Give the Iraq Money Back
September 12 , 2007
by William P. Meyers

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Billions were stolen by the Bush administration and friends - and now we aren't talking contracts for Halliburton or a few federal dollars for church-based proselytizing. In Billions Over Baghdad former Time reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele tell the story of how money that had been seized from Iraq was given away to well-connected corrupt friends of the Pentagon and CIA.

Oh, it is not the first time in American history. As early as the Revolutionary War money that was supposed to go for one thing went into dishonest men's pockets. In every war since then taxpayer money has disappeared or been traded for shoddy or even phony goods. Harry Truman documented the wasteful spending just before the U.S. entered World War II.

But in this case it was not just American taxpayer money that was grabbed. It was mostly Iraqi money. Taking the money was an act of genocide. I don't trust the Democrats to investigate, because though they might like to make the Republicans look bad, they have a long history of corruption themselves and are probably just mad the money ended up in the other guy's pockets.

Maybe a special prosecutor could do the job, given enough resources. But again, this isn't ordinary stealing, this is the moral equivalent of genocide. So I think the best institution for conducting the investigation could be the World Court.

Better still, let's really go for justice this time. Let's empower a group of Iraqi clerics noted for their incorruptible nature to investigate and determine punishment. While I am against the death penalty as a matter of general principle, I think beheading would not be inappropriate for anyone who dipped into the Iraqi cash fund or looked the other way while it was happening. Don't want to call it genocide? Well, for smaller amounts maybe depriving the thieves of one hand would be more appropriate.

So we would lose much of the senior Bush administration, campaign donors, Pentagon contract boys and CIA we-can't-buy-heroin-without-front-money spooks. I guarantee you that if this is pursued far enough, the Republican Party and probably the Democrats too will collapse like the House of Usher. Apparently the Federal Reserve was originally in charge of the money; how safe is the rest of our money system?

Okay, enough said. Let's end the war and start behaving like a civilized race. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.


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