The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Thursday, April 17

and so it came to pass

The USAID awarded Bechtel the contract for reconstruction in Iraq to the tune of $680 million dollars, although not all at once. It should come as no surprise really. Bechtel has a long history of working in Iraq and with Donald Rumsfeld as well. Rumsfeld won't be able to shake Saddam's hand this time, but he will get to shake down the Iraqis as well as the US taxpayers for the privatization of Iraq. But its not about oil.

Cooperative Research
has a good timeline covering US Iraq relations that is worth reviewing. Here are a couple of snips from the early honeymoon days:
December 2, 1983. The U.S. State Department invited Bechtel officials to Washington to discuss plans for constructing an Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline. Former Bechtel president George Shultz was U.S. Secretary of State at the time.

December 19, 1983. President Reagan dispatched U.S. envoy to the Middle East Donald Rumsfeld, to express the administration's intention to 'resume [U.S.] diplomatic relations with Iraq.'

December 20, 1983. U.S. Special Envoy Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was CEO of the pharmaceutical company, Searle, personally met with Saddam Hussein in an attempt to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iraq. [there's even video footage of the meeting]

Other issues that were discussed included plans for the construction of an Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline to be built by Bechtel and an Israeli offer to help Iraq in its war against Iran. According to a declassified State Department cable, Rumsfeld 'conveyed the President’s greetings and expressed his pleasure at being in Baghdad.'
Donald Rumsfeld. Secretary of Defense.

George Shultz. Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee. Board of Directors at Bechtel. Bet a war with Iraq isn't hurting his bank account any. Totally off topic, but do you think he has off shore accounts?

Saddam Hussein is the persona non-grata. Or is he?

There is a great report on Bechtel put together by Darren Puscas at the Polaris Institute. It's available in pdf.

Bpost is starting a pool to see who the next big winner is. Still no signs of Dan Quayle, but the post war is young and there are other countries to invade.


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