It could be the biggest robbery in American history.
Auditors investigating the disappearance of $6.6 billion in cash intended to rebuild Iraq's shattered infrastructure told the Los Angeles Times that the money may have been stolen, an occurence that the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction said would be the largest theft of funds in national history.
America airlifted massive quantities of money into Iraq in the chaos following the 2003 invasion, filling cargo planes with shrink-wrapped bundles of hundred dollar bills worth billions of dollars. The money was stashed at one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces and at U.S. military bases before being distributed to Iraqis, which sometimes involved transporting sacks of money in pickup trucks.
Previous investigations had already uncovered massive waste and corruption in Iraqi reconstruction, but this was the first time an investigator suggested that money had been directly stolen, not lost through mismanagement.
Congress is not looking forward to having to spend billions of our money to make up for billions of their money that we can't account for, and can't seem to find, said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who six years ago led hearings on waste, fraud and abuse in Iraqi reconstruction efforts.