7-12-04 - DREAM - I was sitting at a desk in my
business office, working on some paperwork, and my boss from upstairs
called me and said that he had wanted his secretary named Bess (Means
God's Promise-Hebrew) , to call me to discuss what I knew about Bechtel.
He wanted her to give a speech based on what I knew about them. My phone
hadn't run all day, so I knew Bess hadn't called me or left a message to
call her back. Then he told me that Bess had written her speech based on
a speech he had given earlier.
All I could do was respond, "Okay!"
U.S. construction firms
bidding on a lucrative government contract ($900-million) to rebuild a
Contributed a combined $2.8 million—68 percent to
Republicans—over the past two election cycles.
Bechtel Group Inc..
Kellogg, Brown & Root
Louis Berger Group Inc
The firms that land the contract are also likely to make
the short list for future projects in Iraq, which include plans to
develop the country's oil industry. Bechtel, the engineering giant that employed the likes
of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of State
George Schultz and former CIA Director William Casey before they took
their government posts, gave $1.3 million in individual, PAC and
soft money contributions between 1999 and 2002.
As it prepares its bid for the postwar project, Bechtel
is facing allegations that it contributed to Iraq's military buildup
nearly two decades ago.
Bechtel was among 24 U.S. companies
that supplied Iraq with weapons during the '80s.
Kellogg, Brown & Root and parent
company Halliburton—which was headed by Vice
President Dick Cheney until 2000—was the second-largest donor of the
group, with more than $709,000 in contributions.
Halliburton also gave more to Bush's presidential
campaign—$17,677—than any of the other bidders combined.
Fluor, which gave more than $483,000 in
individual, PAC and soft money contributions in the previous two
election cycles, also has ties to the Defense Department.
Bechtel has a series of links with the Bush administration and those
pressing hardest for war within it. Bechtel’s Chairman and Chief
Executive Riley Bechtel was recently appointed to President Bush’s
export council. Jack Sheehan, a senior Vice-President of Bechtel, is a
member of the Defence Policy Board, the Pentagon advisory council that
lobbied hard for war. George Shultz, a former US Secretary of State and
another Bechtel board member, was chairman of the Committee to Liberate
Iraq, a fiercely pro-war group with close ties to the White House.
Bechtel has been put in charge of repairing power and water systems in
Iraq – worrying since the company is one of the top water
privatisation companies in the world. In Bolivia Bechtel was forced to
quit the country after a massive hike in water prices caused unrest.
Iraq was seen as a prize because it has the world’s second largest
oil reserves – more than 10% of the world’s existing stock. Kellogg,
Brown & Root (KB&R), a subsidiary of the US energy company
Halliburton has won a $600M contract for initial repairs to Iraq’s
oilfields and a further $600M contract for the pumping of oil. Vice
President Dick Cheney is a former Chief Executive of Halliburton.
KB&R also has the contract for running military camps in Iraq –
part of a 10 year deal with the US military that has already netted
$830m for the company. Iraq’s national oil company has been put in
charge of Philip J. Carroll, the former chief executive of Shell Oil,
USA. The three biggest oil companies ExxonMob, Shell and BP earned
almost $16Bn (£10Bn) in the first three months of this year as the
drive to war pushed oil prices up to $35 a barrel. Exxon reported the
biggest quarterly corporate profits in history at $7Bn. Shell, BP &
ChevronTexaco , also notorious for its close links to the Bush
administration, are now shipping oil out of Iraqi. Recently anti-war
protestors blockaded the port of Oakland, California when the first
shipment of Iraqi crude since the war arrived in the USA.
Washington -- A company tied to Vice
President Dick Cheney has won a Pentagon contract for
advice on rebuilding Iraq's oil fields after a possible
The contract was disclosed in the last paragraph of a
Defense Department statement on preparations for Saddam
Hussein's possible destruction of Iraq's oil fields in
the event of a U.S.-led invasion. The statement calls
for proposals on how to handle oil well fires and for
assessing other damage to oil facilities. The contract
went to Kellogg Brown & Root Services, which is
owned by Halliburton Co., of which Cheney was chairman
until his election in 2000.
The Houston company is a respected name in petroleum
industry construction and one of a few companies capable
of large-scale oil field reconstruction. But its ties to
Cheney arouse suspicions among those who believe that a
primary motive for a U.S. war in Iraq is oil.
"I certainly don't think this comes as much of a
surprise," said Michael Renner, a researcher at
WorldWatch Institute, commenting on the Halliburton
contract, "There are lots of business opportunities
embedded in this war. It represents the larger oil and
energy issues at stake."
The White House wouldn't comment on how the contract
might fuel such suspicions. "I deal with the
reality of situations," said spokesman Ken Lisaius.
"The president has made it abundantly clear about
the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to us and our
friends. We stand by to help rebuild a liberated
NO COMMENT FROM CHENEY
Cheney's office declined comment, but a Halliburton
spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that Kellogg
Brown & Root has been doing government contracting
since the 1940s. The Pentagon wouldn't discuss the exact
size of the contract, nor how it was rewarded, saying
the information is classified.
The initial Kellogg Brown & Root contract doesn't
mean it has an inside track on later contracts
potentially totaling billions of dollars to rehabilitate
Iraq's oil fields, explore new ones and pump the
Even if they emerge unscathed, Iraq's oil fields will
need work performed by companies like Kellogg Brown
& Root. Daily production has slumped during the past
two decades, worn down by wars and, since 1991, by
United Nations sanctions that barred imports of
equipment. Daily output capacity is about 2 million
barrels, down from 3.5 million barrels before Hussein
took power in 1979.
With enough investment, it's thought Iraqi production
could surge to 10 million to 12 million barrels a day
within a decade.
Iraq's proven oil reserves of 112 billion barrels are
the world's second- largest behind only Saudi Arabia.
And there might be large untapped fields in Iraq ripe
Renner is convinced that U.S. multinational oil
industry firms would strike it rich in post-war Iraq.
"Regime change in Baghdad would reshuffle the cards
and give U.S. (and British) companies a good shot at
direct access to Iraqi oil fields for the first time in
30 years -- a windfall worth hundreds of billions of
dollars," he said.
Administration supporters say past history refutes
claims that a war with Iraq is about oil.
"This bumper sticker mentality about oil was
wrong in the 1991 Gulf War, and it's wrong now. We gave
the oil back to Kuwait back then, and this war, at root,
is about the nature of Saddam Hussein's regime,"
said James Phillips, foreign policy analyst at the
Administration officials have said they view Iraq's
petroleum wealth as a tool for rebuilding. "Iraq's
natural resources belong to all the Iraqi people and --
after decades of being used to build palaces and weapons
of mass destruction -- will finally be used for their
benefit, not Hussein's," wrote deputy national
security adviser Steve Hadley in a recent op-ed article
in the Washington Post.
In saying that, the White House is following
international law, said David Caron, a professor at UC
Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. Under the 1907
Hague Convention, the United States would be present in
Iraq as an occupying power and would hold the country's
resources in trust.
It could rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure, but
probably would have to recognize contracts that oil
companies from France, China and Russia have signed with
Hussein's regime, even though their governments oppose a
"I don't think the United States would get into
breaching contracts, but there would be room for new
contracts to be let," Caron said.
Using an open bidding process that wouldn't favor
American firms "would be wise politically," he
EXPERIENCE IN KUWAIT
In San Francisco, anti-war activists have accused the
Bechtel Corp., the engineering firm that rebuilt
Kuwait's oil fields after Hussein destroyed them in the
1991 Gulf War, of waiting to profit from a new conflict.
Bechtel officials discount that assertion as nonsense.
Spokesman Jonathan Marshall said that while the
company is proud of the work it did rebuilding Kuwait's
fields, "Bechtel has never lobbied to create a
political crisis there. We're not even at war yet, so
it's premature to speculate."
But Marshall added that "I'm sure the United
States government will consider Bechtel if there is work
to be done."
A report by the James A. Baker III Institute for
Public Policy at Rice University, a think tank created
by the former secretary of state to the first President
George Bush, warns the current administration not to
show favoritism for American firms in rebuilding Iraq's
"There should be a level playing field for all
international players to participate in future repair,
development and exploration efforts," the report
said. "A heavy-handed American approach will only
convince them (the Iraqis) . . . and the rest of the
world that the operation against Iraq was undertaken for
imperialist, rather than disarmament, reasons."
this week's Feature highlights, Vice President
Dick Cheney has been plotting the conquest of Iraq since
he was Secretary of Defense in President George H.W.
Bush's Administration—a plan then considered insane
aggression. Moreover, on July 17, 2003, Judicial Watch
announced that Cheney's Energy Task Force had developed
a map of Iraq dated March 2001, as well as maps of the
neighboring United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Saudi
Arabia, which show that Cheney knew precisely how much
the conquest of Iraq would be worth.
map, which shows oilfields, pipelines, tanker terminals,
and refineries, includes eight "blocks" for
exploration near the border with Saudi Arabia. Iraq has
been proven to have the second-highest amount of oil
reserves of any nation in the world, next to Saudi
Arabia. And, this is without exploration of the eight
blocks near the Saudi border—a vast area that is at
least one-third of the country—which could make Iraq
number one in terms of proven reserves. Alphabetically,
from Japan to Vietnam, there is attached to the map a
list of "Foreign Suitors" for oil deals with
Saddam Hussein's Iraq—deals that the Coalition
Provisional Authority (CPA) has indicated are now off.
returning to the significance of the maps for lining
Vice President Cheney's pockets: EIR has learned
that the the U.S. Export-Import Bank is circulating a
plan that calls for securitizing future oil revenues
from Iraq in order to pay for reconstruction contracts.
What is known about this from the Ex-Im Bank plan, and
from a July 13 article in the Observer of London,
entitled "Outrage at U.S. Plan To Mortgage Iraqi
Oil," is that the Ex-Im Bank is proposing to raise
loans from private banks to pay for reconstruction
contracts, to be repaid by revenues from future Iraqi
oil sales. It is argued that this would take pressure
off the deficit-ridden U.S. budget to pay reconstruction
Ex-Im Bank has been working on behalf of the corporate
lobbying group known as the Coalition for Employment
Through Exports, among whose most important participants
are Halliburton Oil Co. and Bechtel.
Cheney's company, is actively promoting the "securitization"
of Iraq's oil. The stakes are enormous. A spokesman for
Platt's Energy news service told EIR that Iraq's
oil output, within a few years, could be 5 million
barrels per day, at a significantly lower cost than oil
from other sources. This would give great wealth to
companies involved in developing the industry, and would
perhaps give those controlling Iraq, the ability to
dictate terms to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Ex-Im Bank plan proposes 1) securitizing future oil
revenues, either through the UN-created Development Fund
for Iraq, or another financial institution; 2)
establishing a trade finance facility (a Trade Bank was
just established the week of July 21 in Iraq); and, 3)
the restructuring of Iraq's debt and reparations
look who benefits from this. As EIR has
previously reported, the Bechtel Corp. has an estimated
$500 million contract, which it obtained through a
non-competitive, classified deal for general
reconstruction—a program that could grow exponentially
under the Ex-Im Bank plan. On the Board of Bechtel sits
former Secretary of State George Shultz, who was the
"Godfather" who ran G.W. Bush's Presidential
Exploratory Committee and hand-picked many of the
leading neo-conservative "chicken-hawks" (see EIR,
Oct. 4, 2002). These are the same people who, after the
9/11 policy coup d'état, urged war against Iraq, with
Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld leading
Halliburton Oil Co., where Cheney served as chairman and
CEO from 1995 until his nomination as a Vice
Presidential candidate, has been given control of Iraq's
South Oil Co., which is the largest potential oil
producer to date in Iraq. Moreover, Cheney, who received
$20 million from Halliburton when he became Vice
President, knows that he will receive deferred payments
of a size to be determined by Halliburton's Board of
Directors, based upon how well he performs in office.
Ex-Im Bank plan, which is also being pushed by the
occupation CPA, headed by former Kissinger Associates
executive L. Paul Bremer, is to restructure Iraq's debt
and reparation obligations. Presently, Iraq has an
outstanding debt of $120 billion, and under the old UN
"oil-for-food" program, some 20% from sales of
Iraq's oil went to war reparations for oil-rich Kuwait.
Under this latest plan, nations like Russia, which is
owed over $20 billion for current and future contracts,
might get nothing, or at best 10¢ on the dollar.
Observer added in its July 13 issue:
"American plans to mortgage Iraq's future oil
supplies to pay for expensive postwar reconstruction
work risk a repeat of mistakes made with Germany after
the First World War, debt relief campaigners said this
weekend.... Anne Pettifor, head of Jubilee Plus debt
relief campaign, ... warned against the coalition 'using
the instrument of debt to control Iraq,' after it
leaves. Such a motive was behind the way Germany was
treated after 1918...." In short, the plan may
crush the average Iraqi citizen's standard of living,
with dire political consequences.
a senior official of the World Bank, who asked to remain
anonymous, told EIR that this plan "would
seriously complicate Iraq's debt repayment."
Another World Bank official told Faisal Islam, who
authored the Observer article of July 13,
"The World Bank has said such a commitment should
only be made by a sovereign Iraqi government."
Presently, there is no sovereign government in Iraq,
only "Proconsul" Bremer and his appointed
Governing Council. So, due to World Bank and probable UN
opposition, it is likely that this Ex-Im Bank plan will
prove to be "a pipe dream."
Energy Task Force
since Cheney's Energy Task Force filed its final report,
there have been private lawsuits to find out whom he
talked with about what, given his past history with
Halliburton, and close Bush Administration ties with
Energy pirate Enron.
maps that were just released to Judicial Watch under the
Freedom of Information Act indicate why. The Judicial
Watch press release was republished by Veterans for
Common Sense, under the title, "Did Cheney's Secret
Energy Meeting Set Stage for Attack?" In their
introduction, they wrote: "Here is the smoking gun
pointing directly to Vice President Richard Cheney's
energy company meetings held at the White House in early
2001.... Congress and the press should immediately
investigate any linkage between the secret White House
deals ... and the U.S. invasion and occupation of
is not just private groups that are suing, such as
Judicial Watch, the Sierra Club, and the Natural
Resources Defense Council. As early as June 5, 2001,
Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee
called for hearings on the workings of Cheney's secret
Energy Task Force. Committee member Rep. Henry Waxman
(D-Calif.), joined by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.),
called for a hearing on what took place during the
secret meetings the Task Force held when it was putting
together the Bush National Energy Policy, as well as
demanding to know the identities of all the
Cheney Task Force has conducted its meetings in private,
and reportedly has obtained input from private citizens
and groups, including political contributors,"
Waxman said, in a jab at Enron and other current and
former energy giants. Waxman also objected to the effort
by Cheney's legal counsel, who urged the General
Accounting Office of the Congress on May 16, 2001, to
scrap an inquiry Waxman had asked for, investigating the
role of Federal employees in the Cheney Task Force's
meetings, along with other corruption charges. However,
despite a request from the GAO, the Vice President
refused to turn over any documents from the Committee,
and the GAO had to file a lawsuit for them.
fact, the strategy that has been pursued, to this day,
appears to be stonewalling by the Vice President's
office, while other agencies involved in the Task
Force—e.g., the Energy and Commerce
Departments—deluge plaintiffs with documents. Like any
cover-up, the scandal grows with efforts to suppress it,
and on July 8, 2003, a Federal Appeals Court granted
Judicial Watch the right to discovery of Cheney's Task
Force documents, unless clear and present risk were
posed by the release of documents, which must be
specified. This court decision should significantly aid
the lawsuit brought against Cheney's Energy Task Force
by the GAO, which is also being stonewalled.
to the three maps that have been released, it is
significant that a fact sheet released on the U.A.E.
indicates that Enron was a partner with Qatar and
TotalFinaElf in an $8 billion Dolphin Gas Project. And
Enron, together with Occidental Petroleum, TotalFinaElf,
ExxonMobil, Shell, and Conoco were listed on the Saudi
map as involved in a "Red Sea Area" gas
exploration of as yet unknown dimensions. Whether or not
Enron had contact with Cheney's Energy Task Force has
been a key question, because several top company
executives have been indicted on charges stemming from
the firm's "energy piracy."
the various lawsuits, it has come out that 39 top energy
and related firms, between 1999-2002, gave $6.3 million
in direct, PAC, and "soft money" political
contributions, of which $4.5 went to Republicans. Many
of these companies are known to have had contact with
key members of Cheney's Energy Task Force, such as
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. Enron led the pack
during these years, with a total of $3,379,665, of which
$2,480,056 went to Republicans and $899,109 to
contributors involved in meetings with the Energy Task
Force members include: Bechtel, which gave a total of
$645,640, of which $469,690 went to Republicans and
$176,950 to Democrats; and, Halliburton, which had a
total of $480,188 in contributions, of which $463,288
went to Republicans and $15,900 to Democrats. While
these contributions appear to be perfectly legal, it is
likely—as the keys to the maps and subsequent
developments contracts in Iraq with Bechtel and
Halliburton show—that there was influence-peddling
involved. In fact, the Vice President knows his deferred
payments depend on performance. So, not only did he plan
the invasion of Iraq when he was Defense Secretary, but
through his Energy Task Force, he appears to have tried
to calculate, to the penny, what war would bring for
himself and his corporate cronies.
Bechtel's win could have
it repairing power plants, schools and other
parts of Iraq's ravaged infrastructure.
"Bechtel, by its
track record, will do an excellent job."
former secretary of state,
current Bechtel board member Vice President Dick
Cheney. A subsidiary of his former firm has also
won big in the postwar bidding.
(CBS) Bechtel Corp., a politically active
corporation with wide experience overseas, has won a
competition to help rebuild Iraq under a contract that
could grow to $680 million.
The San Francisco construction and engineering company
will receive $34.6 million to start work under
Thursday's award, but could earn the larger figure
over 18 months if Congress approves the funds.
Several Democratic lawmakers have criticized the
fast-track bidding process that allowed only a few
experienced companies to submit proposals. The U.S.
Agency for International Development has controlled
the bidding, saying speed was essential to meet Iraq's
pressing postwar needs.
The contract covers rehabilitation of Iraq's power,
water and sewage systems, rehabilitation or repair of
airport facilities and dredging, repair and upgrading
of the Umm Qasr seaport in cooperation with other
Bechtel also may have a role in repair and
reconstruction of hospitals, schools, selected
government ministry buildings, irrigation facilities
and transportation links.
The company has wide experience working overseas, with
47,000 employees on 900 projects in nearly 60
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, one of the Democratic
critics, said the contract showed that "a
troubling pattern is beginning to emerge, as some of
the most powerful business interests in the country
continue to receive these huge contracts without ...
open, transparent bidding."
Wyden and others are sponsoring a bill that would
require a public explanation of contracts awarded
under a limited bidding process.
Other companies invited to bid were Parsons Corp.;
Fluor Corp.; Louis Berger Group Inc.; and Washington
Group International Inc. A subsidiary of Houston-based
Halliburton Co., which was formerly run by Vice
President Dick Cheney, was invited to bid but decided
instead to seek work as a subcontractor.
Bechtel rose from a family business into a privately
held international engineering powerhouse. Its
executives have included former Secretary of State
George Shultz and ex-Defense Secretary Caspar
More recently, President Bush named Ross Connelly, a
former Bechtel executive, as executive vice president
and chief operating officer of the Overseas Private
Investment Corp. — the agency that supports U.S.
investment around the globe.
Shultz, in a television interview, said, "Bechtel,
by its track record, will do an excellent job."
The Bechtel Group and its employees have been among
the biggest political givers in the general
contracting industry, according to an analysis by the
Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan
Washington-based group that tracks campaign finance.
The company and its workers contributed at least
$277,050 to federal candidates and party committees in
the last election cycle, about 57 percent to Democrats
and 43 percent to Republicans, the center found.
Bechtel gave at least $166,000 to national Republican
Party committees, center figures show.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in January that
Bechtel and at least one other U.S. company sold Iraq
technology that helped build up its military in the
The story attributed the information to a German
journalist with access to a document on Iraq weapons
that was turned over to the United Nations.
Bechtel spokesman Jeff Berger said it was
"absolutely false" that the company aided
the Iraqi military. The company worked on two projects
in Iraq in the 1980s: a hydroelectric dam and a
petrochemical plant that was to make "garden
variety" products including plastics and
synthetic rubber, Berger said. The plant was still
under construction when Bechtel's involvement ended.
Bechtel and Parsons jointly ran the costly and
controversial Big Dig highway project in downtown
Boston. Audits determined that Bechtel overbilled the
state of Massachusetts by $2.4 million by 1992, then
underbilled by $1.4 million from 1994 to 1996, on the
total $14.6 billion project.
Other lucrative contracts for postwar Iraq have been
awarded to firms with powerful political connections.
A $7 billion contract to cap oil fires in Iraq was
awarded to Kellogg, Brown, and Root — a subsidiary
of Halliburton, the company once run by Cheney.
The Army Corps of Engineers sealed the deal without
seeking bids from other companies, prompting calls
from some in Congress for an investigation, reports CBS
News Correspondent Jim Acosta.
In a letter to House Democrat Henry Waxman of
California, who's called for a probe into the deal,
the army denies any wrongdoing, arguing an open
bidding process "would have
delayed…war-planning in order to obtain security
clearances for potential competitors."
By Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer The Associated Press
April 19, 2003.
SAN FRANCISCO - It's not just a history of
building landmarks like the Hoover Dam that helped Bechtel
Corp. win the first major Iraq reconstruction contract. The
company is as well-connected as Washington insiders come.
Bechtel not only has close ties with elder
Republican statesmen, its executives also enjoy direct links
to the Bush administration, which has critics crying cronyism.
Many worry that Bechtel's inside-the-Beltway
cachet was as important to its successful bid as any technical
advantage over competitors.
The initial $34.6 million contract announced
Thursday by the U.S. Agency for International Development
could spiral far beyond its projected $680 million price tag.
And Bechtel is widely perceived as the
front-runner for future business as the United States spends
up to $100 billion in what's seen as the biggest
reconstruction project since World War II's aftermath.
The San Francisco-based company has grown
over decades from a family business into a privately held
international engineering powerhouse.
Other companies invited to submit bids were
Pasadena-based Parsons Corp.; Fluor Corp.; Louis Berger Group
Inc.; and Washington Group International Inc. A subsidiary of
Halliburton Co., which was formerly run by Vice President Dick
Cheney, was invited to bid but removed itself amid favoritism
At least two current Bechtel executives have
ties to the Bush administration.
A senior vice president, Jack Sheehan, sits
on the Defense Policy Board formed to advise Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, who himself once lobbied for a Bechtel
project. Sheehan, a retired Marine Corps general, manages
Bechtel's petroleum and chemical operations.
And President Bush appointed Bechtel's
chairman, Riley Bechtel, in February to the Export Council,
which advises the president on international trade matters.
Bechtel says its politically connected
executives are a small part of a 47,000-employee team working
on 900 projects in nearly 60 countries.
"It's our business to have
knowledgeable people so we can have the breadth and depth of
talent to tackle the things that most other people in the
world can't," said Bechtel spokesman Jeff Berger.
Bechtel's accomplishments range from the
Depression-era Hoover Dam to the transformation of a former
Saudi Arabian fishing village into Jubail, an industrial city
expected to house 370,000 residents.
It's that kind of track record that made
Bechtel a natural candidate for the reconstruction of Iraq,
federal officials say.
The government limited the field to an
exclusive group for security reasons, as well as a desire to
start the work quickly, USAID spokesman Luke Zahner said.
"The reality is that there are only a few companies that
can handle a contract of this size."
Bechtel's critics don't doubt the company is
up to the job. Instead, they say that by limiting the bidding
to Bechtel and five other U.S. companies, the federal
government might not have gotten the best free-market deal.
"We are concerned that the government
seems to be handpicking their buddies for these
contracts," said Seth Morris, research associate for the
nonpartisan Washington-based Project on Government Oversight.
one of the 19th-century European colonial empires, the Bush
government is calling on Bechtel, Halliburton, and other major
corporations to take over the job of running the Iraqi colony.
These companies are to act in the name of the government. They
are to be paid out of our taxes. It might just as well be the
British East India company. The colonial corporations become
the instrument of the nation-state, in this case to undertake
the reconstruction of Iraq. They, not the government, are the
purveyors of laws and customs and democratic ideals.
The main instrument of the
U.S. in Iraq is not the Pentagon, the U.S. Agency for
International Development, or the Army Corps of Engineers, but
the Bechtel Group. The giant international engineering outfit
has won a contract worth up to $680 million that gives the
company a leading role in rebuilding Iraq, a job that
eventually may cost $100 billion.
Bechtel maintains close
ties with politicians and the government. It is the 17th
largest defense contractor, with $1.03 billion in Defense
Department deals. (The firm's total revenues are $11.6
billion.) It gave $1.3 million in campaign contributions
during the 1999-2000 cycle, according to the Center for
Responsive Politics. Some of Bechtel's government connections
are well-known: Jack Sheehan, a vice president, is on the
Defense Policy Board, which advises Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld. Riley Bechtel, the company chairman, is on
the President's Export Council. Other connections are not so
well-known. Former Bechtel executive Ross Connelly is chief
operating officer of the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC), the government office that insures
speculative business ventures in unsafe parts of the world.
OPIC has no work in the Middle East at the moment, but as a
spokesman put it last week, "The conflict is still
winding down, and OPIC as of yet has not received official
authorization to activate its programs in Iraq. However, given
OPIC's traditional role in supporting U.S. investment in
post-war reconstructions such as Afghanistan and the former
Yugoslavia, it is safe to assume that OPIC will play an
important role in the reconstruction of liberated Iraq."
Both Reagan's secretary of
defense, Caspar Weinberger, and Reagan's secretary of state,
George Shultz, came from Bechtel. Shultz is currently a
director. Reagan sent Rumsfeld to Iraq as his special envoy
during the early 1980s to encourage Saddam in Iraq's war with
Iran. According to memos uncovered by the National Security
Archives, Rumsfeld may also have been upholding Shultz's
private interests in Bechtel by using his visits to lobby for
an oil pipeline Bechtel wanted to build from Iraq to the Gulf
of Aqaba. In the end, Saddam refused to go for the pipeline.
If Bechtel is the senior
partner in rebuilding Iraq, its junior partner is Vice
President Dick Cheney's old employer, Halliburton. Its
subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) won an earlier deal
to put out oil field fires. Through KBR, Halliburton has an
open-ended $7 billion contract—its secretive details still
classified—with the U.S. military to provide logistical
support for various operations around the world.
In a recent conference
call with stockholders, Halliburton execs told of "a
cost-reimbursable design-build contract valued in excess of
$100 million for construction of the new U.S. embassy compound
in Kabul, Afghanistan, and two contracts from the U.S. State
Department for security upgrades and general construction work
at multiple facilities of at least $70 million."
has worked for some pretty unsavory governments, including
those of Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria. It has
lobbied for removal of sanctions against those countries and
in certain instances appears to have skirted sanctions by
operating through foreign subsidiaries. (At one point, the
company opened a subsidiary in Iran despite sanctions.)
Halliburton has also been
remarkably free and easy with taxpayers' dollars. Among other
incidents, it wound up having to pay the government $2 million
for inflating costs of work between 1994 and 1998 at Fort Ord
in California while Cheney was the firm's president. More
recently, stockholders took Halliburton to task for building a
pipeline in Burma because of human rights abuses there. Cheney
has been accused of trying to skirt tax laws by placing 44 of
the firm's subsidiaries in foreign tax havens, according to
Lee Drutman and Charlie Cray of Citizen Works. And Halliburton
is the subject of an SEC probe and shareholder lawsuit about
alleged accounting irregularities stemming from policies the
company instituted while Cheney was CEO.
The overall administrator
of U.S. operations in Iraq is retired general Jay Garner, who
ingratiated himself with his superiors during the first
Persian Gulf War with adept handling of the Kurds in northern
Iraq. During the Vietnam War, Garner was a district senior
adviser in the strategic hamlet program. Recently questions
were raised about Garner's judgment in accepting a free trip
to Israel in 2000, after which he declared his support for the
government there, all this taking place during Israel's
incursions into Palestinian territory.
He has been president of
SY Coleman, a firm that specializes in military guidance
systems and is owned by a bigger firm called L-3
Garner's operations in
Iraq will be closely tied to Iraq's oil industry. Oil is
Iraq's major asset, and the Bush government has said
repeatedly that the country can at least partially rebuild
itself by selling that oil. A crucial and immediate goal is to
find people for two key jobs: a manager of operations for the
Iraqi state national oil company and an experienced oil person
to run the company's marketing operation.
As of last week, two men
with long experience at Shell and BP were being discussed as
Phillip Carroll, cited by
oil industry sources as a possible director of Iraqi oil
operations, most recently was CEO of Fluor Co., and before
that was president of U.S. Shell, the American subsidiary of
Royal Dutch Shell, which is owned by both British and Dutch
interests. Carroll has acknowledged he has been approached for
Both Fluor and Shell have
aroused controversy in the past. Fluor is all over the energy
world, with pipeline deals in Alaska, oil in Kazakhstan, gas
and petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia, and so on. It is a Fortune
500 company with a backlog of contracts, as of last year, of
$10.6 billion. Along with two other companies, Fluor has
contracts for as much as $100 million from the Army Corps of
Engineers for work in Afghanistan.
The company also currently
faces a lawsuit by South African black workers claiming,
according to activists, that Fluor "exploited and
brutalized them during the apartheid era." Among other
things, the claimants say Fluor security men dressed up as Ku
Klux Klan members in white robes and attacked unarmed workers.
Fluor denies all the allegations.
Before working at Fluor,
Carroll ran operations for U.S. Shell during a period when the
parent Royal Dutch Shell was under attack for its handling of
protests against its operations on the Ogoni tribal lands in
Nigeria. Activists were attacked by a private police force
allegedly run by the company. Nigeria arrested opposition
figures, including the leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and hanged them.
The second man mentioned
by industry sources for a major job in Iraq is Rodney Chase, a
long time BP executive involved in major deals and deputy
chairman of beverage behemoth Diageo (Smirnoff's, Bailey's,
Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, et al.) and supermarket superfirm
Tesco (the United Kingdom's largest retailer).
Discussion of outsiders
running the Iraq oil business already has ignited controversy.
Issam al-Chalabi, the Iraqi oil minister from 1987 to 1990
(not the U.S. puppet Ahmed Chalabi), told the Platts.com news
service last week, "I believe that any kind of direct
rule by the Americans, whether military or civilian, will be
rejected and resisted by Iraqis and will not be to the
advantage of the Americans."
Commenting on one report
that speculated Bush would set up 23 ministries, al-Chalabi
said such a scheme was "absolutely absurd." He said
Iraqi oil employees couldn't stomach it, adding, "I would
let the Iraqis run their institutions, ministries, companies,
departments." On the other hand, a UN-run operation, in
his view, held out some possibilities.
But the U.S. seems intent
on avoiding the UN if it can. A recent proposal by the
Heritage Foundation suggests creating a federal government
with representation by the three main groups: Kurds, Sunni
Muslims and Shiite Muslims. Under this scheme the U.S.
government, through Garner, would guide Iraq toward
privatization of the oil industry.
But having captured the
Iraqi oil fields, the U.S. may find that it's not so simple to
market the oil because of Iraq's outstanding debts abroad.
Creditors may well attempt to tie up any oil shipments in an
effort to get their money back. Among them are the major oil
companies, whose holdings were nationalized in the 1950s.
These firms may lay claim to their former holdings, which
would cause an endless legal fight. Until ownership of Iraqi
oil is firmly settled, the UN's Oil for Food program is the
one existing and agreed-upon arrangement for oil sales. Even
Bush seems to acknowledge that. In the end, it may not be so
easy to get rid of the UN.
Phoebe St John and Joanna Khenkine
Two U.S. Firms Hit Iraq
Jackpot Aug. 28, 2003
"The amount of money
[Halliburton has earned] is quite staggering,
far more than we were originally led to
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Vice President Dick
Cheney's former company, Halliburton, is the
biggest single government contractor in Iraq. (Photo:
(CBS) The price of rebuilding Iraq is
rising and two companies with strong political ties
are being paid even more money by the government for
their roles in Iraq's reconstruction than previously
Halliburton Corp., the oil services firm once headed
by Vice President Dick Cheney, has won contracts worth
more than $1.7 billion from the U.S. government for
its work in Iraq, and it could make hundreds of
millions more from a no-bid contract it was awarded by
the Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Post
Meanwhile, engineering and construction giant Bechtel,
whose executives have included former Secretary of
State George Shultz and ex-Defense Secretary Caspar
Weinberger, is also getting a big raise in its
contract in Iraq, according to the Wall Street
Halliburton is the biggest single government
contractor in Iraq. The Houston-based company, through
its subsidiary Brown and Root, is involved in a wide
range of activities in Iraq, including building and
maintaining military bases, delivering mail, producing
hot mails and providing logistical support for U.S.
intelligence officials searching for weapons of mass
The Post reports Halliburton employees have become an
integral part of Army life in Iraq, often dressing in
Army fatigues with civilian patches on the shoulders.
California-based Bechtel is also getting a boost in
its Iraq contracts. The Wall Street Journal reports
that escalating costs and continued instability have
prompted U.S. officials to increase the value of a
deal with Bechtel by $350 million, or more than 50
Bechtel was originally awarded an 18-month, $680
million contract for reconstruction work on airports,
water, power, schools, roads and government buildings.
The new money for the engineering and construction
firm is part of at least $1 billion the U.S. hopes to
pour into Iraqi power generation alone over the next
The Journal says U.S. officials and Bechtel assessment
teams now estimate Iraqi reconstruction will cost at
least $16 billion and likely much more. L. Paul
Bremer, the top U.S. civilian official in Iraq, has
said that the costs of rebuilding that nation and
revitalizing its economy could top $100 billion.
Both companies have taken advantage of a growing trend
by the government to use private contractors for
military support operations overseas.
The Post reports that the practice of turning to
private contractors for a broad range of military
logistics operations dates to a study commissioned by
then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney after the 1991
Persian Gulf War. The Pentagon chose Brown and Root to
conduct the study and then hired the company to
implement its own plan.
Cheney became chief executive of Halliburton, Brown
and Root's parent company, in 1995 and remained there
until 2000, when he left to run for the vice
The government says it's had to turn more and more to
the private sector because of military budget cuts
since the end of the Cold War that have placed
enormous strain on the armed forces – particularly
after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But critics have charged that the Iraq war and
occupation have provided a handful of politically
connected companies – especially Halliburton –
with unprecedented moneymaking opportunities.
"The amount of money [Halliburton has earned] is
quite staggering, far more than we were originally led
to believe," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
"This is clearly a trend under this
administration, and it concerns me because often the
privatization of government services ends up costing
the taxpayers more rather than less."
Waxman has been critical of Halliburton since an Army
Corps of Engineers report in March said the company
had been given a no-bid contract, with a $7 billion
cap, for putting out oil fires in Iraq. The Corps
explained the absence of competitive bidding on the
grounds that the operation was part of a classified
war plan and the Army did not have the time to wade
through numerous bids.
Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Government
Reform Committee, has asked the General Accounting
Office to look into the decision to give Halliburton
the contract without bidding.
A Halliburton spokeswoman, Wendy Hall, would not
discuss details of the firm's operations in Iraq, but
said suggestions of war profiteering were "an
affront to all hard-working, honorable Halliburton
In support of the Coalition
Provisional Authority’s reconstruction
effort in Iraq, Bechtel is under contract with
the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), for the emergency repair,
rehabilitation, and reconstruction of critical
elements of Iraq’s infrastructure. This
initial effort runs through 2004 and includes
assessing and repairing selected power,
municipal water, and sewage systems; dredging,
repairing, and upgrading the Port of Umm Qasr;
rehabilitating selected schools, clinics, and
fire stations; reconstructing three key
bridges; constructing a key rail line;
restoring telephone service to more than
200,000 Baghdad subscribers; and restoring
Iraq's main 2,000-kilometer, north-south fiber
optic communications backbone.
In addition, on January 6, 2004, USAID
awarded Bechtel a second contract known as Iraq
Infrastructure II, a major USAID program
of engineering, procurement, and construction
services for a series of new infrastructure
projects in Iraq. Bechtel is teamed with
Parsons of Pasadena, California, and Horne
Engineering Services of Fairfax, Virginia.
This contract runs from January 2004 through
December 2005 with a total value of up to $1.8
As of July 2, Bechtel had awarded 158
subcontracts to 119 different Iraqi companies,
out of a total of 227 subcontracts for
services. To date, over 10,000 companies from
100 countries have registered on Bechtel's Supplier
and Contractor portal.
A key Bechtel and USAID goal
under the Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction
Program is to maximize Iraqi participation in
our work. Indeed,
to increase the cost-effectiveness of the
work, and to help revitalize the Iraqi
economy, Bechtel decided to award the vast
majority of the subcontracting work to Iraqi
Project Fact Sheets
Progress reports on Bechtel's work within
the U.S. Government's Iraq Infrastructure
Reconstruction Program are available in fact
sheet format, including information on
airports, buildings, the Port of Umm Qasr,
power, surface transportation, and water and
wastewater. The fact sheets include work
descriptions, schedules, number of
subcontractors and Iraqi employees hired, jobs
created by the program, and project and site
Airports The immediate mission of the Airports
program was to restore critical infrastructure
at Baghdad (BIA) and Basrah (BSR)
International Airports to support opening of
the airports for limited, international
commercial flights operating under daytime
visual meteorological conditions (VMC). More
(PDF: 744 KB, 2 pages)
Bridges Bechtel is reconstructing three bridges in
Iraq: Khazir Bridge, located between the
northern cities of Mosul and Arbil; Al Mat
Bridge near Ar Rutbah village in western Iraq;
and Tikrit Bridge over the Tigris River. All
three bridges sustained damage in the recent
(PDF: 608 KB, 2 pages)
and Facilities The Buildings and Facilities program
includes rehabilitating schools, primary
health care clinics, and selected fire
stations in Iraq. These facilities have
suffered from looting and vandalism, as well
as years of neglect. More
(PDF: 665 KB, 2 pages)
Ports Upon Bechtel's entry to Iraq in mid-May
2003, we found the port―consisting of
the Old Port, New Port, and grain
facility―in a rundown condition with no
commercial power or water supply. Our mission
was to perform rehabilitation works and open
the port to receive humanitarian aid
(PDF: 729 KB, 2 pages)
Power Bechtel's Power program consists of
reconstructing, repairing, rehabilitating, and
upgrading Iraq's power system, including
generation, transmission, and institutional
strengthening of the Ministry of Electricity
(MOE). The program is being executed by
directly procuring needed parts and other
materials, managing subcontracts, assigning
engineers, and providing program management
(PDF: 629 KB, 2 pages)
Rail Bechtel and Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR)
are jointly constructing a new
European-standard rail line in the Basrah
region to improve freight transport service
from the Port of Umm Qasr to the rest of the
country. The single-track line has not been
upgraded since the 1950s and its poor
condition causes derailments, accidents, and
delays to the existing rail service. More
(PDF: 680 KB, 2 pages)
Telecommunications The larger telephone exchanges within
Baghdad, as well as the critical national
fiber optic backbone connecting Iraqi cities
to the Baghdad area network, were damaged in
the conflict. Bechtel's role in the
reconstruction program is to restore
connectivity to telephone subscribers in the
Baghdad area, and to restore the fiber
backbone to pre-conflict capability. More
(PDF: 687 KB, 2 pages).
Water/Wastewater The mission of Bechtel's Water and
Wastewater program is to restore water and
sanitation systems in Iraq to ensure a
reliable supply of potable water to the
general public. Both water and sanitation
systems are designed to protect public health,
and after many years of outdated operating
practices and inadequate maintenance, their
rehabilitation has become urgent. More
(PDF: 651 KB, 2 pages)
An Interesting Tidbit:
The mysterious Halliburton cabal began about a decade ago, and has
only grown stronger in the current Cheney
Class-C netblocks (the smallest size, 256 addresses) were given
out to pretty much anyone who wanted to go online, like small
businesses or elementary schools.
Class-B netblocks (middle size, 65536 addresses) were given to
useful technology sites like JHU
netblocks (super size, 16777216 addresses) were given to
exactly 49 giants of the information revolution, such as: MIT,
AT&T, the country of Japan, US Department of Defense ... and Halliburton???
How in the world does an "oil services company" deserve a
chunk of the internet as big as the one given to the entirety of South
PEARL HARBOR IN OUR FUTURE? ... President Bush's national security advisor, Brent
Scowcroft, reportedly "leaned
on" Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney to eliminate the weapons
in an effort ...
LADY IN GREY - DEATH IN THE OFFICE!!!! ... report. LINKS ON GREATDREAMS.COM WITH
DICK CHENEY IN THEM. THE FEDERALIST
PAPERS - THE WAR OF 1812 - CONSTITUTIONAL ... .. Sworn ...
AND PROPHECY OF IRAQ ... that his country would be sucked into an attack on
Iraq by saying: "We decide for
ourselves what we're going to do." Vice-President Dick Cheney
repeated the ...
PROPHECIES FROM JUST REGULAR PEOPLE ... During the conversation I learn that President Bush
doesn't make it out of the White
House in time to escape the attack and Dick Cheney is sworn-in as the
QUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES ... cooked up this raid on the federal treasury during
hundreds of secret meetings with
Vice President Cheney's energy task force ... www.greatdreams.com/environ.htm.
- PART 2 ... has come under strong criticism for failing to
control the pro-war hawks--centered
primarily in the offices of Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney--in
IRAN - ANOTHER WAR? ... Dick Cheney repeated the promise to prevent
Iraq, Iran and North Korea from threatening
America ... http://www.greatdreams.com/dreams_and_prophecy_of_iraq.htm.
PIPELINES TO EXPAND ... Hoping to promote the White House plan, Mr. Bush,
Vice President Dick Cheney and
five cabinet secretaries traveled around the country to emphasize the need for
KOREAN LEADER - ATTACK ON AMERICA? ... Dick Cheney repeated the promise to prevent
Iraq, Iran and North Korea from threatening
America ... http://www.greatdreams.com/dreams_and_prophecy_of_iraq.htm.
ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR) ... RONALD BROWN, Z. Brezindski, WILLIAM BUCKLEY,
Frank Carlucci, JIMMY CARTER, John
Chancellor, Richard Cheney, Henry Cisneros ... http://www.greatdreams.com/nwo.htm.
BLACKENED WHITEHOUSE ... destruction. Dick Cheney - August 26,
2002. Right ... true. When Wilson returned,
he reported his negative findings to Cheney's office. Despite ...
- Joseph Lieberman - 2003 ... Lieberman critics from the Gore camp cited his
performance against Republican vice
presidential candidate Dick Cheney as representative of his most
GLOBAL UNION - (NWO?) ... Vice President Dick Cheney verified that
they are on schedule when he
spoke to the Council of the Americas (COTA) May 6, 2002. David ...
CLARK FOR PRESIDENT - 2004 ... the war in Iraq that it appears his political
ambitions have superseded his principles,"
said Joe Gallant, Maine Veterans vice chairman for Bush-Cheney '04 in
ELECTION - 2000 - DREAMS AND VISIONS ... OUR NEW PRESIDENT BUSH/CHENEY. NEWS. ...
It was a false alarm.". President Bush and
Vice President Dick Cheney remained at work inside throughout the
- HISTORICAL OR FUTURE? ... Until Vice President Dick Cheney's recent
visit to the Middle East, however, the
United States had not even acknowledged the existence of the Qatar base in
BY REGULAR PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME ... 24/2002 Dee777 writes: New page for today:
http://www.greatdreams.com/biologics.html ... Bush
will not run again with Cheney, new running mate, possibly female or ...
Groups ... The American Militia - Defending the Constitution
from Enemies ... God Bless George
W. Bush and Richard E. Cheney! God Bless America! ... Militia
PUPPETMASTER ... As the ramifications of the tragedy continue to
unfold, the Secret Service has engineered
a security clampdown, relocating Vice President Dick Cheney to Camp ...
Changing of the Guard: Part V: The Oracle ... brilliant innovator. (May 6) VP Dick Cheney
will announce in a few
days that he will be on the Presidential ticket in 2004. Stress ...
STATE - PROTEST - A DREAM ... Accompanied by Secretary of State Colin Powell,
far left, Vice President Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton (far
THE DEATH PENALTY BE ABOLISHED? ... Through foreign units of his firm, Halliburton,
Vice President Richard Cheney
has extensive business with Iraq on oil-country machinery and such. ...
WEAPONS OF THE SEA ... I was reading my life story
"Terrorized", then saw a connection to greatdreams.com
... ... what we're going to do." Vice-President Dick Cheney
repeated the promise ...
DREAMS - YEAR 2000 ... http://www.greatdreams.com/lgmnwil.gif
The long man of Wilmington This is an ... 50-50,
he would have been confirmed, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting
INTELLIGENCE - JAIR FARM ... In recent months, Baron says she has received
some warnings about President Bush
and Vice President Cheney, which she has passed on to federal
INTELLIGENCE - JAIR FARM ... In recent months, Baron says she has received
some warnings about President Bush
and Vice President Cheney, which she has passed on to federal
DREAMS AND VISIONS - SEPTEMBER, 2002 ... I started to wake up, and I had a sudden vision -
It was the face of
Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States. A voice ...
OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11-2001 ... 1610 GMT, 091101. Reports have been confirmed that
US President George W.
Bush, the First Lady, Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife are safe.