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The Shooting

The Looting

Cluster Bombs Kill in Iraq, Even After Shooting Ends, by Paul Wiseman, USA Today, Dec 10, 2003.

The Saudi Connection: How Billions in Oil Money Spawned a Global Terror Network, by David E. Kaplan with Monica Ekman and Aamir Lati, U.S. News & World Report, Dec 15, 2003.

U.S. Says Other Afghan Children Died in Earlier Raid, By Carlotta Gall, New York Times, Dec 11, 2003. For the second time in a week, the American military has acknowledged that children were victims of airstrikes aimed at Taliban fighters. A military spokesman said Wednesday that six children and two adults were found under a collapsed wall after an attack on Friday night by American Special Forces on the compound of a known militant. The airstrike was called in after the soldiers came under heavy machine-gun fire. The United States previously acknowledged having killed nine children in an airstrike on Saturday against a suspected Taliban fighter in southern Afghanistan. The killings are an embarrassment to the military, which is seeking to provide a secure environment for an Afghan constitutional council that is to convene here next weekend. Although military officials were aware on Saturday of the Friday incident that led to the deaths of the six children, they did not acknowledge it until Wednesday, and then only in response to a question at a news conference in Kabul.

White House Fantasies on Iraq. New York Times editorial, August 14, 2003. "Someday, in the months ahead, there may be an Iraq where a smoothly run American occupation authority has dealt devastating setbacks to terrorism, brought security to most of the country, improved infrastructure and basic services, and elicited encouraging signs of democracy, economic renewal and cultural rebirth. Unfortunately, right now that Iraq exists only in the pages of the implausibly upbeat 100-day progress report recently issued by the White House. In Iraq today, American soldiers die, electricity shortages lead to rioting, and the threat of terrorism against civilians must be taken increasingly seriously. The biggest problems have been airbrushed out of the White House report, making it read more like a Bush campaign flier than a realistic accounting to the American people. There have, of course, been positive accomplishments, but making a success of Iraq will require much time, many billions of dollars and real sacrifices. Pretending otherwise risks future public disillusionment. In the face of news reports detailing continued insecurity, failing basic services and painstakingly slow political progress, the White House cites significant signs of better security, improved basic services and emerging democracy. Not mentioned in the Panglossian report, covering the 100 days after President Bush declared an end to major combat operations, were the 56 American soldiers killed in attacks during that period. Days after the report's release, Basra was swept by rioting over electricity and fuel shortages. While the report boasts of broad international support, Washington still scrambles to line up countries willing to contribute peacekeeping troops without expanded United Nations authority. Many of today's problems in Iraq can be traced to the Bush administration's tendency to credit what it wants to believe rather than more realistic accounts. It exaggerated the evidence on Iraqi unconventional weapons and links with Al Qaeda, underestimated the potential for chaos in a country that had endured years of war, sanctions and dictatorship, and misjudged the patience of the Iraqi people for putting up with postwar disruptions and an occupying army. All those delusions find uncanny echoes in the 100-day report. In the real world there have recently been some hopeful signs that administration policies are beginning to reflect a more sophisticated understanding of Iraq. Future White House reports should describe that world, not wishful fantasies."

Over 50 Die in Day of Afghan Violence. By Amy Waldma, New York Times, August 14, 2003. "... the growing threats to the country's stability from what are believed to be remnants of the Taliban or Al Qaeda, as well as Afghans opposed to the American-backed administration led by Mr. Karzai. The attacks came two days after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in a historic departure from its traditional European theater of operations, assumed control of the International Security and Assistance Force, the multinational peacekeeping force that patrols Kabul and the areas surrounding it. And they came as the United States was preparing to invest another $1 billion in Afghanistan, possibly supplemented by another $600 million from other countries, in an attempt to accelerate the pace of reconstruction. A significant amount of the aid, according to Afghan officials, will be devoted to strengthening national institutions - particularly the national army and police - that could help provide security outside Kabul. Warlords remain entrenched around the country, and Afghanistan is once again the world's largest opium producer... a commission composed of representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States intended to reduce tension and resolve border disputes between the two neighbors and coordinate the campaign against terrorism. The first item discussed by the commission, according to Omar Samad, a Foreign Ministry spokesman who was present, was the killing of two Pakistani border guards by American forces pursuing attackers on Monday. The incident is under investigation, Mr. Samad said, but in the meantime the three countries decided to set up a three-way hot line linking senior representatives...."

The Invisible, by Paul Vallely, The Independent (UK), June 26, 2003. "Privately, the Americans admit that torture, or something very like it, is going on at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where they are holding an unknown number of suspected terrorists. Al-Qa'ida and Taliban prisoners inside this secret CIA interrogation centre - in a cluster of metal shipping-containers protected by a triple layer of concertinaed wire - are subjected to a variety of practices. They are kept standing or kneeling for hours, in black hoods or spray-painted goggles. They are bound in awkward, painful positions. They are deprived of sleep with a 24-hour bombardment of lights. They sometimes beaten on capture, and painkillers are withheld. The interrogators call these "stress and duress" techniques, which one former US intelligence officer has dubbed "torture-lite". Sometimes there is nothing "lite" about the end results. The US military has announced that a criminal investigation has begun into the case of two prisoners who died after beatings at Bagram. More covertly, other terrorist suspects have been "rendered" into the hands of various foreign intelligence services known to have less fastidious records on the use of torture. What is perhaps most disturbing about all this is that the US officials who have leaked the information have not done so out of a need to expose something that they see as shameful. On the contrary, they have made it clear that they wanted the world to know what is going on because they feel it is justified. No fewer than 10 serving US national- security officials - including several people who have been witnesses to the handling of prisoners - came forward to speak to The Washington Post, which has published the most graphic account of what is going on in Bagram, and in several other unnamed US interrogation centres across the world. "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, one told the paper, "you probably aren't doing your job". He and the others involved are, in effect, saying: we are doing these things because we have to, and we want the world to know."

Agency Disputes C.I.A. View of Trailers as Iraqi Weapons Labs
By Douglas Jehl, New York Times, June 26, 2003. "The State Department's intelligence division is disputing the Central Intelligence Agency's conclusion that mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making biological weapons, United States government officials said today. In a classified June 2 memorandum, the officials said, the department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research said it was premature to conclude that the trailers were evidence of an Iraqi biological weapons program, as President Bush has done. The disclosure of the memorandum is the clearest sign yet of disagreement between intelligence agencies over the assertion, which was produced jointly by the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency and made public on May 28 on the C.I.A. Web site. Officials said the C.I.A. and D.I.A. did not consult with other intelligence agencies before issuing the report. The report on the trailers was initially prepared for the White House, and Mr. Bush has cited it as proof that Iraq indeed had a biological weapons program, as the United States has repeatedly alleged, although it has yet to produce any other conclusive evidence. In an interview with Polish television on May 30, Mr. Bush cited the trailers as evidence that the United States had "found the weapons of mass destruction" it was looking for. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell echoed that assessment in a public statement the next day, saying that the accuracy of prewar assessments linking Iraqi trailers to a biological weapons program had been borne out by the discovery. Some intelligence analysts had previously disputed the C.I.A. report, but it had not been known that the C.I.A. report did not reflect an interagency consensus or that any intelligence agency had later objected to its finding.

Fibbing It Up at Fox by Dale Steinreich

"Apocalypse Now" Music Fires Up U.S. Troops for Raid, By Alistair Lyon, Reuters, June U.S. troops psyched up on a bizarre musical reprise from Vietnam war film "Apocalypse Now" before crashing into Iraqi homes to hunt gunmen on Saturday, as Shi'ite Muslims rallied against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. With Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" still ringing in their ears and the clatter of helicopters overhead, soldiers rammed vehicles into metal gates and hundreds of troops raided houses in the western city of Ramadi after sunrise as part of a drive to quell a spate of attacks on U.S. forces... One unit of troops dragged half a dozen men from their homes as women wailed. They seized weapons and a computer disk. Officers said they aimed to capture five men from the Fedayeen paramilitary force, which put up some of the fiercest resistance to U.S. troops during their invasion. The raid was part of Operation Desert Scorpion, launched on June 15 to crack down on militants and befriend civilians by helping with aid and reconstruction projects. A U.S. military spokesman said on Saturday that 90 Desert Scorpion raids had captured 540 people.

Pentagon Dreams of Playing 'GloboCop' By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, June 13, 2003. "[T]he Pentagon is hastily planning to re-deploy U.S. forces and equipment around the world in ways that will permit Washington to play "GloboCop." While preparing sharp reductions in forces in Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, military planners are talking about establishing semi-permanent or permanent bases along a giant swathe of global territory - increasingly referred to as "the arc of instability" - from the Caribbean Basin through Africa to South and Central Asia and across to North Korea. The latest details, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal on June 10, include plans to increase U.S. forces in Djibouti on the Horn of Africaa cross the Red Sea from Yemen, set up semi-permanent "forward bases" in Algeria, Morocco and possibly Tunisia, and establish smaller facilities in Senegal, Ghana and Mali that could be used to intervene in oil-rich West African countries, particularly Nigeria. Similar bases - or what some call "lily pads" - are now being sought or expanded in northern Australia, Thailand..., Singapore, the Philippines, Kenya, Georgia, Azerbaijan, throughout Central Asia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar, Vietnam and Iraq. "We are in the process of taking a fundamental look at our military posture worldwide, including in the United States," said Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on a recent visit to Singapore, where he met with military chiefs and defense ministers from throughout East Asia about U.S. plans there. "We're facing a very different threat than any one we've faced historically." Those plans represent a major triumph for Wolfowitz, who 12 years ago argued in a controversial draft 'Defense Planning Guidance' (DPG) for realigning U.S. forces globally so as to "retain pre-eminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our own interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations." ... [The Naval War College's Thomas] Barnett's so-called arc [of instability] corresponds well to regions of oil, gas and mineral wealth, a reminder again of Wolfowitz's 1992 draft study. It asserted that the key objective of U.S. strategy should be "to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

U.S. Raids Iraqi City for Militants, Arms. "U.S. soldiers backed by helicopters and tanks raided homes, rounded up suspects and confiscated weapons in the restive town of Fallujah on Sunday, part of a nationwide campaign to root out anti-American insurgents who've been stepping up attacks. Operation Desert Scorpion, launched Sunday, involves a series of sweeps throughout Iraq using most of the U.S. Army units present in the country."

Iraqi Leader Asks U.S. to Stop Military Sweeps, New York Times, June 15, 2003.

Senator Lugar: U.S. Troops May Have to Go After Hamas (Reuters) - A leading Republican lawmaker said U.S. forces may have to help "root out terrorism" in the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, including taking aim at Hamas.

U.S. Given Exemption From War Crimes, Associated Press, New York Times, June 12, 2003. "The U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved another one-year exemption for American peacekeepers from prosecution by the new international war crimes tribunal. France, Germany and Syria abstained, apparently ignoring a U.S. appeal not to further strain the bitter trans-Atlantic division over the war against Iraq. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke out strongly against any attempt to try to make the exemption permanent -- which the United States initially sought. He warned that this would not only undermine the International Criminal Court but the authority of the U.N. Security Council ``and the legitimacy of United Nations peacekeeping.'' The resolution adopted by a vote of 12-0 with the three abstentions, authorizes a yearlong exemption from arrest or trial for peacekeepers from the United States and other countries that have not ratified the Rome treaty establishing the court."

GAO Triples Estimates of Gulf War Fallout, By Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, June 3, 2003. "Congressional researchers recommended yesterday that Congress ask the Pentagon to triple the number of U.S. troops presumed to be exposed to chemical fallout from the demolition of an Iraqi weapons depot in March 1991 to 350,000, or roughly half of U.S. forces that served in the Persian Gulf War... The analysts said the military arbitrarily underestimated the height of plumes produced by demolition of a sarin gas stockpile at Khamisiyah... The Pentagon has increased estimates before of the number of soldiers "presumed exposed" from Khamisiyah from zero to 400 in 1996 and 100,000 in 1997."

US makes U-turn on Iraq council, By Ilene R. Prusher, Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 2003. "A planned Iraqi assembly to elect an interim council was quashed by US officials this week. Nearly two months since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, US authorities here say they will personally select 25 to 30 Iraqis to staff an interim political council. The new process is a detour from earlier plans to assemble a large convention of Iraqis who would democratically choose a new generation of leaders and decide the shape of their future government."

World support for U.S. at new low because of Iraq war, survey finds AP, June 3, 2003. "The war in Iraq has sent support for the United States to new lows in predominantly Muslim countries and significantly damaged the standing of the United Nations in those nations and elsewhere."

Army OKs Halliburton Waiver for Oil Deal, By Sue Pleming, ABC News, Jan. 6, 2003. "The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had granted Halliburton a special waiver to bring fuel into Iraq under a no-bid deal with a Kuwaiti supplier despite a draft Pentagon audit that found evidence of overcharging for fuel... Bringing in fuel to Iraq is part of a larger no-bid contract KBR won in March to rebuild Iraq's oil industry. So far, the company has clocked up more than $2 billion of business under that deal and billions more under a separate logistics contract with the U.S. military. That contract is set to be replaced by two competitively bid deals, one for the north and the other for the south of Iraq, which are due to be announced by Jan. 17. KBR has bid on that work."

Halliburton to Lose Iraq Oil Project, AP, Dec 31, 2003.

Military Ends Halliburton Deal To Supply Gasoline to Iraq, Washington Post, Dec 31, 2003.

New Agency Will Oversee Fuel for Use in Iraq, New York Times, Dec 31, 2003.

U.S. to Direct Iraq Fuel Imports, Los Angeles Times Dec 31, 2003.

Pentagon Freezes Iraq Funds Amid Corruption Probes, Boston Globe, Dec 30, 2003.

U.S. Decisions On Iraq Spending Made in Private, By Jackie Spinner and Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, Dec 27, 2003. "The spending was approved by the 11-member Program Review Board, a mini-Congress of sorts for the occupation government in its power to allocate money. The board -- comprising mostly Americans, Britons and Australians -- was appointed by L. Paul Bremer, the top administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. It uses Iraqi money that includes oil revenue and seized assets from the Hussein era to pay for projects not anticipated by the country's budget. So far the board has approved more than $4 billion in such spending... During its twice-weekly afternoon meetings, the board has approved more than 500 projects, including $120 million for printing and distributing currency, $36 million for renovating police stations, $15 million for a national microcredit program and $4 million for creating a radio system for the railroad network. It also has signed off on scores of smaller projects, including $3,500 to start a Baghdad theater festival, $50,000 to pay two zookeepers and $79,245 to reestablish the Baghdad stock exchange... Of the billions of dollars appropriated or promised for the largest nation-building project since World War II, the Iraqi money doled out by Bremer and the Program Review Board is the least visible. Spending of the $18.6 billion the U.S. Congress approved this fall for Iraqi reconstruction will be overseen by an office run by a retired U.S. admiral. The $13 billion pledged from other countries will be monitored by an Iraqi-run oversight board.... Despite detailed regulations and pronouncements about "transparency," the Coalition Provisional Authority's process for spending Iraq's money has little of the openness, debate and paper trails that define such groups in democratic nations. Though the interim government has extensive information on its Web site, it doesn't include, for example, when contracts have been awarded. Citing security concerns, it also doesn't say what companies won them.... The occupation authority's legal standing has led to some confusion. For example, the General Accounting Office, which reviews federal contract disputes, said that because the CPA isn't a federal agency it wasn't sure it had the authority to review a protest lodged by a company that lost a bid for a reconstruction contract. The Pentagon inspector general, looking at the same issue, dropped it for the same reason... Meetings of the review board aren't public and there are no transcripts. Abbreviated minutes of meetings since August have been posted on the Internet, but they do not include information on more than 200 projects approved from May to mid-August... The statement noted that in October, the board issued 52 contracts for a total of $57.4 million to Iraqi companies, 41 contracts for a total of $66.4 million to U.S. firms, and $86.2 million worth of contracts to companies in 19 other countries..."

Bush: Halliburton Must Pay for Overcharge, By Matt Kelley, Associated Press, Dec 12, 2003. "President Bush, trying to calm a political storm, said Friday that Vice President Dick Cheney's former company should repay the government if it overcharged for gasoline delivered in Iraq under a controversial prewar contract.
"If there's an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money be repaid," the president told reporters when asked about the Halliburton contract controversy. Pentagon auditors say the company charged up to $61 million too much for delivering gasoline to Iraqi citizens under a no-bid contract to rebuild Iraq's dilapidated oil industry. Halliburton denies overcharging.Meanwhile, an Army spokesman disclosed that companies from France, Germany, Russia and Canada won't be eligible to replace Halliburton as the recipient of the oil reconstruction contract.
The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing bids and hopes to decide this month who will get the oil reconstruction deals worth up to $800 million in northern Iraq and $1.2 billion in the south.The decision means an additional $2 billion in contracts in Iraq - not disclosed before - would be forbidden to countries that opposed the war, along with the $18.6 billion in Iraq work the Bush administration declared off limits earlier this week..............
Pentagon officials say they gave Halliburton the prewar oil reconstruction contract because it was essential to start rebuilding quickly after the U.S.-led invasion. Halliburton already had the competitively bid contract to provide short-notice logistical help for the Army.Separately under that contract, Halliburton has been paid about $3 billion for supporting the military with cafeterias, mail delivery and other services.
The oil contract, which started as a relatively small order for fighting oil well fires, has grown into the largest reconstruction contract in Iraq. Halliburton has gotten more than $2.2 billion so far on that contract - $989 million from U.S. taxpayers, $1.3 billion from the United Nations' oil for food program and $90 million from seized Iraqi assets.
Together, the 11 other Iraq reconstruction projects awarded to other companies have paid out $1.7 billion. The largest, to construction giant Bechtel for rebuilding infrastructure such as highways and bridges, has delivered more than $1 billion so far.
The largest part of Halliburton's oil reconstruction contract is providing gasoline and other fuel to Iraqis while the country's oil industry is rebuilt. A Pentagon audit found Halliburton was charging $1.09 more per gallon for gasoline it trucked into Iraq from Kuwait than for the same fuel it imported from Turkey.Pentagon officials said Thursday Halliburton's Kuwaiti subcontractor apparently charged too much for the gasoline. Halliburton's president, Dave Lesar, said the Kuwaiti firm was the only one that met the contract's requirements. Lesar said Halliburton earned "a few cents on the dollar" for delivering the fuel.Under the contract, Halliburton gets a guaranteed profit calculated as part of the company's costs. In other words, the higher the costs, the more money Halliburton gets.Halliburton is guaranteed a profit equal to at least two percent of its costs. Depending on performance, Halliburton can earn a profit of up to 7 percent of costs.
If the subcontractor did overcharge by $61 million, Halliburton would be guaranteed $1.2 million in profit from that amount. If Halliburton earned the entire 7 percent, its profit on the overcharge would be about $4.3 million.The Army Corps of Engineers currently is reviewing bids for the $2 billion in contracts that will replace Halliburton's no-bid award. At least 69 companies - including Halliburton - were sent solicitations, according to a Corps Web site."

Bush Defends Policy on Awarding Contracts to Rebuild Iraq, By David E. Sanger and Douglas Jehl, New York Times, Dec 11, 2003. President Bush defended his policy on Iraq's reconstruction today, even though it puts him in the awkward position of asking France, Germany and Russia to forgive Iraq's debts despite being excluded from $18 billion in rebuilding projects. "Men and women from our country proudly wear a uniform, risk their life, to free Iraq," Mr. Bush said. "Men and women from other countries, in a broad coalition, risk their lives to free Iraq. And the expenditure of U.S. dollars will reflect the fact that U.S. troops and others risk their life." Mr. Bush, in a brief exchange with reporters at his last Cabinet meeting of the year, tried to put the best face on an uncomfortable situation, declaring that "we want to work with all countries" toward a free and peaceful Iraq. But White House officials were still fuming about the timing and the tone of a Pentagon directive excluding France, Germany, Russia and several other countries from reconstruction projects. But White House officials have conceded that they had approved the Pentagon policy of limiting contracts to 63 countries that have given the United States political or military aid in Iraq. Mr. Bush said today that forgiveness of Iraqi debt "would be a significant contribution, for which we would be very grateful." But a moment later, he said: "Friendly coalition folks risk their lives. And therefore, the contracting is going to reflect that. And that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect."

'Highway Robbery' at Halliburton, By Bracken Hendricks and Skye Perryman, AlterNet, November 6, 2003. "Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced a suspension of Halliburton's no-bid contract for oil services in Iraq. This announcement comes after several weeks of pressure by House Democrats who have led the charge to increase transparency regarding Halliburton's prices and contracting procedures. For months, Congressmen Waxman and Dingell made inquiries to Bush's Office of Management and Budget as well as other administration officials asking for information on Halliburton's prices. Their requests were met with silence... On Tuesday, House Republicans conveniently stripped the Iraqi supplemental bill of a provision that would hold corporations, such as Halliburton, accountable for war profiteering... Although Halliburton's contract for oil transportation to Iraq has been suspended, many questions remain unanswered:Why did the Department of Defense award a no-bid contract to Halliburton when its own Defense Energy Support Center could do the job for half the price? Why did the Bush Administration ignore requests from members of Congress about Halliburton's pricing schemes? Why was Halliburton's no-bid contract extended and re-extended for this long? Why did the US Army Corps of Engineers suspend Halliburton's contract days after Congress stripped the Iraqi Supplemental of a provision that would prosecute companies for war profiteering?"

Oil Immunity? Government denies charges that Bush helped oil companies in Iraq. Center for Public Integrity, Oct. 30, 2003" On May 22, the U.N. Security Council gathered in New York to approve a resolution lifting sanctions on Iraq, creating a Development Fund for the country and providing limited immunity to corporations involved in oil and gas deals there for the next four years. The resolution directed that proceeds from future sales of Iraqi oil and gas be placed in the development fund and allowed the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to disburse the funds in consultation with the interim Iraqi administration. That same day at the White House, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13303, which appears to give immunity from any judicial process to every entity with direct or indirect interests in Iraqi petroleum and related products. "The threat of attachment or judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq, Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein ... constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," reads the executive order. It continues, "... any ... judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void."... "The Executive Order is a blank check for corporate anarchy," Tom Devine, legal director of the non-profit Government Accountability Project, wrote in a July 2003 assessment of the order for the Institute. "Its sweeping, unqualified language places industry above domestic and international law for anything related to commerce in Iraqi oil." "Translated from the legalese, this is a license for corporations to loot Iraq and its citizens," Devine added. The U.S. Treasury Department argues that Bush's executive order simply protects the Iraqi people and the oil funds expected to be used to rebuild the country..."

Windfalls of War by the Center for Public Integrity, October 2003. "More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years... Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush-a little over $500,000-than to any other politician over the last dozen years... Kellogg, Brown & Root, the subsidiary of Halliburton-which Vice President Dick Cheney led prior to being chosen as Bush's running mate in August 2000-was the top recipient of federal contracts for the two countries, with more than $2.3 billion awarded to the company. Bechtel Group, a major government contractor with similarly high-ranking ties, was second at around $1.03 billion. However, dozens of lower-profile, but well-connected, companies shared in the reconstruction bounty. Their tasks ranged from rebuilding Iraq's government, police, military and media to providing translators for use in interrogations and psychological operations. There are even contractors to evaluate the contractors. Nearly 60 percent of the companies had employees or board members who either served in or had close ties to the executive branch for Republican and Democratic administrations, for members of Congress of both parties, or at the highest levels of the military."
The top contractors were:
Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton) $2.3 billion
Bechtel Group Inc $1 billion
International American Products Inc $526 million
Perini Corporation $525 million
Contrack International Inc $500 million
Fluor Corp $500 million
Washington Group International $500 million
Research Triangle Institute $466 million
Louis Berger Group $300 million
Creative Associates International $217 million

Halliburton Gouging In Iraq? CBSNews.com, Oct. 16, 2003. "Two senior Democratic lawmakers say Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, is gouging U.S. taxpayers while importing gasoline into Iraq. The Houston-based company contends it is paying the best price possible... The New York Times reports that in a letter to the White House budget office, Reps. Henry Waxman of California and John Dingell of Michigan contended that, "Halliburton seems to be inflating gasoline prices at a great cost to American taxpayers." "The overcharging is so extreme that one expert has privately called it 'highway robbery,'" the lawmakers said in the latest Democratic attacks against the Houston company that received a no-bid contract... Halliburton, originally hired to extinguish oil fires, has received the expanded role of restoring Iraq's oil industry. The company has been paid $1.4 billion through September for its work... In a further move against Halliburton, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., announced Wednesday he would propose barring the government from awarding Iraq reconstruction contracts to companies that maintain close financial ties to the president, vice president or members of the president's Cabinet. Lautenberg wants the measure added to an $87 billion reconstruction bill for Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheney receives deferred payments from Halliburton and also has stock options. Cheney's office has said the vice president had no role in the contract and that the deferred payments were for his services while he headed the company. He has said he would give the proceeds to charity should he profit from the exercise of stock options."

U.S. Seen Dragging Feet on Iraqi Oil Money Watchdog, by Irwin Arieff, Reuters, October 2, 2003. "Four months after the Security Council ordered an independent board to monitor U.S. spending of Iraq's oil revenues, diplomats on Thursday accused the United States of blocking it from taking up its duties....The May 22 resolution called for Iraqi oil revenues and other reconstruction funds -- including money left over from the U.N. oil-for-food program after it is shut down on Nov. 21 -- to be deposited in a Development Fund for Iraq, to be held by the Iraqi central bank...Iraq's U.S. administration, which has run the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government, has so far set up neither the board nor the fund, instead temporarily parking the money in an account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Although Iraqi oil sales have so far been negligible, there is at least $1 billion in the fund."

GOP Senators Seek to Make Some Iraq Aid a Loan, By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2003. "Senate Republicans proposed yesterday to convert nearly half of President Bush's $20.3 billion Iraqi reconstruction program into loans underwritten by that nation's oil... GOP leaders did easily turn back yesterday a Democratic effort to split the Bush spending plan into separate military and reconstruction bills, defeating an amendment by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) 59 to 38. The Senate is scheduled to vote today on a Democratic amendment to pay for the entire $87 billion for war and reconstruction in Iraq, which includes $600 million to hunt for Iraqi arms, and Afghanistan by temporarily repealing Bush's tax cut for high-income Americans..."

AID Assessments Say Iraq Needs $55 Billion for Rebuilding, By Steven R. Weisman, New York Times, Oct. 2, 2003. "A team of economic specialists led by the World Bank and the United Nations has determined that Iraq needs $36 billion for reconstruction over the next four years. This would be in addition to a separate assessment by the American-led occupation of $19 billion for a different set of needs in Iraq over the same period, diplomats and economists said Wednesday. The latest calculation brings to $55 billion the amount that experts say Iraq needs to rebuild everything from health care to infrastructure to agriculture and the training of police officers and other security personnel, the officials said. Both assessments - not to be confused with the Bush administration's current request before Congress of $20 billion in nonmilitary aid - were prepared ahead of a donors conference scheduled for Oct. 23-24 in Madrid, which Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other top American officials are expected to attend... Many in Congress, meanwhile, are balking at the administration's request for $20 billion in nonmilitary aid, $5 billion of it for training security personnel, saying they are not clear on what exactly is needed now or in the next few years. Lawmakers complained Wednesday that they had been given too vague an accounting of what happened to the $79 billion that Congress approved for Iraq and Afghanistan last April."

Officials Say Bush Seeks $600 Million to Hunt Iraq Arms, By James Risen and Judith Miller, New York Times, Oct. 2, 2003. "The Bush administration is seeking more than $600 million from Congress to continue the hunt for conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein's government had an illegal weapons program, officials said Wednesday. The money, part of the White House's request for $87 billion in supplemental spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, comes on top of at least $300 million that has already been spent on the weapons search... Counting the money already spent, the total price tag for the search will approach $1 billion."

Iraq oil work to cost extra $1bn, BBC News, Oct. 1, 2003. "An extra $1bn (603m) will be needed if Iraq's oil output is to be restored to pre-war levels by the end of next year, a senior Coalition Provisional Authority official has been reported as saying. The sum would be in addition to the $1.5bn already allocated for work this year and next to ensure current oil production and export levels are maintained."

Bush Seeks $600 Million for Iraqi Weapons Search, NYT Reports. Bloomberg, Oct. 1, 2003. "The Bush administration has asked the U.S. Congress for more than $600 million to continue the search for evidence of Saddam Hussein's illegal weapons programs, the New York Times reported on its Web site. The request is part of the $87 billion in supplemental spending on Iraq and Afghanistan the administration seeks and comes on top of $300 million that has already been spent trying to find unconventional weapons in Iraq, the newspaper said, citing unidentified officials. The money for the weapons search is part of a classified portion of supplemental appropriations request, the newspaper said. It will go toward the activities of the Iraq Survey Group, whose teams are managed by the Pentagon and whose activities are coordinated by David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector, the New York Times said. Kay will brief members of Congress on Thursday in closed sessions on an interim report of the group's findings so far, the newspaper reported."

Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq, By Douglas Jehl, New York Times, Sept. 29, 2003. "A group of businessmen linked by their close ties to President Bush, his family and his administration have set up a consulting firm to advise companies that want to do business in Iraq, including those seeking pieces of taxpayer-financed reconstruction projects... The firm, New Bridge Strategies, is headed by Joe M. Allbaugh, Mr. Bush's campaign manager in 2000 and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency until March. Other directors include Edward M. Rogers Jr., vice chairman, and Lanny Griffith, lobbyists who were assistants to the first President George Bush and now have close ties to the White House... At a time when the administration seeks Congressional approval for $20.3 billion to rebuild Iraq, part of an $87 billion package for military and other spending in Iraq and Afghanistan... Allbaugh... was "chief of staff to then-Gov. Bush of Texas and was the national campaign manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign... The president of the company, John Howland, said in a telephone interview that it did not intend to seek any United States government contracts itself, but might be a middleman to advise other companies that seek taxpayer-financed business... As part of the administration's postwar work in Iraq, the government has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to American businesses. Those contracts, some without competitive bidding, have included more than $500 million to support troops and extinguish oil field fires for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, which Vice President Dick Cheney led from 1995 until 2000... Of the $3.9 billion a month that the administration is spending on military operations in Iraq, up to one-third may go to contractors who provide food, housing and other services, some military budget experts said. A spokesman for the Pentagon said today that the military could not provide an estimate of the breakdown... [A] decision by the Governing Council of Iraq to allow foreign companies to establish 100 percent ownership of businesses in Iraq, an unusual arrangement in the Mideast, had added to the attractiveness of the market... Richard Burt, ambassador to Germany in the Reagan administration and a former assistant secretary of state, and Lord Powell, a member of the British House of Lords and an important military and foreign-policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, are among the 10 principals... Rogers, the vice chairman who was a deputy assistant to the first President Bush and an executive assistant to the White House chief of staff, is also vice chairman of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, one of the best-connected Republican lobbying firms in the capital. Mr. Rogers founded it in 1991 with Haley Barbour, who became chairman of the Republican National Committee and is now running for governor of Mississippi... Shortly after leaving the White House, Mr. Rogers was publicly rebuked by the first President Bush after he signed a $600,000 contract to represent a Saudi, Sheik Kamal Adham, who was a main figure under scrutiny in a case that involved the Bank of Commerce and Credit International. Mr. Rogers canceled his contract to represent the sheik, former head of Saudi intelligence... Mr. Griffith, a director of the new company, is chief operating officer of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, which he joined in 1993. He was special assistant for intergovernmental affairs to the first President Bush and later worked under him as an assistant secretary of education... Until November, Mr. Rogers's wife, Edwina, was associate director of the National Economic Council at the White House. Reached by telephone today, Mr. Rogers said he did not want to speak for the record and referred a reporter to Mr. Howland."

IMF, World Bank Still Focused on Iraq. By Harry Dunphy, The Guardian (UK), August 21, 2003. "The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank say they remain fully engaged in the work of rebuilding financial institutions in Iraq, despite moving employees out of the country for safety... The IMF and the World Bank are key players in efforts by the U.S.-led coalition to provide billions of dollars in loans to help restart the economy and banking system. Both had sent assessment teams to Iraq to start the process... "

U.S. to Let Iraq Manage Its Oil. By Warren Vieth, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2003. "The U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq has abandoned plans to create an international advisory board to oversee the country's battered oil industry, opting instead to give Iraqi technocrats a freer hand to chart their own course. While U.S. and allied officials remain in charge of reconstruction, the decision to scale back foreign supervision signals their increasing confidence in the competence of Iraqi oil professionals and heightened concern about Iraqi political sensitivities, officials said. Instead of answering to a global board of directors, oil technocrats will report to a minister named by the new Iraqi Governing Council... The decision was prompted in part by the reluctance of foreign oil company experts and prominent Iraqi expatriates to join the board, officials said. The expatriates expressed concern they would be perceived by Iraqis as agents of a U.S.-orchestrated takeover of the Iraqi industry. Some oil companies reportedly were reluctant to assign key personnel to the effort, fearing that their participation might sour future business deals in Iraq. Retired Shell Oil Chief Executive Philip Carroll will continue to serve as the U.S.-led administration's senior advisor to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, officials said, but the corporate-style advisory board he was supposed to chair will not be established..."

Power Cuts in Southern Iraq Halve Oil Exports. By Michael Georgy, Reuters, August 14, 2003. "Power cuts have halved oil exports from southern Iraq and copper theft from electricity lines threatens to shut down exports from the region completely, an oil ministry source said on Thursday. The massive theft of power lines in the south is the latest setback to U.S. plans to rebuild the war-torn country, after a series of pipeline blasts and looting derailed reconstruction efforts in the north in June and July. "Our big problem is the stealing of copper from power transmission lines. They are stealing from key lines and smuggling it to Iran. If this problem is not resolved it could bring exports in the south to a standstill," the senior ministry official told Reuters, asking not to be named. "We were exporting about 500,000 barrels a day from the south. They have fallen to between 200,000 barrels a day and 300,000... Oilfields, refineries and export terminals in the south, home to two-thirds of Iraq's production capacity, have been crippled by power failures for the last few weeks. Thieves brazenly load huge power transmission cables onto trucks for export in broad daylight. Frequent plumes of black smoke over Basra signal the looters burning off the cable's rubber coating. The oil ministry official said the theft is highly organized and targets the Iranian market... "Imagine Basra residents who have trouble getting petrol at the station watching smugglers move oil from road tankers to ships to be sold outside the country." Residents of the southern city of Basra rioted on Sunday to protest the blackouts and shortages of motor fuel. The U.S. hopes to lift Iraqi oil output to 2 million barrels per day by the end of the year, and is seeking to award $1 billion in contracts this month to repair oil infrastructure..."

Iraq Begins Pumping First Oil Since War. By Selcan Hacaoglu, Associated Press, August 13, 2003. "Iraq began pumping fresh crude oil Wednesday through a pipeline to Turkey's Mediterranean coast for the first time since the war, a Turkish oil official said... Iraq's U.S. occupiers are counting on oil exports to largely fund reconstruction of the country and have been working since Saddam Hussein's fall in April to restore the flow of oil. But rebuilding has been delayed in part by looting and sabotage blamed on insurgents leading a guerrilla campaign against the Americans. The 600-mile pipeline from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to Ceyhan has been a frequent target of looting... The oil flow to Turkey was expected to be between 300,000 and 400,000 barrels a day, about half of pre-war volumes, Dow Jones reported Monday. The pipeline has a maximum capacity of over 1 million barrels per day. Iraq resumed oil sales in June, when tankers began shipping out crude that had been in storage at Ceyhan since the war halted exports. But deliveries of fresh supplies from Iraq's northern oil fields were held up, in part because of sabotage... Iraq's oil exports resumed after the U.N. Security Council in May lifted sanctions on Iraq and recognized the U.S.-led coalition's authority over Iraq and its oil revenue. Iraq is producing 1.3 million barrels a day, roughly half its prewar level. Iraq has begun signing contracts for sales of crude from its other main oil-producing region, in the south on the Persian Gulf..."

Iraqis may not reap benefits of oil. By Mark Fritz, MSNBC News, August 10, 2003. "Iraq is swimming in oil, but anybody who thinks that such natural wealth translates into a fat and happy middle class is in for a crude awakening. Precious resources alone - whether oil or gold or diamonds - rarely raise nations from poverty to prosperity. Countries usually become poorer, more corrupt and more prone to coups, wars and tyranny than their less-endowed neighbors, recent studies show..."
June 2003 Catholic Relief Services study
Bottom of the Barrel
Petroleum Industry Research Foundation publication Going Where the Oil Is

To the Victors Go the Spoils of War: British Petroleum, Shell and Chevron Win Iraqi Oil Contracts. By Pratap Chatterjee and Oula Al Farawati. CorpWatch, August 8, 2003. "In the hours and days before the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, a team of British Petroleum (BP) engineers in Kuwait taught combat troops from the 516 Specialist Team Royal Engineers how to run the oil fields in southern Iraq. As soon as the troops had secured southern Iraq, Robert Spears, a Scottish manager from BP, was drafted by the British government to help direct the effort to rebuild the refineries. In mid-July BP took possession of its reward -- one of the first tankers of oil from Southern Iraq, having won 25% of the initial sale of 8 million barrels of the existing stockpiles of Iraqi oil. The previous month California-based Chevron shipped back an equal quantity of oil from southern Iraq. Retired engineers from Royal Dutch/Shell Group also helped in training the troops in Nottingham, England. Once the oilfields had been seized by the invaders, company workers were drafted by the British army and sent into southern Iraq to help with the reconstruction. "We leveraged the private sector," US Brigadier General Robert Crear commented to the Wall Street Journal. Crear commands the Southwestern Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of reconstruction efforts in Iraq...."

Bush appoints supporter to run Iraqi corporate sector. AFP, August 8, 2003. "President George W. Bush has appointed one of his major political fundraisers, Thomas Foley, to run the Iraqi state business sector and draw up a sweeping privatization... As the coalition's director of Iraq public sector development, Foley will effectively decide which of the roughly 200 state-owned companies, employing about half a million people, should survive or die... The 51-year-old corporate turnaround chief, chairman of the NTC Group, denied the job was any kind of compensation from Bush... All Iraqi state-owned businesses other than oil and the two state-owned banks would report to Foley, he said. He had three main jobs: to get them up and running if they are viable, develop a privatisation plan and to develop trade and foreign commerce... In June, a senior US adviser to the Iraqi industry ministry, Tim Carney, said the US-led coalition had decided to go back on an earlier pledge to leave any privatization decision to an elected Iraqi government. Instead, it planned to start privatizations as soon as an interim administration was in place."

Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oilfields. Judicial Watch news release, July 17, 2003. The Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oilfields.

Pro-Bush Group Uses Photo to Raise Funds. Associated Press, July 25, 2003. "A conservative group that supports President Bush is using an official Navy photo of the president greeting troops aboard an aircraft carrier to raise money. Citizens United for the Bush Agenda sent copies of the picture to about 30,000 people last month, along with a request for donations in increments of $25 to $1,000. The picture was taken by a Navy photographer after Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in May to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq..."

White House defends GOP plan to sell Bush 9-11 photo. By Kelly Wallace, CNN, May 15, 2002."The White House approves of the Republican congressional campaign committee's plan to use a photograph of President Bush taken on September 11 as part of a GOP fundraising effort... The White House photograph shows Bush aboard Air Force One, talking to Vice President Dick Cheney hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee are offering the picture, along with photos of the president during his State of the Union address and at his inauguration, to donors who contribute at least $150 and attend a fund-raising dinner with Bush and the first lady next month... Fleischer said the president was aware the pictures were being used and was also aware of the criticism. "The president's reaction is that the party committees have made three photos of him, doing his job for the American people, available," Fleischer said. "The party committees made the decision, the White House did not object." The Bush spokesman said all three pictures were provided by the media to a commercial photo vendor, Corbis.com, and the GOP committees purchased the photos from the commercial vendor..."

Firms Line Up for Corporate Invasion of Iraq, By Sue Pleming, Reuters, July 1, 2003."U.S. and foreign companies swarmed to a private investors conference on Iraq on Tuesday seeking business opportunities in a tight post-war market so far dominated by big U.S. firms. Architects from Italy, oil product firms from Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, agricultural and telecoms companies and scores of diplomats were among more than 500 people seeking information on reconstruction projects and sub-contracting possibilities. Most of the work so far has gone to U.S. companies, given contracts by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or via the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s procurement office. Private company Equity International, which organized the conference, said $4.9 billion in U.S. and foreign funding had so far gone been committed to reconstruct Iraq, with U.S. funds accounting for more than two-thirds of this.

US set to open Iraq oil contract to tender. AFP, July 1, 2003. "The US Army says it expects to solicit bids next week for two potentially massive Iraqi oil contracts, replacing a no-bid contract awarded in May. The US Army Corps of Engineers said it would issue one contract for the fields in the north of Iraq and another for the south... The Army... said the 24-month contracts could be worth anything between 500,000 dollars and 500 million dollars... The contracts cover extinguishing oil well fires, environmental assessments and cleanups, engineering design and construction, pipeline and refinery maintenance, procurement and importation of fuel, distribution of fuel products in Iraq, technical assistance "and more," the Corps said... The two contracts would replace a contract given to a subsidiary of Halliburton -- a company run by US Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000. The Army Corps of Engineers had come under fire over its granting of the Iraqi oil contract on March 8 to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) without putting it out to tender. The Corps argued that the KBR contract was simply an emergency bridge to a longer-term contract to be put out to tender."

Soros Watchdog to Monitor U.S. Use of Iraqi Oil

The Corporate Invasion of Iraq. U.S. Labor Against the War report on U.S. corporations with reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

A WorldCom of Trouble, By Molly Ivins, June 20, 2003. AUSTIN, Texas - My, my, my, the great Iraqi Gold Rush is on, and who should be there at the front of the line, right along with Halliburton and Bechtel, but our old friends at WorldCom, perpetrators of the largest accounting fraud in American history. WorldCom, shortly to become MCI, has been given a contract worth $45 million in the short term to build a wireless phone network in Iraq. I learned via The Associated Press that Washington Technology, a trade newspaper that follows computing-related sales to the U.S. government, "found WorldCom jumped to eighth among all federal technology contractors in 2002, with $772 million in government sales." And that is only counting the deals in which WorldCom is the primary contractor. It is actually getting much more as a subcontractor. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently reached a settlement with WorldCom, fining the company $500 million for its $11 billion defrauding of investors. The company did not have to admit any guilt. "The $500 million is in a sense laundered by the taxpayers," Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, told AP. WorldCom got the Iraq contract without competitive bidding, to the anger of rival companies A&T, Sprint, etc., which actually have experience in building wireless networks, according to AP. A WorldCom spokesman "also stressed the company's deep, overall relationship with the U.S. military and government." Among those continuing to make a good thing out of the Iraqi war is Richard Perle of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. According to the Los Angeles Times, last February Perle and the board received a classified briefing on the potential for conflict in Iraq and North Korea, including information on new communications networks. "Three weeks later, the then-chairman of the board, Richard N. Perle, offered a briefing of his own at an investment seminar on ways to profit from possible conflicts with both countries," wrote reporters Ken Silverstein and Chuck Neubauer. It's a subject on which Perle is fully qualified. He was forced to resign as the Policy Board's chairman (though he did not resign from the board itself) in late March after it was learned he had been employed as a consultant by Global Crossing Ltd., then trying to get Pentagon clearance to sell itself to an Asian concern. Perle also serves on the board of several defense contractors and is co-founder of Trireme Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in the defense and homeland security industries..."

Halliburton Unit Gets Over $800 Million. By Sue Pleming, Reuters, June 20, 2003. "A unit of Halliburton Co., the Texas oil giant once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, has received more than $800 million in work orders in Iraq so far, according to military figures obtained Friday. The bulk of the orders are under a military contract awarded in December 2001 to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root that a Democratic lawmaker labeled "obscure and lucrative." That 2001 contract, called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program does not have a ceiling. 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.

Netanyahu Says Iraq-Israel Oil Line No Pipe-Dream, By Steven Scheer, Reuters, June 20, 2003. "Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected an oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel to be reopened in the near future after being closed when Israel became a state in 1948. "It won't be long when you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa," the port city in northern Israel, Netanyahu told a group of British investors, declining to give a timetable. "It is just a matter of time until the pipeline is reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean."

Rebuilding Iraq Turns Out to be a Gold Mine. Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2003. " Middlemen and go-betweens with strong military contacts have found a gold mine in the rebuilding of Iraq, doing everything from rounding up local suppliers to helping companies set up branch offices."

Report Exposes Bechtel as Threat to Iraqi Enviroment, Human Rights and Basic Services. Report by Public Citizen, Global Exchange and CorpWatch, released June 5, 2003. Taxpayer Money Funds Corporate War Profiteering and Cronyism, Public Interest Groups Say. PDF version

Lawmaker questions Halliburton work, CNN/Money, May 30, 2003. Democratic Rep. Waxman asks why military is relying on Cheney's old firm for rebuilding work.

Bechtel farming out Iraq jobs, CNN/Money, May 23, 2003. "European and Asian firms turned out in force Friday to press their case for Iraq rebuilding work at a meeting organized by U.S. construction firm Bechtel... Friday's meeting in London followed a similar gathering in the United States. The roadshow will move on to Kuwait next as Bechtel carves up millions of dollars of contracts. Bechtel was chosen by the U.S. Agency for International Development as the prime contractor to rebuild Iraq after the U.S.-led war in a deal that could be worth up to $680 million over 18 months. The company said it expects to subcontract at least 90 percent of the rebuilding work."

War With Iraq estimated to cost up to $1.9 trillion over ten years
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, December 2002.

Iraq: the Struggle for Oil and Oil in Iraq: the Heart of the Crisis
By James A. Paul, Global Policy Forum, Dec. 2002.

Iraq Conflict: The Historical Background (Global Policy Forum)






How Much Is Enough? By Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, May 30, 2003. "Nearly two months after American tanks rolled into Baghdad, the Bush administration is learning a simple if unwelcome lesson: it will take more troops to police and secure Iraq than it did to destroy the Saddam Hussein regime. The toppling of Mr. Hussein's government was essentially carried out by two to three divisions' worth of troops backed up by punishing air attacks. But the number of troops trying to provide security in postwar Iraq is far greater and includes almost half the divisions in the American Army. In February, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, estimated that it could take several hundred thousand troops to pacify the country after Mr. Hussein was removed from power, an assessment that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed as grossly inflated. The Army chief, civilian Defense Department officials suggested, did not understand the Bush administration's plan for Iraq and was ill-informed. Predicting trends in Iraq is not easy. But with 160,000 American and British troops now in Iraq and tens of thousands more providing logistical support from Kuwait, General Shinseki seems to have got it more right than the defense secretary. Certainly, the initial Bush administration plans to reduce American forces to less than two divisions by September, a force of 70,000 or substantially less, including logistical support, now seems unrealistic... Certainly, the Army does not seem to have many forces to spare. Of the Army's 10 divisions, more than 4 are deployed in Iraq. The Army's forces deployed in Iraq include the Third Infantry Division, Fourth Infantry Division, First Armored Division, 101st Airborne Division and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. Other forces in Iraq include the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. Of the remaining Army divisions, the Second Infantry Division is in South Korea, the 10th Mountain Division is headed to Afghanistan and a brigade of the First Infantry Division is in Kosovo..."

Byrd: 'False Premises' Prompted Iraq War, by Ken Guggenheim, Associated Press, May 21, 2003. "There is ample evidence that the horrific events of Sept. 11 have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, who masterminded the Sept. 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did not.... Instead of addressing the contradictory evidence, the White House deftly changes the subject," he said... He said the administration's talk of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the war "has become more than embarrassing." "It has raised serious questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power," he said. "Were our troops needlessly put at risk? Were countless Iraqi civilians killed and maimed when war was not really necessary? Was the American public deliberately misled? Was the world?" He said the United States "appears to be pushing off Iraq's clamor for self-government." "It is becoming all too clear that the smiling face of the U.S. as liberator is quickly assuming the scowl of an occupier," he said. "The image of the boot on the throat has replaced the beckoning hand of freedom." Byrd also criticized his congressional colleagues, saying they have not asked the tough questions, such as how many troops will have to stay in Iraq and how much will it cost."

 Bush's War On Iraq: Was It Just For The Photo Ops?
by Paul Krugman, New York Times, May 6, 2003. "Why is the failure to find any evidence of an active Iraqi nuclear weapons program, or vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons ... a big deal? Mainly because it feeds suspicions that the war wasn't waged to eliminate real threats. This suspicion is further fed by the administration's lackadaisical attitude toward those supposed threats once Baghdad fell. For example, Iraq's main nuclear waste dump wasn't secured until a few days ago, by which time it had been thoroughly looted. So was it all about the photo ops? Well, Mr. Bush got to pose in his flight suit. And given the absence of awkward questions, his handlers surely feel empowered to make even more brazen use of the national security issue in future."

Bush Officials Tout Russian, Caspian Oil for National Security
by Eryn Gable, Environment & Energy Daily, May 1, 2003. "Bush administration officials testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee yesterday said developing resources in Russia and the Caspian region is critical to U.S. energy security. The United States consumes more crude oil than any other nation in the world, with 60 percent of the American economy dependent on imported oil, witnesses said. The president's national energy policy noted the importance of Russia and the Caspian region to global energy production. Russia has the world's eighth largest share of oil reserves and the world's largest natural gas reserves. The two primary oil producers in the Caspian, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, currently produce 1 million and 300,000 barrels of oil daily, respectively. "This is a vibrant, important region," said Anna Borg, deputy assistant secretary for Energy, Sanctions and Commodities at the State Department. "The U.S. government and the State Department are focusing on it extensively, and we hope that we are able to continue translating the opportunities it represents into increases in our energy security and commercial opportunities." Russia is now the second largest producer and second largest exporter of crude oil behind Saudi Arabia. But several witnesses cautioned against casting Russian and Caspian oil as a replacement for Middle Eastern reserves. "It is important to remember that neither Russia nor the Caspian region can replace Saudi Arabia as swing producers, nor can they change the fact that two-thirds of proven world oil reserves are in the Middle East," Borg said. "We should be under no illusion that a major supply disruption of prolonged duration in the Middle East can be replaced by such sources," said Edward Chow, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, adding that "Persian Gulf countries have a unique and irreplaceable position in the oil supply chain." Still, International Economic Policy Subcommittee Chairman Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) noted that the Caspian region's production could double over the next decade. "While not a simple answer for reducing U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil, the Caspian region holds significant potential for energy development," he said. Russian oil production has been growing at about 7 percent annually since it averaged 5.85 million barrels per day (mbd) in 1988. Sustained firm oil prices could boost production from a 2002 average of 7.6 mbd to as high as 11 mbd over the next six years, Borg said. Estimates of Russia's proven oil reserves range from 50 billion to 110 billion barrels. It contains one-third of the world's natural gas reserves, with more than 1,700 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Oil production in the non-Russian Caspian region could increase from its current level of 1.5 bpd to as high as 5 million bpd by 2010, Borg said. Chow, who has 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, primarily with Chevron, countered that raising Caspian production to 2 million bpd by 2010 would be an achievement. Estimates of Caspian oil reserves range from 17 billion to 70 billion barrels. The Caspian could become the largest source of supply growth globally in the coming years outside of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Borg said. The Caspian has about 170 tcf of natural gas reserves, mostly in Turkmenistan. "We have made good progress and have achieved some successes, but we are by no means finished with our agenda," said Leonard Coburn, director of Russian and Eurasian affairs in the Energy Department's Office of Policy and International Affairs. In particular, Coburn noted that serious infrastructure problems hamper Russian oil exports. Chow cautioned against exaggerating the significance of the region. "In a global context, the Caspian represents another North Sea or Alaska. It is significant, but even full development will not represent a fundamental shift in oil market dynamics or the world supply picture," Chow said."

Did Bush Deceive Us in His Rush to War?
by Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2003

Bush Taps Former Counterterrorism Official as Iraq Civilian Administrator
Associated Press, May 1, 2003. "The Bush administration has chosen L. Paul Bremer, a former head of the State Department's counterterrorism office, to become civilian administrator in Iraq and oversee the country's transition to democratic rule. Bremer's selection, disclosed Wednesday by a senior U.S. official, will put him in charge of a transition team that includes retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner and Zalmay Khalilzad, the special White House envoy in the Persian Gulf region. Bremer left the State Department, where he was an assistant to former secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger, to join Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm studded with both Democrats and Republicans that held top U.S. government posts.

Attack Injures 7 U.S. Soldiers in Angry Iraqi City, By Terence Neilan, New York Times, May 1, 2003. "Iraqis using grenades and small arms attacked a walled compound in the city of Falluja, where United States forces shot and killed a total of 17 Iraqis in two separate incidents this week."

Robert Fisk: Looking Beyond War, Transcript of Robert Fisk Radio Interview By Amy Goodman, DemocracyNow!, April 22, 2003. "We claim that we want to preserve the national heritage of the Iraqi people, and yet my own count of government buildings burning in Baghdad before I left was 158, of which the only buildings protected by the United States army and the marines were the Ministry of Interior, which has the intelligence corp of Iraq and the Ministry of Oil, and I needn't say anything else about that. Every other ministry was burning. Even the Ministry of Higher Education/Computer Science was burning. And in some cases American marines were sitting on the wall next to the ministries watching them burn... National Archaeological Museum and the National Library of Archives with all the Ottoman and state archives and the Koranic Library of the Ministry of Religious Endowment and all were burned. Petrol was poured on these documentations over them and they were all burned in 3000 degrees of heat... [S]omebody has an interest in destroying the center of a new government and the cultural identity of Iraq..."

At least 10 dead as US soldiers fire on school protest
By Phil Reeves, The Independent, April 30, 2003.

U.S. to Withdraw All Combat Units From Saudi Arabia
By Eric Schmitt, New York Times, April 30, 2003.

Phantom WMDs: Where are they? The world is waiting
by Molly Ivins, April 29, 2003.

U.S. Troops Fire on Iraqi Protesters, Leaving 15 Dead
New York Times, April 29, 2003.

Halliburton Earns On Iraq-Related Projects FT.com, May 30, 2003. "Halliburton, the US construction and energy services company, has reaped nearly $500m from Iraq - related projects in the past two years, well in excess of the amounts previously disclosed, according to a prominent congressional White House critic. Representative Henry Waxman, the California Democrat whose office published that figure on Thursday, warned that the company's future revenues in Iraq were "virtually limitless", thanks to an open-ended logistics contract with the US army... Critics have also pointed to past studies showing cost overruns and inflated bills for projects Halliburton carried out in the Balkans on behalf of the US government... Army Corps of Engineers had awarded it a contract worth as much as $7bn - without any competition - to extinguish oil-well fires in Iraq. The government defended the closed bidding process, citing national considerations and the emergency nature of the work, which called for a large and experienced contractor. Halliburton also pointed out that it expected to receive far less than the maximum value of the contract because, ultimately, few Iraqi wells were torched. To date, the company has carried out about $71m in work orders. Halliburton had garnered about $425m in additional Iraq-related projects through Logcap III, the separate army contract won in December 2001. One of the Iraq projects under Logcap III was assigned nearly a year before the war began.

UN Votes to Lift Iraq Sanctions
(Reuters, May 22, 2003). "The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 on Thursday to end 13-year-old crippling sanctions on Iraq and gave the United States and Britain extraordinary powers to run the country and its lucrative oil industry. Despite misgivings by many council members, the vote was a victory for the Bush administration..."

Iraqis Suspect U.S. Motive Behind Sanctions Move, By Hassan Hafidh, Reuters, May 22, 2003. "Iraqis said on Thursday the United States wanted to lift crippling sanctions on Iraq (news - web sites) to have a free hand with the country's oil reserves, the world's second largest after Saudi Arabia.

U.S. puts self-rule for Iraqis on hold
Chicago Tribune, May 22, 2003.

Selective Intelligence
by Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, May 12, 2003.

Three Get Top Posts to Revive Iraqi Oil Flow
By Neela Banerjee, New York Times, May 4, 2003. "The new civil administration in Iraq named two Iraqi oil officials and a former American oil executive today to lead the nation's oil industry... Thamir Ghadhban was introduced as the new chief executive of the interim management team for the oil sector... Ghadhban... served under the government of Saddam Hussein as head of the ministry's directorate of planning... [T]he chairman of an advisory board that will have oversight of the [oil] ministry would be Philip J. Carroll, a former chief executive of the Shell Oil company, the American unit of Royal Dutch/Shell, and a former chief executive of the large construction concern Fluor Daniel. Fadhil Othman, an Iraqi who, until 1995, led the agency that exported Iraqi oil and who now lives in Turkey, was named vice chairman of the committee... Ghadhban said, in a reference to both petroleum and products like natural gas, that "we are committed 100 percent that Iraqi oil and hydrocarbons are for the Iraqi people." As evidence, General Cross and Gary Vogler, a former executive of ExxonMobil who is on General Garner's team, said the advisory committee, which is led by an American, would not be able to veto decisions of the ministry's management, which will be entirely Iraqi."

Iraq's Old Money Elite Vies for Stake in Rebuilding the Nation
by Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times, May 10, 2003.

Halliburton's Role in Iraq Is Expanded
by Sue Pleming, Reuters, May 7, 2003. "Halliburton, the oil giant once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, will now be involved in operation and distribution of oil products in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, indicating a more direct role in Iraq's energy business than originally believed... n a letter sent on Tuesday to the Army Corps of Engineers, Waxman said originally the contract had been described as one to extinguish oil well fires and do related repairs, but Halliburton now appeared to have a more lucrative and direct role in rebuilding Iraq's oil industry. "It now appears however, that the contract with Halliburton -- a company with close ties to the (Bush) administration -- can now include 'operation' of Iraqi oil fields and 'distribution' of Iraqi oil," wrote [Democratic Rep. Henry] Waxman to Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers... When the Halliburton contract was first announced, some Democrats raised questions over whether the company's close ties to the administration had helped it secure the work, a suggestion the White House rejects... Asked about Halliburton's role in Iraq, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: "It's not a White House issue ... the White House does not get involved in who gets contracts."

Bush Officials Devise a Broad Plan for Free-Market Economy in Iraq
by Neil King Jr., Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2003. "The Bush administration has drafted sweeping plans to remake Iraq's economy in the U.S. image. Hoping to establish a free-market economy in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. is calling for the privatization of state-owned industries such as parts of the oil sector, forming a stock market complete with electronic trading and fundamental tax reform. Execution of the plan -- which is expected to be complicated and possibly contentious -- will fall largely to private American contractors working alongside a smaller team of U.S. officials. The initial plans are laid out in a confidential 100-page U.S. contracting document titled "Moving The Iraqi Economy From Recovery to Sustainable Growth." The consulting work could be valued at as much as $70 million for the first year. The U.S. Agency for International Development plans to award part of the work to BearingPoint Inc., a Virginia-based consulting firm known previously as KPMG Consulting, an AID official said. BearingPoint, which received a similar $40 million job to do economic work in Afghanistan, was approached as a sole-source bidder. AID plans to open the larger share of the work, including privatization and small-enterprise development, to a limited pool of competitors likely to include Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and International Business Machines Corp.'s recently acquired PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting unit. Unlike some of the construction companies that have won contracts, BearingPoint has made few political contributions to either party in the past two years."

Who Lied To Whom? by Seymour m. Hersh, New Yorker, March 31, 2003. Why did the Administration endorse a forgery about Iraq's nuclear program?

Lunch with the Chairman, by Seymour Hersch, New Yorker, March 17, 2003. "New Yorker magazine and its senior investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, have produced a devastating exposé of the shady dealings of Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle, the self-described "Prince of Darkness" who works non-stop for a war against Iraq. Even before the New Yorker's March 17 issue, with Hersh's article called "Lunch with the Chairman," hit the newsstands, the international wires from New York, to Washington, London, Baghdad, and Tel Aviv had felt the impact of its exposé. The exposure of Perle, and questions about two other prominent Administration figures-Vice President Dick Cheney and Henry A. Kissinger-could be the very "exit strategy" needed for Iraq. But this "exit strategy" requires that Cheney, Perle, and Kissinger be ousted from any position in the U.S. government because of potential conflict of interest and profiteering. According to Hersh's report, Perle and two other Defense Policy Board members, Kissinger and Gerald Paul Hillman, have not only spent more than 18 months, and untold amounts of government money, making war plans against Iraq in the bowels of the Pentagon; they also created a Delaware-registered company, Trireme Partners LP, in November 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, to make a handsome profit from America's "war on terrorism," and even more from an Iraq war." (from Michele Steinberg article in Executive Intelligence Review, March 21, 2003).

U.S. Moves Air Center From Saudi Arabia, By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press, April 29, 2003. "In the first major step in a post-Iraq war reorganization of American military forces in the Persian Gulf, the United States has moved an air operation center from Saudi Arabia to Qatar."

U.S. Pulls Military from Saudi in Gulf Realignment, By Charles Aldinger, Reuters, April 29, 2003. "The United States said on Tuesday it was ending military operations in Saudi Arabia and removing virtually all of its forces from the kingdom by mutual agreement following the Iraq war... The move effectively ends a relationship dating back to 1991 when Washington used Saudi Arabia as a launch pad for the Gulf War to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait and then as a base to police a "no-fly" zone over southern Iraq... Ousting U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia became the battle cry of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, blamed by Washington for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States..."

Rumsfeld says U.S. won't stay in Iraq
By Bradley Graham, Washington Post, April 22, 2003.

Iraq Weapons "Will Not Be Planted" BBC News, April 24, 2003. "Now, they won't be planted. We're going to immense care to ensure the veracity of the finds and why the devil would we plant any of this, because this military action was justified on the day that we took it." -- Jack Straw

Can We Trust the Intelligence Services? By Paul Reynolds, BBC News, April 24, 2003.

Bush says no new war planned, BBC News, April 23, 2003. "US President George W Bush has said he has no plans for any new military action following the conflict in Iraq... There has been speculation that the US might turn its sights on Syria, Iran or North Korea following the toppling of Saddam Hussein... However, in excerpts of the interview released by Newsweek magazine, Mr Bush said he was not planning for any new conflict. "I have no specific operation in mind at this point in time," he said. "I can't think of a specific moment or a specific incident that would require military action as we speak."

U.S. Draws Up Plan to Bomb Nuclear Plant. The Pentagon has produced detailed plans to bomb North Korea's nuclear plant at Yongbyon if the Stalinist state goes ahead with reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods, an Australian report said."

Lawmakers Take Aim at Syrians, By Carl Hulse, New York Times, April 18, 2003.

Redefining 'Democracy' as Disorder, By Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe, April 16, 2003.
"So desperate were the US forces after a week of looting and anarchy that they have been reduced to hiring members of Saddam's police force to keep order. Some 2,000 of the previous regime's hated police are already patrolling Baghdad's streets in their old uniforms. Imagine what signal that sends to ordinary, anti-Saddam Iraqis. Evidently it was Saddam's foreign policy that President Bush loathed, not Saddam's repression of citizens. Bush has compared Saddam to Hitler, but we didn't turn over the policing of postwar Berlin to the Gestapo. So much for winning hearts and minds."

Students for War

Privatization and the Oil Industry: A Strategy for Postwar Iraqi Reconstruction Ariel, by Cohen and Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr., In the National Interest, January 22, 2003. "The way out of the economic morass for the Iraqi economy lies through privatization of its abundant oil assets... If successful, Iraq's privatization of its oil sector, refining capacity, and pipeline infrastructure, could serve as a model for privatizations by other OPEC members, thereby weakening the cartel's domination of the energy markets... fundamental structural reform with massive, orderly, and transparent privatization of various sectors of the economy, including the oil industry."

It's the Oil, Stupid, by Michael T. Klare, The Nation, April 24, 2003.

Made in the USA series by Jim Crogan, LA Weekly US and Europen corporations built Iraq's weapons. Companies and ties revealed.

Center for Responsoive Politics webpage on political campaign contributions made by contractors working in Iraq. "Even before the war in Iraq began March 20, the Bush administration was considering plans to help rebuild the country after fighting ceased. According to news reports in early March, the U.S. Agency for International Development secretly asked six U.S. companies to submit bids for a $900 million government contract to repair and reconstruct water systems, roads, bridges, schools and hospitals in Iraq. The six companies -- Bechtel Group Inc., Fluor Corp., Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Louis Berger Group Inc., Parsons Corp. and Washington Group International Inc. -- contributed a combined $3.6 million in individual, PAC and soft money donations between 1999 and 2002."

Playing For Iraq's Jackpot. Nation sits on a virtual ocean of black gold -- but getting it flowing will take money and time, By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money, April 16, 2003. "The war with Iraq may not have been about oil, but the post-war rebuilding period sure will be. Iraq has the capability of being an oil producer to rival Saudi Arabia, but getting there could take many years, billions of dollars and a little bit of bickering."

U.S. Has No Plans to Count Civilian Casualties Washington Post, April 15, 2003

Liberty and Security: Republicans Want Terror Law Made Permanent
by Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, April 9, 2003.

Fury at US as attacks kill three journalists by Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad, Rory McCarthy in Doha, Jonathan Steele in Amman and Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, April 9, 2003. Reuters editor-in-chief said the incident "raises questions about the judgment of the advancing US troops who have known all along that this hotel is the main base for almost all foreign journalists in Baghdad." Washington Post story, April 8, 2003.

Chemical Hypocrites: As It Struggles To Justify Its Invasion, The US Is Getting Ready To Use Banned Weapons In Iraq, by George Monbiot, The Guardian, April 8, 2003. "Last week Bush authorised US troops to use teargas in Iraq. He is permitted to do so by an executive order published in 1975 by Gerald Ford, which overrides, within the US, the 1925 Geneva protocol on chemical weapons. While this may prevent Bush's impeachment in America, it has no standing in international law. The chemical weapons convention, promoted by George W's father and ratified by the US in 1997, insists that "each state party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare". Teargas, pepper spray and other incapacitants may be legally used on your own territory for the purposes of policing. They may not be used in another country to control or defeat the enemy... Last week the US Marine Corps told the Asia Times that CS gas and pepper spray had already been shipped to the Gulf."

Stealth puppetry, Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2003. ALL OF A SUDDEN there appears outside the city of Nasiriyah, courtesy of the U.S. Army, something called the Free Iraqi Forces. This is a battalion of fighters armed and equipped by the United States that will participate in the pacification of the Iraqi people. It is under the leadership of the Iraqi National Congress, a group of squabbling exiles headed by Ahmed Chalabi, a banker who left his native land 45 years ago and now has designs on the country's top job.

British Put Sheik Into Power in Basra, The Guardian, April 8, 2003. "British forces began establishing the first postwar administration in Iraq on Tuesday, putting a local sheik into power in Basra shortly after their troops won a two-week campaign for control of Iraq's second largest city. Col. Chris Vernon, spokesman for the British forces, said the sheik was a tribal leader. The sheik's name and religious affiliation were not disclosed."

Egyptian Intellectual Speaks Of the Arab World's Despair
By Susan Sachs, New York Times, April 8, 2003

On Arab TV, View Of War Is Different Than We See
By Todd Richissin, Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2003

Iraqi Fighter Death Toll Remains Mystery
By Deb Riechmann, AP, April 8, 2003

U.S. Stance on Postwar Iraq Widens Rift,
By Tom Raum, AP, April 7, 2003.

The Media Giant Behind The Pro-War Rallies (Clear Channel)
by Paul Krugman, New York Times, March 25, 2003.

White House prepares to feed 24-hour news cycle
PR Week, March 24 2003

Critics Say Coverage Helped Lead to War,
By Jim Rutenberg and Robin Toner, New York Times, March 22, 2003

Presenting Arms: The Iraq War & the U.S. Weapons Industry, by Philip Mattera, Director of the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Corporate Research E-Letter, No. 34 - April 2003. "Now that the Bush Administration has become the de facto marketing department of the arms industry, it is worth taking a closer look at how that business has been affected by the war in Iraq. As a contribution to that effort, here are brief profiles of the leading U.S. weapons contractors, their products, their "performance" during the war and their future prospects."

Fox News Engineer Charged With Smuggling Looting,
Associated Press, April 23, 2003. "A television news engineer faces smuggling charges after attempting to bring into the United States 12 stolen Iraqi paintings, monetary bonds and other items, federal officials said Wednesday. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va... The case was one of several to be detailed later Wednesday by Customs officials, who have seized other Iraqi artworks, weapons and other materials people have tried to smuggle into this country. Museums, businesses, government offices and homes were widely looted in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam's regime. Among the items stolen were thousands of artworks and other antiquities, some thousands of years old, from Iraq's vast collections of items from Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Sumerian and other cultures. An examination of Johnson's luggage also turned up 40 Iraqi Monetary Bonds and a visitor's badge from the U.S. embassy in Kuwait."

Oil Begins Flowing in South as Some Power Returns in Baghdad, New York Times, April 23, 2003. "The southern oil fields had been among the first installations secured when U.S. and British forces launched the ground war March 20. Coalition forces, aided by Iraqi oil workers, Wednesday fired up a gas-oil separation plant that sent oil to a pumping station and storage tank outside the southern city of Basra... Many Iraqis have complained bitterly, and frequently, about U.S. forces rushing to secure oil fields and the capital's oil ministry, leaving other ministries, universities, museums, hospitals and businesses to be looted and burned. U.S. officials have acknowledged they were surprised by the rampage, and said troops were too occupied by combat to intervene when they first reached Baghdad... American investigators were trying to figure out how hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars -- possibly genuine, perhaps counterfeit -- ended up in Iraq despite economic sanctions in place since 1990. The latest stash -- $112 million -- was found by Army civil affairs soldiers inside seven dog kennels in a wealthy neighborhood where top regime officials once lived, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. The Times and the New York Post said four soldiers were under investigation in the alleged theft of about $900,000 of a huge stash of dollars found earlier in the same neighborhood. Some of the cash has been stumbled upon almost by accident, while the intensive nationwide search by U.S. teams for banned weapons of mass destruction has yet to turn up conclusive evidence of chemical or biological weapons." Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2003

Anti-War Reporting Banned In UK Papers

The Wars After Iraq, Michael Klare, AlterNet March 12, 2003.

For Oil and Empire? Rethinking War with Iraq
Michael Klare, Current History, March 2003.

Resist War and Empire, Michael Klare, The Nation, Feb 24, 2003.

U.N. Charade--Timing of Iraq War in Bush's Hands from Start
By Michael Klare, Pacific News Service, Feb 12, 2003.

Who Lied to Whom? Why Did the Administration Endorse a Forgery about Iraq's Nuclear Program? By Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, Mar 31, 2003

U.S. Wins Appeal on Domestic Spy Powers
By Anne Gearan, Associated Press, March 24, 2003

Most Americans Support Iraq Action poll March 20, 2003

Opinions Begin to Shift as Public Weighs War Costs poll March 24, 2003

Not in Our Name's analysis of the US Dept of War's Command & Control Research Program's Shock and Awe strategy

The Pentagon's New Road Map: Why We're Going to War, and Why We'll Keep Going to War, By T.P.M. Barnett, US Naval War College

Rolling Start: The Idiot Prince Will Have His War
By U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff (Retired)

Reporters Warned To Leave Baghdad
Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2003. "It's not a friendly warning. They don't want witnesses. The information-control game is all about keeping people back home uninformed so they don't question the policy. And the first thing to make you question a policy is casualties."

TV Networks Continue To Ban Ads For Peace
New York Times, March 13, 2003

Head Games With Media's Help: Military Using Journalists In Mental War
By Edward A. Gargan, Newsday, March 13, 2003

U.S. Missteps Led to Failed Diplomacy
By Glenn Kessler and Mike Allen, Washington Post, March 16, 2003. "The current administration proceeded down a military track at virtually the same time it proceeded with diplomacy, creating an inevitable clash of interests and leaving many foreign diplomats believing the administration's appeal for U.N. backing was a fig leaf to cover a preordained decision to use military force against Iraq. In the view of other countries, the administration short-circuited the U.N. weapons inspections by arguing that the inspections could not be allowed to drag on because the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf region had proceeded too far to turn back from war..."

To Save Tax Cut, Bush Banks on Political Capital, By Richard W. Stevenson, New York Times, April 21, 2003. "As he ordered the invasion of Iraq last month, President Bush put his economic team on wartime footing, asking them to monitor the financial markets and business activity almost hour by hour. Each morning in the war's first weeks, a group of cabinet secretaries and senior White House officials crowded around the conference table in the West Wing office of Stephen Friedman, the chairman of the National Economic Council. Often, they were joined by Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman. They pored over what they called the "dashboard," a collection of economic and financial indicators, from oil prices to airline bookings, that would give them a sense of the economy's speed and direction. The numbers were updated and sent by e-mail to the officials throughout the day... While employers continued to cut jobs, there was no sustained spike in oil prices, no panic on Wall Street, no serious disruption of global trade... Mr. Bush has made it clear that he does not intend to give up on his tax cut without a fight. There is considerable confidence within the administration that the president can use his postwar popularity to force the tax cut back up toward $500 billion or $550 billion.

The True Cost of Hegemony: Huge Debt
By Niall Ferguson, New York Times, April 20, 2003. "America is not only the world's biggest economy. It is also the world's biggest borrower. Its muscular military power is underwritten by foreign capital... Foreign investors now have claims on the United States amounting to about $8 trillion of its financial assets. That's the result of the ever-larger American balance-of-payments deficits - totaling nearly $3 trillion - since 1982. Last year, the balance-of-payments deficit, the gap between the amount of money that flows into the country and the amount that flows out, was about 5 percent of gross national product. This year it may be larger still. The Wall Street Journal recently asked: "Is the U.S. Hooked on Foreign Capital?" The answer is yes, and this applies to the government even more than the private sector. Foreign investors now hold about two-fifths of the federal debt in private hands - double the proportion they held 10 years ago, according to the Treasury Department... Thus President Bush's vision of a world recast by military force to suit American tastes has a piquant corollary: the military effort involved will be (unwittingly) financed by the Europeans - including the much reviled French - and the Japanese. Does that not give them just a little leverage over American policy, on the principle that he who pays the piper calls the tune? Balzac once said that if a debtor was big enough then he had power over his creditors; the fatal thing was to be a small debtor. It seems that Mr. Bush and his men have taken this lesson to heart."

Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq

Marc Harrold's Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting) and Afghanistan Archive

Homefront Confidential: How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know. Prepared by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 3rd edition March 2003.

Fisher, Keith. A Meeting of Blood and Oil: The Balkan Factor in Western Energy Security. Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Vol.4, No.1, May 2002, pp.75-89.

U.S. Gives Bechtel a Major Contract in Rebuilding Iraq, By Elizabeth Becker and Richard A. Oppel Jr. New York Times, April 18, 2003. "The Bush administration awarded the Bechtel Group of San Francisco the first major contract today in a vast reconstruction plan for Iraq that assigns no position of authority to the United Nations or Europe. The contract, which was awarded by the United States Agency for International Development, had set off a heated contest among some of the nation's most politically connected construction concerns. The award will initially pay Bechtel, a closely held San Francisco company that posted $11.6 billion in revenue last year, $34.6 million and could go up to $680 million over 18 months. But those amounts could be only a fraction of what it costs to rebuild Iraq's airports, water and electric-power systems, roads and railroads. The reconstruction of Iraq, a task that experts have said could cost $25 billion to $100 billion, is part of a broad American-led effort to stabilize the country and set up a new government. The American taxpayer will pay the initial contract costs, but Iraqi oil revenue is supposed to eventually pay for much of the reconstruction. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government a week ago, the Bush administration has effectively shut out the United Nations from any postwar role in Iraq."

Bechtel wins pact to help rebuild Iraq, By Stephen J. Glain, Boston Globe, April 18, 2003. "The government says it was necessary to bid out much of the postwar rebuilding work in secret because open bidding would have hampered the process at the expense of Iraqi economic and political stability."

Bechtel Has Ties in Washington, and to Iraq, By Richard A. Oppel Jr. with

Diana B. Henriques, New York Times, April 18, 2003. "It has a long history of doing business in Iraq, including an unsuccessful pipeline deal that at one point involved a meeting between Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the secretary of defense, and Saddam Hussein. That project later drew scrutiny from a special prosecutor looking into allegations of impropriety involving Edwin A. Meese III, the former White House counsel and attorney general in the Reagan administration... Congressional Democrats have questioned the involvement of Halliburton in postwar Iraq, prompting the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to open a wide-ranging inquiry. But while Halliburton's involvement in Iraq has drawn the most attention, Bechtel has longstanding ties to the national security establishment - both for the work it has done as well as the men who have served in its executive ranks. One director is George P. Shultz, who was secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. Before joining the Reagan administration, Mr. Shultz, who also serves as a senior counselor to Bechtel, was the company's president, working alongside Caspar W. Weinberger, who served as an executive at the San Francisco-based company before his appointment as defense secretary. This year, President Bush appointed Bechtel's chief executive, Riley P. Bechtel, to serve on the President's Export Council. Bechtel's history in Iraq goes back to 1950, when it was hired by the Iraq Petroleum Company to build a 556-mile crude oil pipeline linking the oil fields in Kirkuk, in the Kurdish sector of northeastern Iraq, to the port of Baniyas in Syria. Most recently, from 1983 until the early 1990's, Bechtel teamed up with Turkey's Enka construction group to help build the Bekme hydroelectric dam near the Turkish border. But perhaps its most controversial dealings with Iraq surrounded a project that was never built. In 1983, Bechtel was negotiating to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, and the project was discussed privately by Mr. Hussein and Mr. Rumsfeld, who was in Baghdad in December 1983 as the president's Mideast peace envoy. A secret State Department cable, released by the National Security Archives and obtained by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, detailed the meeting between Mr. Rumsfeld and the Iraqi leader. "In response to Rumsfeld's interest in seeing Iraq increase oil exports, including through possible new pipeline across Jordan to Aqaba, Saddam suggested Israeli threat to security of such a line was major concern and U.S. might be able to provide some assurances in this regard," the cable stated. Mr. Shultz, who was secretary of state at the time, has said that he recused himself from any discussions involving the proposed pipeline. Bechtel later brought in as a partner Bruce Rappoport, a Swiss executive with ties to Israel, who sought to secure a promise from Israel not to attack the pipeline. Mr. Rappoport then retained E. Robert Wallach, a lawyer who was close to Mr. Meese, then the attorney general. Mr. Wallach later wrote a memo to Mr. Meese saying that some proceeds from the pipeline would go to Israel's ruling Labor Party. Mr. Meese's involvement was later investigated by a special prosecutor as part of a broader inquiry into Mr. Meese. He was not prosecuted but later resigned."

U.S. Overseer Begins Meeting With Iraqis on New Government
By Jane Perlez, New York Times, April 15, 2003. "General Garner will oversee how $2.4 billion authorized by Congress last week will be spent in Iraq. He will pass judgment on problems like setting up television stations and selecting a police force for a population of 24 million in 17 provinces. His voice will be important when Washington decides how to revive the Iraqi oil industry and how quickly to seek to lift United Nations sanctions. One of his deputies, Lewis Lucke, a former official of the United States Agency for International Development, is in charge of the bidding process for reconstruction contracts... Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld chose General Garner for his position. The two men know each other well from the late 1990's when the general served on a missile defense commission headed by Mr. Rumsfeld... The general retired from the military in 1997 after serving from 1994 to 1996 as commander of the Army Space and Strategic Defense Command. He joined SYColeman, a missile systems contractor that gives technical advice on a variety of systems, including the Patriot, which was deployed in Iraq. It was bought by L-3 Communications last year. He enjoyed his business career, he said, because "most of the guys are former military, and you make a lot of money."

Firm Wins $62 Million Deal to Restore Education in Iraq
By Elizabeth Becker, New York Times, April 15, 2003. Creative Associates International Inc has worked in more than 60 countries, with 90 percent of its business coming from the US Agency for International Development.

Senate Rolls Pork Barrel into a War Bill
by David Firestone, New York Times, April 8, 2003.

Cheney Sees 2.5 Million Barrels a Day Iraq Oil Output
Reuters, April 9, 2003. "Sketching out a postwar scenario now that Iraqi President Saddam Hussei appears to have lost power, Cheney, a former oil company executive, spoke of "an organization to oversee the functioning of their oil ministry."

Americans, Iraqis Haul Away Spoils of War
By Hans Greimel, AP, April 8, 2003. "Troops from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division stormed one of Iraq's presidential palaces. They used Saddam's toilets, but also rifled through documents and helped themselves to ashtrays, pillows, gold-painted Arab glassware and other souvenirs... "We expect our officers, our military, our coalition forces to conduct themselves in an honorable manner,"

Democrats Call For Probe Into Iraq Postwar Contracts, AFP Apr 8, 2003

Postwar Iraq: A Showcase For Privatization?
By Philip Mattera, Corporate Research E-Letter EXTRA, April 3, 2003.

Secret Bids: Companies, Including Big GOP Donors, Invited to Vie for Iraq Contracts. ABC News, March 22, 2003. "Weeks before the first bombs dropped in Iraq, the Bush administration began rebuilding plans."

Making A Killing On War By Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch, March 20, 2003. "Halliburton [is] working alongside United States troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars... building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the 'war on terrorism...' While recent news coverage has speculated on the post-war reconstruction gravy train that corporations like Halliburton stand to gain from... Halliburton is already profiting from war time contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars."

Halliburton Subsidiary Wins Contract (AFP) - The US army said it gave the main Iraqi oilwell firefighting contract to a unit of Halliburton Co., a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, without any bidding.

Halliburton Gets Iraq Firefighting Nod A unit of Houston-based oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. will organize the oil well firefighting and rehabilitation effort in Iraq just as it did after the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), officials said.

Halliburton faces row on Iran link By Simon English, Telegraph (UK), March 24, 2003. Halliburton, the oil business run by US vice president Dick Cheney in the 1990s, is facing a confrontation with investors over its operations in Iran. Two New York City pension funds have demanded that Halliburton review its businesses in Iran and other nations because of "concerns about corporate ties to states sponsoring terrorist activity."

Cheney is still paid by Pentagon contractor The Guardian (UK), March 12, 2003.

Cheney Led Halliburton to Feast at Federal Trough August 2000 report from the Center for Public Integrity that alleges Halliburton under Cheney got "corporate welfare" through $3.8 billion in federal contracts and taxpayer-insured loans.

Iraq rebuilding contracts awarded. By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money, March 25, 2003. Halliburton, Stevedoring Services of America.

Baghdad building bonanza? By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money, March 25, 2003. Halliburton and other public companies could profit in post-war Iraq, but will investors benefit?

Which Companies Will Put Iraq Back Together?
By Diana B. Henriques, New York Times, March 23, 2003

Postwar Profiteers - Center for Responsive Politics's Capital Eye

Privatizing the Spoils of War By Phil Mattera, Corporate Research E-Letter No. 33, March 2003. "Experts convened by the Council on Foreign Relations estimate that reconstruction will cost [US taxpayers] at least $20 billion a year. The Bush Administration already has an agency in place to oversee the spending of that money: the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. The head of that office, Jay Garner, epitomizes the incestuous relationship between the public and private sectors in the reconstruction process: he is a former Army general who then went to work for a military contractor. Garner is expected to serve as the administrator of postwar Iraq."

Business On The Battlefield: The Role Of Private Military Companies
By Mafruza Khan, Corporate Research E-Letter, Dec 2002.

Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War Gains,
By Erik Kirschbaum, Berlin, Reuters, March 25, 2003


"War had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war...The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil." -- George Orwell, 1984

"The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror." -- U.S. Pres Bush, May 1, 2003

"We need to err on the side of being strong. And if people want to say we're an imperial power, fine." -- William Kristol, on Fox News

"We must become the owners, or at any rate the controllers at the source, of at least a proportion of the oil which we require." -- British Royal Commission, in 1913, on Churchill's Iraq policy

"If war aims are stated which seem to be solely concerned with Anglo-American imperialism, they will offer little to people in the rest of the world. The interests of other peoples should be stressed.
This would have a better propaganda effect." -- Council of Foreign Relations, 1941 memo to U.S. State Dept

"The government says it was necessary to bid out much of the postwar rebuilding work in secret because open bidding would have hampered the process at the expense of Iraqi economic and political stability."
-- Boston Globe, April 18, 2003

"If they turn on the radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to-air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace... We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need."
-- U.S. Brigadier General William Looney, Washington Post, August 30, 1999

"George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States. He was appointed by God." -- U.S. Army Lt. General William G. "Jerry" Boykin, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and veteran of Iran, Grenada, Panama, Colombia, Somalia, and Waco. "We're a Christian nation and the enemy is a guy named Satan."

"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war." -- Donald Rumsfeld

"War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it." -- George Orwell


Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

--W.H. Auden, Epitaph On A Tyrant


An Iraqi woman soothes her 12-year-old wounded daughter Hajer Ayid in a Baghdad hospital April 24, 2004. Ayid was injured overnight in an incident involving U.S. troops and forces of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the Baghdad suburb of Al Sadr City. Three sisters were burned when their house, which was in the area of a firefight, caught fire. Photo by Faleh Kheiber/Reuters





"Highway of Death" from Kuwait to Iraq after bombing by U.S. in 1991.







Dead child in Basra.




Bush in Qatar.