scZx cbdbsd "In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." cvscva - President Eisenhower's Farewell Address, January 1961 GHdbsddMHTMHG WHAT Military Industrial Complex? vbzx / "The President, his father, the Vice President, a whole host of powerful government officials, along with stockholders and executives from Halliburton and Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this war. Long-time corporate sponsors from the defense, construction and petroleum industries will likewise profit enormously." cvscva - "Blood Money" By William Rivers Pitt (below) / "I didn't -- I swear I didn't -- get into politics to feather my nest or feather my friends' nests." cvscva - George W. Bush, to the Houston Chronicle mnjneth "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" cvscva - Groucho Marx / _____________________________________________________________________________________________

"What's emerged full-blown is the military-industrial complex famously predicted and feared by President Eisenhower fifty years ago."

Bill Moyers
on Money, Politics and War



Earlier in this hour Jeff Madrick talked about how inequality is changing the country. Politics determines economic outcomes - campaign contributions give the edge to those who can afford the entrée. It goes even deeper. What's emerged full-blown is the military-industrial complex famously predicted and feared by President Eisenhower fifty years ago.

It's no longer possible to tell where the corporate world ends and government begins. The poster boy for this new elite is Richard Cheney. As the head of Halliburton, he made a fortune from the influence and access gained through his earlier service in government.

Then Halliburton Corporation gets favored and confidential treatment soon after Mr. Cheney becomes George Bush's vice president. This week the big construction company Bechtel receives a contract that could pay three quarters of a billion dollars for work in post-war Iraq. Bechtel gives lots of money to politicians, mostly to Republicans. On its board is George Schultz, who ran Bechtel before he became President Reagan's Secretary of State. One of Bechtel's Senior Vice Presidents is a former general who serves on the Defense Policy Board along with other hawks like Richard Perle and James Woolsey who wanted war with Iraq and got it. They advise the Pentagon and then turn around and make money out of their defense contacts.

These fellows are all honorable men, I am sure, but they call for war with all the ferocity of non-combatants and then turn around and feed on the corpse of war. Illegal? Not in our system. Unsavory? No matter how you slice it.

But the main point is this. America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own, and they are privatizing democracy. All the benefits - the tax cuts, policies, and rewards - flow in one direction: up. And the people Jeff Madrick talked about, whose faith in the fairness of the American way of life is the bulwark of our country, are left outside looking in.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /  Bush Nominates Navy, Air Force Secretaries /     The Associated Press     Tuesday 16 August 2005 /   

 Crawford, Texas - President Bush announced Tuesday that he has chosen an executive for a defense contractor to be and a Pentagon weapons buyer to be secretary of the Air Force.

   Michael W. Wynne, Bush's pick for Air Force secretary, has been the Defense Department's undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics since 2003. He will replace James Roche, who resigned in January.

    Bush has chosen Donald Winter, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, to become the Navy's top civilian official.


"It's no longer possible to tell where the corporate world ends and government begins."

- Bill Moyer

/ "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."

--Thomas Jefferson

mtndndnnd ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope.x It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."x

~ General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.


Carlyle Empire

  By Eric Leser   Le Monde  Thursday, April 29, 2004

  "It's not possible to get closer to the administration than Carlyle is," asserts Charles Lewis, Director of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan organization in Washington. George Bush senior earned money from private interests that worked for the government of which his son was president. You could even say that the president could one day profit financially, through his father's investments, from the political decisions he himself took." /

The biggest private investor in the world, deeply entrenched in the weapons' sector, is a discreet group that cultivates dealings with influential men, including Bush father and son.

  One year ago, May 1, 2003, George Bush, strapped up in a fighter pilot's suit, landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham-Lincoln along the coast of California. The image became famous. Under a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished", the president prematurely announced the end of military operations in Iraq and his victory. Back on dry land the next day, he made another martial speech, not far from San Diego, in a United Defense Industries' weapons factory.

  This company is one of the Pentagon's main suppliers. It manufactures, among other things, missiles, transport vehicles, and the light Bradley armored vehicle. Its main shareholder is the biggest private investor in the world, a discreet group, called Carlyle.

  It's not listed on the stock market and doesn't have to show its accounts to any but its 550 investors- billionaires or pension funds. Carlyle manages eighteen billion dollars today, invested in defense and high tech (notably biotech), space, security-linked information technology, nanotechnologies, and telecommunications. The companies it controls share the characteristic that their main customers are governments and administrations. As the company wrote in its brochure: "We invest in the opportunities created in industries strongly affected by changes in government policy."

  Carlyle is a unique model, assembled at the planetary level on the capitalism of relationships or "capitalism of access" to use the 1993 expression of the American magazine New Republic. Today, in spite of its denials, the group incarnates the "military-industrial complex" against which Republican President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American people when he left office in 1961.

  That didn't prevent George Bush senior from occupying a position as consultant to Carlyle for the ten years ending October 2003. It was the first time in United States' history that a former president worked for a Pentagon supplier. His son, George W. Bush, also knows Carlyle well. The group found him a job in February 1990, while his father occupied the White House: administrator for Caterair, a Texas company specialized in aerial catering. The episode does not figure in the president's official biography. When George W. Bush left Caterair in 1994, before becoming Governor of Texas, the company was in bad shape.

  "It's not possible to get closer to the administration than Carlyle is," asserts Charles Lewis, Director of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan organization in Washington. "George Bush senior earned money from private interests that worked for the government of which his son was president. You could even say that the president could one day profit financially, through his father's investments, from the political decisions he himself took," he adds.

  The collection of influential characters who now work, have worked, or have invested in the group would make the most convinced conspiracy theorists incredulous. They include among others, John Major, former British Prime Minister; Fidel Ramos, former Philippines President; Park Tae Joon, former South Korean Prime Minister; Saudi Prince Al-Walid; Colin Powell, the present Secretary of State; James Baker III, former Secretary of State; Caspar Weinberger, former Defense Secretary; Richard Darman, former White House Budget Director; the billionaire George Soros, and even some bin Laden family members. You can add Alice Albright, daughter of Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State; Arthur Lewitt, former SEC head; William Kennard, former head of the FCC, to this list. Finally, add in the Europeans: Karl Otto Poehl, former Bundesbank president; the now-deceased Henri Martre, who was president of Aerospatiale; and Etienne Davignon, former president of the Belgian Generale Holding Company.

  Carlyle isn't only a collection of power people. It maintains holdings in close to 200 companies and, above all, provides returns on its investments that have exceeded 30 % for a decade. "Compared to the five hundred people we employ in the world, the number of former statesmen is quite small, a dozen at most," explains Christopher Ullmann, Carlyle Vice-President for communication. "We're accused of every wrong, but no one has ever brought proof of any kind of misappropriation. No legal proceeding has ever been brought against us. We're a handy target for whoever wants to take shots at the American government and the president."

  Carlyle was created in 1987 in the salons of the New York eponymous palace, with five million dollars. Its founders, four lawyers, including David Rubenstein (a former Jimmy Carter advisor), had that -the-time limited ambition of profiting from a flaw in fiscal legislation that authorized companies owned by Eskimos in Alaska to give their losses to profitable companies that would thus pay reduced taxes. The group vegetated until January 1989 and the arrival at its helm of the man who would invent the Carlyle system, Frank Carlucci. Former Assistant Director of the CIA, National Security Advisor, then Ronald Reagan's Defense Secretary, Mr. Carlucci counted in Washington. He is one of current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's closest friends. They were roommates as students at Princeton together. Later, their paths crossed in several administrations and they even worked for a time at the same company, Sears Roebuck.

  Six days after officially quitting the Pentagon, January 6, 1989, Frank Carlucci became Carlyle's Director General. He brought trusted lieutenants from the CIA, the State Department, and the Defense Department with him. Nicknamed "Mr. Clean", Frank Carlucci has a sulfurous reputation.

  This diplomat was posted during the 1970s to countries such as South Africa, the Congo, Tanzania, and Portugal, where the United States and the CIA had played a questionable political role. He was the number two at the American embassy in the Belgian Congo in 1961 and was suspected of being implicated in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. He has always firmly denied it. The American press has also accused him of being implicated in several cases of arms trafficking in the 1980s, but he has never been prosecuted. For a while, he directed Wackenhut, a security company with a hateful reputation, implicated in one of the biggest espionage scandals ever, the hijacking of Promise software. Frank Carlucci had the mission of cleaning up after the Iran-Contra affair in the Reagan administration and he succeeded John Pointdexter as National Security Advisor. As he took over his new position, he chose a young general to be his assistant... Colin Powell.

  Frank Carlucci's name attracted capital to Carlyle. In October 1990, the group took over BDM International, which participated in the "Star Wars" Program and constituted a bridgehead to it. In 1992, Frank Carlucci allied himself with the French group Thomson-CSF to take over LTV's aerospace division. The operation failed, Congress opposing the sale to a foreign group. Carlyle found other associates, Loral and Northrop, and got hold of LTV Aerospace, quickly renamed Vought Aircraft, which contributed to the manufacture of the B1 and B2 bombers.

  At the same time, the fund was multiplying its strategic acquisitions, such as Magnavox Electronic Systems, a pioneer in radar imagery, and DGE, which owns the technology for cruise missile electronic relief maps.

  Three companies specializing in nuclear, chemical, and biological decontamination (Magnetek, IT Group and EG & G Technical Services) followed. Then, through BDM International, a firm linked to the CIA, Carlyle acquired Vinnell, which was among the first companies to supply the American army and its allies with private contractors, i.e. mercenaries. Vinnell's mercenaries train the Saudi armed forces and protect King Fahd. During the first Gulf War, they fought alongside Saudi troops. In 1997, Carlyle sold BDM and Vinnell, which had become too dangerous. The group didn't need it any more. It had become the Pentagon's eleventh biggest supplier by gaining control of United Defense Industries that same year.

  Carlyle emerged from the shadows in spite of itself on September 11, 2001. That day, the group had organized a meeting at Washington's Ritz Carlton Hotel with five hundred of its largest investors. Frank Carlucci and James Baker III played masters of ceremony. George Bush senior made a lightning appearance at the beginning of the day. The presentation was quickly interrupted, but one detail escaped no one. One of the guests wore the name bin Laden on his badge. It was Shafiq bin Laden, one of Osama's many brothers. The American media discovered Carlyle. One journalist, Dan Briody, wrote a book about the group's hidden side, "The Iron Triangle", and takes an interest in the close relations between the Bush clan and the Saudi leadership.

  Some ask about George Bush senior's influence on American foreign policy.

  In January 2001, while George Bush junior was breaking off negotiations over missiles with North Korea, the dismayed South Koreans intervened with his father. Carlyle has important interests in Seoul. In June 2001, Washington resumed discussions with Pyongyang.

  Another example: in July 2001, according to the New York Times, George Bush senior telephoned Saudi Prince Abdullah who was unhappy with the positions the president took on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. George Bush senior reassured the prince that his son "is doing good things" and "has his heart in the right place."

  Larry Klayman, Director of Judicial Watch, a resolutely conservative organization, demands that "the president's father resign from Carlyle. The group has conflicts of interest that can create problems for American foreign policy." Finally, in October 2003, George Bush senior leaves Carlyle, officially because he's nearing eighty years old.

  It doesn't matter that Carlyle put an end to all relations with the bin Laden family in October 2001; the evil was already done. The group, along with Halliburton, has become the target of Bush administration opponents.

  "Carlyle has replaced the Trilateral Commission in conspiracy theories," David Rubenstein acknowledged in a 2003 Washington Post interview. For the first time, the group put someone in charge of communications and changed its boss. Frank Carlucci became honorary president and Lou Gerstner, a respected executive who saved IBM, officially took the reins.

  That operation seems mostly cosmetic. Mr. Gerstner doesn't spend much time in his office; but Carlyle wants to become respectable.

  The Group has created an Internet site. It has opened certain funds to investors bringing "only" 250,000 dollars (210,000 euros). It will have reduced its holdings in United Defense Industries, and asserts that defense and aeronautics represent no more than 15 % of its investments.

  However, Carlyle continues to make intensive use of fiscal havens and it's difficult to know the names of the companies it controls or its perimeter.

  Carlyle is also increasing its efforts in Europe. In September 2001, it took control of the Swedish weapons manufacturer Bofors through United Defense. Subsequently, it tried, unsuccessfully, to take over Thales Information Systems and, in the beginning of 2003, to acquire those parts of France Telecom that are in Eutelsat, which plays an important role in the European Positioning System by Galileo satellite - a competitor of the American GPS. From 1999 to 2002, it managed a holding in Le Figaro. In Italy, it made a breakthrough, by taking up Fiat's aeronautics subsidiary, Fiat Avio. This company is a supplier to Arianespace and allows Carlyle to be part of the European Rocket Council. In another coup in December 2002, Carlyle bought a third of Qinetic, the private subsidiary of the British military's Research and Development Center. Qinetic occupies a unique advisory role with the British government.

  "To anticipate the technologies of the future and the enterprises which will develop them is our first role as an investor. Pension funds bring us their money for that. You can't blame us for trying to take strategic positions," Mr. Ullmann stresses.

   Translation: t r u t h o u t French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.

  © : t r u t h o u t 2004



"I didn't -- I swear I didn't -- get into
 politics to feather my nest or feather my friends' nests."

- George W. Bush
gjf,"In America, you can go on the air and kid the politicians,
 and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people."

/- Groucho Marx 
"It's not possible to get closer to the administration than Carlyle is," 
asserts Charles Lewis, Director of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan organization in Washington. 
"George Bush senior earned money from private interests that worked for the government of which his son was president. 
You could even say that the president could one day profit financially, through his father's investments,
 from the political decisions he himself took." 

/"Carlyle Empire", By Eric Leser, Le Monde (above)
"The President, his father, the Vice President,
 a whole host of powerful government officials, along with stockholders 
and executives from Halliburton and Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this war. 
Long-time corporate sponsors from the defense, construction
 and petroleum industries will likewise profit enormously."
- "Blood Money" By William Rivers Pitt (below)

Wolfowitz's economic arguments pertaining to the Iraq War

"February 27, 2003: Wolfowitz tells the U.S. House Budget Committee that oil exports would pay for the reconstruction of post-invasion Iraq.  "It's got already, I believe, on the order of $15 billion to $20 billion a year in oil exports, which can finally -- might finally be turned to a good use instead of building Saddam's palaces," he testifies."

"FromThe Wolfowitz Chronology : An examination of the presumptive World Bank President's works on oil, national security, development, corruption, human rights, and debt" by The institute for Policy Studies

"On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told a Congressional panel that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war; he testified: "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." By March 2005, two years later, oil revenues were not paying for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, Wolfowitz's estimation of 50 to 100 billion US dollars had not materialized, and, in light of his miscalculation, detractors criticized his appointment to head of the World Bank."

- Wikipedia's Wolfowitz page

    Scott Ritter: "Paul Wolfowitz was a salesman; his job was to sell a war. He acknowledged this in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, in which he acknowledged that WMDs and the threat they posed, was nothing more than a vehicle to sell this war to America. Now you [get] to the war itself and selling it to Congress and [the] questions: How long will this take? Or how much will this cost?

    Paul Wolfowitz lied to Congress about the costs of war. There is not a responsible member of government who thought this would be quick and cheap. There was nobody who believed that Iraq oil would pay for itself, no one in the oil business thought so."

- "Scott Ritter: Neocons as Parasites", by Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story, April 1, 2005


"...this comes to $166 billion spent on Iraq by the Bush administration. The actual numbers, while difficult to ascertain, are certain to be significantly higher.... the cost of this Iraq invasion exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined."

 - "Donkeys of Mass Destruction" by William Rivers Pitt , 2003 (below)

"Linda Bilmes, at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and former Clinton administration adviser, put a total price tag of more than $2 trillion on the war. They include a number of indirect costs, like the economic stimulus that the war funds would have provided if they had been spent in this country."

- "What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy", by DAVID LEONHARDT, New York Times January 17, 2007







"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address

n/jneth __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /

Marvels of Hypocrisy

By Molly Ivins December 18, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- Well! I am certainly glad to see that we are telling off the French, Germans and Russians. I couldn't agree more with the Bush administration that those treacherous, undependable countries should be punished for
their past cooperation with Saddam by being shut out of the $18.6 billion in Iraqi reconstruction contracts. No contracts for quislings! Someone's got to uphold of standards of morality and purity, and who better than us? As the president so often reminds us, this is a fight between good and evil.

I was particularly pleased when Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz took that sharp little dig at all three countries when he said a prime consideration for who gets the contracts was "protection of the essential security interests of the United States." And was there ever anything more inimical to our security than all those tons and tons of weapons of mass destruction we have found in Iraq? That'll teach those vodka-swilling Rooskies to think our security is not their affair. Way to go, Wolfie.

Of course, it was a little awkward that Wolfowitz gave the three Saddam-dealing nations that body slam just as former Secretary of State James Baker was setting out to ask them for money. That did sort of bring up Casey Stengel's plaintive question, "Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game?" But the beauty of our position is its moral clarity. Surely the French, Germans and Russians won't mind being cut out and dissed just when we're asking them for money -- it would be so petty of them.

I was especially entranced to read about the moral case for stiffing these nations on the op-ed page of The New York Times in an article by Claudia Rosett, senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. It says on its website that the foundation is against terrorism, thus distinguishing it from all the foundations in favor of terrorism.

Rosett calls the three delinquent countries "the Axis of Avarice." Isn't that cute? In all fairness, the senior fellow reminds us: "Remember, plenty of money flowed through Saddam Hussein's Iraq ... many countries took part in that frenzy of lending, including Japan as the No. 1 sovereign lender. Then came Russia, France and Germany and, yes, the United States as No. 5." But surely you see the immense moral difference between being No. 5, as opposed to being 2, 3 or 4? All the difference in the world.

Rosett continues: "But in the 1990s, as the Iraqi dictator's depravities became increasingly evident to the rest of the world, that list narrowed." (Actually, his depravities had been evident to many of us as far back as the days when the Reagan administration was sending Saddam arms.)

The senior fellow continues: "Under the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, the despot got to tap his preferred business partners. ... What began as a relief program for Iraqis suffering under sanctions turned into a multibillion dollar contracting business flowing through the shrouded books of the United Nations. By the end, the Russians were selling the Baathist elite luxury cars, the French were providing broadcasting equipment for the Information Ministry, and the Germansand Chinese worked on the phone system. ... Old Europe's indignation over the (U.S.) list is a marvel of hypocrisy."

Speaking of marvels of hypocrisy, the U.N.'s books on who dealt with Iraq are not all that shrouded. For example, one of the disgusting companies actually making profits from dealing with the despicable dictator in the 1990s -- long after his depravities had become evident to even the less attentive sectors of the world -- was, well, golly, look at this, Halliburton. Between 1997 and 2000, while Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, the company sold $73 million worth of oilfield equipment and services to Saddam Hussein.

At least Halliburton was not selling luxury cars to the Baathist elite. Halliburton, the oilfield equipment company, merely kept Saddam Hussein's oil fields pumping, the only thing that allowed the s.o.b. to stay in power. Halliburton cleverly ran its business with Saddam through two of its subsidiaries, Dresser Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser, in order to avoid the sanctions.

Unlike the Germans, the French and the Russians, Halliburton was not punished by the Bush administration for dealing with the dictator. Instead, it got the largest reconstruction contract given by this administration, with an estimated value between $5 billion and $15 billion. And the company got the contract without competitive bidding.

Halliburton has amply repaid the administration's faith. The Pentagon is now investigating the company for at least $120 million in overcharges, including $60 million for importing gasoline into Iraq and $67 million on a food services contract. Among the allegations are that Halliburton had blood in its food service refrigerators and is serving our soldiers rotten meat.

I think the French will particularly enjoy being lectured on their hypocrisy, preferably by Cheney himself. It's the kind of thing sophisticated people especially appreciate.



"...This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years."

- KEN LIVINGSTONE, the MAYOR of LONDON netjeheyheh

"This junta that is governing us, this Enron/Pentagon junta, dedicated only to enrichment through the oil business, as all the Bushes and Cheneys and so on are oil people, they are going to destroy, for personal profit, the United States. We are going to be destroyed by the hatred of the rest of the world."


"Vidal sees the country in the grip of a corporate-oil patch-military oligarchy. Asked if the Iraq war was an oil patch-White House deal so huge Americans can't stand back far enough to see it, Vidal replied, "Kindly Dr. Goebbels used to say that the greater the lie a government tells (and repeats loudly), the more it will be believed. Yes, it is -- was -- about oil and, of course, giving the Cheney-Bush junta's friends like Halliburton vast contracts to rebuild what we have carefully knocked down." -"Gore Vidal Delivers Chilling Predictions of Despotism", By Arthur Jones, National Catholic Reporter, 8/2/03


Halliburton Accused of Fraud under Cheney

 By Jonathan Stempel, Reuter, August 06 2004

New York - Halliburton Co. and several top executives intentionally engaged in "serial accounting fraud" from 1998 to 2001, including when it was led by Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new filing in a shareholder class-action lawsuit against the company.

 The filing accuses Houston-based Halliburton, the world's No. 2 oilfield services company, of systematic accounting misdeeds far more wide-ranging than those charged in a recent civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Cheney was not named as a defendant in either proceeding.

 Halliburton agreed on Tuesday to pay $7.5 million to settle SEC charges that it misled investors by not disclosing an accounting change that boosted profit in 1998 and 1999.

 Among other things, the filing accuses Halliburton of inflating results, failing to disclose a big asbestos verdict in a timely manner, and being unable to account for $3.1 billion of profit and cash.


Spending On Iraq Sets Off Gold Rush
Lawmakers Fear U.S. Is Losing Control of Funds

By Jonathan Weisman and Anitha Reddy , Washington Post Staff Writers October 9, 2003

"All I can say is it's mind-boggling," James Lyons, a former military subcontractor in Bosnia, said of the opportunities for private contractors. "People must be drooling."


Iraq Delays Hand Cheney's Halliburton a Billion Dollars
Oliver Morgan
The Observer | Guardian UK , Sunday 07 December 2003


Halliburton's Iraq Deals Greater Than Cheney Has Said
Affiliates Had $73 Million in Contracts
By Colum Lynch
, Special to The Washington Post , Saturday, June 23, 2001

UNITED NATIONS -- During last year's presidential campaign, Richard B. Cheney acknowledged that the oil-field supply corporation he headed, Halliburton Co., did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries. But he insisted that he had imposed a "firm policy" against trading with Iraq.

"Iraq's different," he said.

According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company.

"They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."

- "The Danger of American Fascism , by Henry A Wallace, The New York Times, 1944:


Halliburton Accused of Wasting Tax Money

Friday 13 February 2004 WASHINGTON (AP) -- Frustrated that they couldn't convince Republicans to conduct hearings on Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Democrats convened a panel of their own Friday to hear a former Halliburton employee testify that the company wastes taxpayers' money.    "Remember, this is a 'cost plus contract' so Halliburton would get reimbursed for its costs plus a percentage," he said.

     The chairman of the panel, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the hearing was needed because of allegations that Halliburton overcharged for delivery of gasoline to Iraq; that company employees took kickbacks and that the firm charged too much for meals served to troops in Iraq.

     "It seems to me that these incidents may well reflect a broad mind-set: one that was born on the day that these contracts were awarded without competition, and that was nurtured through a lack of oversight by this current administration and majority-controlled Congress," Dorgan said.



"Enron was the first storm warning but no one realized how easily accepted that cluster of capers would be by a polity marinated in corruption -- as Ben Franklin predicted, in 1789, as our eventual fate."

- from "Gore Vidal Delivers Chilling Predictions of Despotism", By Arthur Jones, National Catholic Reporter, 8-2-03


/Iraq Could Produce Another Enron
By Nomi Prins,  Newsday,  December 02, 2003

"As one UN senior insider said, "No country has ever had so much control over information and resources for reconstruction efforts in history. But the murkiness of Iraq finances goes beyond a mere jiggering of the books. In the case of Iraq, there are no obvious books."

10 months later...

Billions in Iraq funds 'missing'
San Jose Mercury News, Oct 24, 2004,5936,7654183%255E1702,00.html

"The British-based charity Christian Aid yesterday alleged that $US4 ($5.69) billion out of an estimated $US5 ($7.11) billion had "disappeared into opaque bank accounts" administered by the CPA.

The group urged any potential contributor at the conference to demand explanations before pledging any additional assistance, claiming that "no independent body knows where this cash has gone".

It said the "financial black hole" would only fuel suspicions that large amounts of the money in the fund were being siphoned off for large US firms and not being channelled to deal with Iraq's serious needs."

The oversight body to monitor the US-led coalition's handling of Iraqi oil money - the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) for post-war Iraq - was formally established on Wednesday. Bremer rejected charges that he and the CPA had obstructed its creation.

"That's nonsense," Bremer bristled when asked about the charge. "It is simply untrue to say we obstructed it. I've been anxious to get this board established.


Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted For in Iraq
 By Larry Margasak, The Associated Press, Sunday 30 January 2005

WASHINGTON - The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found.

The U.S. officials relied on Iraqi audit agencies to account for the funds but those offices were not even functioning when the funds were transferred between October 2003 and June 2004, according to an audit by a special U.S. inspector general.

Bremer complained the report "assumes that Western-style budgeting and accounting procedures could be immediately and fully implemented in the midst of a war."

"U.S. officials, the report said, "did not establish or implement sufficient managerial, financial and contractural controls." There was no way to verify that the money was used for its intended purposes of financing humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction, repair of facilities, disarmament and civil administration."

Some of the transferred funds may have paid "ghost" employees, the inspector general found.

CPA staff learned that 8,206 guards were on the payroll at one ministry, but only 602 could be accounted for, the report said. At another ministry, U.S. officials found 1,417 guards on the payroll but could only confirm 642.

 When staff members of the U.S. occupation government recommended that payrolls be verified before salary payments, CPA financial officials "stated the CPA would rather overpay salaries than risk not paying employees and inciting violence," the inspector general said.

The inspector general's report rejected Bremer's criticism. It concluded that despite the war, "We believe the CPA management of Iraq's national budget process and oversight of Iraqi funds was burdened by severe inefficiencies and poor management."

Administration Withheld Halliburton Overcharges from International Auditors
- Commitee on Government Reform Minority Office

    Thursday 17 March 2005

    Rep. Waxman revealed that Administration officials, acting at the request of Halliburton, redacted a Pentagon report to conceal more than $100 million in fuel overcharges from international auditors. In letters to government auditors , Halliburton subsidiary KBR explains that it redacted statements that it considered "factually inaccurate or misleading" and gives consent for the release of the audits to international auditors "in redacted form."

    The Administration then sent the heavily redacted report pdf to the International Advisory and Monitoring Board overseeing the Development Fund for Iraq, the fund established by the U.N. for the management of Iraq's oil sales and foreign donations.

    An interactive feature reveals the extent of the redactions in the first ten pages of the Pentagon report.

    Rep. Waxman has released the original Defense Department audit report with Halliburton's edits highlighted. In light of this new information, Rep. Waxman has asked National Security Subcommittee Chairman Shays pdf to hold immediate hearings on U.S. management of the Development Fund for Iraq.



/ /"This junta that is governing us, this Enron/Pentagon junta, dedicated only to enrichment through the oil business, as all the Bushes and Cheneys and so on are oil people, they are going to destroy, for personal profit, the United States. " - Gore Vidal / "Who are these people? Let's look at what is behind every move they make. Every single one of them, almost every one of them, have made their fortunes from the oil & gas interests. So what do we expect to get from them?" / - Robert Redford __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / US 'Backed Illegal Iraqi Oil Deals' / By Julian Borger and Jamie Wilson, The Guardian UK,  Tuesday 17 May 2005 / Report claims blind eye was turned to sanctions busting by American firms. /

    The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.

    A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush dministration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.

    The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.

    In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

    "The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

    The report is likely to ease pressure from conservative Republicans on Kofi Annan to resign from his post as UN secretary general.

    The new findings are also likely to be raised when Mr Galloway appears before the Senate subcommittee on investigations today.

    The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow arrived yesterday in Washington demanding an apology from the Senate for what he called the "schoolboy dossier" passed off as an investigation against him.

    "It was full of holes, full of falsehoods and full of value judgments that are apparently only shared here in Washington," he said at Washington Dulles airport.

    He told Reuters: "I have no expectation of justice ... I come not as the accused but as the accuser. I am [going] to show just how absurd this report is."

    Mr Galloway has denied allegations that he profited from Iraqi oil sales and will come face to face with the committee in what promises to be one of the most highly charged pieces of political theatre seen in Washington for some time.

    Yesterday's report makes two principal allegations against the Bush administration. Firstly, it found the US treasury failed to take action against a Texas oil company, Bayoil, which facilitated payment of "at least $37m in illegal surcharges to the Hussein regime".

    The surcharges were a violation of the UN Oil For Food programme, by which Iraq was allowed to sell heavily discounted oil to raise money for food and humanitarian supplies. However, Saddam was allowed to choose which companies were given the highly lucrative oil contracts. Between September 2000 and September 2002 (when the practice was stopped) the regime demanded kickbacks of 10 to 30 US cents a barrel in return for oil allocations.

    In its second main finding, the report said the US military and the state department gave a tacit green light for shipments of nearly 8m barrels of oil bought by Jordan, a vital American ally, entirely outside the UN-monitored Oil For Food system. Jordan was permitted to buy some oil directly under strict conditions but these purchases appeared to be under the counter.

    The report details a series of efforts by UN monitors to obtain information about Bayoil's oil shipments in 2001 and 2002, and the lack of help provided by the US treasury.

    After repeated requests over eight months from the UN and the US state department, the treasury's office of foreign as sets control wrote to Bayoil in May 2002, requesting a report on its transactions but did not "request specific information by UN or direct Bayoil to answer the UN's questions".

    Bayoil's owner, David Chalmers, has been charged over the company's activities. His lawyer Catherine Recker told the Washington Post: "Bayoil and David Chalmers [said] they have done nothing illegal and will vigorously defend these reckless accusations."

    The Jordanian oil purchases were shipped in the weeks before the war, out of the Iraqi port of Khor al-Amaya, which was operating without UN approval or surveillance.

    Investigators found correspondence showing that Odin Marine Inc, the US company chartering the seven huge tankers which picked up the oil at Khor al-Amaya, repeatedly sought and received approval from US military and civilian officials that the ships would not be confiscated by US Navy vessels in the Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF) enforcing the embargo.

    Odin was reassured by a state department official that the US "was aware of the shipments and has determined not to take action".

    The company's vice president, David Young, told investigators that a US naval officer at MIF told him that he "had no objections" to the shipments. "He said that he was sorry he could not say anything more. I told him I completely understood and did not expect him to say anything more," Mr Young said.

    An executive at Odin Maritime confirmed the senate account of the oil shipments as "correct" but declined to comment further.

    It was not clear last night whether the Democratic report would be accepted by Republicans on the Senate investigations committee.

    The Pentagon declined to comment. The US representative's office at the UN referred inquiries to the state department, which fail to return calls."

   /  "I am sorry to say that the corruption here is worse now than in the Saddam Hussein era." / - Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser , from "Mystery in Iraq as $300 Million Is Taken Abroad", by Dexter Filkins, The New York Times, 22 January 2005 /

"...This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years."



netjeheyhehn vbm MEET THE PRESS January 23,2005

TIM RUSSERT:  The Iraqi national security adviser said, "corruption is worse now than under Saddam Hussein."

AMB. NEGROPONTE:  Well, I just--I simply can't accept that or can't agree to that allegation.  I would also point out that while he may still carry the official title of national security adviser, he is, in fact, a candidate for political office and not carrying out the national security adviser function at this time.  But when you think of the corruption in the Saddam regime, the oil-for-food scandals, the billions of dollars that were smuggled out of the country, I think those levels of corruption simply pale in comparison to anything that might possibly have been happening in recent months.

Oil-for-food scandal: less than $2 billion Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted For in Iraq \ "MISSING" from Department of Defense , FY 2000: $1.1 trillion (a trillion is a thousand billions) SOURCE: Acting Assistant Inspector General for Auditing for the DoD February 26, 2002 / "MISSING" from Housing & Urban Development (HUD) FY 1999: $59.6 billion SOURCE: Susan Gaffney, HUD Inspector General, March 22, 2000 /

John Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, As such he supported and carried out a US-sponsored policy of violations to human rights and international law. The infamous Battalion 316, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnaped, tortured and killed hundreds of people. Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with them, while lying to Congress. George W. Bush made him United States Representative to the United Nations.


"Let's be clear: worries about profiteering aren't a left-right issue.

Conservatives have long warned that regulatory agencies tend to be "captured" by the industries they regulate; the same must be true of agencies that hand out contracts. Halliburton, Bechtel and other major contractors in Iraq have invested heavily in political influence, not just through campaign contributions, but by enriching people they believe might be helpful. Dick Cheney is part of a long if not exactly proud tradition: Brown & Root, which later became the Halliburton subsidiary doing those dubious deals in Iraq, profited handsomely from its early support of a young politician named Lyndon Johnson."

Patriots and Profits

By PAUL KRUGMAN New York Times

December 16, 2003

 "Some Americans still seem to feel that even suggesting the possibility of profiteering is somehow unpatriotic. They should learn the story of Harry Truman, a congressman who rose to prominence during World War II by leading a campaign against profiteering. Truman believed, correctly, that he was serving his country. On the strength of that record, Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his vice president. George Bush, of course, chose Dick Cheney."

Last week there were major news stories about possible profiteering by Halliburton and other American contractors in Iraq. These stories have, inevitably and appropriately, been pushed temporarily into the background by the news of Saddam's capture. But the questions remain. In fact, the more you look into this issue, the more you worry that we have entered a new era of excess for the military-industrial complex.

The story about Halliburton's strangely expensive gasoline imports into Iraq gets curiouser and curiouser. High-priced gasoline was purchased from a supplier whose name is unfamiliar to industry experts, but that appears to be run by a prominent Kuwaiti family (no doubt still grateful for the 1991 liberation). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents seen by The Wall Street Journal refer to "political pressures" from Kuwait's government and the U.S. embassy in Kuwait to deal only with that firm. I wonder where that trail leads.

Meanwhile, NBC News has obtained Pentagon inspection reports of unsanitary conditions at mess halls run by Halliburton in Iraq: "Blood all over the floors of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meat and vegetables." An October report complains that Halliburton had promised to fix the problem but didn't.

And more detail has been emerging about Bechtel's much-touted school repairs. Again, a Pentagon report found "horrible" work: dangerous debris left in playground areas, sloppy paint jobs and broken toilets.

Are these isolated bad examples, or part of a pattern? It's impossible to be sure without a broad, scrupulously independent investigation. Yet such an inquiry is hard to imagine in the current political environment - which is precisely why one can't help suspecting the worst.

Let's be clear: worries about profiteering aren't a left-right issue. Conservatives have long warned that regulatory agencies tend to be "captured" by the industries they regulate; the same must be true of agencies that hand out contracts. Halliburton, Bechtel and other major contractors in Iraq have invested heavily in political influence, not just through campaign contributions, but by enriching people they believe might be helpful. Dick Cheney is part of a long if not exactly proud tradition: Brown & Root, which later became the Halliburton subsidiary doing those dubious deals in Iraq, profited handsomely from its early support of a young politician named Lyndon Johnson.

So is there any reason to think that things are worse now? Yes.

The biggest curb on profiteering in government contracts is the threat of exposure: sunshine is the best disinfectant. Yet it's hard to think of a time when U.S. government dealings have been less subject to scrutiny.

First of all, we have one-party rule - and it's a highly disciplined, follow-your-orders party. There are members of Congress eager and willing to take on the profiteers, but they don't have the power to issue subpoenas.

And getting information without subpoena power has become much harder because, as a new report in U.S. News & World Report puts it, the Bush administration has "dropped a shroud of secrecy across many critical operations of the federal government." Since 9/11, the administration has invoked national security to justify this secrecy, but it actually began the day President Bush took office.

To top it all off, after 9/11 the U.S. media - which eagerly played up the merest hint of scandal during the Clinton years - became highly protective of the majesty of the office. As the stories I've cited indicate, they have become more searching lately. But even now, compare British and U.S. coverage of the Neil Bush saga.

The point is that we've had an environment in which officials inclined to do favors for their business friends, and contractors inclined to pad their bills or do shoddy work, didn't have to worry much about being exposed. Human nature being what it is, then, the odds are that the troubling stories that have come to light aren't isolated examples.

Some Americans still seem to feel that even suggesting the possibility of profiteering is somehow unpatriotic. They should learn the story of Harry Truman, a congressman who rose to prominence during World War II by leading a campaign against profiteering. Truman believed, correctly, that he was serving his country.

On the strength of that record, Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his vice president. George Bush, of course, chose Dick Cheney.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


A Deliberate Debacle

New York Times

"Yes, Halliburton is profiteering in Iraq - will apologists finally concede the point, now that a Pentagon audit finds overcharging?"

Published: December 12, 2003

James Baker sets off to negotiate Iraqi debt forgiveness with our estranged allies. And at that very moment the deputy secretary of defense releases a "Determination and Findings" on reconstruction contracts that not only excludes those allies from bidding, but does so with highly offensive language. What's going on?

Maybe I'm giving Paul Wolfowitz too much credit, but I don't think this was mere incompetence. I think the administill ration's hard-liners are deliberately sabotaging reconciliation.

Surely this wasn't just about reserving contracts for administration cronies. Yes, Halliburton is profiteering in Iraq - will apologists finally concede the point, now that a Pentagon audit finds overcharging? And reports suggest a scandal in Bechtel's vaunted school-repair program.

But I've always found claims that profiteering was the motive for the Iraq war - as opposed to a fringe benefit - as implausible as claims that the war was about fighting terrorism. There are deeper motives here.

Mr. Wolfowitz's official rationale for the contract policy is astonishingly cynical: "Limiting competition for prime contracts will encourage the expansion of international cooperation in Iraq and in future efforts" - future efforts? - and "should encourage the continued cooperation of coalition members." Translation: we can bribe other nations to send troops.

But I doubt whether even Mr. Wolfowitz believes that. The last year, from the failure to get U.N. approval for the war to the retreat over the steel tariff, has been one long lesson in the limits of U.S. economic leverage. Mr. Wolfowitz knows as well as the rest of us that allies who could really provide useful help won't be swayed by a few lucrative contracts.

If the contracts don't provide useful leverage, however, why torpedo a potential reconciliation between America and its allies? Perhaps because Mr. Wolfowitz's faction doesn't want such a reconciliation.

These are tough times for the architects of the "Bush doctrine" of unilateralism and preventive war. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their fellow Project for a New American Century alumni viewed Iraq as a pilot project, one that would validate their views and clear the way for further regime changes. (Hence Mr. Wolfowitz's line about "future efforts.")

Instead, the venture has turned sour - and many insiders see Mr. Baker's mission as part of an effort by veterans of the first Bush administration to extricate George W. Bush from the hard-liners' clutches. If the mission collapses amid acrimony over contracts, that's a good thing from the hard-liners' point of view.

Bear in mind that there is plenty of evidence of policy freebooting by administration hawks, such as the clandestine meetings last summer between Pentagon officials working for Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy and planning - and a key player in the misrepresentation of the Iraqi threat - and Iranians of dubious repute. Remember also that blowups by the hard-liners, just when the conciliators seem to be getting somewhere, have been a pattern.

There was a striking example in August. It seemed that Colin Powell had finally convinced President Bush that if we aren't planning a war with North Korea, it makes sense to negotiate. But then John Bolton, the under secretary of state for arms control, whose role is more accurately described as "the neocons' man at State," gave a speech about Kim Jong Il, declaring: "To give in to his extortionist demands would only encourage him and, perhaps more ominously, other would-be tyrants."

In short, this week's diplomatic debacle probably reflects an internal power struggle, with hawks using the contracts issue as a way to prevent Republican grown-ups from regaining control of U.S. foreign policy. And initial indications are that the ploy is working - that the hawks have, once again, managed to tap into Mr. Bush's fondness for moralistic, good-versus-evil formulations. "It's very simple," Mr. Bush said yesterday. "Our people risk their lives. . . . Friendly coalition folks risk their lives. . . . The contracting is going to reflect that."

In the end the Bush doctrine - based on delusions of grandeur about America's ability to dominate the world through force - will collapse. What we've just learned is how hard and dirty the doctrine's proponents will fight against the inevitable. 

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /dyjeth US Firm Bechtel Planned to Evade 1988 Iraq Sanctions - Document

Published on Sunday, December 21, 2003 by the Inter Press Service

by Emad Mekay

  a major contract to help rebuild Iraq, planned to hire "non-U.S. suppliers of technology" so it could evade economic sanctions imposed by Washington after Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Iraq's Kurdish minority, according to a newly declassified document.

In April 2003 Bechtel was awarded one of the largest contracts to date by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for infrastructure repair work in U.S.-occupied Iraq. The deal is worth an initial payment of 34.6 million dollars and up to 680 million dollars in total.

Bechtel maintains that it has always respected and complied with U.S. government prohibitions in Iraq, but the uncovered document shows how its officials were prepared to challenge even its Washington allies to retain its business.

According to a 1988 confidential State Department cable, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the non-profit National Security Archive (NSA), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie wrote that Bechtel officials threatened to bypass the sanctions, passed by the Senate in 1988.

"Bechtel representatives said that if economic sanctions contained in the Senate act are signed into law, Bechtel will turn to non-U.S. suppliers of technology and continue to do business in Iraq," the cable said.

The document also shows further behind-the-scenes particulars of how the U.S. corporation, now part of President George W. Bush's project to bring democracy to post-Saddam Iraq, courted the dictatorial regime with full knowledge of Saddam's use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and the Kurds -- with the approval of U.S. diplomats.

"They (Bechtel) were certainly well aware of what was going on in Iraq and had no qualms about making a buck there," said Jim Vallette, research director at the Washington-based Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.

"So they had no concerns over what Saddam was doing to his own people."

NSA Executive Director Tom Blanton said his organization is trying to shed light on the context of the current U.S. occupation of Iraq by looking at the history of the relationship between the nations.

"What we are doing with these documents is to try to provide some missing context to current political decisions and current contracting decisions," Blanton said.

Washington has been accused of cronyism after USAID awarded contracts to U.S. corporations to help rebuild Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion -- some with close ties to the Bush administration -- on a no-bid basis.

U.S. allies like France, Germany and Russia, have also complained about Washington's recent decision to allow only countries that backed the war in Iraq to bid for the lucrative contracts.

Another high-profile firm -- Halliburton, once run by Vice President Dick Cheney -- is being accused by Pentagon auditors of refusing to hand over internal documents that could shed light on accounting problems related to an Iraq fuel contract that has allegedly overcharged U.S. taxpayers by as much as 61 million dollars.

In the 1980s Bechtel signed a technical services contract to manage the implementation of Iraq's two-billion-dollar petrochemical project II. U.S. firms, including Bechtel, won 300 million dollars in contracts to build the plant.

But the deal was jeopardized when the U.S. Senate wanted to penalize Baghdad for using chemical weapons against the Kurds, although it was well documented that Saddam had employed such weapons against Iran for at least four years before he used them on the Kurds.

The Senate initiative came on the heels of a series of Iraqi chemical weapons assaults against Kurds -- most notably in Halabja in March 1988 -- and called for strict economic sanctions against Baghdad, including blocking all international loans, credits and other types of assistance.

The government's then minister of industry, and Saddam's son-in-law, Husayn Kamil, told Bechtel officials he was angry the Senate passed the 'Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988', according to the cable.

It says Kamil "vented his spleen for one and a half hours", saying the move "caught his government completely by surprise" because it came at a time of "improving relations with the U.S."

Kamil, the report says, insisted Washington would wrongly "mix politics with business".

Glaspie noted that as "one of Saddam Hussein's closest advisors, some say his closest ... we take Kamil's angry reaction ... to be an accurate reflection of Saddam's own reaction".

Two days later, representatives of Bechtel met with Glaspie to describe Kamil's eruption, a meeting she described in the cable.

Fearing to lose the contract, Bechtel officials threatened then to use non-U.S. suppliers and technology to keep the lucrative deal, in spite of the Senate's decision.

The incident, says Vallette, clearly shows how the company bordered on blackmailing Washington, even on the rare occasion when corporate profit conflicted with a decision of Congress.

"The cable uncovered by NSA certainly shows that Bechtel's true practice is to go foreign policy shopping, shifting business overseas when Washington does not cooperate," he said.

"That's the stick that the companies wield against Washington if Washington acts against their bottom line," he added.

Blanton described the document as evidence of the complexity of the relationship between the Saddam Hussein regime and the United States.

"The whole war in Iraq is being presented in very stark moralistic black and white terms. But the reality of history, the reality of the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq, has never been in black and white terms," he said.

"It's been very realpolitik, and concerns about Iraq's chemical weapons are later bloomers in the list of U.S. worries related to Iraq."

Vallette said the document also brings into question whether Bechtel, a company that chose to do business with Saddam despite well-documented evidence he was using banned weapons, should be allowed to continue to profit from rebuilding Iraq.

"I think any company that profits from dictators' brutalities should not be in charge of allegedly helping build a democracy in Iraq or anywhere else," Vallette said.

Copyright © 2003 IPS-Inter Press Service

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ tjtdhdj/e /     Rumsfeld Visited Baghdad in 1984 to Reassure Iraqis, Documents Show      By Dana Priest      The Washington Post      Friday 19 December 2003

Trip Followed Criticism Of Chemical Arms' Use

     Donald H. Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about weapons of mass destruction: that the United States' public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons would not derail Washington's attempts to forge a better relationship, according to newly declassified documents.

     Rumsfeld, then President Ronald Reagan's special Middl East envoy, was urged to tell Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz that the U.S. statement on chemical weapons, or CW, "was made strictly out of our strong opposition to the use of lethal and incapacitating CW, wherever it occurs," according to a cable to Rumsfeld from then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz.


     The statement, the cable said, was not intended to imply a shift in policy, and the U.S. desire "to improve bilateral relations, at a pace of Iraq's choosing," remained "undiminished." "This message bears reinforcing during your discussions."

     The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the nonprofit National Security Archive, provide new, behind-the-scenes details of U.S. efforts to court Iraq as an ally even as it used chemical weapons in its war with Iran.

     An earlier trip by Rumsfeld to Baghdad, in December 1983, has been widely reported as having helped persuade Iraq to resume diplomatic ties with the United States. An explicit purpose of Rumsfeld's return trip in March 1984, the once-secret documents reveal for the first time, was to ease the strain created by a U.S. condemnation of chemical weapons.

     The documents do not show what Rumsfeld said in his meetings with Aziz, only what he was instructed to say. It would be highly unusual for a presidential envoy to have ignored direct instructions from Shultz.

     When details of Rumsfeld's December trip came to light last year, the defense secretary told CNN that he had "cautioned" Saddam Hussein about the use of chemical weapons, an account that was at odds with the declassified State Department notes of his 90-minute meeting, which did not mention such a caution. Later, a Pentagon spokesman said Rumsfeld raised the issue not with Hussein, but with Aziz.

     Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita said yesterday that "the secretary said what he said, and I would go with that. He has a recollection of how that meeting went, and I can't imagine that some additional cable is going to change how he recalls the meeting."

     "I don't think it has to be inconsistent," Di Rita said. "You could make a strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons, or any kind of lethal agents, and then say, with that in mind, 'Here's another set of issues' " to be discussed.

     Last year, the Bush administration cited its belief that Iraq had and would use weapons of mass destruction -- including chemical, biological and nuclear devices -- as the principal reason for going to war.

     But throughout 1980s, while Iraq was fighting a prolonged war with Iran, the United States saw Hussein's government as an important ally and bulwark against the militant Shiite extremism seen in the 1979 revolution in Iran. Washington worried that the Iranian example threatened to destabilize friendly monarchies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

     Publicly, the United States maintained neutrality during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, which began in 1980.

     Privately, however, the administrations of Reagan and George H.W. Bush sold military goods to Iraq, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological agents, worked to stop the flow of weapons to Iran, and undertook discreet diplomatic initiatives, such as the two Rumsfeld trips to Baghdad, to improve relations with Hussein.

     Tom Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archives, a Washington-based research center, said the secret support for Hussein offers a lesson for U.S. foreign relations in the post-Sept. 11 world.

     "The dark corners of diplomacy deserve some scrutiny, and people working in places like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Uzbekistan deserve this kind of scrutiny, too, because the relations we're having with dictators today will produce Saddams tomorrow."

     Shultz, in his instructions to Rumsfeld, underscored the confusion that the conflicting U.S. signals were creating for Iraq.

     "Iraqi officials have professed to be at a loss to explain our actions as measured against our stated objectives," he wrote. "As with our CW statement, their temptation is to give up rational analysis and retreat to the line that U.S. policies are basically anti-Arab and hostage to the desires of Israel."

     The declassified documents also show the hope of another senior diplomat, the British ambassador to Iraq, in working constructively with Hussein.

     Shortly after Hussein became deputy to the president in 1969, then-British Ambassador H.G. Balfour Paul cabled back his impressions after a first meeting: "I should judge him, young as he is, to be a formidable, single-minded and hard-headed member of the Ba'athist hierarchy, but one with whom, if only one could see more of him, it would be possible to do business."

     "A presentable young man" with "an engaging smile," Paul wrote. "Initially regarded as a [Baath] Party extremist, but responsibility may mellow him."


"The history of America's relations with Saddam is one of the sorrier tales in American foreign policy. Time and again, America turned a blind eye to Saddam's predations, saw him as the lesser evil or flinched at the chance to unseat him. No single policymaker or administration deserves blame for creating, or at least tolerating, a monster; many of their decisions seemed reasonable at the time. Even so, there are moments in this clumsy dance with the Devil that make one cringe. It is hard to believe that, during most of the 1980s, America knowingly permitted the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission to import bacterial cultures that might be used to build biological weapons. But it happened."

"How the U.S. Helped Create Saddam Hussein", by Christopher Dickey and Evan Thomas, Newsweek |



We Finally Got Our Frankenstein... and He Was In a Spider Hole!

by Michael Moore
December 14th, 2003

Thank God Saddam is finally back in American hands! He must have really missed us. Man, he sure looked bad! But, at least he got a free dental exam today. That's something most Americans can't get.

America used to like Saddam. We LOVED Saddam. We funded him. We armed him. We helped him gas Iranian troops.

But then he screwed up. He invaded the dictatorship of Kuwait and, in doing so, did the worst thing imaginable -- he threatened an even BETTER friend of ours: the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, and its vast oil reserves. The Bushes and the Saudi royal family were and are close business partners, and Saddam, back in 1990, committed a royal blunder by getting a little too close to their wealthy holdings. Things went downhill for Saddam from there.

But it wasn't always that way. Saddam was our good friend and ally. We supported his regime. It wasn't the first time we had helped a murderer. We liked playing Dr. Frankenstein. We created a lot of monsters -- the Shah of Iran, Somoza of Nicaragua, Pinochet of Chile -- and then we expressed ignorance or shock when they ran amok and massacred people. We liked Saddam because he was willing to fight the Ayatollah. So we made sure that he got billions of dollars to purchase weapons. Weapons of mass destruction. That's right, he had them. We should know -- we gave them to him!

We allowed and encouraged American corporations to do business with Saddam in the 1980s. That's how he got chemical and biological agents so he could use them in chemical and biological weapons. Here's the list of some of the stuff we sent him (according to a 1994 U.S. Senate report):

* Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.
* Clostridium Botulinum, a source of
botulinum toxin.
* Histoplasma Capsulatam,
cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart.
* Brucella Melitensis,
a bacteria that can damage major organs.
* Clostridium Perfringens,
a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.
* Clostridium tetani,
a highly toxigenic substance.

And here are some of the American corporations who helped to prop Saddam up by doing business with him: AT&T, Bechtel, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM (for a full list of companies and descriptions of how they helped Saddam, click here.

We were so cozy with dear old Saddam that we decided to feed him satellite images so he could locate where the Iranian troops were. We pretty much knew how he would use the information, and sure enough, as soon as we sent him the spy photos, he gassed those troops. And we kept quiet. Because he was our friend, and the Iranians were the "enemy." A year after he first gassed the Iranians, we reestablished full diplomatic relations with him!

Later he gassed his own people, the Kurds. You would think that would force us to disassociate ourselves from him. Congress tried to impose economic sanctions on Saddam, but the Reagan White House quickly rejected that idea -- they wouldn't let anything derail their good buddy Saddam. We had a virtual love fest with this Frankenstein whom we (in part) created.


And, just like the mythical Frankenstein, Saddam eventually spun out of control. He would no longer do what he was told by his master. Saddam had to be caught. And now that he has been brought back from the wilderness, perhaps he will have so hmething to say about his creators. Maybe we can learn something... interesting. Maybe Don Rumsfeld could smile and shake Saddam's hand again. Just like he did when he went to see him in 1983.

Maybe we never would have been in the situation we're in if Rumsfeld, Bush, Sr., and company hadn't been so excited back in the 80s about their friendly monster in the desert.

Meanwhile, anybody know where the guy is who killed 3,000 people on 9/11? Our other Frankenstein?? Maybe he's in a mouse hole.

So many of our little monsters, so little time before the next election.

Stay strong, Democratic candidates. Quit sounding like a bunch of wusses. These bastards sent us to war on a lie, the killing will not stop, the Arab world hates us with a passion, and we will pay for this out of our pockets for years to come. Nothing that happened today (or in the past 9 months) has made us ONE BIT safer in our post-9/11 world. Saddam was never a threat to our national security.

Only our desire to play Dr. Frankenstein dooms us all.


Michael Moore

For a look back to the better times of our relationship with Saddam Hussein, see the following:

Patrick E. Tyler, "Officers say U.S. aided Iraq in war despite use of gas," New York Times, August 18, 2002.

"U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their possible impact on health consequences of the Gulf War," 1994 Report by the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

William Blum's cover story in the April 1998 issue of The Progressive, "Anthrax for Export."

Jim Crogan's April 25-May 1, 2003 report in the LA Weekly, "Made in the USA, Part III: The Dishonor Roll."

"Iraq: U.S. military items exported or transferred to Iraq in the 1980s," United States General Accounting Office, released February 7, 1994.

"U.S. had key role in Iraq buildup; trade in chemical arms allowed despite their use on Iranians and Kurds," Washington Post, December 30, 2002.

"Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. policy and the prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980-1994," The National Security Archive, 2003


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ cvxf "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq:   "A flip and a flop and now just a flop." bdfbas   By Michael Moore   Wednesday 22 September 2004 ({Photo inseertions by Mzastgers lof WAT)

  Dear Mr. Bush,

  I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq? You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you!

  Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your current thinking:

  1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM.
  On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture.

Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because 'The Donald R.' went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddam's right-hand man, Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.

  In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore so they attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.

  After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.

  In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.

  Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:

  "I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously." - October 3, 2000

  When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:

  Powell: "We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." - February 24, 2001

  Rice: "But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." - July 29, 2001

  Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam and you then told all of America we were under imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.

  After no WMDs were found, you changed your mind about why you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new after-the-fact reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate Iraq and give the Iraqis democracy!

  Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!

  Now you call the Iraq invasion a "catastrophic success." That's what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died, Iraq is in a state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no clue how to get us out of there.

  Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?

  I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.

  And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq. By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.

  That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down. And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.

  We can't take another minute of it.


  Michael Moore



"The truth is straightforward: Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to the policies and people that came from the Reagan administration. It is a laundry list of ills, woes and disasters that has all of us, once again, staring apocalypse in the eye."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / s"Our corruption is the absolute triumph of image over reality, of flash over substance, of the pervasive need within most Americans to believe in a happy-face version of the nation they call home, and to spurn the reality of our estate as unpatriotic."   ­ " Planet Reagan", by William Rivers Pitt ( below) ./ The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads." ­ Edward Abbey ./ "People cannot stand too much reality." ­ Carl Jung ./ "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ­ George Orwell ./ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


"The truth is straightforward: Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to the policies and people that came from the Reagan administration. It is a laundry list of ills, woes and disasters that has all of us, once again, staring apocalypse in the eye."

Planet Reagan  By William Rivers Pitt     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Monday 07 June 2004

Buffalo Bill's
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

- e.e. cummings, "Buffalo Bill's Defunct"

    Ronald Reagan is dead now, and everyone is being nice to him. In every aspect, this is appropriate. He was a husband and a father, a beloved member of a family, and he will be missed by those he was close to. His death was long, slow and agonizing because of the Alzheimer's Disease which ruined him, one drop of lucidity at a time. My grandmother died ten years ago almost to the day because of this disease, and this disease took ten years to do its dirty, filthy, wretched work on her.

    The dignity and candor of Reagan's farewell letter to the American people was as magnificent a departure from public life as any that has been seen in our history, but the ugly truth of his illness was that he lived on, and on, and on. His family and friends watched as he faded from the world of the real, as the simple dignity afforded to all life collapsed like loose sand behind his ever more vacant eyes. Only those who have seen Alzheimer's Disease invade a mind can know the truth of this. It is a cursed way to die.

    In this mourning space, however, there must be room made for the truth. Writer Edward Abbey once said, "The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads."

    The truth is straightforward: Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to the policies and people that came from the Reagan administration. It is a laundry list of ills, woes and disasters that has all of us, once again, staring apocalypse in the eye.

    How can this be? The television says Ronald Reagan was one of the most beloved Presidents of the 20th century. He won two national elections, the second by a margin so overwhelming that all future landslides will be judged by the high-water mark he achieved against Walter Mondale. How can a man so universally respected have played a hand in the evils which corrupt our days?

    The answer lies in the reality of the corrupt society Abbey spoke of. Our corruption is the absolute triumph of image over reality, of flash over substance, of the pervasive need within most Americans to believe in a happy-face version of the nation they call home, and to spurn the reality of our estate as unpatriotic. Ronald Reagan was, and will always be, the undisputed heavyweight champion of salesmen in this regard.

    Reagan was able, by virtue of his towering talents in this arena, to sell to the American people a flood of poisonous policies. He made Americans feel good about acting against their own best interests. He sold the American people a lemon, and they drive it to this day as if it was a Cadillac. It isn't the lies that kill us, but the myths, and Ronald Reagan was the greatest myth-maker we are ever likely to see.

    Mainstream media journalism today is a shameful joke because of Reagan's deregulation policies. Once upon a time, the Fairness Doctrine ensured that the information we receive - information vital to the ability of the people to govern in the manner intended - came from a wide variety of sources and perspectives. Reagan's policies annihilated the Fairness Doctrine, opening the door for a few mega-corporations to gather journalism unto themselves. Today, Reagan's old bosses at General Electric own three of the most-watched news channels. This company profits from every war we fight, but somehow is trusted to tell the truths of war. Thus, the myths are sold to us.

    The deregulation policies of Ronald Reagan did not just deliver journalism to these massive corporations, but handed virtually every facet of our lives into the hands of this privileged few. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all tainted because Reagan battered down every environmental regulation he came across so corporations could improve their bottom line. Our leaders are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the corporations that were made all-powerful by Reagan's deregulation craze. The Savings and Loan scandal of Reagan's time, which cost the American people hundreds of billions of dollars, is but one example of Reagan's decision that the foxes would be fine guards in the henhouse.

    Ronald Reagan believed in small government, despite the fact that he grew government massively during his time. Social programs which protected the weakest of our citizens were gutted by Reagan's policies, delivering millions into despair. Reagan was able to do this by caricaturing the "welfare queen," who punched out babies by the barnload, who drove the flashy car bought with your tax dollars, who refused to work because she didn't have to. This was a vicious, racist lie, one result of which was the decimation of a generation by crack cocaine. The urban poor were left to rot because Ronald Reagan believed in 'self-sufficiency.'

    Because Ronald Reagan could not be bothered to fund research into 'gay cancer,' the AIDS virus was allowed to carve out a comfortable home in America. The aftershocks from this callous disregard for people whose homosexuality was deemed evil by religious conservatives cannot be overstated. Beyond the graves of those who died from a disease which was allowed to burn unchecked, there are generations of Americans today living with the subconscious idea that sex equals death.

    The veneer of honor and respect painted across the legacy of Ronald Reagan is itself a myth of biblical proportions. The coverage proffered today of the Reagan legacy seldom mentions impropriety until the Iran/Contra scandal appears on the administration timeline. This sin of omission is vast. By the end of his term in office, some 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, indicted or investigated for misconduct and/or criminal activities.

    Some of the names on this disgraceful roll-call: Oliver North, John Poindexter, Richard Secord, Casper Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Robert C. McFarlane, Michael Deaver, E. Bob Wallach, James Watt, Alan D. Fiers, Clair George, Duane R. Clarridge, Anne Gorscuh Burford, Rita Lavelle, Richard Allen, Richard Beggs, Guy Flake, Louis Glutfrida, Edwin Gry, Max Hugel, Carlos Campbell, John Fedders, Arthur Hayes, J. Lynn Helms, Marjory Mecklenburg, Robert Nimmo, J. William Petro, Thomas C. Reed, Emanuel Savas, Charles Wick. Many of these names are lost to history, but more than a few of them are still with us today, 'rehabilitated' by the administration of George W. Bush.

    Ronald Reagan actively supported the regimes of the worst people ever to walk the earth. Names like Marcos, Duarte, Rios Mont and Duvalier reek of blood and corruption, yet were embraced by the Reagan administration with passionate intensity. The ground of many nations is salted with the bones of those murdered by brutal rulers who called Reagan a friend. Who can forget his support of those in South Africa who believed apartheid was the proper way to run a civilized society?

    One dictator in particular looms large across our landscape. Saddam Hussein was a creation of Ronald Reagan. The Reagan administration supported the Hussein regime despite his incredible record of atrocity. The Reagan administration gave Hussein intelligence information which helped the Iraqi military use their chemical weapons on the battlefield against Iran to great effect. The deadly bacterial agents sent to Iraq during the Reagan administration are a laundry list of horrors.

    The Reagan administration sent an emissary named Donald Rumsfeld to Iraq to shake Saddam Hussein's hand and assure him that, despite public American condemnation of the use of those chemical weapons, the Reagan administration still considered him a welcome friend and ally. This happened while the Reagan administration was selling weapons to Iran, a nation notorious for its support of international terrorism, in secret and in violation of scores of laws.

    Another name on Ronald Reagan's roll call is that of Osama bin Laden. The Reagan administration believed it a bully idea to organize an army of Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. bin Laden became the spiritual leader of this action. Throughout the entirety of Reagan's term, bin Laden and his people were armed, funded and trained by the United States. Reagan helped teach Osama bin Laden the lesson he lives by today, that it is possible to bring a superpower to its knees. bin Laden believes this because he has done it once before, thanks to the dedicated help of Ronald Reagan.

    In 1998, two American embassies in Africa were blasted into rubble by Osama bin Laden, who used the Semtex sent to Afghanistan by the Reagan administration to do the job. In 2001, Osama bin Laden thrust a dagger into the heart of the United States, using men who became skilled at the art of terrorism with the help of Ronald Reagan. Today, there are 827 American soldiers and over 10,000 civilians who have died in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that came to be because Reagan helped manufacture both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

    How much of this can be truthfully laid at the feet of Ronald Reagan? It depends on who you ask. Those who worship Reagan see him as the man in charge, the man who defeated Soviet communism, the man whose vision and charisma made Americans feel good about themselves after Vietnam and the malaise of the 1970s. Those who despise Reagan see him as nothing more than a pitch-man for corporate raiders, the man who allowed greed to become a virtue, the man who smiled vapidly while allowing his officials to run the government for him.

    In the final analysis, however, the legacy of Ronald Reagan - whether he had an active hand in its formulation, or was merely along for the ride - is beyond dispute. His famous question, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" is easy to answer. We are not better off than we were four years ago, or eight years ago, or twelve, or twenty. We are a badly damaged state, ruled today by a man who subsists off Reagan's most corrosive final gift to us all: It is the image that matters, and be damned to the truth.

    William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for t r u t h o u t. He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'


© : t r u t h o u t 2004


San Francisco Chronicle Friday, December 19, 2003


Will Hussein's enablers be on trial, too?

Editor -- Few may argue against bringing a tyrant and a despot to trial by an impartial court. That this should happen is doubtful (Editorial, "No ordinary criminal trial," Dec. 18). Even more doubtful is the ability of such a court to arraign those who encouraged him, financed him, provided him with weapons of mass destruction and deluded him -- nay encouraged him -- into believing that taking over Kuwait "is an intra-Arab problem," as in the minutes of the meeting of U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie with the dictator on the eve of the invasion, revealed on the U.S. State Department Web site.

The instructive exercises - either in duplicity or in deep ignorance - that took place when the United States ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, informed President Saddam Hussein that the U.S. viewed relations between Iraq and Kuwait as a purely "intra-Arab" affair, in July 1990, and when the official spokesmen for the State Department, Kelly and Tutwiler, openly and repeatedly declared that the United States had no "security arrangements" with or security concerns for Kuwait. In light of the fact that Iraq never has recognized the so-called independence of Kuwait, that it tried to incorporate Kuwait in 1961 and 1973, and that, in July 1990, there were obvious signs that Iraq was getting ready to occupy it, such official pronouncements must now be viewed as giving the "green light," or at least the "amber light," for action to President Hussein.

"International legal strictures require arraigning those who shook his hand, consoled him and gave him support days after he was reputed to have gassed the Kurdish village, as the very same men repeat these days ad nauseam, while professing a lifelong attachment to democracy and an undying thirst for founding a free and unfettered Iraq.

Ultimately, the real "shock and awe" will be that of history as it attempts to explain the tragic hijacking of the insecurity of the people of the United States to justify the rape of Iraq, serving unrelated, ambiguous and, many believe, foreign purposes -- yet receiving in the process kudos and acclaim for inevitable increased insecurity of the people of the United States."

- KHALED El-BIZRI , Palo Alto, San Francisco Chronicle letters

The Christian Science Monitor reports, "Eight days before his Aug. 2, 1990, invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein met with April Glaspie, then America's ambassador to Iraq. It was the last high-level contact between the two countries before Iraq went to war." This was a "green light" for the Iraqi attack.

Transcripts show Glaspie told Saddam: "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction ... that Kuwait is not associated with America." See: 'WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...?' US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie?, Carleton Cole, Christian Science Monitor, May 27, 1999:

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." - Michael Ledeen , resident scholar in the "Freedom Chair" at the American Enterprise Institute.

"At the American Enterprise Institute, some of the finest minds in our nation are at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds. I want to thank them for their service, but I also want to remind people that for 60 years, AEI scholars have made vital contributions to our country and to our government, and we are grateful for those contributiions" - President Discusses the Future of Iraq . February 26, 2003

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ jrjenetjehey RETURN OF THE REAGAN CRIMINALS /

The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History / /

John Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, As such he supported and carried out a US-sponsored policy of violations to human rights and international law. The infamous Battalion 316, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnaped, tortured and killed hundreds of people. Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with them, while lying to Congress. George W. Bush made him United States Representative to the United Nations.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / Bush Picks Longtime Diplomat for New Top Intelligence Job By DOUGLAS JEHL and ELISABETH BUMILLER NY TIMES

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2005 - President Bush nominated John D. Negroponte on Thursday as the first director of national intelligence, to take charge of American intelligence agencies at a crucial juncture as they try to recover from serious missteps on Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks.

"....Republicans said that Mr. Negroponte was well liked by Mr. Bush. "Negroponte is not a guy who polishes up his reports so that they make people feel good, and he has the ability to speak very honestly to his superiors *, without hedging things, and the president likes that," a Republican close to the White House said.


* ..while lying to Congress. Of course, these folks consider congress (and the American people) their inferiors...

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / MEET THE PRESS January 23,2005

TIM RUSSERT:  The Iraqi national security adviser said, "corruption is worse now than under Saddam Hussein."

AMB. NEGROPONTE:  Well, I just--I simply can't accept that or can't agree to that allegation.  I would also point out that while he may still carry the official title of national security adviser, he is, in fact, a candidate for political office and not carrying out the national security adviser function at this time.  But when you think of the corruption in the Saddam regime, the oil-for-food scandals, the billions of dollars that were smuggled out of the country, I think those levels of corruption simply pale in comparison to anything that might possibly have been happening in recent months.

Oil-for-food scandal: less than $2 billion Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted For in Iraq ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ kg h/ ghjk   Negroponte: Director of Intelligence Manipulation     By Marjorie Cohn     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Monday 21 February 2005

    With much fanfare, Bush announced on Thursday his nomination of John D. Negroponte as the director of national intelligence. "John's nomination comes in an historic moment for our intelligence services," Bush proclaimed ceremoniously. Intelligence, he said, is now "the first line of defense" in the war on terrorism.

     Bush failed to mention that when Negroponte was United States ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s, he provided false intelligence to Congress about the Honduran "death squads."

    " In fact, the Honduran government was "disappearing," torturing, and killing hundreds of political opponents."


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ukg jhghjk/ Intelligence Nominee Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny on Human Rights By SCOTT SHANE NY TIMES February 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - Human rights advocates repeated longstanding criticisms on Friday of John D. Negroponte, President Bush's nominee as director of national intelligence. They said accusations that he covered up abuses as ambassador to Honduras in the 1980's had a new importance after recent cases of American abuse of detainees.

In Honduras, Mr. Negroponte "looked the other way" when evidence of rights violations came to light, said Reed Brody, counsel to Human Rights Watch.

"Unfortunately," Mr. Brody said, "today the United States is involved in serious human rights crimes committed in the process of collecting intelligence. Is he just going to look the other way again? MORE 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here: Negroponte Will Fit Right In     By Ray McGovern     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Saturday 19 February 2005

    The nomination of John Negroponte to the new post of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) caps a remarkable parade of Bush administration senior nominees. Among the most recent:
Alberto Gonzales, confirmed as attorney general: the lawyer who advised the president he could ignore the US War Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions on torture and create a "reasonable basis in law...which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."
Michael Chertoff, confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security: the lawyer who looked the other way when 762 innocent immigrants (mostly of Arab and South Asian descent) were swept up in a post-9/11 dragnet and held as "terrorism suspects" for several months. The dictates of PR trumped habeas corpus; the detentions fostered an image of quick progress in the "war on terrorism."
· John Negroponte: the congenial, consummaite dplomat now welcomed back into the brotherhood. Presently our ambassador in Baghdad, Negroponte is best known to many of us as the ambassador to Honduras with the uncanny ability to ignore human rights abuses so as not to endanger congressional support for the attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of Nicaragua in the eighties. Negroponte's job was to hold up the Central American end of the Reagan administration's support for the Contra counterrevolutionaries, keeping Congress in the dark, as necessary.

States-side, Negroponte's opposite number was Elliot Abrams, then assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs, whose influence has recently grown by leaps and bounds in the George W. Bush administration. Convicted in October 1991 for lying to Congress about illegal support for the Contras, Abrams escaped prison when he was pardoned, along with former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger (also charged with lytising to Congress), former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and three CIA operatives. Indeed, their pardons came cum laude, with President George H. W. Bush stressing that "the common denominator of their motivation...was patriotism." Such "patriom" has reached a new art form in his son's administration, as a supine Congress no longer seems to care very much about being misled.

    President George W. Bush completed Elliot Abrams' rehabilitation in December 2002 by bringing him back to be his senior adviser for the Middle East, a position for which the self-described neo-conservative would not have to be confirmed by Congress. Immediately, his influence with the president was strongly felt in the shaping and implementation of policy in the Middle East, especially on the Israel-Palestine issue and Iraq. Last month the president promoted him to deputy national security adviser, where he can be counted on to overshadow-and outmaneuver-his boss, the more mild-mannered Stephen Hadley.

    It is a safe bet that Abrams had a lot to do with the selection of his close former associate to be Director of National Intelligence, and there is little doubt that he passed Negroponte's name around among neo-con colleagues to secure their nihil obstat.

    As mentioned above, like Abrams, Negroponte has a record of incomplete candor with Congress. Had he been frank about serious government-sponsored savagery in Honduras, the country would have forfeited US aid-thwarting the Reagan administration's use of Honduras to support the Contras. So Negroponte, too, has evidenced Abrams-style "patriotism." Those in Congress who still care, beware.

Here are some more to add to the list:
- M.O.W. Ed.

Richard Armitage, who was deneid a 1989 appointment as Assistant Secretary of State because of links to Iran -Contra and other scandals, served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Reagan years. U.S. Government stipulations in the Oliver North trial specifically named Armitage as one of the DoD officials responsible for illegal transfers of weapons to terrorist Iran and the Contras. George W. Bush made him Deputy Secretary of State.

John Poindexter, Oliver North's boss during Iran-Contra, convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and destroying evidence, was made head of the controversial Office of Information Awareness.

Otto Reich's nomination as A ssistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, the top post for Latin America, was predicted to draw the most congressional fire. "Between 1983-1986, Reich was elescted by the veteran CIA agent and propaganda specialist, Walter Raymond, to run the notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), a covert psychological and media spinning unit which reported to Colonel Oliver North at the National Security Council. Raymond described the OPD's role as selling to the US 'a new product -- Central America'. In 2000, Reich became the vice-chairman of Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP), a group financed by the clothing industry to support sweatshops.

John Bolton, who supported the Nicaraguan 'contras' during the Reagan era, "Undermined efforts by Sen. John Kerry to investigate drug smuggling and gunrunning by the contras," and was "put in charge of stonewalling Congressional efforts to obtain Justice Department documents and interview White House Chief Edwin Meese's deputies about their role in the Iran-Contra scandal, was made Under Secretary for Arms Control (!) and International Security.

Watch this 1995 video of Bolton ( John Bolton: In His Own Words ), and ask yourself who his mannerisms rermind you of. BOLTON: "There IS NO United Nations!!" "If I were redoing the security council today, I'd have one permanent member (the U.S.) because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world."

(See also: "How John Kerry Exposed the Contra-Cocaine Scandal", by Robert Parry, Salon, Monday 25 October 2004 ) 

Bush Nominates Hard-Liner as U.N. Ambassadoer

Published: March 7, 2005

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announcing John R. Bolton's nomination.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, whose strong statements on North Korea's nuclear program irked the leaders in Pyongyang, is President Bush's choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, three government officials said Monday.

Bush, already viewed suspiciously in some sectors of the United Nations for his pre-emptive attack in 2003 on Iraq, reached out to a tough lawyer and arms control expert who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance.



The World According to Bolton

New York Times Editorial Published: March 9, 2005

On Monday, President Bush nominated John Bolton, an outspoken critic of multinational institutions and a former Jesse Helms protégé, to be the representative to the United Nations. We won't make the case that this is a terrible choice at a critical time. We can let Mr. Bolton do it for us by examining how things might look if he had his way:

The United States could resolve international disputes after vigorous debate with ... itself. In an interview in 2000 on National Public Radio, Mr. Bolton told Juan Williams, "If I were redoing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world."

"And that one member would be, John Bolton?" Mr. Williams queried.

"The United States," Mr. Bolton replied.

America could stop worrying about China ... In 1999, when he was senior vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Bolton wrote a column in The Weekly Standard advocating that the United States just go ahead and give Taiwan diplomatic recognition, despite the fact that this purely symbolic gesture was a point on which China had repeatedly threatened to go to war. He made this argument: "Diplomatic recognition of Taiwan would be just the kind of demonstration of U.S. leadership that the region needs and that many of its people hope for. ... The notion that China would actually respond with force is a fantasy, albeit one the Communist leaders welcome and encourage in the West."

... and North Korea. In 1999, Mr. Bolton told The Los Angeles Times: "A sounder U.S. policy would start by making it clear to the North that we are indifferent to whether we ever have 'normal' diplomatic relations with it, and that achieving that goal is entirely in their interests, not ours. We should also make clear that diplomatic normalization with the U.S. is only going to come when North Korea becomes a normal country."

U.N. dues? What U.N. dues? In 1997, Mr. Bolton wrote in a column in The Wall Street Journal that the United States isn't legally bound to pay its United Nations dues. "Treaties are 'law' only for U.S. domestic purposes," he said. "In their international operations, treaties are simply 'political' obligations."

And forget about the International Criminal Court. In 2000, Mr. Bolton told the House International Relations Committee: "Support for the International Criminal Court concept is based largely on emotional appeals to an abstract ideal of an international judicial system unsupported by any meaningful evidence and running contrary to sound principles of international crisis resolution."

We certainly look forward to Mr. Bolton's confirmation hearings, and, after that, his performance at the United Nations, where he will undoubtedly do a fine job continuing the Bush administration's charm offensive with the rest of the world.

Which leaves us wondering what Mr. Bush's next nomination will be. Donald Rumsfeld to negotiate a new set of Geneva Conventions? Martha Stewart to run the Securities and Exchange Commission? Kenneth Lay for energy secretary?

"...Why, there's a basketful of billions to be made in the Middle East just so long as we can stay ahead of the trillions of debts that are coming after us back home." - Norman Mailer, W"hite Man Unburdened", New York times July 17, 2003


    Cashing In on Terror /  By Robert Scheer Truthdig     Tuesday 30 October 2007

ot to stoke any of the inane conspiracy theories running wild on the Internet, but if Osama bin Laden wasn't on the payroll of Lockheed Martin or some other large defense contractor, he deserves to have been. What a boondoggle 9/11 has been for the merchants of war, who this week announced yet another quarter of whopping profits made possible by George Bush's pretending to fight terrorism by throwing money at outdated Cold War-style weapons systems.

    Lockheed Martin, the nation's top weapons manufacturer, reaped a 22 percent increase in profits, while rivals for the defense buck, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, increased profits by 62 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Boeing's profits jumped 61 percent, spiked this quarter by its commercial division, but Boeing's military division, like the others, has been doing very well indeed since the terrorist attacks. As Newsweek International put in August: "Since 9/11 and the U.S.-led wars that followed, shares in American defense companies have outperformed both the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor's stock indices by some 40 percent. Prior to the recent cascade of stock prices worldwide, Boeing's share prices had tripled over the past five years while Raytheon's had doubled."

    Not bad for an industry in serious difficulty with the sudden collapse of the Cold War at the beginning of the 1990s, when the first President Bush and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, were severely cutting the military budget for high-ticket planes and ships designed to fight the no-longer-existent Soviet military. Sure, they had Iraq to kick around, but the elder Bush never thought to turn the then very real aggression of Saddam Hussein into an enormously expensive quagmire. He both defeated Hussein and cut the military budget.

    Not so Bush the younger, who exploited the trauma of 9/11 as an occasion to depose the defanged dictator of Iraq and thus provide a "shock and awe" showcase for the arms industry, which continues to benefit obscenely from the failed occupation. The second Iraq war, irrationally conflated with the 9/11 attack that had nothing to do with Hussein, provided the perfect threat package to justify the most outrageous military boondoggle in the nation's history. The bin Laden boys only had an arsenal of $3 knives, but Bush claimed Hussein had WMD. Sadly for the military-industrial complex, Hussein's army collapsed all too suddenly. But the insurgency, much of it fueled by the Shiites, who were ostensibly on our side, provided the occasion for pretending that we are in a war against a conventionally armed and imposing military enemy.

    Of course, we are in nothing of the sort with this so-called war on terror, a propaganda farce that draws resources away from serious efforts to counter terrorism to reward the corporations that profit from high-tech weaponry that has little if anything to do with the problem at hand. As Columbia professor Richard K. Betts points out in Foreign Affairs magazine: "With rare exceptions, the war against terrorists cannot be fought with army tank battalions, air force wings, or naval fleets-the large conventional forces that drive the defense budget. The main challenge is not killing the terrorists but finding them, and the capabilities most applicable to this task are intelligence and special operations forces. ... It does not require half a trillion dollars worth of conventional and nuclear forces."

    That half a trillion only covers the Pentagon budget for expenses beyond the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars or the Department of Homeland Security. Those last three items total more than $240 billion in Bush's 2008 budget requests. Add to that the $50 billion spent on intelligence agencies and an equal amount of State Department-directed efforts and you can understand how we manage to spend more fighting a gang of mujahedeen terrorists, once our "freedom fighters" in that earlier Afghan war against the Soviets, than we did at the height of the Cold War.

    "The Pentagon currently absorbs more than half of the federal government's discretionary budget," writes Lawrence J. Korb, "surpassing the heights reached when I was President Reagan's assistant secretary of defense. ... And, much like the 1980s, we are spending billions of dollars on weapons systems designed to fight the Soviet superpower."

    Thanks to bin Laden and Bush's exploitation of "war on terror" hysteria, the taxpayers have been hoodwinked into paying for a sophisticated military arsenal to fight a Soviet enemy that no longer exists. The Institute for Policy Studies calculated last year that the top 34 CEOs of the defense industry have earned a combined billion dollars since 9/11; they should give bin Laden his cut.


"In April, the Pentagon said it was spending $400 million to replace the Army's thin-skinned Humvees in Iraq with the so-called "uparmored" reinforced versions.
"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want," Rumsfeld said.
He added, "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up."

- "Troops put thorny questions to Rumsfeld", CNN, December 9, 2004


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