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Proof that the War Was About Oil
(Stephen J. Glain, Boston Globe, 30 October 2003)
The Bush administration has doubled the value of a contract to rebuild Iraq's oil industry, to $2 billion, sharply driving up the projected cost of restoring the country's prewar capacity. . . . The decision gave fresh ammunition to critics of the president's postwar policies and came as questions surfaced about whether the franchise now held by a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., the oil giant once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, will be expanded to include the development of virgin petroleum fields. The subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root Services, was originally hired to help rebuild Iraq's petroleum sector. . . . "The administration says its goal is to repair war damage, but its budget request shows it wants taxpayer dollars to build projects that have nothing to do with repairing war damage, such as constructing an entirely new oil refinery." . . . An Army Corps spokesman said the budget for the oil contracts was increased in line with a study of Iraq's oil-sector needs conducted by Kellogg. In March, the Army Corps said it gave Kellogg a mandate with an initial maximum worth of $7 billion, one of a number of closed-door contracts issued by the US government. . . . The contracts, which have a minimum value of $500,000 each, are unrelated to the $2.1 billion included in the Bush administration's special budget request set aside for Iraq's oil industry. . . . The US government has already invested an estimated $1 billion to return Iraq's daily oil production to its prewar peak capacity of about 3 million barrels. . . . The Kellogg contract has been a source of controversy since it was issued under emergency laws that allow the US government to hold closed and noncompetitive bids during wartime. Cheney was the chairman of Halliburton for five years until he was chosen by Bush as his running mate, and news of the Kellogg award prompted conflict-of-interest charges. Lawmakers and public-interest groups have criticized what they say is a lack of detailed information about the contract, which has gradually been uncovered by their own investigations of the deal. . . . Recent statements by US officials suggest the franchise may have been expanded to include exploration and development of new oil and gas fields. . . . On Oct. 8, Army Major General Carl Strock, the deputy director of operations for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, told the House Committee on Government Reform that money provided under the supplemental budget request would be used for "the development of the oil fields . . . and it's also building the new refinery."
[COMMENT: Dick Cheney has got to be one of the most brazen looters ever to walk this land of looters. He strong-arms the feeble-minded front man for his junta to start a war on a weak, but oil-rich, nation. Then he gives no-bid contracts to his own company (you can bet he's got mucho stock in the Halliburton group). And these companies are now about to build new oil refineries (at US taxpayer expense!!!) that will in the end benefit the stockholders of these favored companies. He makes the gangsters of the 1920s look like amateurs. Our treasury is being looted of $87 BILLION!!! dollars, and the great mass of Americans look the other way. In less than a decade this nation will be bankrupt and in total disarray, and we will have only our sloth to blame.]
posted by Lorenzo 8:40 PM