war fraud may hit us$125m

new york times photo: a guard with one of the cash drops, worth in this case us$8.8 million. Total war fraud may top nz$240 billion. NEWS Bales of one hundred dollar bills were airfreighted into Iraq - and then lost forever as part of countless billions to go missing as part of the so-called "War on Terror", reports the Independent.

"In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US-directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff's notorious Ponzi scheme."

Gigantic sums like these dwarf costs of street crime and petty corruption, but get far less attention in mainstream western media, raising more questions about first world notions of "corruption" in the third world, such as the Transparency International Corruptions Perception Index. . . .