Friday, March 14, 2008

Corporate Pillaging and Military Contractors

Friday March 14th, 2:00PM - 3:30PM

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2:15 Kelly Dougherty
Kelly served in the military police in Iraq and guarded KBR convoys. Many convoys broke down and conflicting orders would go out about how to protect di sabled vehicles which drew crowds hoping for fuel or other supplies. The vehicles could not be rescued were destroyed by burning the fuel and throwing grenades into engine blocks in front of Iraqis who had to stand in line for hours to get a can of gas. The tragedy of the situation had come home to Kelly in which lives on both sides were risked to protect the profits of a corporation: burning tankers full of fuel, burning an ambulance in front of Iraqis who transported their wounded in pick up trucks, burning a truck load of produce while holding a hungry crowd at gunpoint.
Dougherty points out for every US soldier in Iraq there is at least one contractor which Dougherty describe as US corporations. In reality these corporations are multinationals with no real allegiance to the US. She described living in tents provided by the contractors that were riddled with mold and made the soldiers staying in them sick

2:35 - Luis Montalvan describes himself as having been a warrior for more than half his life. He trained and went to Iraq in 2005 where he commanded 30 - 40 soldiers to man a major check point, patrol many km of border and secure several thousand km of Al Anbar province desert.
He describes the incompetence of the commanders and administrators in Iraq who knew little about the conditions outside of Baghdad.
Luis became known as an expert about some aspects of security in Iraq. American Enterprise Inst invited him to brief them on security in Iraq and he described the corruption in Iraq as out of control. He makes a connection between corruption and the civil war in Iraq.
Montalvan explained that if you follow Iraqi corruption the crumb trial leads to American contractors and if you follow that trail further it leads to high American military commanders, some of them still serving. He describes the forces in Iraq as 160,000 US military, a proxy army of about an equal number of contractors and finally a highly inflated number of Iraqi security forces. Thirty to fifty percent of these last forces do not exist and the salaries of these non existent troops go to fuel the civil war.
Essentially Montelvan is saying that they have lied to us again and again about where our American taxpayer monies have actually gone.
Montalvan holds evidence in the form of memos and SOPs for the contracts for supplies to Mosul and adjacents areas the Petrayus set up no procedures for keeping accounts on these funds. So my question is did Petrayus betray us?

3:05pm Antonia Juhasz is a policy-analyst, author and activist living in San Francisco. She is a Fellow at Oil Change International and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies .
See her blog at
She calls the war in Iraq and illegal occupation aimed on gaining control of iraqi oil for strategic and economic reasons. Consequently in perpetrating this war crime, American rulers have fired 120,000 oil and resource(ie electric and water works)bureaucrats and 500,000 soldiers were fired followed by a failure to complete 50% or more of the infrastructure projects needed to make Iraq a safe place to live. Consequently the UN has recommended that the 2,000,000 Iraqi refuges not return because it is too dangerous to live there plus there is not fuel, water or electricity.
Today there are moves to finally bring US companies and associated multinationals on board to control and exploit Iraqi Oil. In order to do this these companies will need long term protection from the US Military. What Juhasz recommends is that the military and the contractors and oil companies leave Iraq to the Iraqis who are more than capable of reconstructing their own country using their own oil resources.

3:20 - Jeremy Scahill - Blackwater: The story of the shooting in Baghdad of 17 civilians by Blackwater illustrates only too well the colonial status of the Iraqi government in its relationship with the US military and the Bush Administration. The individuals criminally responsible for those 17 deaths are still walking around free and may never be prosecuted even though the FBI and the military agree that they are guilty of murdering innocent civilians.
170 companies work as contractors in Iraq today protected by the US military. none of their employees have ever been prosecuted for killing Iraqi civilians.
Corruption is about looting the Iraqis of their resources, their lives and their sovereignty but it is also about looting the US treasury to pay these contractors to do the dirty work that has to be done if you are an empire.

Contractor Fraud Unchecked In Iraq , CBS News Takes A Closer Look At Allegations Of Contractor Waste And Fraud In Iraq - CBS News: December 2006

"(CBS) The U.S. has currently spent at least $437 billion on the Iraq war, according to the Congressional Research Service. An estimated $100 billion will be spent in 2007. Much of that money is going to 60,000 civilian contractors involved in reconstruction and providing services to the troops.
But recently, the Pentagon admitted it has a hard time accounting for how billions of your tax dollars are being spent — and the billions that may be lost to contractor waste, fraud and abuse,"
A document — part of a whistleblower lawsuit obtained by CBS News — alleges a blueprint of contractor abuse in Iraq, detailing how the government was billed 10 times more than it should have been when U.S. troops used a recreation facility in Iraq.

That's because they were not billed once per visit, but rather billed repeatedly, every time a soldier used:
  • a computer
  • a phone
  • ping pong equipment or pool equipment
  • a towel
  • a bottle of water.

    The contractor in question, Kellogg Brown and Root, denies any wrong

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