Wednesday, December 19, 2012

US Foreign Aid: A $2.3 Trillion Grand Theft

It's no secret that US foreign aid is a monstrous scam that operates like a crime syndicate. Exactly who gets the gobs of money and why remains a mystery. One thing is certain however. Billions of US foreign aid dollars literally disappeared in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Vast sums of aid continue to be stolen in Afghanistan
Despite years of supposed effort to stop money laundering out of Kabul airport, billions continue to flow from the country unchecked.
In the summer of 2010, the US decided to do something about the enormous sucking sound being generated by the bulk cash shipments funneling through Afghanistan's Kabul airport and on to Dubai, Zurich, and London – every point of the compass, really.
So, the US embassy in Kabul created a "bulk cash flow action plan" and the Karzai government said it was on board. The results since? Well, around $4.5 billion flowed out of Afghanistan in 2011, according to the Congressional Research Service, the vast majority of it unmonitored and unregistered. That's about 22 percent of gross domestic product, an astonishing amount of capital flight.

Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, documented the mysterious disappearance of $6.6 billion from Iraq.

Missing Iraq Money May Have Been Stolen
US Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion, sent by the planeload in cash and intended for Iraq's reconstruction after the start of the war.

After the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the George W. Bush administration flooded the conquered country with so much cash to pay for reconstruction and other projects in the first year that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that US officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, US Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash - enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things.
Because vast amounts of foreign aid are doled out by the Department of Defense and the State Department, accountability is a missing factor in these US engineered money laundering and bribery schemes. To be sure, the bribing of foreign public officials is all part of the game for two reasons. A lot of foreign aid comes right back to US defense contractors and multi-national corporations are constantly in search of foreign resources to exploit and plunder.

The scandal known as US foreign aid is nothing new.  It's been going on for decades.  In fact, in 2007 foreign aid costs were documented at $2.3 trillion, here.  
The West has spent over $2.3 trillion on foreign aid in the past 50 years and despite all the money thrown at the problem of global poverty very little has changed. This provocative statement is what William Easterly’s book, The White Man's Burden, is all about.

William Easterly is a professor of economics at New York University and was the senior research economist at the World Bank for more than 16 years. So if there's anyone who could write a book on the subject this man would seem to be it.
Trillions of dollars just don't vanish into thin air. Somebody got the money for some sinister and evil purpose and those folks would typically include defense contractors, foreign government officials and US contractors.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department entity that administers foreign aid, has admitted that it really has no idea how much US taxpayers’ money is used for its intended purpose and how much lines the pockets of corrupt politicians or winds up in Swiss banks....

Corruption has always been the bane of foreign aid. Consider Sudan, a sub-Saharan country that gets close to $1 billion a year and which ranks first on the list of corrupt governments. A researcher for the Council on Foreign Relations reported just a couple of months ago:

"[S]ince 2005, [Sudanese] state officials and government contractors have stolen an estimated $4 billion from treasury coffers—an amount equivalent to 30 percent of the country’s annual economic output. In a particularly egregious example, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning squandered millions of dollars as grain contracts, meant to stave off an anticipated food shortage, was instead awarded to shell companies."...

Ten American for-profit government contractors each received over $200 million from USAID last year and together received $3.19 billion to administer “development” projects; those companies are often run and staffed by former USAID employees under what might be described as a second retirement system. By the time they take out their overhead, fees for the lawyers, lobbyists and public relations specialists, conduct environmental and feasibility studies, pay for first class travel for inspection visits and to attend high-end conferences at the world’s best watering holes, little of the taxpayers’ money is left to do what the dollars were intended for.

Worse, these Beltway bandits become a breeding and feeding ground for left-leaning, progressive, anti-capitalist do-gooders to spread their gospel among the downtrodden countries of the world.
One thing is absolutely certain: trillions of dollars squandered on foreign aid did not benefit humanity or the poor and starving. These folks are just as poor and starving as they were 50 years ago before US foreign aid. The entire foreign aid racket is just another lucrative taxpayer funded scheme for politically connected insiders and campaign contributors who feed off of statism, cronyism and fascism.

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