And the U.S. Govt. wonders why Americans don’t trust them or our Congress, who happens to have the lowest approval ratings in U.S. history?! That, and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove should have been tried for War Crimes Against Humanity for their get-rich wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! I hear The Hague in the Netherlands calling!
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Posted by John Loeffler | Filed under Afghanistan, Congress, Corruption, crime, criminal, D.C., Dirty Fossil Fuels, Dirty Politics, Economy, Failures, Fraud, Greed, History, Iraq, Oil, Oil Companies, Power, power abuse, Power-hungry, tyranny, U.S., U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. military, U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Veterans, Uncategorized, United States, War, Washington D.C.
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The accounting of the financial cost of the nearly decade-long Iraq War will go on for years, but a recent analysis has shed light on the companies that made money off the war by providing support services as the privatization of what were former U.S. military operations rose to unprecedented levels.
Private or publicly listed firms received at least $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts for services that included providing private security, building infrastructure and feeding the troops.
Ten contractors received 52 percent of the funds, according to an analysis by the Financial Times that was published Tuesday.
The No. 1 recipient?
The company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks, as reported by Bloomberg.
Who were Nos. 2 and 3?
As private enterprise entered the war zone at unprecedented levels, the amount of corruption ballooned, even if most contractors performed their duties as expected.
According to the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the level of corruption by defense contractors may be as high as $60 billion. Disciplined soldiers that would traditionally do many of the tasks are commissioned by private and publicly listed companies.
Even without the graft, the costs of paying for these services are higher than paying governement employees or soldiers to do them because of the profit motive involved. No-bid contracting – when companies get to name their price with no competing bid – didn’t lower legitimate expenses. (Despite promises by President Barack Obama to reel in this habit, the trend toward granting favored companies federal contracts without considering competing bids continued to grow, by 9 percent last year, according to the Washington Post.)
Even though the military has largely pulled out of Iraq, private contractors remain on the ground and continue to reap U.S. government contracts. For example, the U.S. State Department estimates that taxpayers will dole out $3 billion to private guards for the government’s sprawling embassy in Baghdad.
The costs of paying private and publicly listed war profiteers seem miniscule in light of the total bill for the war.
Last week, the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University said the war in Iraq cost $1.7 trillion dollars, not including the $490 billion in immediate benefits owed to veterans of the war and the lifetime benefits that will be owed to them or their next of kin.
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Newly-Released Memo by Donald Rumsfeld Proves Iraq War Started On False Pretenses
Everyone Knew Iraq Had No WMDS … and Was Not Behind Anthrax Attacks or 9/11
Everyone knew that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.
Indeed, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff – Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – just said that Powell knew that there were no WMDs:
I wonder what will happen when we put 500,000 troops into Iraq and comb the country from one end to the other and find nothing
It has been extensively documented that the White House decided to invade Iraq before 9/11:
- Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.” And see this.
- Cheney made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Heraldreported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
Indeed, neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq – and throughout the Middle East and North Africa – 20 years ago.
But war is sold just like soda or toothpaste … and so a false justification needs to be concocted.
The government tried to falsely blame the anthrax attacks on Iraq as a justification for war:
When Congress was originally asked to pass the Patriot Act in late 2001, the anthrax attacks which occurred only weeks earlier were falsely blamed on spooky Arabs as a way to scare Congress members into approving the bill. Specifically:
- The FBI was actually told to blame Anthrax scare on Al Qaeda by White House officials
George Bush throughout 2002 routinely featured “anthrax” as one of Saddam’s scary weapons.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and VP Cheney all falsely linked Iraq with 9/11 … and the entire torture program was aimed at establishing such a false linkage.
A new book by NBC News and Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff adds details, including a memo written by Rumsfeld in November 2001 – a year and a quarter before the start of the Iraq war – asking how to start a war against Iraq, and suggesting as one potential “justification” for war:
- How start?
US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax?
The Bush administration launched the Iraq war under false pretenses … unfortunately, Obama is no better.