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Money as Weapons: $2.8 Billion In Iraqis' Hands

POSTED: 04:51 PM ET, 08/11/2008 by Derek Kravitz

The U.S. Commander's Emergency Response Program, a little-known fund that uses a field manual called "Money as a Weapon System," has so far spent at least $2.8 billion to help in the Iraq reconstruction efforts -- without normal international redevelopment protocols or government purchasing rules, The Post's Dana Hedgpeth and Sarah Cohen report today.

A review by The Post included analysis of a government database detailing more than 26,000 CERP records; congressional documents and audits; and interviews with troops and their commanders who have worked on the projects.

Among the expenditures, in cash:

-- $500,000 on action figures made to look like Iraqi Security Forces.

-- $100,000 worth of dolls.

-- $75,000 to send a delegation to a women's and civil rights conference in Cairo.

-- $50,000 on 625 sheep for people described in records as "starving poor locals" in a Baghdad neighborhood.

-- $48,000 on 6,000 pairs of children's shoes.

-- $14,250 on "I Love Iraq" T-shirts.

-- $12,800 for two pools to cool bears and tigers at Zawra Park Zoo in Baghdad.

For another take on the program, read the Post's Robert O'Harrow Jr. in his blog, Government Inc.

By Derek Kravitz |  August 11, 2008; 4:51 PM ET
Previous: Fallout From the Edwards Affair | Next: Author Defends Story on Disputed Iraq Letter

Comments

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well, that accounts for about just under $750k. Where the hell is the other $2,799,250,000?

Posted by: self sycophant | August 11, 2008 7:13 PM

So this is the success of the "surge". We bought the enemy insurgents who will turn against us as soon as the money (American Taxpayer's money) dries up.

How about the $12 Billion dollars cash of American Taxpayer's money shipped to Baghdad and lost enroute? I'll be Cheney or Chalabi has it.

We are the idiots for letting these clowns run the country. It would be funny if it wasn't our money.

Posted by: Eduardo | August 11, 2008 9:21 PM

That is completely ridiculous. I can understand sheep for starving peasants, and children's shoes; but "I Love Iraq" t-shirts, and Iraqi Security Forces Action figures? That is an abominable waste of U.S. money. How about $500 thousand for people hungry in the States?

Posted by: Bo | August 11, 2008 10:10 PM

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