I've been looking through the SoA Jan-Dec 2004 financials, though I am not sure it's a worthwhile use of my time.
Anyone can cook the books, after all, and Jim Hake was a successful entrepreneur long before he got into SoA. While we shouldn't assume these figures are phoney (the allegations of incompetence and biased propaganda are serious enough) it would be very surprising if the SoA Financials didn't look at least as good as their website...
Anyway, here are the big ticket SoA expense items, based on the Total Expenses shown for each fund:
Health Iraq - $2,839,128
Health Afghanistan - $1,007,065
1st Marine Division - $150,837
TV Marines - $148,154
Friends of Democracy- $100,230
Blogging Tool - $71,403
Tools Marines - $66,799
Sewing Machines - $55,951
Project Fund - $45,290
Back To School - $31,721
Special Ops Afghanistan - $22,701
USAF Chaplains - $19,161
Of these, the two Health funds are far and away the biggest projects, accounting for over $2.8 million. The Health money in Iraq went on 15 pallets of "pharmaceuticals and hospital items" ($1.7 million) plus an unspecified "Agency Order" for over $1 million. A similar unspecified $1 million "Agency Order" covered the total Health expenses in Afghanistan.
The projects featured on the SoA site don't provide much more information about where this Health money went. The main Iraq health-related project I can see on the blog says "InMed Partnerships for Children, a non-profit organization from Virginia, donated $1.8 million worth of medicine. Spirit of America, a charity from Los Angeles, organized the transportation of the goods ..." - so that wasn't even SoA money, by the look of it.
We could ask Jim to explain where this money went. But what the heck, eh? I mean, in the current environment of anarchy and chaos surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be the easiest thing in the world to fake some receipts, bribe some officials, launder some cash... whatever! In this case, I think the testimony of a (previously) loyal person like Ali is a lot more indicative of what's really going on.
I also think they key thing here is to realise that Jim Hake is not on a money-making mission so much as a mission to glorify the neocon vision of a benign US global empire (benign as long as you play their game, of course). What's interesting is that the website strongly features all the minor programs, for which relatively small funding has been allocated, yet it doesn't explain where the big money is going. And when the money does get handed out, it seems that it gets handed out not by SoA staff but by US Marines and other uniformed US troops. In other words, as Ali complained, the propaganda element is always the key.
Or, as George W. Bush once said:
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.More news: Ali Fadhil has banned me from his Free Iraqi site and deleted most of my comments. I guess it was always going to be hard for him to be seen taking sides with the dreaded " ITM troll" but the fact that he is banning me again is disappointing, particularly as (once again) he fails to give any explanation.
If you share Hake's neocon world vision, Ali, then your half-hearted attempts to expose him are bound to end up looking ridiculous. And if you don't share that vision, you are going to have to confront what you and your brothers have been doing all these years at Iraq The Model. It's no use saying sorry if you aren't going to stop playing their game.