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N.Y. Billboard Will Tick Off Iraq War Cost

August 27, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Two groups have put up a giant digital display to tick off the cost of the Iraq war days before the Republican National Convention gets going less than a mile away.

The digital billboard was unveiled Wednesday by the advocacy group Project Billboard and the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank headed by John Podesta, former President Clinton's chief of staff.

Organizers calculated the war's cost as of Wednesday at $134.5 billion and were adding $177 million per day, which comes to about $7.4 million per hour, or about $122,820 per minute.

The groups said the money spent in Iraq could have been used on projects "to make Americans safer at home and stronger abroad," including adding two divisions to the Army, hiring 100,000 more police officers and undertaking improvements to safeguard ports.

"Iraq was a war of choice, and the United States is bearing virtually all of the cost," Podesta said in a statement.

The billboard, on a hotel facade at Broadway and 47th Street, is north of where the convention will begin Monday at Madison Square Garden.

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