailers for their journey down I-95 toward Washington, DC. The money came from an account held at the New York Fed called the “Development Fund for Iraq” which was made up of billions of dollars in Saddam Hussein’s financial assets that had been frozen under various US and global sanctions regimes. They weren’t taxpayer dollars, but the US government was responsible for making sure they got where they were going.

A typical pallet held 640 bundles, which the handlers called “bricks,” with a thousand bills in each bundle. Each pallet weighed 1,500 pounds, and they were separated by color. Gold seals were used for $100 bills, brown seals held $50 bills, purple seals $20, and so on.

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Category: Corruption, Secrecy, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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