Senators: Where is Iraq's oil money going?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by crgarcia, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two senators are asking congressional investigators to look at Iraq's oil revenues and see if the war-ravaged nation can pay for its own reconstruction, an effort that has been bankrolled to this point mostly by U.S. taxpayers.

    Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and John Warner, R-Virginia, said in their Friday letter to the Government Accountability Office that Iraq has "tremendous resources" in banks worldwide but is doing little to improve security and reconstruction efforts.

    Iraqi officials did not immediately respond to the senators' allegations.

    "We believe that it has been overwhelmingly U.S. taxpayer money that has funded Iraq reconstruction over the last five years, despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue over that time period that have ended up in non-Iraqi banks," wrote the senators, who are their party's top members on the Armed Services Committee.

    The senators cited testimony of then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz who told a House subcommittee in March 2003 that the U.S. would not foot the entire bill for rebuilding Iraq. Wolfowitz predicted then that Iraq's oil revenues could reach between $50 billion and $100 billion in the next two or three years.

    "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon," Wolfowitz said in 2003. Video Watch why the senators want to take a closer look »
    Senators want answers
    The senators want investigators to find out:
    • Iraqi oil revenues for 2003-2007
    • What the U.S. and Iraq spent in that time on security, reconstruction, governance and economic development
    • Iraq's projected oil revenue for 2008
    • How much money the Iraqi government has earned from oil but not spent
    • How much the Iraqi government has deposited in banks, and in which countries
    • Why Iraq hasn't spent more on services for its people

    Using numbers from the U.S. State Department and Iraqi Oil Ministry, the senators said Iraq hopes to produce 2.2 million barrels of oil a day this year. Weekly averages suggest that the number has climbed as high as 2.51 million barrels a day.

    That kind of oil production could earn Iraq a projected $56.4 billion this year, an estimate the senators say is low given the rising cost of crude.

    "In essence, we believe that Iraq will accrue at least $100.0 billion in oil revenues in 2007 and 2008," the letter said.

    It added, "Our conversations with both Iraqis and Americans during our frequent visits to Iraq, as well as official government and unofficial media reports, have convinced us that the Iraqi government is not doing nearly enough to provide essential services and improve the quality of life of its citizens."

    Iraq's ability to spend its $10.1 billion capital projects budget in 2007 was one of the 18 benchmarks used to assess U.S. progress in stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq, according to the GAO.

    The United States has spent more than $47 billion on Iraqi reconstruction efforts since 2003, according to the 2008 quarterly audit by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
  2. I think there will not be an investigation.

    Who had the motive, means and opportunity to ravage the country in the first place?
    Who profits most from the current current high oil prices?

    Who the hell voted for this idiot?
  3. Boy they are really on top of the situation here. How long have we been in Iraq and how much have we spent and they are just now asking where is the Iraqi oil money?? I guess better late than never but really makes me wonder what the hell they have been doing for the last 4 plus years. What a joke.
  4. You got that right. What a ripoff of US taxpayers. I have never understood why it was our responsibility to pay for infrastructure projects in a country with vast oil reserves. Perhaps Bush could explain.

    If I were Barrack Obama I would be all over this, as it is an issue that cuts across traditional party lines and puts McCain on the defensive.
  5. hajimow


    in Dick's friends' accounts !!