As members of Congress consider the Bush administration's request for another $82 billion in military funding -- most of which will go to a war that was supposed to have cost about $50 billion total -- they might think about how the administration has handled finances in Iraq so far.
As we noted last month, the inspector general assigned to audit reconstruction efforts says there's no way to know what became of $8.8 billion that was once in the hands of the Coalition Provisional Authority. A hearing before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee brought forth more news on that front Monday. At the hearing -- called by Democrats who lack the numbers to hold actual congressional investigations -- a lawyer for two whistleblowers said that the Coalition Provisional Authority paid the Republican-friendly security firm Custer Battles $15 million to provide security for civilian flights at Baghdad International Airport.
The catch, according to today's Washington Post: No planes actually flew during the contract term.