Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Missing Iraqi Defense Funds

According to news reports, Iraqi defense officials have embezzled $1.27 billion from their country's defense budget, supposedly rendering it totally defenseless against the insurgency. Now the current Iraqi army is obviously fighting with something. So what was stolen and what was not stolen? Apparently the thefts took place over an 8 month period covering late 2004 and early 2005. According to the Independent:

The fraud took place between 28 June 2004 and 28 February this year under the government of Iyad Allawi, who was interim prime minister. His ministers were appointed by the US envoy Robert Blackwell and his UN counterpart, Lakhdar Brahimi.

The man accused as the principal embezzler was a certain Ziyad Cattan, who as the further excerpt below shows, was unlikely to have been acting without the knowledge of the Iraqi Defense Minister, a Mr. Hazem Shalan.

Mr Shalaan says that Paul Bremer, then US viceroy in Iraq, signed off the appointment of Ziyad Cattan as the defence ministry's procurement chief. Mr Cattan, of joint Polish-Iraqi nationality, spent 27 years in Europe, returning to Iraq two days before the war in 2003. He was hired by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority and became a district councillor before moving to the defence ministry.

For eight months the ministry spent money without restraint. Contracts worth more than $5m should have been reviewed by a cabinet committee, but Mr Shalaan asked for and received from the cabinet an exemption for the defence ministry. Missions abroad to acquire arms were generally led by Mr Cattan. Contracts for large sums were short scribbles on a single piece of paper. Auditors have had difficulty working out with whom Iraq has a contract in Pakistan.

Mr. Shalan has this biography provided by the CPA:

Minister of Defense Mr. Hazem Sha’alan is Sheik of the Ghazal Tribe. He earned his degree in economics and management from Baghdad University in 1972 and began his career managing the Kut Dewanyah branches of the Iraqi Real Estate Bank. He served as Inspector General of the main branch in Baghdad from 1983-1985. He was forced to leave Iraqi in 1985 because of his opposition to the former regime and managed a successful real estate firm in the U.K. He has been governor of Diwaniyah since April 2003. He was born in 1947 in Diwanyah.

It would appear that at least some Iraqi equipment is being delivered from Multi National Security Transition Command (MNSTC). For example, in 2004:

"November's rollout totaled more than 2 million RPK/PKM machine-gun rounds; 1.2 million 9 mm pistol rounds; 2.8 million AK-47 assault-rifle rounds; 450,000 12 gauge shotgun rounds, including 200,000 slug rounds; 999,000 5.6 mm rounds; 48 shotguns; 1,000 various-make 9 mm pistols; nearly 1,000 RPK and PKM machine guns; 1,120 smoke and riot grenades; roughly 1,900 9 mm Glock pistols; 5,400 AK-47s; 20 Walther pistols; 78 rocket-propelled grenade launchers; 16,000 sets of body armor; more than 7,400 helmets, including 150 riot helmets; 44 French- designed Panhard M-3 armored personnel carriers; four T-55 Russian-designed heavy tanks; 18 multi-purposed armored vehicles; and four Comp Air 7SL light reconnaissance aircraft. ..." et cetera, et cetera.

Anthony Cordesman, a much quoted senior defense analyst at CSIS provides this table of equipment deliveries to the Iraqi Security Forces between May, 2004 and July 2005 -- roughly the same period in time the Iraqi defense officials are reported to have been looting their ministry. (from pages 13 to 19)

Vehicles 10,539
Radios 24,051
PKM Machineguns 7,082
AK-47s 155,034
Pistols 140,239
Ammunition 305,587,537
Uniforms 561,568
Helmets 92,883
Body Armor 168,104

And so on. The kind of equipment structure for the New Iraqi Army that the MNSTC appears to have wanted for it was divided into "sets", as in light infantry sets, armor sets, etc. Global Security notes that the New Iraqi Army activated its first armored brigade in August 2005.

By August 2005 Iraq's first armored brigade was trained and in the field, with 77 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks donated to Iraq by Hungary expected to arrive in Iraq soon. Defense Solutions announced 27 July 2005 that it would deliver the first five rebuilt T-72 Main Battle Tanks to the Iraqi Army. Iraqi Staff Major General Mahmood Ayoub Bashar accepted these tanks on behalf of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense during his attendance at program review meetings held at the HM Currus Combat Vehicle Technique Company (Currus), Gödöllõ, Hungary.

It is entirely possible that some money, perhaps even vast amounts of money were stolen. However, in the light of the equipment that is physically in evidence, at least in training and operations, the Independent's depiction of the absence of Iraqi equipment seems something of a stretch.

The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do. ... Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped. In Baghdad they often ride in civilian pick-up trucks vulnerable to gunfire, rocket- propelled grenades or roadside bombs. For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blast because they worked without bullet-proof vests. These were often promised but never turned up.

What and where did Mr. Cattan want to buy his equipment? The Independent says he was buying Polish helicopters, fake Egyptian submachineguns, armored cars of unknown provenance and avers to mysterious contracts with Pakistan. These equipment types look to be a garage-sale assortment at total variance with the "equipment sets" planned by the MNSTC.

This is still a breaking story, but I hope this backgrounder helps.


Blogger sam said...

Looks like Cattan has high-tailed it for Jordan:

For eight months the ministry spent money without restraint. Contracts worth more than $5m should have been reviewed by a cabinet committee, but Mr Shalaan asked for and received from the cabinet an exemption for the defence ministry. Missions abroad to acquire arms were generally led by Mr Cattan. Contracts for large sums were short scribbles on a single piece of paper. Auditors have had difficulty working out with whom Iraq has a contract in Pakistan.

Authorities in Baghdad have issued an arrest warrant for Mr Cattan. Neither he nor Mr Shalaan, both believed to be in Jordan, could be reached for further comment. Mr Bremer says he has never heard of Mr Cattan.


9/20/2005 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger CERDIP said...

"Iraq interested in Polish help in tank modernisation

Warsaw, Oct. 29: Cooperation between Poland and Iraq envisages the modernisation of T-55 and T-72 tanks and this will be one of the most important contracts. In two weeks a Polish delegation will go to Iraq to examine the tanks. The value of the contract is still being negotiated, according to representatives of the Iraqi defence ministry. During a visit to Poland the Iraqi delegation said that modernisation would probably cover 200 tanks and that the country still considers a possible involvement of Ukraine in the task. Ziyad Cattan from the Iraqi delegation has said that the value of contracts reached with Poland up till now exceeds 50 million USD and that three other contracts worth 20 million USD are being drafted. The signed contracts cover deliveries of ammunition and optical equipment. Iraq has considered the purchase from Poland of choppers for the transport of troops and VIPs as well as for medical evacuation. A group of Iraqi experts will come to Poland at the beginning of November. The biggest partner of the Iraqi defence ministry is Bumar group that has signed some arms contracts and plans to open an Ursus tractor factory in the more peaceful, northern part of Iraq."

Polish Embassy News Bulletin, Nov 2004

9/21/2005 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger Fabio said...

Some corruption and graft were expected, sadly. At least it's positive that this Cattan guy is wanted now. And, it seems that the new Iraqi Army and Police in one way or the other are getting more and more effective.

The harping about lack of armored cars and bullet-resistant vests instead is more of the same: harping for harping's sake.

By the way, I understand that even the full bomb vests are little more than perfunctory protection when defusing big bombs, say a 155mm shell.

9/21/2005 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger CERDIP said...

Note the last sentence:

The biggest partner of the Iraqi defence ministry is Bumar group that has signed some arms contracts and plans to open an Ursus tractor factory in the more peaceful, northern part of Iraq.

9/21/2005 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bremmer for FemaHead.
Shalaan to replace Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
Mr Cattan replaces Nagin.
Colin Powell

Just Blame Bush!

9/21/2005 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is Powell a Neocon?

9/21/2005 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Minstrel Boy said...

Police in Mosul and two other cities plus border guards have reportedly not been paid for 2 1/2 months.

9/21/2005 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support..."
That's rich!
It's like saying the Battle of Midway so weakened the Japapnese that they were unable to intercept the Enola Gay when it attacked Hiroshima.
A whole lot of other very important stuff had to happen, too.

9/21/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I'd say 'the MSM is the enemy here', but (ala Mark Steyn) as pitiful and disgusting and biased as it is, MSM is NOT the enemy, our ENEMY is the enemy.

Kudos on the due diligence, W D Cat!

9/21/2005 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

And, noting the brand-spanking-new Turing-mode pedals I just pressed, I'm struck by the irony of several websites making BUCKETS of money selling automated weblog-posting software which will get one's webSITE noticed by spiders...

They're not ALL going to install Turing hurdles, I guess...

9/21/2005 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug, I thimk I'm getting the hang of reading your posts.

And I see the humor cached therein.


9/21/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


The US has not secured Baghdad, yet. This with or without Iraqi Army assistance.
When Senators Clinton and McCain can drive down Route Irish in limos, then Baghdad will be considered secure.
As long indirect fire drops into the Green Zone, Baghdad is not secure.
When 200 civilians were killed in car bomb attacks, last week, Baghdad is not secure.
What ever the truth is in the procurment debacle, it has had little or no effect on US performance, in Iraq.

I wonder if Bremer can remember being in Iraq

9/21/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

See my 6:04 AM post in previous thread. (cite is about a year old)
High return, low investment weapon, those car bombs.
Where local culture results in gobs of folks massed in small area.

9/21/2005 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just be sure to select all and copy before pressing those pedals:
Nobody's perfect! ;-)

9/21/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The pedals don't delete our works of art.
I just tested it,

9/21/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

One of Sam's Great Links from past thread:
Hitchens on Galloway.

9/21/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bill Clinton's Secret weapon.
(Hitch take on Galloway.)
"but I began to see again his essential appeal, which is an utter indifference to embarrassment."
Wesley Pruden said normal men would just crawl under a rock after Lewinsky.
Not Bubba, or Galloway.
'Rat, ot:
"We have a responsibility by law to help rebuild the infrastructure," Mr. Bush said on his fifth visit to the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina struck three weeks ago. He said the federal government is "the principal party responsible for rebuilding infrastructure."
White House officials pointed out that the 1988 Stafford Act, which is triggered by disasters such as Katrina, requires that the federal government pay at least 75 percent of the cost of rebuilding public infrastructure.
The federal government's share can jump to more than 90 percent in certain extraordinary circumstances, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the September 11 attacks.

. Statute Demands Federal Relief.
More ot:
. Having a third baby really pays off for French women

9/21/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


"... "Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security," a Cato Institute report says, "Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years."

The report adds, "Since Bush took office, domestic spending has shot up by 36 percent." And that doesn't include the enormously expensive new Medicare drug benefit that will kick in next year.

Be prepared for an economic meltdown -- as rising interest rates sink a people floating on debt. ... "

A Lack of Personal Responsibility

If only there were competent Democrats, almost leaves one yearning for a "new" Perot

Gaza - Israel border is now an Offical International Border.
Passports required to cross
Will Israeli Visas be available for Palistinian workers?
Not likely, I think.

9/21/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

"Gaza - Israel border is now an Offical International Border.
Passports required to cross"

Awesome! This may prevent killers there from causing problems, but they were behind the Gaza wall anyway. As soon as Israel can build the rest of the security wall, the remaining Muslim jackals can be isolated and watched.

9/21/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...


Interesting map on outbreak areas of Avian Flu and the major flyways of migratory birds. Could show next areas to be affected.

Possible Paths for Bird Flu

9/21/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

These articles report on the pressure that Chavez & Company are putting on Paraguay. With their Bolivian Revolution well underway,

Boliva sitrep

the next step for Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution is Paraguay.

"... Whoever can control Paraguay will control the energy and trade routes from oil-rich Bolivia to Brazil and Argentina. ..."

Why does Brazil not act?

"... It is disturbing that Chavez financed a substantial portion of Brazil’s President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva's election a few years ago. Could Brazil's leaders, the guiding hands of an ambitious rising power, have been bought off? Right now, Brazil is in the middle of a serious campaign finance scandal. It's possible that money has subverted Brazilian politics, pulling a regional power into the orbit of an aggressive communist movement aimed at dominating a continent. ..."

Communist Menace Reappears in South America

Worth the time, if you want to understand that the Global Threat is more than Mohammedan.

9/21/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

No problem with corruption when it's US puppets doing it, it's played down, but when the UN is engaged in corruption, it shows how truly evil they are.

Yet another contradiction. Ho hum, why do you even bother?

9/21/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

What contradiction? Wretchard and others have pointed out that corruption in Iraq is a bigger threat to the long-term stability and security of the country than the insurgency.

9/21/2005 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In an interesting article in the "International Worker". The author presents the view that the Bolivian Revolution is part of the "REAL" world conflict. It is all over "ownership" of Oil & it's infrastructure.

"... The question of hydrocarbons is, at the same time, however, an international question. There are, at least, two international wars that are taking place for the control of that resource, in Iraq and Chechnya. Oil has been, likewise, the undisputed protagonist of the political crisis in Russia and in the former Soviet zone, such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyztan. When it is not over control of extraction, it is over the transportation of the liquid through oil and gas pipelines. The recent crisis in the Ukraine did not end in a civil war when the so called ‘orange rebellion’ made a pact with Putin, recommended by Washington and the European Union, on the continuity of Russian gas pipelines across the Ukraine. The Palestinian question is also, at least, a question of oil, because the settlement of Zionism in the Middle East has had the goal of serving as a wedge of imperialism in the Arab world and in the Persian Gulf. The complete privatization of Bolivian oil and gas, under the government of Sánchez de Losada, forms part of a planetary pro-privatization offensive, particularly on the part of yanqui imperialism, to dismantle the oil nationalizations that took place at different stages following the last world war. The Bolivian question cannot ignore the international character of the struggle for nationalization. ..."

A Worldwide Battle

The enemies of US are networked.
Better believe it.

9/21/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The enemies of US are networked.
Better believe it.

9/21/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... Latin America is in the vanguard of the process of world revolution. In Venezuela, where the masses have defeated reaction three times, the revolution is at a crossroads. The Cuban revolution is threatened and can only survive by spreading to the rest of Latin America, starting with Venezuela, but also moving on to countries such as Peru and Ecuador, and linking up with the Bolivian revolution, also at quite an advcanced stage. (August 2004)..."

Marxist.com - The molecular process of World Revolution

9/21/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"If you compare the amount that was allegedly stolen of about $1bn compared with the budget of the ministry of defence, it is nearly 100 per cent of the ministry's [procurement] budget that has gone Awol," said Mr Allawi.

Is that it? One billion dollars. That's the sum total of the Iraqi defense budget?

9/21/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Does not seem like much, does it?
Two days worth of US cash flow for the Occupation.
No wonder they are not ready.

Vicroy Bremmer, he says he cannot remember.

Well, Mr. Chilabi has certainly outlasted Mr Tenet, Powell and Bremmer, in Iraq.
He may just have been right all along.

It is interesting that Mr Catten cannot return to Iraq and Mr Chilabi cannot return to Jordon.

What a tangle web we've wove

9/21/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

"The Palestinian question is also, at least, a question of oil, because the settlement of Zionism in the Middle East has had the goal of serving as a wedge of imperialism in the Arab world and in the Persian Gulf. "

please explain further...

9/21/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Given that all their defense assets were completely destroyed in the previous war(s), you'd think procurement would be 100% of the defense budget, no?

9/21/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

go check the link
that is about all the author had to say about Israel.
I think he was tying the "World Revolution" together. Israel being an important part of the Capitalistic Imperialistic Conspiracy.

9/21/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, they have to pay the soldiers. In our Military that is the highest expense catagory. Or at least I think it is.

9/21/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What soldiers?

9/21/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the 250,000 or so Iraqi Army men that are supposed to replace US troops. Spearheaded by the 6,000 troops, reportedly ethnic Kurds, utilized in Tal Afar

As President Bush is paraphrased
"As they stand up, we stand down"

9/21/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iraqi Army payroll is also said to be rife with corruption.

9/21/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Paramilitary police. Soldiers? You must be kidding me.

9/21/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, regardless of what you think of their quality, the are the follow on force. They do get paid.

9/21/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Remember that the Pentagon budget includes the pensions for retired military.

9/21/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ex helo

Even without that, current payroll is a MAJOR segment of the budget.
One would have to expect, in Iraq, that payroll would also be a major catagory.
The IDF was always part of a Jobs Program for Iraq.
The 1 billion to 1.47 billion reported to have been pilfered, while large, would not be ALL the Iraqi Defence Budget.

9/21/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/21/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This has nothing to with my supposed thinking regards the quality of those man. The force might be of very high quality, I don't know that. But they're a police force. Not an army. The two are very different. I would have thought a veteran like yourself would have recognized this.

9/21/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'm not sure that the 6,000 troops utilized in Tal Aafar are just Para-military Police.
The US Generals and subordinates seem to think of them as soldiers.
When I trained Central Americans, there was a general negative bias, towards them, held by most US troops.
In field excercises these prejudices were consistently disproven.

9/21/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What field exercises? One to one pocketknife combat?

9/21/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, the infamous School of the Americas and the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama. The same guys that defeated the Insurgency in El Salvador, Guatamala and Honduras. The same guys that are doing battle in Columbiam today. All went through the School.
No pocket knives there.
We faced an opposition of higher quality than the clowns that make up Hamas.

Hell, the Israeli Defense Force ran with the Guats for awhile.

I guess they are pocket knife experts, too.

9/21/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat: I guess they are pocket knife experts, too.

You better believe it. Since that's all the Israelis are allowed to bring to the fight.

Which brings me to my point. Is the US now subsidizing Iraq's defense? I'm sure that if the Iranians decide to invade, you're not going to invade with kalashnikovs and pocketknives. Did the US agree to provide a defense umbrella to the Iraqis in such an eventuality? Is that the real reason for this anemic defense budget?

9/21/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As of TODAY, yes, Iraq is under a US umbrella. After the December elections, assuming the Constitution is ratified, we will negotiate a Status of Forces agreement with them.
This could also be part of a Mutual Defence Treaty.
It seems that we have not funded or supplied a well rounded Iraqi military force, yet.

9/21/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

Reading isn't your strong point I see nathan. Read wretchard's pathetically apologetic article here that I'm responding to. When the UN is engaged in this kind of thing, you lot are attacking them non-stop and calling for them to be eliminated, but when it's your puppets, you're making excuses for them. That's called a contradiction, and it invalidates your arguments. The amount lost in Iraq was more than the amount lost in the oil for food scandal. But hey corruption is only bad when people we don't like are doing it, just like everything else, because we have no understanding of the word ethics!

And this whole south american communist conspiracy thing? That was possibly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Is there no limit to the utter bullshit you people will believe if it promotes your ideological agenda? How about a Jewish Banker conspiracy next, that one will win you a lot of sympathy from the neo-nazis, oh wait, you already have their sympathy, never mind.

That Chavez, what an evil guy, bringing universal health care to the 70% of the country who can't afford it. A literacy program which taught 1.4million peopel to read and write in the last 5 years which has eliminated illiteracy in the country. A GDP growth rate of well over 10%. Oh yeah I forgot, if a government is helping the poor instead of helping to line Dick Cheney's pockets with cash, then they're evil communists.

9/21/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

It would be a mistake if the Status of Forces agreement did not incorporate permanent US bases in Iraq first as a deterrent to Iran and second as more generally eastward forward basing, that is, nearer to China. While establishing a base in the Kurdish north seems to be the least likely to stir up fundamentalist fervor against "occupation of Islamic lands by the infidels" or whatever, the viability of this prospect may be somewhat offset by the difference in cooperation forthcoming from Kuwait and Turkey regarding overflight rules. Alternatively a base in the Shiite south or eastern center could be better propagandized by the enemy. Nevertheless a large American military base in any location could provide significant local economic benefits to whomever is willing to host.

9/21/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Desert Rat,
I agree, I was just pointing out another facet of the personnel costs that chew up a large part of the budget. (And which makes the comparisons of defense budgets between nations pretty close to meaningless.)

9/21/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger kstagger said...

Ah, Venezula - home of the free

or not

Human Rights Watch

9/21/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

What the heck? I think your reading ability is impaired. How is Wretchard apologetic? One thrust of the article is that the Iraqi armed forces are not totally devoid of equipment. Wretchard cites the roll-out inventory to support this. Nevertheless, they seem to have been defrauded by Cattan and his buddy Shalaan. Wretchard cites the contract review exception and the invariance with the MNSTC plan to suggest that something suspicious is going on.

Your projection of Nazi sympathies upon the pro-Israel Belmont readers is well taken, I'm sure. Again, you seem to have a problem with reading. You haven't seen the ongoing schism between the regulars here who at least, unlike you, are not utter fools? It happens in virtually every thread. Yet you have no response to this, because it contradicts with your fundamental belief that we are a bunch of white racist Southern Christian fundamentalist hicks. You are the one guilty of stereotyping, prejudice, and racism. If you would stop projecting it onto everybody else for even a moment, maybe you would recognize this about yourself. Or not- your noxious, self-destructive ego would still stand in the way. Looks like there's no hope for you.

As for Venezuelan universal healthcare, why don't you go get your brain surgery done there? I'm sure it will be much more successful than it would be in Thailand or India. Literacy on the other hand, that is an admirable achievement. It's also one that you don't seem to share. Venezuela seems like it would be a very good country for you.

9/21/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The looted defense funds came, I believe, from Iraqi government oil revenues.

I don't think that either remaining Coalition members or Iraqi officials are looking at post-election SOFAs, but rather SOMAs.

9/21/2005 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Trish, would you mind elaborating on the difference?

9/21/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Marlin said...

I believe that ITM would agree that this missing funds 'scandal' is politically motivated.

"On the other hand, the clergy and especially Sistani who felt embarrassed by the incompetent government he backed is not willing to go through the same experience again; one of Sistani's aides told the New Sabah paper that the clergy feels disappointed by the poor performance of the government and the clashes between the allied parties. This was followed by Sistani's declaration in which he banned using the name of the clergy in partisan campaigns.

In such atmospheres critical of the governmental performance, the governing parties found themselves surrounded in a weak position and took a decision to respond by releasing a controversial report accusing Allawi's cabinet of massive corruption.

This report which took a lot of attention and coverage in the past few days took the political battle to the lands of the opposition represented by the Iraqi bloc of Allawi and the former defense minister Hazim Sha'lan who's joining Allawi's alliance now after he formed his own movement."

9/21/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

trish said...
The looted defense funds came, I believe, from Iraqi government oil revenues.

really? wow.. it's good to see the arab world stand up on it's own feet and steal from it'sself the money that they ripped off the world for overpriced dead dinosaurs...

9/21/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Status of Mission Agreement

This from the ICC folk
"... Status of Mission Agreements (SOMAs) and other similar agreements. SOFAs and SOMAs reflect a division of responsibility for a limited class of persons deliberately sent from one country to another and carefully addresses how any crimes they may commit should be addressed. ..."

When Goggled you'll find many UN agreements with Nation States, also the above snippet abut the ICC and how SOMA's are used to circumvent Article 98 of the ICC's code.

No definitive difference is mentioned, in a cursory search, between SOFA and SOMA.
Possibly a difference is in the duration of the Treaty.

9/21/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

marlin is on it!
Linking to Iraq the Model, smoooth

This tidbit was also there.

"...Everyone here know how dangerous corruption is and we said it more than once that it is just as dangerous as terrorism so attempts to fight corruption are welcome but the latest report was lacking a mechanism for a solution or even the precursors for a plan and was more like a shot taken to weaken the position of the political opponents.
Sha'lan said that he was innocent from those accusations and that he keeps the original copies of the contracts while the government used photocopied (maybe fake) ones in their investigation. He explained that he kept the originals away because he expected that Iran-who's backing this government-would try to "destroy him" because of his previous confronting attitude against Iran during his term as defense minister.
Probably what made him the first target for Iranian plots was his statement when he said last year that he would "take the war to the streets of Tehran ..."

We shall see what is what, soon enough.

Quite the Byzantine world

9/21/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember when Tenet & Company said Mr. Chilabi was a spy for the Iranians.
Never indicted, never charged, never arrested, in Iraq or here, for that.

9/21/2005 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

iotm: Oh yeah I forgot, if a government is helping the poor instead of helping to line Dick Cheney's pockets with cash, then they're evil communists.

How about the poor help themselves by actually contributing tax dollars towards those programs they want, instead of stealing private property from those that worked hard to obtain it. How much of those programs did they, the poor, fund with their tax dollars? Stealing private assets is what Commies do. But guess what? With no security in private ownership, not even your diehard commies care to invest in the system. So you end up with those resource-for-export basket case economies, like that of Russia and the rest of them. And when that's not enough to feed the masses, they just kill them off. By the millions.

9/21/2005 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

SOMAs are negotiated between host governments and the UN rather than between host governments and contributing foreign powers. It's one way of sidestepping a political landmine. In the case of Iraq, SOMAs are to the political benefit of all parties. SOFAs say one thing to Iraqis: Foriegn troops have no intention of leaving, and furthermore your own government thinks that's just fine. Not a good message.

SOMAs can conceivably last til the cows come home. More specifically: til the host government decides it no longer wants the services of the forces involved; or will no longer tolerate the terms of the agreement; or the objectives of the mission are met or obviated; or contributors simply hang it up. Whichever comes first.

9/21/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...



9/21/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going."
. Scare Bus

9/21/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Berglar Gets Off, Able Danger does not exist.
All is well, but how will it end?

9/21/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Yeah, I like that one, Dan. It's about time we stood up to Wal-mart, er, China. They need us more than we need them.

We could do without cheap junk for a month while Bentonville and Home Depot find themselves new junk makers. They, OTOH, would have themselves a new revolution to cope with. Ahhh, they shouldn't mind that, after all, THEY are revolutionaries, aren't they?

9/21/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"..utter indifference to embarrassment.." is another way of saying "shameless" and "no sense of decency" and "no sense of propriety".

That disqualifies ANYONE from being known in history as 'great', president or not!

And he use his shameless, indecent lack of propriety to grant last-minute pardons to 146(?) criminals, one of whom was chosen by Jesse Jackson to serve as 'Youth Counsellor'; a guy pardoned by a sexual assailant, working for a sexual assaulter, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an underage volunteer... working as "Youth Counsellor"

9/21/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Listening to Curt Weldon on Savage is like watching a tough portion of a 1950's movie, but in the movie, you expect truth to be exposed, justice carried out, and good and honest men rewarded.
Not Trashed.

9/21/2005 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

C Span 1 will carry today's Able Danger Coverup Hearing later today.
Hope someone will give a report.
Will check AJ Strata, Capt. Ed, and etc.

9/21/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

It seems that Saddam did his share of looting. Not unexpectedly, others may have followed his footsteps. The only positive out come occured when the Dora Farm Compound was bombed a truck full of US currency was blown-up sending shredded bills into the air. Let, go back to March 18, 2003:

...Saddam Hussein looted $1.42 billion from Iraq's central bank before his downfall... New York Times said Saddam sent his son Qusay to the vaults of the central bank in the hours before the first US bombs fell on Baghdad to load nearly $US1 billion ($A1.58 billion) onto three tractor trailers... Qusay reportedly turned up at the vaults with a letter from his father authorising the seizure at 4am on March 18 to carry out what could be the biggest bank heist in history.

"When you get an order from Saddam Hussein, you do not discuss it," an Iraqi official, who asked not to be identified, was quoted as saying. The newspaper [NYT] said around $US900 million dollars in $US100 bills and 100 million euros ($A178.35 million) was possibly smuggled into Syria, where it disappeared, along with Qusay and Saddam's personal... The anonymous Iraqi official who provided details of the "withdrawal" and who held a senior position in the Iraqi central bank said he was afraid Saddam or his associates could still track him down and have him killed

Saddam's $1 billion bank robbery

[Saddam's Withdrawal note]

....follow up ICE investigation ultimately found that Saddam Hussein had written a letter to the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) on March 19, 2003 in which he authorized his son to withdraw $920 million U.S. currency and 90 million Euros from the CBI.

A translation of the now public letter from Saddam to the Governor of the CBI, which was first obtained by ICE agents in Iraq, reads as such:

Extremely confidential
In the name of God the most merciful the most compassionate

Mr. Governor of the Iraqi Central Bank

We are giving, with this written notice, permission to Mr. Qusay Saddam Hussein and Mr. Hekmat Mezian Ibrahiem to receive the following amounts of money:

Nine hundred and twenty million American dollars.
Ninety million Euros.

To protect and save them from American aggression
Take the necessary action

Saddam Hussein
President of the Republic

To date, 33 boxes containing approximately $132 million in U.S. currency remains missing from this pool of U.S. currency that was removed from the CBI by Hussein regime members.
ICE agents were able to gain access to the Central Bank of Iraq. Inside the bank, they found 368 gold bars, $44 million USD, 245 million Euro, 7.7 million Swiss francs, .5 million lb Sterling, and .6 million Jordanian dinar.

see: Investigation

[Money may have gone to Syria]:

US special forces officer, Colonel Ted Seel, as saying that he too was aware of the seizure of the money. He told the newspaper that intelligence information suggested that a convoy of lorries crossed from Iraq into Syria some time after the pre-dawn bank withdrawal.
But it is not known whether the cargo was the cash or something else... the possibility that some of the cash may have gone to Syria could refocus attention on Damascus' relations with the former regime. During the war, the US accused Syria of giving help to Saddam Hussein... Washington officials also said they believed that a number of regime officials had sought refuge in Damascus.

[picture of US Soldiers in Uday's palace]

US forces found $650m in one of Uday's palaces

See: Cash

Saddam's Bio:

Background: joined Baath Socialist Party, 1957; jailed for killing a government official, released after 6 months, 1958; participated in failed assassination on life of Gen. Adel Karim Kasim: fled to Syria, 1959; studied law in Egypt, 1959-1962; returned to Iraq & assumed regional leadership of Baath Party,1963; imprisoned for attempted overthrow of Abdul Salam Aref, 1964-1966; escaped from prison 1966; elected to command of National Baath Party, 1965; Deputy Chair of Revolutionary Command Councel, 1969 - 1979; President of Iraq, 1979 -; Prime Minister of Iraq, 1994 -; re-elected to presidence of Iraq, 1995, 2002.

Significant Events invaded Iran, 1980, ceasefire, 1988; put down Kurdish rebellion using poison gas, 1988; invaded Kuwait, Aug. 1990; ordered killing of two sons-in-law 1996; ordered United Nations inspectors to leave Iraq 1998; coalition forces began air strikes against Baghdad, March 18, 2003; sons Uday and Qusay killed July, 2003; captured near Tikrit by coalition forces 12/14/2003.

see: Bio

9/21/2005 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lawyer for Able Danger truthtellers will be on Savage now.
... krla.com

9/21/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Sirc_Valence said...

I don't recall who said this, but I'm paraphrasing: "The problem of unemployment is not an issue after liberty is extinguished."

I mean, really, what's the use of reading if you are only allowed to read what the state permits? That theoretically everybody can read in a country where they are merely allowed to be tools or material of the state should not be a cause for celebration, it should be a cause for concern.

iotm, I know you "liberals", or whatever self-flattering lable you want to use today, think that Chavez' support for the Iranian mullahs and Castro is "O.K." because of the materialistic madness promised by socialism. But just like your Stalinist intellectual forefathers, you are basing your views on economic misconceptions and ignorance.

The economic dimension of freedom is free-market economics where prices are determined according to the demands of the buying public.

9/21/2005 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger iotm said...

sirc_valance, clearly you know nothing about economics or you'd realize that the US/IMF enforced neoliberal model is what caused so much poverty in Venezuela and South America in general in the first place. Chavez has rejected neoliberalism and things are starting to get better. Look at Russia, Russia's economy is fucked, and they went all out neoliberal and things got worse than under communism.

Stalin is not my forefather nor am I a liberal. You lot, who are adamently authoritarian and in favour of things like arrest without cause, elimination of basic civil rights, aggressive military imperialism, those are all Stalinist.

As for neo-nazis, they're all big supporters of Bush. They're the ones behind these anti-immigration border patrols that you lot are so fond of. Israel itself has done a nice job of emulating the nazis in their attempts to "ethnicly cleanse" the region of Palestinians.

The only difference with neo-nazis from you guys is they are logically consistent. They hate Jews even when Israel is a puppet of the US. You guys are racist against whatever group that has a government the US doesn't like. And if alliances changes, so does your racism. I'm sure a lot of your ancestors were participating in the anti-Jewish rallies in the US at the onset of WWII.

9/22/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

It's amusing to watch iotm's arguments become yet more pathetically impotent as the thread goes on.

As for neo-nazis, they're all big supporters of Bush.

The same Bush who backs amnesty for illegal aliens?

They're the ones behind these anti-illegal-immigration border patrols that you lot are so fond of.

First of all, please prove that the founder of the Minutemen is connected to a Nazi organization or that the Minuteman organization is itself connected to Nazi organizations before you go vomiting up the usual "everybody who disagrees with me is a Nazi" line.

Second of all, if Nazis are opposed to illegal immigration, I guess that means that we must advocate illegal immigration, right? Everything Nazis do is wrong! Including eating! And drinking! And breathing! We should all stop doing these things because Nazis do them too!

That's the problem with you nutcases. You pick someone you dislike, whether it's conservatives, people who believe in God, or whatever, and then you simply say "I disagree!" and try to lend credence to your disagreement by identifying them, regardless of whatever their true positions are, with entities that everybody dislikes, like Nazis. This is the extent of iotm's intellectualism. He disagrees with all other Belmont readers and calls us all Nazis despite the fact that we often disagree amongst ourselves! No matter what we do or say, he convinces himself that he is the opposite. This is evidence of his prejudice, not against the reality of our own positions, but against us as an identifiable group of people.

This kind of prejudice, in other contexts, often goes by certain disagreeable names. But only because iotm cannot see us- and, presumably, because we do not all have the same color- are these names made irrelevant.

9/22/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

On that note, I bet iotm is upset by the possibility that all Belmont readers are not white Southern Christian fundamentalists.

There is a metareferential loop going on in his mind as a result of his prejudice. He disagrees with us because we are all white Southern Christian fundamentalists, therefore he disagrees with us. The entire loop is ridden with endemic flaws. He cannot accept the possibility that we are not the people he projects us to be, because then the other side of the loop- his disagreement with what he belives to be our uniformly consistent positions- collapses.

9/22/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

OT: What does "iotm" mean? I've Googled it and come up with "image of the month," "idiot of the moment" (that one seems to have some promise), "Iran of Tomorrow Movement," "Individuals Opposed to Temporal Manipulation"...

Amazing too that iotm is unable to encompass the difference between the OFF corruption scandal, in which the guilty parties are people who purport to be humanitarian workers and diplomats on the world stage and the program from which they profited was purported to feed starving innocents, and this corruption scandal, in which the guilty parties are run-of-the-mill corrupt government bureaucrats and the program from which they profited national defense.

Both cases are reprehensible. But OFF is more so, imo, because the stated aims of the defrauded program were "higher" on the humanitarian ladder. Thus: pedophilia is a crime and a terrible disgrace no matter who does it, but when a supposedly celibate priest, a man in whom special trust is supposed to be placed and whose access to young children may be more regularly unsupervised because of that trust, commits it, it is an even greater abomination than when the guy down the street is found to be an abuser.

Except in iotm's world, in which all offenses that share a name, regardless of who coins the name, are precisely equal in seriousness, so that what happened in Abu Ghraib under Saddam is exactly the same as what happened in Abu Ghraib at the end of Lynddie's leash.

9/22/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

IOTM once again shows his true colors... even when I was a lefty back in my college days, I wouldn't jump that far into the Marxist pit.

9/22/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I'm white, was raised Christian in a extremely conservative community -

but I rebelled, became anti-religious and anti-goverment. Pro-communist (or what I thought communism should be).

Age, Work, 9/11, and Responsibility changed all that - making me more Libertarian/Conservative. Western Civilization, for all it's past sins and glory, is a better alternative than Marxism/Socialism (Remember IOTM, the Nazis were National Socialists). Democracy may be a terrible system, but it's still the best one out there.

9/22/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Sirc_Valence said...

Actually, iotm, you don't have to be a neo-nazi to see immigration and America's borders as out of control. And my parents are immigrants, by the way.

Stalin is your intellectual forefather since you are both an anti-capitalist and atheist/agnostic. The epistemological relation is there, you can't deny it. You can't have freedom without free-markets, you can't concieve of anything, much less freedom, from a nihilistic basis. The American Constitution is the only thing protecting the United States from the full destructiveness of leftist "ideas".

Israel is only defending itself, it has been targeted for annihilation by anti-semitic fanatics. Either you don't see this, or you don't want to. You wonder why they need checkpoints? I'm sure you didn't hear about the Palestinian looting, vandalization, and hate-filled attacks on the Christians of Taybeh - after a Muslim woman fell in love with a Christian. A Muslim woman who was slaughtered for the crime by her own family, just recently, by the way.

I'm sorry, but you are a lib, because that's what leftists like to call themselves today. Though you have free will, you are not acting alone, you are part of a group. You're not gonna get away with that "you can't lable me" nonsense here.

9/23/2005 12:33:00 AM  

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