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February 8, 2004
Saddam's Nest Egg

The US believes it has discovered the location of at least some of Saddam Hussein's cash -- but so far, neither the US nor the Iraqi Governing Council can get their hands on it:

The United States believes it has found at least $300 million Saddam Hussein hid in banks, yet doesn't have enough evidence to get countries such as Syria and Switzerland to hand over the money, U.S. and European officials told The Associated Press. The funds at stake could go to the Iraq insurgency or the country's reconstruction — depending on who gets it first. What troubles investigators more is that much of Saddam's cash may already be gone. ...

Much to the frustration of the Bush administration, countries that acted quickly on relatively weak evidence involving al-Qaida funds have been unwilling to do the same on Iraq, partly because of growing doubts about the quality of U.S. intelligence.

While our friends wait for more solid intelligence, no one knows for sure if the $40 billion that Saddam has been estimated to have stashed away still exists, or if any or all of it has found its way into the hands of terrorists and Iraqi insurgents. (For that matter, no one knows how much of it found its way into the pockets of foreign diplomats, either.) Forty billion dollars buys a hell of a lot of RPGs and explosives for car bombers. It could also buy a few chemical and biological weapons, too.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 8, 2004 3:26 PM

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