The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Monday, June 30

under re-construction

This week Equity International will be conducting their second conference The Iraqi Reconstruction Conference on July 1 and 2 in Washington DC at the Capitol Hilton. Registration fees range from $495 to $795. Ouch. Walk-ins welcome just make sure you bring your check book.
The Iraqi Reconstruction Conference will provide the latest information on reconstruction and funding. Conference general sessions and break-out sessions will feature top government officials, corporate executives, and diplomats, speaking on:

Humanitarian aid and emergency assistance

Funding for Iraqi reconstruction

International perspectives on Iraq's reconstruction

Reconstruction priorities and programs; heavy infrastructure, communications, medicine, security, education, oil and gas, etc.

Contracting and subcontracting opportunities with government agencies and major contractors

Special session on contracting opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses
Equity International also maintains a website The Center for Reconstruction and Development. Mostly it consists of ads for their partners but you can monitor the site for future conferences.
Since 1996, over 2,000 major corporations, organizations, agencies, and governments have participated in Equity's reconstruction and development conferences. The high-profile events, usually in Washington, have provided corporations and organizations with the latest information on the reconstruction and development programs and contracts of U.S. and multilateral agencies and of foreign governments. Conference participants have also benefited from lucrative networking among a diverse array of leaders...
Greg Barrett of Gannett News reports in his recent article Iraq's bad water brings disease, alarms relief workers that the Pentagon has awarded a "private contract" for cleaning up Basra's water supply.
Last week, more than a month after WHO first warned of waterborne epidemics developing in Basra, the Pentagon approved a private contract to replace parts of the city's four water treatment plants.
Bpost has been unable to identify to whom the contract was awarded--assuming that "approved" means "awarded" that is.

Sunday, June 29

award or reward?

Secretary of State Colin Powell presented George P. Shultz with the American
Foreign Service Association's (AFSA) Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony on June 26th.
Shultz served as Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration from 1982 until 1989, after which he rejoined Stanford University as the Jack Steele Parker Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business and as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Bechtel Group, Fremont Group, Gilead Sciences,, and Charles Schwab & Co. He is also chairman of the International Council of J. P. Morgan Chase and on the advisory committee of Infrastructureworld.
Yup. That would be the same Bechtel Group that is currently busy with reconstruction in Iraq. There is no mention of Shultz sitting on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee in the article. Has he stepped down to spend more time with his family?

On June 18, Rumsfeld announced that Tillie K. Fowler will serve as the new chair of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, filling the seat previously held by Richard Perle.

Perle, however, is still on the DPBAC. In May, Ken Silverstein and Chuck Neubauer reported in the Los Angeles Times Consulting and Overlap, that Richard Perle's business partner, Gerald Hillman, now joins him at the DPBAC. Perle's loss of the chairmanship and its prestige must be soothed by this new addition. By the way, Hillman has no known experience in national security or defense.

Grant, contract, award, or all of the above?

Who is implementing the construction side of this project?
The Department of State's U. S. Global Technology Corps (USGTC) -- a program administered by the Bureau of International Information Programs, Office of Technology Partnerships -- is providing computer technology and training to medical students in Baghdad, Iraq as part of a joint public diplomacy initiative with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

On June 24, 2003, USGTC partner WiRED International (World Internet Resources for Education and Development) inaugurated a ten workstation computer center with a 130 disk CD-ROM health education library at the Medical City Center of the University of Baghdad, the largest teaching hospital in Iraq. Dr. Gary Selnow, executive director of WiRED International and a former Fulbright professor, presided at the opening ceremony joined by James K. Haveman, the Coalition Provisional Authority's Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Health, and Dr. Saeb Saddiq, Director General of Medical City Center.


Three similar medical information centers will be established this week at two other teaching hospitals in Baghdad, and at the Spinal Cord Center, a specialty clinic for severe neurological injuries. CD libraries of current health education materials will provide the initial content for the centers, in anticipation of Internet access as the infrastructure to support it comes on line.
An interesting detail over at the Global Technology Corps. The site labels itself "A Program of the US Department of State". On the Global Technology Corps website they include a link to a report written by the Heritage Foundation: Spreading Freedom - Building Democracy and Public Diplomacy.

Curious though, the Heritage Foundation link at the Global Technology Corps website is currently inactive. But the Way Back Machine satisfied our curiosity and that's the link provided above. By the way, the report "Spreading Freedom - Building Democracy and Public Diplomacy" was part of Issues 2000, The Candidate's Briefing Book

Why should a link to one lone report bother us at bpost, you ask? The Heritage Foundation includes amongst its financial supporters the Bechtel Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Bechtel Group.

Company For Iraq Medical Information Centers
Award unknown
Agency U.S. Global Technology Corps, a program of the U.S. Department of State; Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, Office of Technology Partnerships; the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (previous NIH grant funding developed the software)
Partner WiRED International
Date of RFP
Date of Award
Nature of work To provide Iraq's healthcare community with access to information about the latest developments in human medicine. Phase One: Opening Medical Information Centers that offer comprehensive medical e-libraries on CD-ROMS in 3 Baghdad area hospitals as well as the Spinal Cord Center.
WiRed International website
26 June 2003

US Department of State
Media Note
June 26, 2003

a counting

Randal Quarles, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs comments on seized Iraqi assets in his remarks at the Cato Institute on June 25, 2003.
On March 20, President Bush vested $1.7 billion of Iraqi regime assets that had been frozen in the United States over a decade ago and placed them in an account at the New York Fed to be used to support reconstruction.
So far, nearly half of these assets have been delivered to Iraq to finance payments.
Job Listings

Three pre-solictation notices for U.S. Personnel Service Contractors (PSC) appeared at FedBizOps today. If you are into number crunching, fluent in English and Arabic, and don't mind being housed in "a guarded and fortified CFLCC military perimeter" you might wish to apply. Oh. And the job comes with post hardship and danger pay of 50%, combined.

Did we mention the jobs are in Baghdad?

Senior Financial Management Specialist ($61,251- $79,629)
Supervisory Financial Analyst ($42,976- 55,873).
Chief Accountant ($42,976- 55,873).

odds & ends

Bill Berkowitz has an article on Dan Amstutz who is overseeing reconstruction of Iraq's agriculture sector over at Working for Change.
"Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission," said Kevin Watkins, Oxfam's policy director. "This guy is uniquely well placed to advance the commercial interests of American grain companies and bust open the Iraqi market, but singularly ill equipped to lead a reconstruction effort in a developing country."
United Airlines showed a profit this quarter thanks in part to a US government bail out.
The company said its cash increased by about $456 million in May, helped by the U.S. government aid for costs related to the Iraq war. At month's end, UAL had a cash balance of about $2.2 billion, including $659 million that is restricted for certain purposes.
The St. Petersburg Times follows up on the $467,000 MacDill bill blunder.

Saturday, June 28


The following three posts (money: no object, carpe dinero, odds & ends) are a repost of the June 26th entry now in error mode.

money: no object

An interesting development has arisen at MacDill Air Force Base according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times.
As the United States geared up for war in Iraq, MacDill Air Force Base scrambled to provide temporary offices for foreign military officers streaming in from around the world.

Money was no object.
It seems that in the rush to war, MacDill contracted out for a quick expansion of its facilities. The bill is in and its $467,000 dollars over the original budget of $110,000 dollars. It's not just that the overage is a problem, MacDill may also have violated federal law.
Bpost question #1: Unique situation or will other bases soon be turning in similar bills for payment?
On a related note: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wants Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, to be the next chief of staff of the Army. Schoomaker's last position was commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (he retired in 2000), or SOCOM, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., most of his military career was spent with special operations forces.
Bpost question #2: How is Schoomaker with budgets?

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.

odds & ends

Some feisty French have come out with their own deck of playing cards: Régime Bush: Le Jeu de Cartes The original article in French is available here.

Great site for information on Iraq: Future of Iraq Portal Please be sure to check the site out. Lots and lots of really great links. We're very honored they included bpost in their list....

Please visit and support ($$) the Center for Cooperative Research. They provide an invaluable service and do amazing work. Their detailed research into An Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11 is a must read.

friends in high places

The Shreveport Times reports that Joseph C. Whitaker has been named director of health care facilities for the office of the US senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Health. Who is Mr. Whitaker?
This isn't Whitaker's first foray into public policy. In 2001, he was named by President George W. Bush to the six-member federal panel in charge of negotiating with federal employees over collective bargaining.

Whitaker's experience building health-care facilities - including several Willis-Knighton hospitals - and credentials as a registered nurse helped him stand out for the new job, said Randy Davidson, a longtime acquaintance of Whitaker and attorney for Whitaker Construction in its recent bankruptcy case.

Whitaker's acquaintance with Bush from the president's time as governor of Texas probably helped him get his foot in the door as well, Davidson said.

smarts and more smarts

Counterpunch has an article by Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). VIPS has been publishing their concerns on the manipulation of intelligence since February.
In sum, the evidence presented in last September's intelligence estimate fell far short of what was required to support Cheney's claim that Iraq was on the road to a nuclear weapon. Something scarier had to be produced, and quickly, if Congress was to be persuaded to authorize war. And so the decision was made to dust off the uranium-from-Niger canard.

The White House calculated--correctly--that before anyone would make an issue of the fact that this key piece of "intelligence" was based on a forgery, Congress would vote yes. The war could then be waged and won. In recent weeks, administration officials have begun spreading the word that Cheney was never told the Iraq-Niger story was based on a forgery. I asked a senior official who recently served at the National Security Council if he thought that was possible. He pointed out that rigorous NSC procedures call for a very specific response to all vice presidential questions and added that "the fact that Cheney's office had originally asked that the Iraq-Niger report be checked out makes it inconceivable that his office would not have been informed of the results."
William Rivers Pitt at Truth Out also has an interview with Ray McGovern that is worth reading.
Pitt: There was the August 6 2001 briefing…

McGovern: On August 6, the title of the briefing was, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US,” and that briefing had the word “Hijacking” in it. That’s all I know about it, but that’s quite enough. In September, Bush had to make a decision. Is it feasible to let go of Tenet, whose agency flubbed the dub on this one? And the answer was no, because Tenet knows too much about what Bush knew, and Bush didn’t know what to do about it. That’s the bottom line for me.
In the meantime, Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee will be conducting their own inquiry into pre-war intelligence and links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. A UN committee on Thursady announced thay had found no connection.

Contract News

Halliburton/KBR has awarded a $41 million dollar subcontract for catering services while working in Iraq. Given the size of the subcontract, bpost thought it worth noting.
Renaissance Services [Contract Services Group] has bagged a $41 million (RO15.92 million) contract to provide catering services in Iraq for Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a press release said. Mobilisation of the contract commences with immediate effect, with services expected to commence within one month. The scope of work requires the establishment and equipment of kitchen/dining facilities to cater for several thousand people. The contract duration is for six months, with three subsequent renewal options of six months each.

Execution of the contract is logistically taxing and presents considerable operational risk. The contract has been won in collaboration with Heston Services, which provides logistics and administration services to Renaissance in Kuwait and Iraq.
Two snips in GovExec that caught our attention:
Military officials should make comprehensive lists of all contractors services used at any given location, GAO said. Without these lists, it is hard for commanders to figure out where to go for help if they have questions regarding contractor support. A lack of information on total contractor support also makes it difficult to estimate total costs associated with these services.

Also, the Pentagon should standardize contract language, GAO recommended. Otherwise, mistakes can disrupt operations. For example, the Army left deployment clauses out of some contracts for work in Iraq. This omission resulted in “increased contract costs as well as delays in getting contractors into the field.”
Ok. We'll bite. How much are those "increased contract costs"?

Thursday, June 26

BIG POST ERROR, POST ID 105661839632345387

Sunday, June 22

phone sex

An article appeared in Sunday's Washington Post by Timothy Carney. Carney just spent 90 days working in Iraq assisting with reconstruction efforts. It's an American insider's view of the realities on the ground in Iraq.

But that's not what caught our eye.
Security, communications and transport problems -- as well as a "failure to marry the civilian and military staffs," as one colleague charitably put it -- plague the mission to this day . Three culprits contributed to our woes: The first was the military communications staff where, with one or two notable exceptions, the lack of vision was exceeded only by the lack of competence. The second, outside contractor Raytheon, provided a weak communications network; Internet and printer capabilities were down again from June 14 to 16. The third, cell-phone contractor MCI, did not produce a functioning telephone during the entire six weeks of Garner's tenure, crippling our mission. A few phones finally appeared on June 3. These failures merit investigation.
According to an AP article published on May 22, MCI/WorldCom reportedly signed the contract for cellular service in Iraq at the beginning of May. But today's Washington Post notes that cellular service was already being provided during Jay Garner's tenure. If MCI/WorldCom was responsible for cellular service during the 6 weeks of Garner's tenure, then the cellular contract was actually awarded in April.

Why is this significant? According to an article in the June 9th issue of the Mercury News, Australia's Telstra and AT&T had sent executives to Baghdad in May to pursue the cellular contract. A lucrative contract that now looks to have already been awarded.

Time Line
Jay Garner arrives in Baghdad on April 21, 2003

Timothy Carney arrives in Baghdad the night of April 24.

President Bush announces on May 6 that Paul Bremer will soon be replacing Garner.

Bremer arrives in Baghdad on May 12.

AT&T/Telstra visit Baghdad on approximately May 19.

Report of MCI/WorldCom contract on May 22.

Garner leaves Baghdad on May 31 - 6 weeks after arriving.
Simple math says the MCI/WorldCom contract had already been awarded by April 21. AT&T/Telstra looks to have never had a chance. (The original bpost on MCI/WorldCom here)

And Raytheon? Who knew they were also providing network and internet service in Iraq in addition to their defense communications technology. Must be another one of those task orders we hear so little about.

Saturday, June 21

halliburton update as of june 21

Based on the information available thru the USACE website and yesterday's New York Times article, the following is an update on the Halliburton contracts.

Total to date: $840.7 million dollars

Halliburton, issued an assessment and contingency plan for fighting oil well fires under an existing DoD contract issued on December 14, 2001, LOGCAPIII.

A new Implementation Contract for extinguishing well fires was issued thru the Army Corps of Engineers to Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR Engineering & Construction) on March 8, 2003.

Halliburton owns Kellogg Brown & Root. KBR Engineering & Construction owns Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. KBR has also subcontracted to Superior Energy Services' Wild Well Control, Inc.

The New York Times reported on April 10, 2003 that an additional contract was awarded to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Company Halliburton KBR Government Operations
Award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity 10 year contract
Task Orders $596.8 million as of June 20, 2003
Agency Army Material Command
Date of RFP
Date of Award December 14, 2001
Nature of work For support services to US military in Iraq under LOGCAPIII. KBRGO will provide for the construction of facilities and infrastructure of base camps including billeting, mess hall, food preparation, potable water, sanitation, showers, laundry, transportation, utilities, warehousing and other logistical support. Also included is support of the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, Integration (RSOI) process of U.S. Forces as they enter or depart their theater of operation by sea, air or rail.
Halliburton Press Release
December 17, 2001

Halliburton contract caters to Americans in Iraq
By Mark Fineman / Los Angeles Times
The Detroit News
May 9, 2003

Halliburton Unit Gets Over $800 Million
By Reuters
New York Times
June 20, 2003

Company Kellogg Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award $7 billion (cost plus 7% Implementation Contract) paid by Task Order
Task Orders $213.786 million as of June 13, 2003 (see below)
Agency U.S. Defense Department
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Nature of work Rebuild Iraq's oil production infrastructure
Halliburton contract could reach $7B
Emergency government contract to fix Iraqi oil fields lasts 2 years, offers 7% profit margin.
April 11, 2003: 2:45 PM EDT
By Mark Gongloff

Company Kellogg Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award $30 million
Agency Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Date of RFP
Date of Award
Nature of work To dismantle and neutralize any chemical or nuclear weapons found in the region
Competing for Work in Postwar Iraq
By Diana B. Henriques
New York Times
April 10, 2003

Task Orders under the March 8 Implementation Contract

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Subcontractors Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. and Superior Energy Services' Wild Well Control, Inc.
Award See original Implementation Contract
TO 1 $14.7 million (Initially $34M)
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order
Nature of work To train and advise for safe shut-down, oil spill equipment propositioning and damage assessment:
USACE website
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom
Frequently asked questions
June 13, 2003

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Subcontractors Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. and Superior Energy Services' Wild Well Control, Inc.
Award See original Implementation Contract
TO 2 $1.7 million
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order
Nature of work Design for quick repair of oil facilities
USACE website
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom
Frequently asked questions
June 13, 2003

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award See original Implementation Contract
TO 3 $87.8 million (Initially $36.9M)
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order
Nature of work Damage assessment, fire fighting and repairs
USACE website
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom
Frequently asked questions
June 13, 2003

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award See original Implementation Contract
TO 4 $16.3 million
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order
Nature of work Construction of base camp facilities for workers
USACE website
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom
Frequently asked questions
June 13, 2003

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award See original Implementation Contract
TO 5 $93.4 million
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order May 4, 2003
Nature of work Preserve distribution capability and fuel distribution support including repairs of fuel product distribution systems, procurement and transportation of refined products to support the Iraqi refining and distribution organizations in order to meet the domestic demand for fuels for power production, domestic humanitarian use within Iraq. (This amount will change because the amounts of gasoline and LPG needed are not finalized. The total amount of gasoline and LPG needed is directly tied to how quickly Iraq can restart the oil system production.)
USACE website
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom
Frequently asked questions
June 13, 2003
The total NTE amount for the March 8 Implementation Contract is, as of 13 June 2003, $213,786,000. The TO amounts may incrementally increase or decrease. For example: if not all the money put against TO3, for example, is needed and the cost rises for TO5, the extra money in TO3 may be shifted. Even the NTE amount may change if work is increased or if additional funding is provided.

being taken to the cleaners

The New York Times carried a Reuters article last night clarifying more information of Halliburton's various contract amounts in Iraq. Under LOGCAP III, Halliburton has now billed approximately $596.8 million. This amount is in addition to the Task Orders issued under a separate contract with Halliburton/KBR reported on the USACE website (See bpost June 18).
By the end of May, task orders for Iraq accounted for $596.8 million of the $708 million earmarked under that deal.

Under that contract, the Halliburton subsidiary has provided housing, recreation, laundry, power and sanitation for troops in Iraq, said Dan Carlson, a spokesman for U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois.
A recap of LOGCAP III and Halliburton: On December 14, 2001, the Army Material Command awarded Halliburton KBR Government Operations an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity 10 year contract known as the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program III (LOGCAPIII)
[Halliburton KBR Government Operations] will provide for the construction of facilities and infrastructure of base camps including billeting, mess hall, food preparation, potable water, sanitation, showers, laundry, transportation, utilities, warehousing and other logistical support. Also included is support of the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, Integration (RSOI) process of U.S. Forces as they enter or depart their theater of operation by sea, air or rail.
Just to be clear, there are three contracts with Halliburton in use in Iraq: 1) LOGCAP III, 2) the March 8, 2003 Implementation Contract 3) the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Contract. 1) & 2) issue Task Orders. Little is known about the third contract.

A recent article in Gov Exec attempts to explain where the money for reconstruction is coming from. On the surface, the numbers appear satisfactory. However, there is the ongoing reporting of "vested assets" totaling $1.7 billion dollars while the 2002 seized assets report lists $2.43 billion dollars.

Details on "vested assets" : For the year ending December 31, 2002, according to the Annual Report to the Congress, Terrorist Assets Report available in pdf, Iraq had $2.43 billion dollars in assets blocked in the US.

The money included assets frozen (blocked) in 1990, belonging to the Iraqi government that has been sitting in accounts at U.S. banks and their foreign branches. The institutions include Citigroup, Bank of America and Wachovia. The March 20, 2003 executive order signed by President Bush allows these assets to be transferred to an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The information is available on line. Is Bpost really the only one who has noticed this discrepancy?

By the way, just in case the curiosity is killing you, Paul Bremer gets his suits dry-cleaned in Kuwait. Halliburton's LOGCAP III contract with the US military covers laundry. So is Halliburton handling Bremer's suits? Being taken to the cleaners is taking on a whole new meaning.

Are we the only ones who see the irony of this today?

Wednesday, June 18

halliburton task orders

The following information on Task Orders issued for work by Halliburton under the March 8 Implementation Contract was posted on June 13, 2003 at USACE.
Task Order 1: Train and advise for safe shut-down, oil spill equipment propositioning and damage assessment: $14.7 million (Initially $34M)

Task Order 2: Design for quick repair of oil facilities: $1.7 million

Task Order 3: Damage assessment, fire fighting and repairs for $87.8 million (Initially $36.9M)

Task Order 4: Construction of base camp facilities for workers for $16.3 million

Task Order 5: Preserve distribution capability and fuel distribution support including repairs of fuel product distribution systems, procurement and transportation of refined products to support the Iraqi refining and distribution organizations in order to meet the domestic demand for fuels for power production, domestic humanitarian use within Iraq for $93.4 million. (This amount will change because the amounts of gasoline and LPG needed are not finalized. The total amount of gasoline and LPG needed is directly tied to how quickly Iraq can restart the oil system production.)
Unfortunately dates are not included in the above list. The following clarification is also included at the USACE website.
The total NTE amount for the contract is, as of 13 June 2003, $213,786,000. The TO amounts may incrementally increase or decrease. For example: if not all the money put against TO3, for example, is needed and the cost rises for TO5, the extra money in TO3 may be shifted. Even the NTE amount may change if work is increased or if additional funding is provided.

Tuesday, June 17

what's up

The U.S. Agency for International Development will pay the Army Corps of Engineers $3 million under an existing contract to keep track of Bechtel National Inc.'s $680 million construction contract over the first year
Company USACOE
Award $3 million
Agency USAID
Date of RFP
Date of Award June 12, 2003
Nature of work To keep track of Bechtel National Inc.'s $680 million construction contract over the first year

The U.S. Department of Commerce has prepared a Quick Glance Chart for U.S. businesses on contracts awarded for Iraq reconstruction. The Chart provides information on U.S. Government contracts awarded to date and links to Prime Contractors and Subcontractors.

Funding Summary #49 is out at the USAID. Visit the USAID for link to pdf file and other info.

Watch the USAID site for a webcast of the June 17th Pre-bid Conference on the Agriculture Reconstruction and Development for Iraq (ARDI) RFP The RFP is available at: FedGovBiz

The June 13, 2003 CENTCOM News Releases/ U.S. Central Command includes the following information:
Completed payments to 500 additional Iraqi government ministry personnel. Also met with Ministry contractors and obtained a written contract for reconstruction of main Ministry building and 4 additional buildings.


Delivered $25,500 to the Karbala Minister of Health for renovation of the Al Hussein Hospital’s emergency room and general infrastructure, and to requisition a 2-month supply of sanitation and pollution testing chemicals.


Monitored and provided security for the distribution of bonuses to the Headmasters of the Al Kut schools. An estimated 6,574 teachers received their $30 bonuses Thursday, for a total of $197,000.


Made final arrangements for the shipment of 4,000 soccer balls from Karachi, Pakistan. The shipment will fly to Kuwait (via Kuwait Air) but will require military ground transport from Kuwait to Baghdad. Nike has donated 4 x 40’ mil vans as part of the international effort to support youth sports within Iraq. The OCPA Youth Ministry has developed a distribution plan for the soccer balls.


Received $20 million to support payments for wheat harvest in Northern Iraq. Additionally, received $200,000 for the silos in four Northern Governates.
It is unclear which contracts are covering the above or if these are additional expenditures under the vague heading of "Iraqi assets" being used to assist Iraq's reconstruction.

By the way, the US Soccer Foundation is taking donations "to contribute to the purchase of basic soccer equipment for soccer and youth clubs and schools in Iraq. Visit for more info.

Tracking the contracts is starting to get more difficult. Motorola, who won a contract to set up a radio communications network for Iraqi security and coalition forces in Baghdad, is now a subcontractor to WorldCom. And Research Triangle Institute (RTI International), in turn, has hired Creative Associates as a subcontractor. Creative Associates won a contract to oversee the Revitalization of Iraqi Schools and Stabilization of Education (RISE), which involves upgrading schools, restocking classrooms and training teachers.

Global Research
has a list of the officials who are involved in running Iraq. It includes links and brief bios as well as industry connections. It's a good overview for names.

Bpost is trying to update the current information on Halliburton. We will be posting it soon.

Friday, June 13


Ray McGovern of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has a new article in Counterpunch, Deceived into War.
Powell said it was "nonsense" to brand as "bogus" the intelligence adduced to justify making war on Iraq. But, sadly, "bogus" is precisely the correct word to apply to the key piece of "evidence" used to deceive our representatives and senators into voting to give President Bush permission to launch an unprovoked war on Iraq.

However strong a word, "bogus" pales in comparison with the seven-letter F-word to which Powell and Rice showed themselves allergic: F for forgery.


CNN Money reports Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO has awarded the first of 6 contracts to refiners out of 52 bids tendered. Approval is still needed by acting ministry chief Thamir Ghadhban and from US advisor Philip Carroll (formerly of Shell)
Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO awarded its first post-war crude contract Thursday to six companies for 10 million barrels of oil held in storage.

The companies are Repsol and Cepsa of Spain, Tupras of Turkey, ENI of Italy, Total of France. ChevronTexaco was the only U.S. company.
Condoleezza Rice must be happy to see her former company make the cut. It's a shame the Condoleezza Rice tanker won't be pulling into port in Umm Qasr. Apparently Chevron/Texaco has changed it's name.

Iraq is going to go cellular.
The authority reversed its previous policy that a cellular system would wait until an Iraqi government took office. The spokesman said the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
had decided to move after "discussions with Iraqi advisers and businessmen" revealed a national mobile phone system was urgently needed
According to the Financial Times, Motorola is said to be a serious contender along with Ericcson and Orascom Telecom of Egypt in bidding on a new cellular network in Iraq. No indications if WorldCom will be in on the bidding. Alcatel of France built much of Iraq's communications network and after Gulf War I received a $75 mllion dollar contract for repairs. Expect this contract to go much higher.

Bloomberg News report in the Toronto Star that a "squabble over wheat" Australia was expecting to export $526 million in wheat to Iraq this year. Shut out by Saddam Hussein afer Gulf War I, the trade group U.S. Wheat Associates wants in on the competitive bidding again. At stake is $2.5 billion dollars in contracts.

There is a lot of money flying around these days. But. Where is it going, who is it going to, who is cashing the checks? A little transparency on the various financial transactions would be nice. When Rep. Henry Waxman finishes with analyzing the Halliburton contracts, here's hoping he'll ask for a complete accounting of financial transactions. Here's also hoping most of the money is making its way into the pockets of the Iraqi people (as opposed to the pockets of Chalabi).


Ok. Now we are really confused. The New York Times ran an AP article Army Backtracks on Halliburton Contract yesterday.
The total as of last week was $184.7 million, up from $76.7 million a month ago, shortly after the assigned work expanded significantly.
So what exactly did Halliburton do to rack up $107.9 million?

Company Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton)
Award $7 billion cap (cost plus 7% contract) paid by Task Order
TO 6+ $ 107.9 million
Agency USACOE/Unknown
Pre-planning November 2002
Date of RFP
Date of Award March 8, 2003
Date of additional work order(s) between May 4 to June 12
Nature of work Additional work - unknown

Thursday, June 12

iraq talk

BBC carried a short report on the recent forum RECONSTRUCTION IRAQ: Contracting To Restore Critical Infrastructure hosted by the King Publishing Group in Washington this week. Speaker Richard Perle of the Defense Policy Board had his usual pearls of wisdom to share:
There will be a natural disinclination to reward a company from a country which opposed the liberation of Iraq.
So if your company is in one of 142 countries that did not sign on as part of the Coalition of the Willing does that mean you're just out of luck? Of course, Perle has no authority in making contract decisions but he can say whatever he wants as a "private citizen" and find his words printed in papers around the globe.

Perle is also pushing for erasing Iraq's debt although one assumes only in retaliation for France and Russia's UN Security Council vetoes, which were never used in the build up to war. Perle often looks for an opportunity to openly criticize France. He must have taken the veto threats personally but not personally enough to sell his house in southern France.

We're not sure what this means.
The top U.S. civil administrator in Iraq announced a program today aimed at dealing with rampant unemployment by spending $100 million in Iraqi funds to hire Iraqis to rebuild the shattered infrastructure.
The article says the funds will come from the "Iraqi Central Bank as well as Iraqi funds seized by the United States and its allies" Whose money exactly is in the Iraqi Central Bank? Is it part of the $900 million dollars that has been found in Iraq that has now been placed in the Iraqi Central Bank? As our readers know, bpost does not like it when the administration is ambiguous or vague about numbers. We will be looking for further clarification from the State Department.

Washington Times reports that a small translation company is under contract with the Pentagon.
LLE, formerly known as Language Learning Enterprise, won a $30,000 contract in October to teach Arabic to Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., who later deployed to Iraq. The program evolved into a $200,000 contract this year, with federal officials expressing "interest" in sending some of LLE's 15 full-time interpreters to Iraq, Ms. Diamond said.
Company Language Learning Enterprise
Award $30,000
Agency USMC
Date of RFP
Date of Award October 2002
Nature of work To teach Arabic refresher courses to Marine linguists at Camp Lejeune, N.C., who later deployed to Iraq

Company Language Learning Enterprise
Award $200,000
Agency Department of Defense
Date of RFP
Date of Award 2003
Nature of work To send 15 full-time interpreters to Iraq

Wednesday, June 11


It does not matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green or Libertarian. Voting and how your vote is counted in the next election may not be to your liking.

Voter Registration

A postcard informing you of your place of voting is not an indication that you are registered. In the Presidential election of 2000, 94,000 people were purged from the voter rolls in Florida as convicted felons who had lost their right to vote. Of those, only 3,000 were justified. 91,000 voters were denied their civil rights to participate in the election and cast their ballot. So contact your local board of elections and be sure you are registered to vote.

While a subscription is required, Salon has an article by investigative reporter Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, that goes into detail on voting irregularities in Florida during the 2000 election. The first chapter in pdf of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is also available on-line.

Electronic Voting Machines

Electronic voting machines in their current form have no paper trail to audit in the event of a recount or voting irregularity. In other words, there is no way to verify that your vote was cast, counted, and the candidate you chose was reported. Sure the screen can say your vote was tabulated, but was it? How will you know?
Kim Alexander of the Cal-Voter Foundation in her editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune (October 20, 2002), "It seems reckless to experiment with paperless voting transactions in the one transaction that is most integral to living in a democracy. Few people would use ATMs if the content of their transaction was secret from their bank and there was no paper trail verifying the transaction. Yet this is exactly what we are asking voters to do with paperless touchscreen voting systems."
Electronic voting machines are commercial products developed for profit by companies. Companies have investors. In the case of one company, Election Systems & Software (called American Information Systems until name change filed in 1997), Senator Chuck Hagle (R-NE) was the former owner, Chairman and CEO and continues to have a 25% investment in the company. The system was used in his own state during 1996 and 2002 elections. When his opponent in the last election lost and asked for a recount, state legislation forbid a manual count of the ballots. Recounts were mandated to rely solely on the very machine count his opponent had found objectionable to begin with.

Recently, a group of software professionals have come out in opposition to electronic voting that cannot be verified on paper. CalVoter has been closely following the developments and includes a list of the various machines and manufacturers currently in use through out the state of California. Other states are watching California decision making on which technology to use. The result is likely to have consequences nationally.

Bev Harris at has been following electronic voting machines. Be sure to visit the site and educate yourself.

Paper Trail

Avante has produced the first voter-verifiable touch-screen voting machine, called Vote-Trakker.
After the voter makes their selections on the touch screen, they press the "Cast Ballot" button. A printout of their choices appears under a protective viewing window. The voter then can review the paper. They will see their selections for each contest. Also on the top they will see a header that contains a randomly generated number that does not tie the vote to their identity. Once the voter leaves the voting machine, a presence sensor sends a signal to the printer to retract the paper record into the voting machine. There is no intervention required by a poll worker.
Sounds great. Is great. But would you believe there is opposition?

You can read more about Vote-Trakker at their website including their rebuttal to criticism.


Congressman Rush D. Holt (D-NJ) has introduced legislation to address the concerns of the 'integrity of future elections' by introducing reform legislation, HR2239 The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003.
The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record by 2004 that voters can view to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a 'voter-verified paper trail.'
To view the text of the bill visit:
Enter HR2239 in the box after Bill Number.

Consider contacting your representative and asking them to co-sponsor HR2239.

To find your representative visit:

To write to your representative visit:


An extensive list of articles and links related to election reform has been compiled at Failure is Impossible.

Information on California's election reform has been compiled at Cal Voter.

Tuesday, June 10

war and money

The inspector general of the USAID has concluded that the agency did not comply with federal regulations in awarding one contract for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The agency also did not adequately document the procurement process. Gee. We could have told them that and we're not even lawyers.
In its report, the inspector general reported that AID procurement officers had not documented the methods used to narrow the list of potential contractors. Some of the officers told the inspector general that the procurement office did not conduct any research into potential contractors but had chosen the five potential bidders based on “institutional knowledge” built up over years working with educational development contractors. But the AID inspector general took issue with the procurement officials’ reasoning, arguing that federal regulations require the agency to conduct market research and that “expecting that this process be documented and clearly explained is reasonable.”

The IG also criticized AID for inviting a representative from Creative Associates to a November 2002 roundtable discussion with AID personnel and outside academics to share information and discuss the current state of the Iraqi educational system. None of the other solicited bidders were invited to participate in the roundtable discussion.
A collaborative report Bechtel: Profitting on Destruction was recently issued on June 5, by CorpWatch, Global Exchange, and Public Citizen. You can view the report online or download the pdf. It's long by the way.
This report provides case studies from Bechtel's history of operating in the water, nuclear, energy and public works sectors. These case studies reveal a legacy of unsustainable and destructive practices that have reaped permanent human, environmental and community devastation around the globe. Letters from "Bechtel affected communities" included here provide first-hand descriptions of these impacts, from Bolivia to Native American lands in Nevada. The report reveals a 100-year history spent capitalizing on the most brutal technologies, reaping immense profits and ignoring the social and environmental costs.

With Bechtel's new contract in Iraq, the opportunity for expansion throughout the region would be further advanced by a recently announced Bush Administration plan for a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013. Bechtel even had a role in this, with Riley P. Bechtel, the chairman and CEO, appointed in February to the President's Export Council - President Bush's advisory committee on international trade. Such an agreement would make the corporate invasion of the entire region a reality, and Bechtel, as usual, would be in the lead.
Back in August of 1997, the Nation published an article Privatizing War How affairs of state are outsourced to corporations beyond public control written by Ken Silverstein. While some of the information is now out of date, for instance Vinnell is no longer owned by Carlyle, it would be a good idea to re-read the original.
The history of American foreign and military policy abounds with deception and scandal, with shadowy actors, monied interests and efforts to keep the public out of what are properly public decisions. Now those efforts have taken an unprecedented turn in scale and degree. Privatization, the process by which the responsibilities of government are transferred to unaccountable corporate hands, now occupies the halls of warmaking.
We recommend the article in the Nation because of a reference to MacDill and its possible bearing on today's news. General (Ret) Peter J. Schoomaker was the Commander of US Special Operations Command at MacDill from late 1997 to October of 2000. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has selected Schoomaker to become the next Army chief of staff.

Security may still be lacking in Iraq and the US military haven't found any weapons of mass destruction but by God, they've got Burger King there now.

Sunday, June 8

odds & ends

New blogger in Baghdad named G. Salam Pax at Where is Raed? posted the link.

Another forum coming up

Global Trade Network is hosting an invitation only forum on reconstruction in Iraq on June 17th at the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC. Reconstruction of Iraq: bringing the Global Community Together Deloitte & Touche, Patton Boggs, The National Association of manufacturers, Halliburton/KBR and other organizations will be participating. For info contact:

Bechtel awarded two subcontracts to Saudi companies Al-Tamimi Global Company and National Catering Company for housing and catering.

National Industries for the Severely Handicapped are providing dried milk under contract to the USDA for distribution in Iraq.

And the news is filled with claims and counter-claims and a resolution on an intelligence failure in Iraq. If true, that brings the total to two: September 11 and Iraq. Does anyone really want to wait for a third?

who else is tracking info on Iraq

There is no one comprehensive web site (that we are yet aware of) that is tracking all of the post-war Iraq contracts and relief efforts being paid for by the US taxpayer. Unfortunately, that includes the US government whose information is spread out over many of their sites. There are, however, a number of blogs and websites following selected and related information.

In addition to the pay subscription newsletters posted earlier on June 2, below is a list of some of the resources we have come across. If you know of others, please email us at

Academic Info Studies on Post war-Iraq
Links to useful documents on Iraq.

News log

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Iraq: before, during and after the war.

Center for Contemporary Conflict
Naval post-graduate school - papers on post-war Iraq

Center for Cooperative Research
Timelines and relationships of companies and players

Citizen Works
Information on war profiteering

Corp Watch
Follows accountability of companies - search by company

Department of Defense - Defense Link
Daily updates on DoD contract awards over $5 million

Development Gateway
Information on development opportunities

Ethical Corporation On Line
Search by company name

Global Policy Forum
Iraq: before, during and after the war.

Global Security
Looks at non-proliferation issues

Iraq Democracy Watch
Events of concern to democracy in Iraq

Jubilee Iraq
Information on Iraq debt

Major Barbara
Blogger following the news on Halliburton

Open Secrets
Campaign contributions and contracts

Washington File - State Department
Announcements of USAID contracts and information

Elected officials following events in Iraq

Representative Henry Waxman
Outspoken critic of no-bid contracts

Senator Robert C. Byrd
Outspoken critic of Iraq War

Representative Dennis Kucinich

Friday, June 6

how odd

Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle will be one of the presenters at the upcoming conference RECONSTRUCTION IRAQ: Contracting To Restore Critical Infrastructure focusing on the restoration of Iraq's critical infrastructure and utilities-electric power, oil, gas, and telecommunications-transportation, water, and other economic foundations. The announcement resembles closely a zen koan paradox.
Dr. Richard Perle, a leading architect of the recent war in Iraq, will present an overview of U.S. policy respecting Iraq's reconstruction at a Washington conference next week.
Perle is an architect of war, planning the constructs of the destruction of construction, and at the same time he constructs the re-construction of the destruction. Perhaps they should have written the announcement as a limerick.

The conference is being hosted by King Publishing Group and will take place at the Cafritz Convention Center, George Washington University, 800 21st Street NW, 3rd floor June 11-12.

Information on the conference is available at

at least it's public

USAID has posted a synopsis for a $40 million dollar contract to "expand agriculture productivity, rehabilitate key agroecosystems, and restore the capacity of rural agroenterprise to produce, process, and market agricultural goods and services." It will be interesting to see which US federally subsidized agri-business gets the contract and if genetically engineered agricultural crops will play a key role in the decision.

USAID also posted a $30 million dollar grant to "establish partnerships between U.S and Iraqi colleges and universities to invigorate and modernize Iraq’s institutions of higher education" The partners will be up to 6 American schools (and/or consortiums) and their Iraqi counterparts. Harvard, Yale, Texas?

Perhaps we are too cynical today.

Thursday, June 5

five people

Douglas Feith
Judith Miller
Laurie Mylroie
Richard Perle
Paul Wolfowitz

Five names you really should know. But how do they connect to each other? Two work for the Department of Defense. Two are known authors. Two have personal contact with Ahmad Chalabi. Three share the same agent. But it appears that all of them have had a vested interest in Iraq.

Brian Whitaker for the Guardian

Jack Shafer for Slate Part I

Jack Shafer for Slate Part II

Federal News Service

Walter Pincus and Dana Priest for the Washington Post

Wednesday, June 4

you can't bid

The U.S. Agency for International Development will be conducting a limited competition to award a contract for the Economic Recovery, Reform, and Sustained Growth in Iraq.
The firms invited to bid on this effort are Abt Asociates; Bearing Point; Booz Allen, Hamilton; Carana Corporation; Chemonics; Deloitte Touche; Development Alternatives Inc.; Financial Markets International; IBM Business Consulting Services; and Nathan Associates. This notice is for informational purposes only.
No word on how much the contract is worth although USAID mention the Statement of Work will be available for viewing at their website on June 9th. Anyone else offended that once again the pre-solicitation list is filled with corporate insiders one of which is under investigation by the SEC? Ok. Innocent until proven guilty. But....James Woolsey of the Defense Policy Board had been the vice president of Booz, Allen, Hamilton. If BAH gets the contract, that will make three Defense Policy Board members with connections to firms who have directly profited from the war. (Sheehan and Shultz of Bechtel being the other two.) "That ain't right" as Chris Rock says.

Major Barbara is keeping up the heat on Halliburton over on her blog, Arms and the Man.

Black Enterprise ran a short article on the difficulties facing small businesses who hope to secure work thru government contracts. Includes useful links for small businesses.
One of the main reasons that smaller companies are having a difficult time getting contracts is because the government is increasingly bundling them, says Courtland Cox, a consultant on small business issues with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Contract bundling occurs when an agency consolidates two or more contracts into a single contract when they are renewed.

In the past, contracts as small as $100,000 were given to individuals. But over the last decade, in an attempt to increase efficiencies, contract sizes have been regularly increasing, which prevents smaller business owners from participating. Smaller companies used to work with contract officers to gain access. But the decline in the use of contract officers has left many minority business owners out of the loop.
Florida today reports that an exiled Iraqi Kurd, Rubar Sandi, is the President of the US- Iraq Business Council. USIBC will be holding a seminar in Washington on Iraqi reconstruction in July. Representatives of USAID, the United Nations and other agencies are scheduled to be present. At the rate at which contracts are being awarded, July seems to be a little late.

Bechtel swears it's going to be giving the bulk of it's subcontracts, around 75%, to Iraqi firms Bechtel backed it up by giving Al-Bunnia Trading Company a contract for minor bridge and overpass repairs.

That's cold comfort to the thousands of foreign firms who participated in Bechtel's conferences held in Washington, London, and Kuwait.

Quote of the day:
"Look, the primarily difference -- to put it a little too simply -- between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq. The problems in both cases have some similarities but the solutions have got to be tailored to the circumstances which are very different." - Paul Wolfowitz.
All that oil and still no weapons of mass destruction.

Monday, June 2

how to find work in iraq

Since compiling our initial list of reconstruction contracts in Iraq, we have received inquiries on how to find information on job and business opportunities in Iraq. A common complaint is how difficult it is to find out where to start. Unfortunately, the US Govt has not made it as simple as they could have by posting all of the relevant information on one web site.

As a courtesy for those looking, below is a list of some of the links that might prove helpful for researching information. Visit the websites for more details before calling or sending an email. Please be sure to read all of the related restrictions and requirements posted at these sites.

Disclaimer: The information was collected from sources on the web as of June 1, 2003. We make no warranty that the information provided is correct, complete, or up to date. This does not represent an endorsement of any of the groups or individuals listed.

General Information:

Iraq Reconstruction Task Force within the International Trade Administration
(866) 352-IRAQ (4727)

Defense Procurement Policy and Acquisition

Information on US Govt Iraq Reconstruction Contracts:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) website
For a list of prime contractors:

Department of Defense (DOD) Army Corps of Engineers
Contractors interested in work related to Iraqi oil facilities should contact the DoD contractor hotline 866-461-5171

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

U.S. Department of State (DOS)

All inquiries or information regarding capabilities should be sent to

For a list of services and supplies to be imported to Iraq by sector:

Additional Agencies for information on commercial opportunities in Iraq:

U.S. Department of Commerce -- Bureau of Industry and Security

U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Department of the Treasury -- Office of Foreign Asset Control

Information related to the repair of the Iraqi oil infrastructure:

Synopses and solicitations will be posted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Southwestern Division (SWD), at the Federal Business Opportunities website - click Vendors

The Point of Contact (POC) in SWD is the Director of Contracting

Information about this mission is available at the Corps of Engineers website:

Information about subcontracting opportunities with the current prime contractor (BRS) can be obtained by contacting the contractor's point of contact

Information on commercial opportunities with Halliburton/KBR:

Halliburton/KBR - general info

Employment Contact
(p) 800.888.7668
ext. 8005

Supplier/Procurement Contact
Dave Ireland

Supplier Diversity Contact
Linda Holloway

Information on commercial opportunities with Bechtel:

Bechtel's Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Program

For a list of Bechtel subcontractors:

Interested suppliers and contractors should access Bechtel's global supplier and contractor data base

For employment with Bechtel, as an individual, send your resume/CV and a cover letter using the following phrase: "Reference: Iraq," to the following e-mail address:

For reconstruction work with Bechtel in Iraq, please forward resume/CV and a cover letter and use the following phrase: "Reference: Iraq," to the following e-mail address:


Iraq Business Reporter
weekly $50 week Free copies of the first four published issues

Iraq Reconstruction Report
bi-monthly publication by World Trade Executive $1495 year

Iraq Reconstruction Reporter

Information on humanitarian assistance in Iraq:

List of NGO's working in Iraq (you will need to research contact info)

For humanitarian work with Bechtel in Iraq, please forward resume/CV and a cover letter and use the following phrase: "Reference: Iraq," to the following e-mail address:


Gulf Job Sites
Employment opportunities in the Gulf. Sporadically reports jobs.

Job listings have also been posted on sites like and in the want ads of newspapers. Try "Middle East" and/or "Iraq" when searching on-line job sites.

Google of "Jobs" "Iraq" brought up quite a few listings. Also try "Employment" "Iraq"


We wish everyone success in their search for work and/or business opportunities.

Sunday, June 1

tech stuff

We are experiencing a little archive technical difficulty. They come, they go, they come back again.

If you are looking for the original April 19th post on reconstruciton contracts its here You can also search us on google. Type in the search field:

blogiston "month day"

For instance, blogiston "April 19" would bring up original post.

Bpost has been posting updated information on contracts more or less on a daily basis since the April 19th. Sorry for the inconvenience. We know its a drag. Hopefully it will clear up soon. Email us if you need any assistance.

intelligence matters

In recent days, critics of intelligence gathering that lead to an invasion of Iraq increased exponentially. Whether this news will reach middle America on CNN remains to be seen.

In early May, the New Yorker carried an expose Selective Intelligence by Seymour Hersh about the Office of Special Plans. OSP was created for gathering and analyzing intelligence that supported a War in Iraq. While the Hersh article went into great detail on Straussian philosophy used to assess intelligence, it is where the intelligence came from that is disturbing.

The intelligence on Iraq did not come out of the CIA or the DIA or any of the other members of the established Intelligence Community. The intelligence came out of the Policy formation branch of the Department of Defense.

The unusual ladder in descending order by which Iraq intelligence reached the President was:
President George W. Bush
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Deputy Secretary of Defense is Paul Wolfowitz
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter W. Rodman.
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense in charge of Special Plans and Near East and South Asia Dr. William J. Luti
Director of the Office of Special Plans Abram Shulsky and 3 assistants
Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress
Informants and varied sources
If you were looking for or expecting the CIA, you would be looking for a different ladder.

News Hour

Margaret Warner on News Hour recently held a discussion with two members of Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board.

James Schlesinger, former secretary of defense and CIA director during the Nixon and Ford administrations and Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

Joining Schlesinger and Perle were Judith Yaphe, a 20-year CIA analyst who specialized in the Middle East, now a senior research fellow at the National Defense University in Washington and David Albright, who worked with U.N. inspectors on Iraq in the mid '90s, now president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.
MARGARET WARNER: But are you saying then though that you do think that perhaps the consumers of the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction misread it -- or were too quick to connect the dots in a way that they wanted to connect, whether consciously or unconsciously?

JAMES SCHLESINGER: I think that Secretary Wolfowitz had it right. There were bureaucratic reasons that they centered down on weapons of mass destruction as the only common reason for going ahead. But there were more powerful reasons to go ahead. If one thinks back to 9/11 and thinks in what shape the United States was at that time, we have repaired our relations with Russia and China, and we have scored two decisive victories in the Middle East that have made a major impression in the region. Those are powerful reasons to go ahead, and one should not focus exclusively on weapons of mass destruction.

JUDITH YAPHE: There are a couple of misconceptions here. One is that intelligence shapes policy. It doesn't. The second one is that policy uses intelligence. That doesn't happen either. So you can have the best, most accurate intelligence available, but the people who are in charge of the government, the president, the National Security Council, the advisers, they have to decide if they want to use it or not, believe it or not or discard it.
New York Times

Nicholas Kristof chimes in with Save Our Spooks in the New York Times.
On Day 71 of the Hunt for Iraqi W.M.D., yesterday, once again nothing turned up.

Maybe we'll do better on Day 72. But we might have better luck searching for something just as alarming: the growing evidence that the administration grossly manipulated intelligence about those weapons of mass destruction in the run up to the Iraq war.
All Things Considered

All Things Considered on NPR aired a very short interview with former CIA analyst, Larry Johnson. NPR's Michele Norris talks with Larry Johnson about Nicholas Kristof's New York Times article "Save Our Spooks." Kristof writes the Department of Defense deliberately skewed the facts to convince the Bush administration to go to war with Iraq. Larry Johnson says he believes the people behind this represent a "clear and present danger" to America.

NPR Click on the icon to hear the broadcast (requires RealOne Player)


Across both ponds, things are not going so well. Tony Blair and John Howard are facing strong criticism for what their countries perceive as intelligence failures. Failure may be too kind a word as some of the press accuses their leaders of promoting outright lies.

The Independent

In the UK, Paul Waugh of The Independent weighs in:
A senior minister warned yesterday that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would constitute 'Britain's biggest ever intelligence failure' and would trigger an overhaul of the security services.

The minister told The Independent that the security services were responsible for Downing Street's uncompromising stance on Saddam Hussein's weapons. He spoke after a row erupted between politicians and the intelligence community over the Government's justification for going to war.

A senior intelligence official also told the BBC that Downing Street had wanted the Government dossier outlining Saddam's capability 'sexed up' and that Downing Street included information against security service advice.
Waugh's colleague at the Independent, Glen Rangwala, pens a pre-quel on early intelligence reports with The lies that led us into war ...
There is no UN report after 1994 that claims that Iraq continued to possess weapons of mass destruction. This was well known in intelligence circles. That such a claim could appear in a purported intelligence document is a clear sign that the information was "pumped up" for political purposes, to support the case for an invasion.
The Guardian

Based on reports of a classified document called the Waldorf Transcript, the Guardian writes that Powell and Straw knew all along the intelligence was shaky.
Mr Powell told the foreign secretary [Straw] he hoped the facts, when they came out, would not "explode in their faces".

What are called the "Waldorf transcripts" are being circulated in Nato diplomatic circles. It is not being revealed how the transcripts came to be made; however, they appear to have been leaked by diplomats who supported the war against Iraq even when the evidence about Saddam Hussein's programme of weapons of mass destruction was fuzzy, and who now believe they were lied to.
Sydney Morning Herald

Heading west, Australia's Sydney Morning Herald has an article by Andrew Wilkie, a former analyst at the Office of National Assessments who resigned in protest at the Federal Government's actions over the Iraq war.
Another big concern is the dumbing-down and politicisation of Australia's intelligence. Most junior analysts try to offer frank and fearless advice. But the process is flawed. It involves so many layers of politically astute managers that the final result is often a report so bland as to be virtually worthless, or skewed ever so subtly towards the Government's preferred line. Better that, management would argue, than a brave report prepared in good faith that contradicts Government thinking or is likely to prove wrong over time.

Not that leaving the sharp edges on the intelligence reports would make much difference if a government chooses to believe only what it wants to believe and selects from the intelligence only what best suits its political purposes. The Federal Government pays much more attention to the mush of politicians' and advisers' views, public opinion and media commentary. And it applies a good dose of pro-US sycophancy. The result can be a fine compost indeed, as this whole Iraq business has proven.
The Australian

The Australian reports that everyone wants the intelligence investigated and published.
Pressure is mounting on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush to publish the evidence on weapons of mass destruction they used to justify the war on Iraq.

The US Congress will investigate the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein held massive stockpiles of illegal weapons, while scores of British MPs have backed a motion demanding their government justify its case.


A former director of Middle East analysis at the Defence Intelligence Agency, Patrick Lang, said this month that the Office of Special Plans "started picking out things that supported their thesis and stringing them into arguments that they could use with the President".

"It's not intelligence. It's political propaganda," he said.
Policy to Blame

When a CIA spokesman was contacted by the AFP in April to comment on criticism that had begun to surface, Tim Crispell replied:
"They're criticizing policy, not intelligence."
What the AFP did not realize in transcribing the statement is it should have read: "They're criticizing Policy, not Intelligence."