Did the US government steal $50 trillion worth of gold and oil from Iraq?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : US Stole Gold + Oil From Iraq Worth $50 Trillion!
People are sharing photos of US soldiers posing with gold bars, as evidence that the United States sold gold and oil from Iraq worth tens of trillions of dollars!
These photos have been revived on the 20th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as part of the information warfare surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, being shared and promoted on pro-CCP and pro-Russia groups on social media, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
Here the US thieves in Iraq. Bringing democracy aka stealing a country’s gold. Same thing they want to do in Russia. But Russia is no Iraq or Libya.
🇺🇸 “liberates” gold & oil while 🇷🇺 liberates humans.
#Denaƶification & #Demilitarization of #UkroNaƶiLand
Truth : US Did Not Steal Gold + Oil From Iraq At All!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and/or propagated to deflect criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : US Did Not Steal $30 Trillion Of Iraqi Oil
Claims that the US stole $30 trillion worth of oil from Iraq are false. The United States did lose track of 8.7 billion dollars worth of Iraqi funds though.
After the invasion of Iraq concluded, Iraqi oil was sold to help fund the Development Fund of Iraq (DFI). Other sources of funds include surplus funds (about USD 10 billion) from the UN Oil-For-Food Program, and the sale of seized Iraqi assets.
The United States did not truck away Iraqi oil, as claimed. In July 2010, the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) discovered that the US Department of Defense could not account properly for USD 8.7 billion of DFI funds.
This led the Iraqi Parliament to request the United Nation’s help in demanding that the US return $17 billion of “oil money” that it said was stolen from the Iraqi people :
All the indications are that the institutions of the United States of America committed financial corruption by stealing the money of the Iraqi people, which was allocated to develop Iraq, (and) that it was about $17 billion.
… Our committee decided to send this issue to you … to look into it and restore the stolen money.
There is no evidence that the unaccounted money was repatriated to the United States, or officially taken by the United States.
Even assuming that it was not poor accounting and all of the $8.7 billion was truly stolen, that is a far cry (0.029%) from the $30 trillion that was “allegedly” stolen.
It is also rendered ludicrous by the fact that the United States spent US$60 billion in the reconstruction of Iraq.
Also consider the fact that Iraqi oil production only reached 4.4 million barrels per day in 2016. Assuming an average sale price of USD 60 per barrel, it would take them 311 years to sell enough oil to make $30 trillion.
Fact #2 : US Did Not Steal $20 Trillion Of Iraqi Gold
The United States also did not steal gold from Iraq, certainly not $20 trillion worth of gold!
All those photos of US soldiers with Iraqi gold bars are genuine, but they only show them taking photos with the gold they seized in Iraq.
The Iraqi gold bars (as well as currency and other valuables) that US soldiers seized were transported to the US Army’s headquarters in Kuwait.
There, they were examined by the Secret Service and/or the US Department of Treasury to determine their authenticity and value, before being returned to the Central Iraqi Treasury or the Development Fund of Iraq (DFI).
This is a picture of Lt. Col. Scott Schmidt, who was in charge of the 230th Finance Battalion. The battalion’s job was to seize Iraqi assets like currency, gold bars and other valuables.
In 2003, Iraq had under 6 tonnes of gold reserves, worth less than $70 million. So how can the United States possibly steal 20 trillion dollars worth of gold from Iraq? $20 trillion worth of gold would weigh at least 1,714,285 tonnes in 2003.
Guess how much gold mankind has ever mined in history? Only 205,238 tonnes as of January 2023 – which is less than 12% of what people are claiming that the United States stole from Iraq.
As of January 2023, the value of all the gold in the world is only USD 9.6 trillion – less than half of what the conspiracy theory claims the United States stole from Iraq… and that’s only because gold prices have gone up considerably.
Even with the much higher gold price, it would take an additional 90 years of mining gold before the entire world has $20 trillion worth of gold for the US government to steal.
Now that you know the truth, please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check out!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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