Political correctness isn’t just a phenomenon of the left. Among establishment types, one of the most unspeakable topics is the undeniable corruption inherent in big military programs and expenditures. And what bigger expenditure is there than a war? Conservatives are suppose to know that big government programs are full of corruption, theft and waste, right?
(Reason reports) Donald Trump suggested in a speech that [some] soldiers in Iraq tasked with handing out American money on the ground absconded with some of it and were “living very well right now.” He called Iraq “crooked as hell.”
UPDATE: Trump’s spokesman now claims he was referring to Iraqi soldiers, not U.S. soldiers. It turns out he’s 100% correct either way.
Here’s what Donald Trump said that freaked out the establishment. Facts posted down below.
Now, I’ll grant, I don’t know how you square “we should have taken the oil,” with being upset at corruption in the military, but Trump doesn’t really do nuance and subtlety. (And Trump is and was against the Iraq War.)
Since 2005, 115 U.S. service members have been convicted of crimes valued at more than $50 million in Iraq and Afghanistan, including stealing, rigging contracts, and taking bribes…
…Additional crimes by military personnel are still under investigation, and some court records remain partly under seal. The magnitude of additional losses from fraud, waste, and abuse by contractors, civilians, and allied foreign soldiers in Afghanistan has never been tallied, but officials probing such crimes say the total is in the billions of dollars.
Those numbers might not seem huge — at least a million troops rotated through the region in this period, and the overall U.S. budget for these wars has so far exceeded $1.5 trillion — but those who investigate and prosecute military wrongdoing say the convictions so far constitute a small portion of the crimes they think were committed by U.S. military personnel in the two countries…