While Congress clamors about potential misuse of post-Katrina funds, $140 billion of Iraq war spending is not being monitored. The Department of Defense Inspector General’s auditors were pulled out of Iraq in 2004. The criminal investigation unit, which investigated charges of price inflating, double-billng, kickbacks, and phony shipments, was disbanded exactly a year ago.
U.S. spending in Iraq falls into two major categories–fighting the war and rebuilding the country. It is unreasonable to expect Congress to monitor and investigate recurring charges of abuse and fraud. The $9 billion unaccounted for by Halliburton has never been found, and is no longer a topic of discussion. Meanwhile, on the homefront, Congress worries about how Louisiana will spend its Katrina/Rita recovery money, but we’re not hearing anything about the administration’s refusal to disclose how it is spending its post Katrina/Rita money.