PAYDIRT

Reconstruction Jackpot

As a soldier serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the law is shaky at best, the huge amounts of money flowing into reconstruction efforts are a serious temptation. One soldier who made it back from Iraq aroused suspicion after buying a Hummer, a BMW, a PlayStation 3, several flat-screen TVs, and much more. He is accused of skimming $690,000 off reconstruction funds while serving as a civil affairs officer in Baghdad. The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 25 theft probes are under way involving reconstruction funds in Iraq and Afghanistan. One soldier, convicted of bribery, theft, and money laundering, said: "This was more cash than Donald Trump had ever seen in his life." Unfortunately, cold hard cash is fundamental to the war effort, as it not only rebuilds countries, but also buys allies.