The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, May 14, 2007

Vanished funds in Iraq underestimated by billions.

I've been very, very pissed off about the money contractors and corrupt officials have stolen from American taxpayers-- at the expense of troops in already-horrible conditions-- for years now. Stories of more than $10 billion that's simply vanished have been around since I started this blog before the election in 2004. What's been done about it? Nothing, of course, although at this point the Democrats have a fairly long list of GOP crimes to try and unravel. On the other hand, if this isn't treason, it's about as close as you can get.

Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report.

Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

The report does not give a final conclusion on what happened to the missing fraction of the roughly two million barrels pumped by Iraq each day, but the findings are sure to reinforce longstanding suspicions that smugglers, insurgents and corrupt officials control significant parts of the country’s oil industry.

So.... 5 - 15% of all the oil Iraq has produced has vanished. Given the chaos over there, it's a safe bet that the "declared oil production" is being underestimated by sticky-fingered companies and officials. But even if you take the most conservative estimates of production and loss, that comes to about $5,325,000,000.

The report, by the way, is from the GAO.