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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor


    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Follow the money 

    Here's an astonishing story, from The London Review of Books, Where has all the money gone? (a shorter version is in The Guardian: So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go? ) The story actually ran a couple weeks ago; the link from Digby , says "I urge you to read the whole story. It was published earlier this month and fell down the memory hole. It's simply unbelievable."
    I've seen some references to this but never this detail. It's stunning. From the Guardian's version:
      "The auditors have so far referred more than a hundred contracts, involving billions of dollars paid to American personnel and corporations, for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. They have also discovered that $8.8bn that passed through the new Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad while Bremer was in charge is unaccounted for, with little prospect of finding out where it has gone. A further $3.4bn appropriated by Congress for Iraqi development has since been siphoned off to finance "security".
      ...Both Saddam and the US profited handsomely during his reign. He controlled Iraq's wealth while most of Iraq's oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam's favour, grew rich. Today, the system is much the same: the oil goes to California, and the new Iraqi government spends the national wealth with impunity."

    Meanwhile, Knight Ridder correspondents report that things are worse than ever in Baghdad: people are finding worms in their drinking water.

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    Elisabeth Donovan


    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at Herald.com in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.


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