Recently, Linda Bilmes spoke at the prestigious Hay-On-Wye Festival in Wales, UK. The following is an excerpt from this article, written shortly after Bilmes’ keynote address.

The Guardian (UK)
May 25

It’s shaming to have to come to an American to get the most probing analysis of the cost of Britain’s involvement in Iraq. …

Here at Hay we had Linda Bilmes, a former senior official in the US Department of Commerce, telling us that it was “striking” how the British government had concealed the war’s cost, and was still hiding it.

Of course, the Bush administration has done the same. Bilmes and co-author, Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist, were discussing their book, the Three Trillion Dollar War. Some of their key data had come from searches done under the Freedom of Information Act, Bilmes said. She urged British journalists to use the same approach in the UK. The British government had admitted to a cost so far of £22,000 millions, but the true cost was much higher. The difficulty was that no figures were given on how much of the Treasury’s special reserve funds go to the war.

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