The baby-oil theory ...

geege geege at
Sat Apr 19 01:38:35 PDT 2003

is this the same pardoned-by-bush-sr caspar weinberger?

<<Although a president has unlimited pardon powers, it is highly unusual to
pardon someone before trial and conviction. The best-known precedent --
following the Watergate political scandal during the Nixon administration --
was former President Ford's pardon in 1974 of former President Nixon, who
was never indicted.>>

-----Original Message-----
From: fork-bounces at [mailto:fork-bounces at]On Behalf Of
bitbitch at
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2003 6:41 PM
To: FoRK
Subject: Re: The baby-oil theory ...

j> NONE OF THESE hysterical predictions came true, but now I can't open a
j> bulletin from the reactionary right or the anti-war left without being
j> told that Iraq is already worse off without Saddam Hussein. And how can
j> we tell that Iraq is worse off? Because contracts for its reconstruction
j> are being awarded to American corporations. Of the three feasible
j> alternatives (that the contracts go to American capitalists, or to some
j> unspecified non-American capitalists, or that Iraqi oil production stays
j> as it was), the supposed radicals appear to prefer the last of the
j> three.

The Problem with his rather vague answer of the awards going to
'American corporations' is that he doesn't bother to explain which
corporations he means. This article at the end provides a little more
enlightenment, albiet with some biases.  But pulling out the companies
involved, I find some interesting results:

First, that there were only 7-21 (depending on your source)
companies allowed to bid.

Second, the bids were pretty much restricted to US companies due to
the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act:

A 1996 U.S. law, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, or ILSA, threatens
sanctions on foreign companies that make $40 million or more in new
investments in Iran. These companies could be barred from U.S.-awarded
contracts in Iraq.

The law, which Bush renewed in 2001 for five years, has outraged
members of the European Union. They reject it as an illegal attempt to
impose U.S. foreign-policy goals on others.

Major corporations that have energy projects under way in Iran include
the French company TotalFinaElf, Japan's state-owned oil company and
Britain's Shell group.

Third, this was done quietly:

 USAID quietly circulated a request for proposals to a select group of
 firms at the end of January, in order to quickly line up contractors
 without making a public announcement that would disrupt diplomatic
 negotiations, spokeswoman Ellen Yount said.

 And two of our own congresscritters (Liberman and Waxman) are complaining
 that this could have been done months in advance, to allow for real
 competitive bidding, instead of bidding by selection.

 The Center for Responsive Politics has a breakdown of the finalist's
 donations to political campaigns.

 While not all corporations are as nefarious, the big and heavy
 hitters really do stand out.  Halliburton, Bechel and Stevedoring
 Services all have some pretty deep ties with the administration.  And
 they donate effectively.  This is less a case about true 'American
 Corporations' winning the contracts fairly, and more about who you
 know, how much you paid, and what quirks control the system.

1.        Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton
          (No-bid Contract worth 1-7 Billion)

          Halliburton, a Texas corporation that has been contracted to
          put out potential oil fires, still pays out to Mr. Cheney,
          their former CEO, a "deferred compensation" in upwards of $1
Million dollars.

         KBR has already benefited considerably from the "war on
         terror". It has so far been awarded contracts worth nearly
         $33m to build the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba
         for al-Qaida suspects.

         In the five years Mr Cheney was at the helm, Halliburton nearly
         the amount of business it did with the government to $2.3bn. The
         company also more than doubled its political contributions to
         overwhelmingly to Republican candidates.

         Between 1999 and 2002, Halliburton made $709,320 in political
contributions, 95 percent of the money going to the Republican Party.

         The connections between the companies invited and the
         administration run deep. Ray Hunt, a director of Halliburton,
         is on the president's intelligence advisory board. Lawrence
         Eagleburger, secretary of state under the first President
         Bush, is also a Halliburton director.

         Kenneth Oscar, the vice-president of Fluor, another of the six
         bidders, is a former army secretary and oversaw the Pentagon's
         procurement budget. Its board also includes Bobby Inman, a former
         deputy director. The labour secretary, Elaine Chao, worked on the
         board of another of the six, Parsons, before joining the

2.       Creative Associates International ($2 Million Contract)

         Primary and Secondary Education. Creative Associates International
         Inc. awarded initial US$2 million April 11 of a one-year contract
         capped at US$62 million. Involves upgrading schools, restocking
         classrooms and training teachers.
         (Creative and RTI were the two corps I could find the least
         bit of 'dirt' on.  They donated entirely to democratic
         campaigns, and are both non-profit orgs with no direct
         (reported) connections to the Bush Administration).

3.       Research Triangle Institute ($7.9 Million)

         To create and manage local governance. Seeks to maximise Iraqi
participation in all
         phases and aspects of the reconstruction as the transition to Iraqi
         administration occurs.

         The N.C. company already has more than 90 contracts with a
         wide array of U.S. government agencies -- from Homeland
         Security and the Defense Department to the Centers for
         Disease Control and Prevention. Together, those contracts
         accounted for 85 percent of RTI's $238 million in revenue
         last year.

4.        Stevedoring Services of America ($4.8 Million)

          Seattle Based Stevedoring Services of America, was awarded
          a lucrative contract to operate the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.
          The right-wing firm is known for its union-busting and its
          ties to the Republican Party, which has been the recipient
          of 80 percent of SSA?s campaign contributions.

          Stevedoring Services of America
          The Contributions: $23,825 (80 percent to Republicans)
          Total to President Bush: $1,000
          The Contract: USAID awarded Stevedoring Services of America
          a $4.8 million contract on March 24 for "assessment and
          management" of the Umm Qasr port in southeastern Iraq. The
          agency says the Seattle-based company will operate the port
          as it receives shipments of humanitarian and reconstruction
          materials and will research ways to improve port
          productivity for the long term.

          The Company: Stevedoring Services of America, the largest
          marine terminal operator in the United States, made an
          estimated $1 billion in sales last year. The family-owned
          and -operated company is a private venture.

5.        Bechtel Corp.  ($680 Million)

          This San Fransisco Company, which counts former Reagan
          administration Secretary of State George Shultz and
          Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger among its principals.

           The construction contract is the largest component of a
           $1.1 billion project by the U.S. Agency for International
           Development to reconstruct Iraq. The first payment on
           Bechtel's 18-month contract will be $34.6 million, the
           agency said in a statement.

           The 105-year-old builder and its employees gave $1.3
           million in political contributions from 1999 to 2002, with
           59 percent going to Republicans, according to the Center
           for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance.
           Former Secretary of State George Schultz sits on its

           Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once lobbied for the
           company and Jack Sheehan, a Bechtel senior vice president,
           has been a member of the Defense Policy Board, which
           advises the Pentagon. Bechtel Chairman Riley Bechtel was
           appointed by Bush to the Export Council in February.

6.        International Resources Group

          The Contributions: $3,800 (82 percent to Democrats)
          Total to President Bush: $0
          The Contract: USAID awarded International Resources Group a
          $7 million, 90-day contract Feb. 21 for the management of
          relief and rebuilding efforts in postwar Iraq. IRG will
          coordinate efforts across multiple sectors, including
          education, health, agriculture, civil society and

          The Company: International Resources Group is a Washington,
          professional services firm that manages complex environmental,
          and reconstruction situations for public and private sector
          Founded in 1978, IRG has completed more than 600 projects, many of
          them for USAID.


War Analysis: The destruction of Iraq is good for business
Posted on Tuesday, April 15 @ 13:00:25 GMT
Topic: New Iraq
By Kurt Nimmo

It's now obvious what the Bushites have in mind for Iraq.

Iraq is in the process of self-destruction, pushed over the edge by Bush and
the neocons. They believe chaos is a form of freedom, a reaction to decades
of Saddam's dictatorial rule. But this explanation is mostly for public

Bush and his architects will endeavor to build a new Iraq -- a McDonaldized
Iraq ruled by westernized overlords and serviced by US corporations. This
can only happen if the methodical process of destruction is allowed to
unravel centuries of Iraqi culture and decades of Saddam's iron-fisted rule.

The International Committee of the Red Cross complains about the violence
and unchecked looting. It cannot distribute humanitarian aid. It says US
inaction to bring the chaos under control is a breach of the Geneva

Naturally, the US does not care about the Geneva Convention.

This should be obvious -- from the use of cluster bombs to the illegal
detention of political prisoners at Gitmo Bay in Cuba -- Bush and the
Pentagon are violating the Geneva Convention right and left and at every
turn. It is absurd, almost comical, for the International Committee of the
Red Cross to make these claims -- they should know by now that the US has no
intention of respecting international law. Not only is the Red Cross
irrelevant, but so is most of humanity. Iraq -- as Mesopotamia and the
cradle of civilization -- is the poster child or irrelevancy. Soon it will
serve as a role model for all Arabs.

Another incidental international organization, the United Nations, is now
carping about the engineered chaos in Iraq. "The coalition forces seem to be
completely unable to restrain looters or impose any sort of control on the
mobs that now govern the streets," Veronique Taveau, a UN spokesman,
complained to the Guardian.

Mr. Taveau, unfortunately, insists on playing by old, time-tarnished rules.
He seems entirely clueless about the nature and intentions of the Bushites.
It's not an inability that constrains the US forces in Iraq. No, it is
something else altogether.

The Bush global engineers have issued top-down orders -- allow the Iraqis to
self-destruct, do not intervene. "We saw a similar mixture in Kosovo and
Sierra Leone but initial disorder does give way to stability," explained a
Tony Blair sidekick. Rumsfeld was a bit more succinct. "Stuff happens," he
mused. "And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do
bad things."

"Freedom is a gift from the Almighty God," added Bush.

Freedom to loot, murder, and rape -- that is the gift Bush's God has
bestowed upon the Iraqi people. Bush's God lives by the balance sheet and
the bottom line, not compassion or even the now irrelevant articles of the
Geneva Convention. Bush's God resides in the Old Testament. It gathers
sustenance from destruction and genocide. It eagerly fills graveyards and
coffers. It dispenses multi-billion dollar reconstruction contracts.

The US has awarded, without competition, a contract worth up to $7 billion
to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, a company run until
three years ago by Dick Cheney. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans believes the
US private sector should play a major role in rebuilding Iraq and develop
its plentiful energy resources.

"There will be companies that have an opportunity to bid on contracts,"
Evans said in an interview after a luncheon speech to the American Society
of Newspaper Editors. "The coalition countries certainly should have an
opportunity to be involved in whatever rebuilding opportunities there are."

Fluor Corp. and Parini Corp. have received contracts from the Army Corps of
Engineers to provide up to $100 million worth of work to the military in the
region. In other words, US and British corporations will help construct
bases and military installations designed to destroy a large number of
dark-skinned people and various distinct cultures in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the State Department's Agency for International Development is
acting as a pimp for US corporations hungry to turn a buck on the
devastation of Iraq. For instance, Stevedoring Services of America and
Bechtel are in the running and stand to earn billions. Both contributed to
the Republicans and Bush. Bechtel is a refuge for former Reaganites and
members of the Defense Policy Board where until recently Richard Perle held

As for exploiting Iraq's oil -- "for the benefit of the Iraqi people" --
this would "almost invariably fall to the nation's energy capital of
Houston, where President Bush has deep connections," writes Stewart Yerton
of New Orleans' Times-Picayune. "Evans dismissed the idea that awarding oil
contracts to Texas energy firms would create perceived conflicts of
interest. 'This is an administration of total integrity,' he said. 'That's
all that needs to be said.'"

It also needs to be said that the closed process of selecting
corporations -- mostly kept under wraps in the name of national security --
to rebuild a methodically destroyed Iraq will result in the squandering of
billions of dollars. Peter Singer, a Brookings Institution scholar who has
written a book on federal contracting, told the Chicago Tribune the
"cost-plus" contracts being awarded by the Bushites could result in
overstaffing and over billing. "A lot of money is going to be wasted, and a
lot of money is going to be made," Singer said.

Meanwhile, the coolies who will rebuild Iraq's roads, airports, hospitals
and other infrastructure -- much of it either bombed or assiduously stripped
to the bone by looters -- will come from the Philippines where annual income
is around $1,000 per year and unemployment is all too common. "Imported
Filipino laborers and engineers, many working for less than the US minimum
wage, helped build the detention center holding al-Qaeda and Taliban
prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," reports the Taipei Times.

Instead of traditional United Nations peace-keeping troops invited to
restore order where Bush and Crew have deliberately sowed chaos and
destruction, it now appears the Reston, Virginia, rent-a-cop outfit Dyncorp
will be called to "re-establish police, justice and prison functions in post
conflict Iraq," according to Insight Magazine.

"We know we want something a little more corporate and more efficient with
cleaner lines of authority and responsibility," a Pentagon official told the
New York Times.

As Pratap Chatterjee of GNN writes, "[a]rmed DynCorp employees make up the
core of the police force in Bosnia. DynCorp troops protect Afghan president
Hamid Karzai, while DynCorp planes and pilots fly the defoliation missions
over the coca crops in Colombia." As for allegations that Dyncorp was
involved in a sex-slavery scandal in Bosnia -- and accused of spraying
Ecuadorian peasants with deadly herbicides -- well, that's the cost of doing
business in the Third World.

Stuff, after all, happens.

In fact, it would seem the Bushites "want something a little more corporate
and more efficient with cleaner lines of authority and responsibility"
across the Middle East, beginning with Iraq and -- if threats issued by
Rumsfeld last week are to be taken seriously -- moving eventually to Syria.
The neocons make no bones about their pathological desire to attack and
"regime change" Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea, possibly Saudi Arabia, and
even Cuba. That's a whole lot of infrastructure that will need to be rebuilt
in the smoldering wake of cruise missiles, JDAMs, bunker-busters, and MOABs.

But it's not simply food warehouses, electrical grids, hospitals, and
hardware stores ransacked and burned to the ground. It's history itself.
"They lie across the floor in tens of thousands of pieces, the priceless
antiquities of Iraq's history," writes Robert Fisk. "The looters had gone
from shelf to shelf, systematically pulling down the statues and pots and
amphorae of the Assyrians and the Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Medes, the
Persians and the Greeks and hurling them on to the concrete."

Instead of history and culture, Iraq will burgeon with strip malls and
sweatshops. Its oil and minerals will go to the powerful corporate interests
represented by George Bush and Dick Cheney. In due time Syria and Iran will
be subject to the same process and the freedom of Bush's corporate God will
eventually ring out in those benighted lands as well.

If not the sound of freedom, it will be the sound of a million cash
registers instead.

Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire

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