Dan Senor Tells Bill Maher How We Lost 9 Billion In Iraq
Reported by Donna - February 20, 2006
Live on Friday on Bill Maher's Real Time Show he spoke with Dan Senor, former Chief Spokesman for the Bush Administration who is now a Fox News Analyst.
If you've ever seen Bill Maher's show he has a panel of three people and himself and they discuss current political events. His guests on Friday were Dan Senor, Helen Thomas, columnist with the Hearst Newspapers and comedian/actor Eddie Griffin. Of course the first issue to be discussed was Cheney's shooting another man and needless to say, the barbs flew.
Dan Senor finally had enough and criticized the White House Press Corps for asking so many questions about the shooting and not enough about President Bush speaking with Kofi Annan about Darfur. During the conversation he again interjected the gravity of the Darfur situation. (Comment: The situation in Darfur has been going on for quite some time now and freqently discussed amongst Democrats on Maher's Real Time Show. Why all of a sudden was the White House Press Corps supposed to ignore the fact that the second highest official in our government had shot a man over the weekend? I've heard various different Democrats, including Senator Biden appear on Bill Maher's show and express much interest over Darfur the past few years on Bill Maher's show, why this sudden interest by a Republican pundit? I think you can figure that one out.)
The following is my transcript on the segment of the 9 billion dollars missing in Iraq. It's verbatim, but pretty much word for word as the debates on Real Time are very quick paced, lots of overtalking and hard to catch everything.
Bill Maher started of by saying that there's been no accountability for the lost 9 billion dollars in Iraq. Bill added that Michael Jackson watches money more carefully than that. He asked, "How do you lose 9 billion dollars?" Maher said there were virtually CPA's with wheelbarrels full of $100 dolllar bills being carted around in Iraq after the 'Mission Accomplished' had been declared.
Dan Senor: So,here's what happened. It was a lot of Iraqi money (Comment: What? This was U.S. money given to Iraq) that was being disbursed quickly, so we could put Iraqi's back to work. We had a million and a half Iraqi's on the government payroll. We had to get the money out quickly. We could have waited and held back and not distributed the money and waited for auditors to be there and waited for first world accounting standards to be in place to prevent against this kind of fraud and hope that all that would be in place in time for all these million and a half Iraqis to storm the streets wondering why they and thery're families weren't getting food on the table.(Comment: Weren't Iraqis looting, weren't they storming the streets already?)
So, we had to make the decision to get the money out quickly. In the process, it was a war zone with third war accounting standards, not first world.
Helen Thomas: It was fraud, though.
Dan Senor: (Raising his voice to a shout) It was not a fraud, it was a war zone.
Helen Thomas: With our auditing, with our accounting could we have (words overtalked, lots of overtalking)
Dan Senor: Because we arrived there, Helen, and it was a third world accounting system that we inherited from Saddam's government.
Helen Thomas: We have our own system.
Dan Senor: And you know how long that would have taken? Maybe 10 months, a year to get in place.
Helen Thomas: How long did it take you to get your feeling of the place?
Eddie Griffin: One trillion plus over in Iraq, so far over in Iraq, right?
Dan Senor: Right.
Eddie Griffin: So, if that's first world accounting, what does third world (obsenity) do? This is some retarded s___(obsentity).
Dan Senor: The choice for us was wait for these first world accounting to be in place or not pay people. That was the choice.
Helen Thomas: I don't think that was the choice. Why can't you just write it down and audit it?
Dan Senor: What do you mean write it down? the government was governing over 27 million people. You don't just write it down.
Bill Maher: It does seem a lot of money, 9 billion dollars, to disappear. (Applause)
Dan Senor: I'm not defending it. There was a lot of fraud. (Comment: No, you think?) I'm saying understand the environment we were working in. It was a war zone. We had to put a lot of people back to work and they're very difficult situations.
Comments: The opening segment on Cheney was hilarious, but what was even funnier was Dan Senor's defense of it. All of a sudden, blame the messenger and this newfound concern for Darfur.
The 9 billion missing from Iraq? This all goes back to the Bush Administration not being prepared for the aftermath of a war with Iraq. None, whatsoever. This also goes to the Fox talking points, always on the defense of the Bush Administration. Now, if it was the Clinton Administration or the U.N. who was missing 9 billion dollars in Iraq, what stance do you suppose they'd take? As for putting people back to work, aren't the people still suffering something like 70% unemployment and that's why the insurgency has taken hold? It was fraud, pure and simple and the Bush Administration is not bothering themselves to go looking for it.