Written by Chief Cheese
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Topics: Iraq, Baghdad

Tuesday, 1 February 2005

image for L. Paul Bremer "misplaces" $9 Billion in Iraq
Mr. Bremer returns signed expense reports to colleagues

(Baghdad) Spoof International News. Paul Bremer, recent recipient of the Presidential medal of Freedom, was caught unawares last week after receiving the results of an audit completed on his stewardship of Iraqi funds while he was Chief Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The news was delivered to Mr. Bremer as he vacationed at his villa on Grand Cayman.

According to the audit, taken by Stuart Bowmen, partner of the accounting firm Howe, Dewey, Cheatham, Doolittle and Bilmore, Mr. Bremer "lost" more than $9 billion .

"The details brought forth by the audit are simply mind-numbing," said Mr. Bowen.
"An incredible number of receipts were presented to us by CPA personnel still on-station in Baghdad. In several instances, these government employees would come in to the office with shoe boxes, and simply dump them on to the table in front of the auditor."

Mr. Bowen went on to say that many of the expenses accounted for with said boxes of receipts were indeed legitimate; however, they just didn't add up to even a small fraction of the $9 billion. "Haircuts, taxi cab rides, newspaper subscriptions, cable TV, lunch out, cover at local night clubs, call girls, all legitimate expenses. We need more. More, more, more!"

Mr. Bremer fired off a rebuttal to Mr. Bowen, and Spoof was able to obtain a copy from its covert source in Baghdad. "My dear Stuart", it begins, "let me explain what happened to at least some of the money there in Baghdad. I know one day we had an armored truck out, making a delivery to a bank or some other institution, and it was a windy day; when the guards opened the rear door, lots of currency flew out. No one knows how many notes nor what their denominations were. You know, I think that happened twice! I'm dreadfully sorry about that. Plus, we had to buy large quantities of gasoline. Gasoline! Can you imagine that. Well, most of the Baghdad gas stations don't provide receipts because most of the time those little receipt printers are out of paper. Gasoline is really, really expensive there. Oh-and I kept after the office staff to turn the lights out when they left the office-even for a few minutes-and they never paid attention. Power bills were so high. Air conditioning in Baghdad-well, you can just imagine. Phew. It sure gets hot there. "

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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