$23 billion gag order
BBC reporters think they know where 23 billion missing and misspent Iraq war dollars went, but they can't tell us:
A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.
The BBC's Panorama programme has used US and Iraqi government sources to research how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding.
A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.
The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies. [BBC]
The story doesn't go into detail about the nature gag order. I assume it applies to the individuals involved in cases under adjudication, not to the BBC reporters directly.
A lot of war profiteering scandals come to light through whistle blower lawsuits.
Last year, I interviewed an attorney who specializes in representing whistle blowers. He told me that it's not unusual for gag orders to be imposed in these types of cases.
In fact, whistle blower lawsuits are automatically sealed for a couple of weeks after they are filed in order to give the DOJ a chance to decide whether to pursue the matter.
It's not clear whether that's the type of gag order covering the 70 cases the BBC alludes to, above.
The story says there's one gag order for all these cases. If that wording is literally accurate, and a single gag order covers 70 cases, then the whistle blower in question might have brought a very big case indeed.