One hundred ninety thousand weapons intended for Iraqi soldiers are unaccounted for and legislators, including House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo. are angered:
Members of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday they were saddened and appalled at the number of military officers and civilian officials implicated in as much as $6 billion in contract fraud in Iraq and by the mismanagement that left 190,000 weapons intended for Iraqi security forces unaccounted for.
Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., opened a hearing on incidents of bribery and fraud that occurred in a major contracting office in Kuwait by saying they "were so severe that I fear they represent a culture of corruption," a term repeated by others.
Military officials have another answer for the missing weapons:
The Defense officials sought to deflect some of the committee's ire, noting that the Government Accountability Office, which reported last month it could not account for 30 percent of weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces, did not say weapons were actually missing.
The weapons went into Iraq by different means, some went directly to Iraqi troops and others to the warehouses, Velz said. "There just weren't enough people to document them" and no one can be sure if the weapons were ever transferred, he said.