"Condolence payments" for dead/injured Iraqis quadruples from '04 to '05

Friday, June 09, 2006 at 05:21 PM

The Boston Globe has identified a dead giveaway that more Iraqis are being injured and/or killed in U.S. military operations in Iraq:  the amount of money given to Iraqi victims and their families quadrupled from about $5 million in fiscal 2004 to about $20 million in fiscal 2005.

According to the Globe piece:

++Payments range from a few hundred dollars for injuries such as a severed limb to $2,500 for the death of a relative

++Payments come from the Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) set up in 2003 to allow military commanders on the front lines to help stabilize and secure Iraq by building good will among locals

++The fund once totaled more than $700 million

++The fund is available to unit commanders for a wide range of immediate local needs including neighborhood cleanups, promoting education, and distributing food, as well as paying for health care and water and sanitation projects

++The fund is generated from money seized or captured from insurgents along with contributions from the United Nations and $180 million appropriated by the US Congress