imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Kleptocratic States of America

by Greed is good Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 12:36 AM

"Cronyism is an important factor in the Iraqi debacle. It's not just that reconstruction is much more expensive than it should be. The really important thing is that cronyism is warping policy: By treating contracts as prizes to be handed to their friends, administration officials are delaying Iraq's recovery, with potentially catastrophic consequences. / News / Daily MoJo

October 2, 2003

In his Tuesday column in the New York Times, Paul Krugman socked it to the White House for its cronyism in doling out Iraq reconstruction contracts to industry pals. He said the reconstruction of Iraq has become a windfall for the old-boys club, and a disaster in the making for Iraqis:

"Cronyism is an important factor in the Iraqi debacle. It's not just that reconstruction is much more expensive than it should be. The really important thing is that cronyism is warping policy: By treating contracts as prizes to be handed to their friends, administration officials are delaying Iraq's recovery, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

The cost of the occupation is exploding, and military experts warn that our army is dangerously overcommitted. Yet officials are still allowing Iraqi reconstruction to languish, and the disaffection of the Iraqi public to grow, while they steer choice contracts to their friends. What makes you think they will ever change their ways?"

The same day Krugman's column appeared, Michael Scherer of Mother Jones, and Douglas Jehl of the New York Times broke the news that lobbyists with close ties to the White House are well established in Baghdad, connecting Western businesses with the American and Iraqi power brokers overseeing the reconstruction. Having left the Bush administration just weeks before the war in Iraq, Joe Allbaugh, Bush's former campaign manager, and director, until March, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, set up a lobbying firm in Baghdad, called New Bridges Strategies. As Scherer writes, "The firm has already attracted companies looking to sell Iraq everything from new phone lines to catering services." New Bridges' Web site explains its mission:

"[New Bridges Strategies'] activities will seek to expedite the creation of free and fair markets and new economic growth in Iraq, consistent with the policies of the Bush Administration. The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in the United States and on the ground in Iraq."

The recent revelations won't help the Bush administration this week as the House and Senate cobble together an appropriation in response to the president's billion emergency war funding request. On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved .7 billion to support U.S. troops and .3 billion for Iraqi reconstruction. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for full approval. This might not prove easy, if comments like Senator Arlen Specter's are any guide. In the committee proceedings Specter mused, "We ought not be too fast to give away billion if we can find a way not to."

As the House enters its fourth day of debate, it looks like the Republicans might not be able to deliver as Bush would like. Momentum has been building for Iraqis to pay a larger sum of the reconstruction cost with oil revenue, as promised by vice president Dick Cheney promised before the war. Some House members say that rather than send Iraq a blank check, the country could be issued loans to be repaid once their oil industry is up and running. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) proposed something along these lines in a debate:

"American taxpayers should not be required to pay for rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, especially when the American 'shock and awe' (bombing campaign) deliberately avoided damaging Iraq's infrastructure."

Members of the House and the Senate are now poring over Bush's itemized billion wish list. As the Washington Post reports, Congressman Henry Waxman of California recently sent a letter the White House budget director accusing the administration of favoring American companies over their inexpensive Iraqi counterparts. Waxman writes, "requesting huge dollar amounts for complex projects that will be awarded to well-connected U.S. contractors operating at expensive premiums." As the Senate opened their first day of debate on Wednesday, some were skeptical as to whether the G.O.P. will be able to deliver Bush's request in the full amount.

Even before the war began, critics of the Bush administration have long expressed alarm that Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton, which stands to make about billion in Iraq, and other White House officials are so closely tied to companies making big bucks in Iraq. San Francisco's anti-war activists targeted the politically-connected Bechtel Group before the war, suspecting the company stood to gain from any military campaign. Well, guess what? Bechtel is doing very nicely in postwar Iraq, having quickly secured an initial 0 million reconstruction contract, recently topped up with an additional 0m.

Calls for reform are getting louder. On Wednesday, the New York Times editorial board followed Krugman's lead:

"The real problem is that without strong legislative safeguards and oversight, billions of taxpayer dollars are sure to be wasted through insufficiently competitive contracts to politically connected firms like Halliburton and Bechtel. That has largely been the pattern until now. Congress also needs to make sure that reconstruction programs do not fritter away their resources by relying on expensive American workers and supervisors when qualified, reliable and currently unemployed Iraqis could easily do the work.

Unless Congress puts an end to this kind of profiteering, American taxpayers are almost certain to be saddled with much higher long-term reconstruction costs. The rebuilding of Iraq's shattered public services and vital infrastructure, already behind schedule, will be subjected to further dangerous delays. As the elections approach, Mr. Bush will find himself facing even louder demands than he's now getting from the conservative right and the liberal left to cut the nation's financial and military losses. Bowing to these pressures could have disastrous results. The faster Iraq's economy and society are restored, the sooner American troops can safely return home without leaving behind a new breeding ground for terrorism."

E-mail article

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This article has been made possible by the Foundation for National Progress, the Investigative Fund of Mother Jones, and gifts from generous readers like you.

© 2003 The Foundation for National Progress

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Support Us  Advertise  Ad Policy  Privacy Policy  Contact Us  Subscribe
Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
I got mine, how you doin'? Dewery, Cheatham & Howe Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 12:39 AM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy