THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
New York Times (UK)
April 10, 2003

Spoils of War

by Bob Herbert

Follow the money.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz is on the board of directors of the Bechtel Group, the largest contractor in the U.S. and one of the finalists in the competition to land a fat contract to help in the rebuilding of Iraq.

He is also the chairman of the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a fiercely pro-war group with close ties to the White House. . . .

. . . of the 30 members of the board, at least 9 are linked to companies that have won more than $76 billion in defense contracts in 2001 and 2002. . . .

FULL TEXT

Enver Masud, "A Clash Between Justice and Greed"

Akiva Eldar, "Infrastructure Minister Paritzky dreams of Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa," Ha'aretz, March 31, 2003

[The Pentagon contract given without competition to a Halliburton subsidiary to fight oil well fires in Iraq is worth as much as $7 billion over two years,--Elizabeth Becker, "Details Given on Contract Halliburton Was Awarded," New York Times, April 11, 2003]

[It is uncertain how long the United States would operate Iraq's oil industry,--"U.S. Plans to Run Iraqi Oil for a While," Reuters, April 11, 2003]

[A US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, The Observer can reveal. DynCorp, which has donated more than 100,000 to the Republican Party--Antony Barnett, "Scandal-hit US Firm Wins Key Contracts," Observer, April 13, 2003]

[In 1976, voters in Alaska amended the state's constitution to set aside 25 percent of the funds received by the state in connection with the development of its oil reserves. The money goes into a permanent fund, run by a board of trustees accountable to the state government and the people of Alaska. . . . The Alaskan model fits well with the Bush administration's stated goal of developing a democratic Iraq.--Scott E. Pardee, "Oil: Give Every Iraqi An Equal Share," Washington Post, April 13, 2003]

[Republican congressman Darrel Issa has introduced a bill that would require the defence department to build a CDMA cellphone system in postwar Iraq in order to benefit "US patent holders". As Farhad Manjoo noted in the internet magazine Salon, CDMA is the system used in the US, not in Europe, and was developed by Qualcomm, one of Issa's most generous donors. Then there's oil. The Bush administration knows it can't talk openly about selling Iraq's oil resources to ExxonMobil and Shell. It leaves that to people like Fadhil Chalabi,--Naomi Klein, " Bomb before you buy: What is being planned in Iraq is not reconstruction but robbery," Guardian, April 14, 2003]

[Firm with close links to White House given $680m deal to rebuild electrical, water and sewage systems--Oliver Burkeman, " Bechtel wins contract prize," Guardian, April 18, 2003]

["No one has the right to commit Iraq to obligations and costs," he told a news conference in Kuwait. "Only an Iraqi government can do that. A parliament should also endorse the agreements."--"Iraqi Exile Criticizes US Contract Awards," Reuters, April 19, 2003]

[Halliburton angled its way into the clean-up and rebuilding effort that was expected to cost around $200bn (163bn) over the next 10 years. . . .

The Logcap contract pulled KBR out of its late 1980s doldrums and boosted the bottom line of Halliburton throughout the 1990s. It is, effectively, a blank cheque from the government.--"Profits of war," Guardian, July 22, 2004]

[Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney-linked company's profits of war. . . .

KBR chairman Jack Stanley was forced to leave the company in June 2004 for what Halliburton vaguely termed violations of business conduct. He is said to have received "improper personal benefits" involving a Swiss bank account which French investigators say contained $5 million in bribes for KBR contracts in Nigeria. . . .

Last year, a Pentagon audit found that KBR could not document more than $l.8 billion worth of work done under its LOGCAP contract in Iraq. --Michael Shnayerson, "The Spoils of War," Vanity Fair, March 7, 2005]

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