The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Sunday, May 30

amazing un-grace

Did you know that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has a Gift Catalog?
Help BGEA host large overseas rallies and
take the hope of Jesus Christ to the ends of
the earth.
Suggested Gift $65
Franklin Graham got into a bit of trouble for his views of Islam. His father should know better than to use the word crusade, particularly after President Bush's use of the word ignited international criticism.
Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham and a far more influential figure in the evangelical Christian community than Jerry Falwell or even Pat Robertson. Graham is viewed as the torch-carrier for his father, who is still among the most beloved figures in American Christianity. Moreover, the Graham family is close to Bush. Billy Graham led Bush to Christianity in the 1980s; Franklin Graham delivered the invocation at his presidential inauguration.

In addition to being publicly allied with the Bush administration, Graham also happens to be stridently anti-Islam. His list of anti-Islam comments is long; his most succinct was that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion."
President Bush has an interview in Christianity Today that is well...revealling.

Bush Calls for 'Culture Change'
BUSH: So the faith-based initiative recognizes that there is an army of compassion that needs to be nurtured, rallied, called forth, and funded, without causing the army to have to lose the reason it's an army in the first place.
That sounds an awful lot like a chorus led rallying cry of Onward Christian Soldiers. Which only begs the question of how much 'Culture Change' is he really talking about.
BUSH: At home, the job of a president is to help cultures change. The culture needs to be changed.
Change should begin at home. So what the heck is the US doing in Iraq?
BUSH: But I'm the kind of person who doesn't change. The best thing I can do is to be myself so that when I finish my job here I will say I was comfortable with who the world saw.
Nice he'll be comfortable with who the world saw but the Presidency isn't just one big four year-long photo op. But then, maybe he thinks it is, which would explain alot about his particular Presidency and his fetish for costumes. The Knights Templar is sure to be one of his favorites. Very Shrek and Lord of the Rings and all. Franklin Graham would dig it, crusader that he is.
This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile.
Pretty clear there what Bush meant then, looks like he still means it now. Since change begins at home, one can only hope regime change in November will be coming to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

(I hope the Queen checked her knights-in-armor collection before he left the palace.)

Saturday, May 29

obit for the grey lady

The Grey Lady, a noted pioneer of American journalism, died after a long struggle with fascism on December 12, 2000 at her home in New York, New York.

The Grey Lady was born September 18, 1851 in New York City, the daughter of Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones. She was an early supporter of the Republican party carrying a large black border on the day of Lincoln's death. Disgusted with the scandals in the Grant Administration, George Jones, moved his daughter the Grey Lady away from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

In 1896, Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The Chattanooga Times, married the Grey Lady. "All the News That's Fit to Print," coined by Ochs himself became her personal motto. On December 1, 1897 the Grey Lady was formally crowned The New York Times. In 1918, she won her first Pulitzer Prize for public service in publishing the texts of dozens of official reports, documents and speeches about World War I.

On January 20, 1981 the Grey Lady moved back to the Republican party of her youth. She ignored the innauguration of Democratic President Clinton in her most recent autobiography preferring to highlight the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in. In 2000, after 8 years of peace and prosperity, she rediscovered war. September 11, 2001 changed everything. After a brief second marriage to the former Republican party, she was diagnosed with terminal fascism. She died with a broken masthead at home in her sleep.

The Grey Lady is survived by several cousins, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, the Village Voice, the New York Press, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Observer as well as numerous second and third cousins all of whom still reside in the greater New York metropolitan area.

Friday, May 28

harsh words

Abbas Kadhim *Calling It Like It Is*
The final phase of re-Ba'athification: Iyad Allawi is the strongest candidate for the post of Iraqi Prime Minister (or Prime Monster).

For those who don't know, according to the memoir of Talib Shibib, Iyad Allawi began his political life around 1963, as an assassin. We all know that he worked closely with British intelligence until the collapse of Saddam. The search of politicians in today's Iraq seems to be nastier than going through trash cans.
Abbas Kadhim is an Iraqi doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley.

Thursday, May 27

like no one would notice

Iraq arms contract misses deadline
None of the bidders competing for an already-delayed contract awarded this week to equip the new Iraqi army were able to meet the schedule set by U.S. military officials, according to a U.S. Army contracting document.

ANHAM Joint Venture of Vienna, which the Army on Tuesday announced won the contract with a bid of $259 million, is a reconstituted version of the group of companies that won the first round of bidding in January only to see the award cancelled and the contract rebid because of complaints about the bidding process.


ANHAM is only slightly different from Nour USA Ltd., which led the group that first won the contract. It is made up of American International Services/Uni Trans of Reston; Nour; HAIFinance Corp. of Tyson's Corner; Arab Supply and Trading Co. (ASTRA), of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Munis Sukhtian Group of Amman, Jordan. Astra was not originally part of the Nour-led group.

A key ANHAM official, A. Huda Farouki, is a longtime friend of Ahmed Chalabi, the former Pentagon informant and Iraqi National Congress official whose offices were searched for evidence of espionage last week.

Tuesday, May 25

a new direction needed

On May 5, 2004, The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, released a report, Iraq: A Strategy for Progress (PDF). The New York Times today endorsed the report on its Editorial page.

The President's Speech
A good start, first put forward by the Center for American Progress in Washington, is to go much further in internationalizing the next phase of the Iraq operation.
After seeing the speech by President Bush last night (blah blah blah new prison blah blah blah), it's obvious no one in the White House has read it. Maybe if an intern at the Heritage Foundation had been the author, the administration would have given it a glance.

Monday, May 24

budget woes

Back in April, the Open Society Institute’s Iraq Revenue Watch project published a report. In conjunction with a recent article in the Washington Post, the source of the problems becomes clearer. Why such incompetence? Is it really so much more preferable to have politically connected players than it is to have people who are qualified? What an embarrassment.

Financial Planning for Iraq Unsound, New Report Finds
Ahead of a deadline for the transfer of power, the Coalition Provisional Authority’s reporting of Iraqi finances falls short of international standards of accounting and transparency, said a report by the Open Society Institute’s Iraq Revenue Watch project. The report, Opening the Books: Transparent Budgeting for Iraq --- PDF, urges the CPA and the Iraqi Governing Council to make further improvements in accordance with these standards before a new Iraqi government is elected in 2005.


Iraq’s 2004 budget, produced by the CPA and Iraq’s Ministries of Finance and Planning, is the country’s first full-year financial plan since Saddam Hussein’s removal. However, it lacks key information about state-owned enterprises, financing for sub-national governments, and contingencies that pose significant risks to Iraq’s public purse. There is no contingency planning for what Iraq will do if oil prices fall or exports are disrupted, if hostilities resume, or foreign aid fails to materialize.
In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime
Managing a $13 Billion Budget With No Experience
In short order, six of the new young hires found themselves managing the country's $13 billion budget, making decisions affecting millions of Iraqis. [...] But they were also involved in higher-level policy decisions -- revising the 2004 budget, shifting around money as priorities changed and formulating plans for replacing the food baskets Iraqi families got each month with cash payments.
What was the White House thinking?

Saturday, May 22

gao report

We finally found the GAO report:
State Department: Issues Affecting Funding of Iraqi National Congress Support Foundation. GAO-04-559, April 30. Highlights (both are PDF files)
Web page for report:
Note: See pages 8 & 9 of report (PDF) for a break down of the funding.

The numbers do not match what was being publicly reported in statements by the State Department or the DoD.

Now can we see a GAO report on ALL spending for Iraq?

Friday, May 21

money and chalabi

This won't mean much to readers but we at bpost have been looking for more info on $33 million in Iraqi National Congess funding* for over a year. This specific funding was first mentioned by Chalabi in an article in the UK Telegraph but never corroborated in any public statements on INC funding. What is still a mystery is State supposedly cut off funding in August of 2002 and the Department of Defense picked it up from there. Yet, the following article in the Washington Post implies the funding from the State Department continued.

Chalabi Aides Suspected of Spying for Iran
On Thursday, Iraqi police, backed by U.S. soldiers, raided [Ahmed] Chalabi's home and the offices of the Iraqi National Congress [INC], a coalition of parties that opposed the government of Saddam Hussein. Until recently, the group received $335,000 a month from the Pentagon for help in gathering prewar intelligence about Hussein's government and in finding his top lieutenants after the invasion.


In interviews Friday, INC members, senior officers of the Iraqi police force and U.S. officials outlined three distinct investigations into the INC, which in addition to Defense Department funding received $33 million from the State Department over the past four years.


Brooke, the INC adviser, said the raids were likely related in part to the investigation of Sabah Nouri, a German national whom Chalabi picked to be the Iraqi Finance Ministry's anti-corruption officer. Nouri was arrested in April after auditors discovered a $22 million shortfall in the program overseeing Iraq's transition to a new currency this year. Brooke called him "a low-level" INC official.
As you may have already heard, the monthly funds of $335,000 a month to the INC have been cut off. We may never really know just how much money was funnelled to the INC or what it was used for. There is a little clarification on funding after October 2002.
In October 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency took over a State Department program that paid the INC $335,000 a month to gather intelligence.
* see this link for a rough break down on the history of INC funding.

Can we just ask why no one in the mainstream media pursued an in-depth story on recent funding of the Iraqi National Congress?

more iraqi blogs

Time to update the Iraqi blogger list. Lots to explore. "Raed in the Middle" is the same Raed who is Salam Pax's writing partner (otherwise known as the Baghdad Blogger).

  • Baghdad Burning

  • Is Something Burning? Cooking

  • Dear Raed aka Salam Pax

  • Raed in the middle

  • G in Baghdad

  • Ishtar talking

  • The Mesopotamian

  • Iraq at a glance

  • Hammorabi

  • Nabil's blog

  • Baghdadee

  • Live from Dallas

  • Iraq the model

  • Iraq and Iraqis

  • A Family in Baghdad

  • Road of a nation

  • Ihath - Losing myself

  • Sun of Iraq

  • Tell me a secret

  • Kurdo's world

  • Iraqi spirit

  • The Iraqi Agora

  • Shlonkom Bakazay?

  • Me vs MysElf

  • A Family in Iraq (Arabic/English)

  • Faiz Teaches You Arabic

  • Pictures in Baghdad

  • Iraq Dispatches

  • Healing Iraq

  • new blog

    New blog in Iraq:Iraq Dispatches. The blogger's name is Dahr Jamail.

    His blog was linked at Iraq Occupation Watch which is also worth a visit.

    Thursday, May 20

    conflict of interests or just tacky?

    Some of what we'll be posting will be dated but thems the breaks.

    Rumsfeld Names Panel to Probe Iraq Prison Abuse
    Rumsfeld told reporters after daylong congressional hearings on the abuse controversy that former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, former Rep. Tillie Fowler of Florida and retired Air Force Gen. Charles Horner had agreed to take part in the 45-day review.

    All are members of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board (DPB), a group of experts who provide advice to the secretary and other senior department officials on policy.
    Conflict of interest? Under the investigation of former DPB member and chair Richard Perle last year, it was determined that he had less than 8 days of service to the DPB therefore, no conflict of interest with his outside business interests and his work with the DPB. But now a 45-day review falls well outside that acceptable limit.

    Tillie Fowler's law firm is currently advising Presdient Bush's brother, Governor Jeb Bush, on how to avoid military base closures in Florida. Tillie Fowler is the current Chair of the DPB. Gee. What a coinky dink. Think she'll be objective?

    Meanwhile, Charles Horner is another Scoop Jackson protege as was Richard Perle who spent 11 years in Jackson's office. Perle met Rumsfeld's current Deputy Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, when they both interivewed together with Jackson. Douglas Feith at the Department of Defense in Policy was in turn a protege of Perle. Ahhhh. How sweet. Think Horner can remain objective?

    Is James Schlesinger still an advisor to defense contractor Shaw Group?
    The Shaw Group Inc. is the world's only vertically-integrated provider of comprehensive engineering, procurement, pipe fabrication, construction and maintenance services to the power, process and environmental & infrastructure sectors.
    Shaw Group opened an office in Iraq and recently won a contract:
    The Shaw Group Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, Shaw Environmental, Inc., was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville to perform conventional and recovered chemical warfare materiel (RCWM) munitions response and other munitions related services. Shaw is one of seven companies selected under this contract which has a first year shared capacity of $525 million. An estimated 75% of the work may be in support of the Army's Iraq operations.

    Shaw Environmental, Inc. is the prime contractor in a teaming arrangement that includes American Technologies, Inc. (ATI), a small disadvantaged business, Readiness Management Support LC (RMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls, The Al-Khudhairy Group of Iraq, and the Armor Group.

    The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract has a five-year ordering period.
    No mention of full cost of contract. 1/7 of $2.5 billion? ($525 million x 5 years) Think Schlesinger will be objective?

    The intertwined relationships of the people in and around this White House border on incestous. Get out and meet some new people for God's sake.

    Wednesday, May 19

    job description

    By now you've read about the prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. So when we stumbled on this recent job listing for an Interrogator/Intel Analyst Team Lead Asst for CACI in Iraq we were a bit stunned to see "under minimal supervision" in the job description. The listing was posted at Security Clearance Jobs on March 22, 2004.

    Interrogator/Intel Analyst Team Lead Asst.
    Assists the interrogation support program team lead to increase the effectiveness of dealing with Detainees, Persons of Interest, and Prisoners of War (POWs) that are in the custody of US/Coalition Forces in the CJTF 7 AOR, in terms of screening, interrogation, and debriefing of persons of intelligence value. Under minimal supervision, will assist the team lead in managing a multifaceted interrogation support cell consisting of database entry/intelligence research clerks, screeners, tactical/strategic interrogators, and intelligence analyst.
    See more listings at Security Clearance Jobs

    There is an interesting statement posted at CACI.
    Dr. J.P. (Jack) London, CACI Chairman, President and CEO said, "The testimony provided by the Secretary of the Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and the Central Command Deputy Commander has cleared up an important point: As stated, CACI employees are monitored and are under the supervision of U.S. Army personnel. This was exactly as set forth in CACI’s services contract with the U.S. Military, and CACI has carried out this role as stated."
    Who is in charge? Y'all get the feeling no one is minding the store, or in this case, prison?

    Now we're not saying that CACI is in anyway directly responsible or even particpated in the abuse of prisoners. But it is clear from what has been reported on the prisoner abuse to date that there was a massive breakdown in order and accountability.

    We shouldn't be surprised. We should have seen it coming. Looking back at the past year in Iraq, chaos and deceit have been the prevailing pattern. Nothing has been honest about this war. Not one single thing. The turkey at Thanksgiving was a fake for crying out loud. Wmd's? A ten year old child knows the war is for Iraq's oil.

    Experts said 250,000 troops were needed to invade and occupy Iraq but the Rumsfeld way was 130,000 just keep them all there longer. So what if the troops are made up of significant numbers of Reservists and National Guard? Just lie and tell them it's only for a little while and then extend their tour for a year. Jay Garner was placed in charge of reconstruction, then whoosh, in flies Paul Bremer. Fire the Ba'athists but slide on the "good" ones. Fire the Iraqi military, let the looting burn itself and the country out, then hire them back. Give out a contract paid for by tax dollars, but don't tell Congress what it's for. Pledge support to hire Iraqis, bring in foreign workers. Promise the Coaltion of the Willing members primary contracts but a wink and a nod will let a non-coalition partner in on the money grab. Ask for $73 billion dollars, then oops, ask for $87 billion more, then oops, another $59 billion, but hey just a $25 billion reserve fund* will do for now. (*more on this later)

    The current White House administration needs to start being honest with everyone including themselves. A good place to begin is by accepting responsibliity for the dishonest climate that ultimately lead to prisoner abuse, starting with their lie (by the sin of ommision) that 9-11 was connected with Iraq.

    We're not optimistic. But then, President Bush wasn't even honestly elected so why would anything change now?

    PS If a CACI member happens to stumble along on our blog, one question: when was Mr. London first made aware of preparations for a war in Iraq? His optimism for financial gain in February of 2002 was prescient.


    We're back.

    Blogger has gotten all fancy on us while we've been away. So, let's get started and back on track to following the money in Iraq.

    The US State Department has a list of security companies operating in Iraq posted on their website.

    We at bpost notice that several companies reported to be operating are not on the list--CACI, Wackenhut, Dyncorp, Steele, to name a few off the top of our heads. There is also the following disclaimer posted on the webpage: The U.S. government assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms whose names appear on the list.

    For the purposes of space, we have not included the descriptions of the services each company provides but you might want to check it out. "Information support"? Whatever.
    AD Consultancy
    ADC House
    P.O. Box 153
    Sutton, Surrey SM3 9WF
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 0870 707 0074
    Fax: 0870 707 0075
    Contact in Iraq:
    Ian Grealey
    Tel: 0870 707 0074

    AKE Limited
    Mortimer House
    Holmer Road
    Hereford HR4 9TA
    Tel: [44] (0) 1432 267111
    Fax: [44] (0) 1432 350227
    Contact in Iraq:
    Peter Hornett
    Tel: [44] (0) 7739 094598

    25 Buckingham Gate
    SW1E 6LD
    Tel: [44] (20) 7808-5800
    Fax: [44] (20) 7233-7434
    Email: or
    Contact in Iraq:
    John Farr, MBE
    Country Manager
    Tel: 0088 216 511 20010
    ArmorGroup's Baghdad office is not able to deal with job applications. All applications must be accompanied by a current CV/resume and sent to: (US residents), or (UK residents and other nationalities).

    Control Risks Group
    83 Victoria Street
    London SW1H OHW
    United Kingdom
    Tel: [44] (20) 722 1552
    Fax: [44] (20) 7222 2296
    Email: or
    Contact in Iraq:
    James Blount, Country Manager
    Tel: 1-914-822-9502 (NY number but person is located in Iraq)
    Thuraya: +8821621158121
    Email: or

    Custer Battles
    3959 Pender Drive
    Suite 109
    Fairfax, VA 22050
    Tel: [1] 703-385-1121
    Fax: [1] 703-385-2177
    Contact in Iraq:
    Brig. General Charles Baumann, Director
    Tel: [1] 914-360-9223

    Diligence Middle East
    1275 Eye Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20005
    Tel: [1] 202-659-6210
    Fax: [1] 202-659-6210
    Contact in Iraq:
    Ken Josey, Country Manager
    Tel: [1] 914-822-9746 (NY number rings in Baghdad)

    Erinys Iraq Limited
    16 Zukak 18
    601 Emerat Mahla
    Baghdad, Iraq
    Tel: +873763692882
    Contact in Iraq:
    Michael Hutchings
    Tel: +873763692882 or +96447901921231

    Hereford House
    East Street
    Hereford, UK HR1 2LU
    Tel: [44] 1432 379083
    Fax: [44] 1432 370786
    Contact in Iraq:
    Nick Duggan
    Tel: [44] 7919 478484 or [965] 904-8217/8257

    Global Risk Strategies
    6 Stratton Street
    London W1J 8LD
    United Kingdom
    Tel: [44] (20) 7491 7492
    Fax: [44] (20) 7491
    Contact in Iraq:
    Damian Perl, Charlie Andrews, Nick Arnold
    Tel: 1-914-360-6148 (NY number but person is located in Iraq)

    Group 4 Falck A/S
    82-A, Sector 18
    Gurgaon 122016 (Haryana)
    Tel: [91] 124-2398888
    Fax: [91] 124-2397131
    Contact in Iraq:
    Abrahem Ghazarian
    Tel: 919811768800
    Fax: 971508131680
    Editor's note: According to their website, they have announced a merger. Group 4 Falck and Securicor merge to create a global leader in security services. The new company - Group 4 Securicor - will operate in more than 108 countries and have approximately 340,000 employees.

    Hill and Associates, Ltd.
    2604-9 Harbour Center
    No. 25 Harbour Road
    Wanchai, Hong King
    Tel: [852] 2802-2123
    Fax: [852] 2802-2133
    Contact in Iraq:
    Richard Hancock, Director
    Operations - Middle East
    Tel: [971] (4) 211-5447 (Dubai) or (65) 6322-2558
    Thuraya: 882-162-1100-133
    Email: or

    ICP Group Ltd
    2 Old Brompton Road
    London SW7 3DQ
    United Kingdom
    Tel: [44] (0) 207-591-4411
    Fax: [44] (0) 207-584-1460
    Contact in Iraq:
    Will Geddes or Andy King
    Tel: [44] (870) 464-1000 (UK number that rings in Baghdad)

    Baghdad Conference Palace
    Mansour, Baghdad
    Tel: [1] 914-360-2492
    Contact in Iraq:
    Omar Hadi
    Tel: [1] 914-360-2492 or [1] 914-822-7707

    Meteoric Tactical Solutions
    6 Meteor Road
    Pretoria, South Africa
    Tel: [27] 12 651 3402
    Fax: [27] 12 651 3402
    Contact in Iraq:
    Lourens Horn (Louwtjie)
    Tel: 914-360-3113

    Meyer & Associates
    P.O. Box 1800
    Joshua (DFW), TX 76058
    Tel: [11] 817-426-1199
    Fax: [11] 817-558-4868
    Contact in Iraq:
    Tim Meyer or Gary DeSmith
    Tel: 1-817-401-8142 or 1-817-821-8820
    Email: or

    Olive Security (UK) Limited
    2 Charles Street
    Mayfair, London
    W1J 5DB
    England, UK
    Tel: [44] (0) 207307 0540
    Fax: [44] (0) 207307 0542
    Contact in Iraq:
    John Yourston and Douglas Dick
    Tel: 008821652100377 or [965] 914-0169 (Kuwait office)

    Optimal Solution Services
    4/35 Spencer Street
    Fairfield NSW
    Tel: [61] (2) 97555840
    Fax: [61] (2) 97559835
    Contact in Iraq:
    Zahir F. Hameed
    Tel: +8821621233556

    Overseas Security & Strategic Information, Inc/Safenet - Iraq
    Post Office Box 52067
    Atlanta, GA 30355
    Tel: [1] 404-307-4072
    Fax: [1] 413-208-6069
    Contact in Iraq:
    John H. Walbridge, Jr. or Mauritz Le Roux
    Tel: [964] 7901915494 or [88] 216 5201 4591/4592

    RamOPS Risk Management Group
    7312 Suite 8 Hihenge Court
    Raleigh, NC 27615
    Tel: [1] 919-740-4597
    Contact in Iraq:
    Andy Potts or John Autenreith
    Tel: [1] 919-740-4597 (US)

    Sumer International Security
    Almasbah - Dis Babilon
    Sec. 929, St. 10, Building 10(54/356)
    Baghdad, Iraq
    Tel: [1] 312-869-7336 (VOIP)
    Fax: [1] 202-438-9710
    Contact in Iraq:
    Janna Lipman
    Tel: [1] 312-869-8336 (VOIP) or [964] 7901-916-338 or [1] 202-483-5900
    Email: or

    Triple Canopy Inc.
    600 Knightsbridge Parkway
    Lincolnshire, IL 60069
    Tel: [1] 312-261-8000
    Fax: [1] 312-261-8010

    Wade-Boyd and Associates LLC
    Suite 116
    Main Street
    Lawler, IA 52154
    Tel: [1] 641-330-4581 or 931-302-7822
    Fax: [1] 270-518-5780
    Contact in Iraq:
    Malek (Ali) Mehanna or V. Brooke Phillips
    Tel: [1] 641-330-4581 (US)
    Email: or
    How many of these companies have received direct contract awards from US governmental agencies? Does priority on primary contract awards still go to companies from nations of the Coalition of the Willing?