The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Saturday, June 28

carpe dinero

Gee. What a surprise. Vinnell Corp will be training a new Iraqi military. Vinnell is the group that recently suffered casualties in the bombing attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Vinnell has long trained Saudi paramilitary forces. Vinnell is a subsidiary of BDM International. Carlyle sold BDM International and its subsidiary Vinnell, to defense contractor Northrop Grumman in 1998. In December of 2002, Northrop Grumman bought defense contractor TRW.
Vinnell Corp., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded an estimated $48,074,442 cost-plus-fixed-fee letter contract for training the nucleus of a new Iraqi Army. Work will be performed within various locations in Iraq beginning July 1, 2003, and will be completed by June 30, 2004. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on June 9, 2003, and five bids were received. The Army Contracting Agency Southern Region Contracting Center is the contracting activity (DABK01-03-C-0007).
Company Vinnell Corporation
Award $48,074,442 cost-plus-fixed-fee
Agency Army Contracting Agency - Southern Region Contracting Center
Date of RFP June 9, 2003
Date of Award June 25, 2003
Nature of work For training the nucleus of a new Iraqi Army
Defense Link
June 25, 2003

A recent on-line article from the US Marine Corps Website details construction projects in Iraq where USMC is assisting. The article mentions "seized Iraqi funds" but specifically which seized Iraqi funds remains a mystery.
According to Lt. Brandon Harding, chaplain with NMCB-4, the contractors are paid using seized Iraqi funds.

"It's their money anyway," he said. "It only makes sense to use it to help them get back on their feet."

Not only does the money originally come from the Iraqi people, most of the supplies the Seabees provide for the contractors come from government warehouses.
Company Local Iraqi Contractors in the Ad Diwaniyah area
Award unknown
Agency Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4
Date of RFP
Date of Award
Nature of work Repair municipal buildings in the Ad Diwaniyah area of Iraq. 18 schools and 1 courthouse have been renovated.
Local contractors building schools, economy
Marine Expeditionary Force
Story Identification Number: 200362555848
by Army Spc. Melissa Walther
June 25, 2003
US Marine Corps Website

Seized Funds

Speaking of seized funds...the Treasury Department issued a press release on June 24, 2003 which is currently available at Washington File:
The Treasury Department added the 55 names of Iraq's "Most Wanted"
regime figures to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's Specially
Designated Nationals (SDN) list, freezing any accounts in U.S.
jurisdiction and prohibiting them from having any transactions with
U.S. persons.


The Treasury Department has already returned over $660 million dollars in Iraqi
assets previously frozen in the U.S. to Iraq where it has been used to
pay civil servants and pensioners and to provide capital for Iraqi
Ministries as they resume operation. Additionally, the Treasury
Department, working with allies, has located well over $1.2 billion
dollars in previously unknown Iraqi assets and is working to
facilitate the return of those assets to the Iraqi people through the
Development Fund for Iraq.
Add to the previous $2.43 billion dollars in seized assets for a new total of $4.29 billion. But who's counting? Only bpost apparently.

And new contracts are up for bid over at the auction house known as the Pentagon:
The U.S. Army has alerted potential bidders to new contracts for rebuilding Iraq's oil sector, replacing a previous contract given to a unit of Halliburton Co. (HAL), the company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney.
The army wants to award two contracts for $500 million each. California-based Fluor Corporation, who has partnered with Amec, is said to be in the running. Fluor Corp has already been awarded one contract worth $100 million. No word if Halliburton will submit a bid as well.


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