In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.
“I believe the real looting of Iraq after the invasion was by US officials and contractors, and not by people from the slums of Baghdad,” said one US businessman active in Iraq since 2003.
In one case, auditors working for SIGIR discovered that $57.8m was sent in “pallet upon pallet of hundred-dollar bills” to the US comptroller for south-central Iraq, Robert J Stein Jr, who had himself photographed standing with the mound of money. He is among the few US officials who were in Iraq to be convicted of fraud and money-laundering.
Despite the vast sums expended on rebuilding by the US since 2003, there have been no cranes visible on the Baghdad skyline except those at work building a new US embassy and others rusting beside a half-built giant mosque that Saddam was constructing when he was overthrown. One of the few visible signs of government work on Baghdad’s infrastructure is a tireless attention to planting palm trees and flowers in the centre strip between main roads. Those are then dug up and replanted a few months later.
The US, like all parties in WWII, committed many war crimes. The attempt at placing blame for these crimes via the Nüremberg Trials and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East set a high standard for legality of actions during war. Because European empires, namely, France and England, both wanted to continue their colonialist exploitations and wars, the US allowed from the get-go, a double standard: it’s OK to commit war crimes if you win a war.
It is plainly obvious to everyone on the planet earth, the US bullied the UN and conspired with Britain, to put forwards totally false claims against Iraq so they could have an excuse to reinvade Iraq [England invaded Iraq after WWI]. The US/UK claims of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ were proven to be totally and utterly false. The US/UK attempts at connecting Saddam to 9/11 were even worse. Unlike the UN weapons inspectors who had a tiny shred of legitimacy, very tiny, the entire 9/11 conspiratorial mess was not examined by the UN and the US government used this event as a club to strike at the totally innocent Iraqi people.
Many elaborate conspiracy theories have grown like weeds around that event due to the obvious conspiracy of the US government and Israel to enable, assist and permit this terrorist attack. This, of course, is treason worthy of hanging until dead.
The US military/industrial complex was badly stung by the Vietnam war. From the end of WWII until the Vietnam War, the US government controlled the profitability of warmongering to keep down costs. When the draft was eliminated in favor of a new, mercenary Pentagon, all other activities of the Pentagon became mercenary in the extreme. An open looting expedition aimed at the US government, itself, began under Reagan and has only grown worse over the years.
The US spends more on this looting expedition we call ‘the Pentagon’ than the entire planet earth! This is astonishing and about 50% of this represents looting. 9/11 showed us that not only were our leaders traitors but they also have so demoralized and destroyed our military, it can’t even do the basics of defending our shores.
FALLUJAH – Driving through Fallujah, once the most rebellious Sunni city in Iraq, I saw little evidence of any kind of reconstruction underway. At least 70% of that city’s structures were destroyed during massive US military assaults in April, and again in November 2004, and more than four years later, in the “new Iraq”, the city continues to languish.
The shells of buildings pulverized by US bombs, artillery or mortar fire back then still line Fallujah’s main street, or rather, what’s left of it. As one of the few visible signs of reconstruction in the city, that street – largely destroyed during the November 2004 siege – is slowly being torn up to be repaved….
Everything in Fallujah, and everyone there, has been touched to the core by the experience, but not everyone is experiencing the aftermath of the city’s devastation in the same way. In fact, for much of my “” of Fallujah, I was inside a heavily armored, custom-built, $420,000 BMW with all the accessories needed in 21st century Iraq, including a liquor compartment and bulletproof windows….
To say that my newest mode of transportation was an upgrade that left me a bit disoriented would be (mildly put) an understatement. The BMW belonged to Sheik Aifan Sadun, head of the Awakening Council of Fallujah. Thanks to the Awakening movement that began forming in 2006 in al-Anbar province, then the hotbed of the Sunni insurgency – into which American occupation forces quickly poured significant amounts of money, arms and other kinds of support – violence across most of that province is now at an all-time low. This is strikingly evident in Fallujah, once known as the city of resistance, since the fiercest fighting of the American occupation years took place there.
Today, 34-year-old Sheik Aifan may be the richest man in town, thanks to his alliance of self-interest with the US occupation forces. Aifan’s was this: he was the right sheik in the right place at the right time when the Americans, desperate over their failures in Iraq, decided to throw their support behind the reconstitution of a tribal elite in the province where the Sunni insurgency raged with particular fierceness from 2004-2006.
All the big stories about the rampant corruption, bribery and venality of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq are from other nations. This is, like nearly all of our betrayals of ourselves, is not hammered on in the US media. An large sectors, it is not even mentioned, once. The looting continues, unhindered, with corrupt government officials moving effortlessly between government jobs and working for the Daddy Warbucks sector.
7 posts – Last post: Jan 12, 2008
Someone popsted some info on her the other day and something about her husband having a million dollar contract with the military/government …http://www.arguewitheveryone.com/general-political-discussion/13798-nancy- pelosi-her-husband–military–contract.html – 72k – Cached – Similar pages
Barney Frank wants 25% cut in Military Spending – …. land deals in Nevada and Feinstein sending defense contracts to her husbands company. … Are you saying Pelosi didn’t pay herhusband or are you saying you agree with the practice? …
http://www.propeller.com/story/2008/10/01/washington-times-exclusive-pelosi– paid-husband-with-pac-funds/ – 89k – Cached – Similar pages
For years she steered millions in tax to defense contractors her husband … was in there was because there is no way Pelosi could get the votes to pass the …
digg.com/politics/Sen_Feinstein_s_Iraq_Conflict_Millions_In_Defense_Contracts_To_Husband – 113k – Cached – Similar pages
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News from this week: Blackwater changed its evil name to Xe which is even more evil-sounding. ‘Who are you?’ asks the dying Iraqi. ‘I am Xe!’ yells the mercenary. We might as well rename Congress ‘Wi 2’ for ‘We, too, want more loot.’ In this week’s news is the story of Congress investigating contractors in Iraq…but NOT investigating their own many connections to the looting machine.
Defense contractors blamed for waste, fraud and abuse — and even for some civilian casualties in Iraq — are now facing a new Congress intent on cleaning up the mess.
The contractors are contrite about their mistakes, making the case that not all of them are created evil.
“We have millions of transactions every year that work,” said Alan Chvotkin, a senior vice president for the Professional Services Council, a contractors trade group. But missteps by KBR, Blackwater USA and Hurricane Katrina contractors stand out, he said.
“We’re colored by the failures,” he said.
Congress already is engaging on the issue.
The bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting, pushed into law by Democratic Sens. Jim Webb of Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, recently held its first hearing. And the Senate Homeland Security Committee has launched an ad hoc subcommittee on contracting oversight, under the direction of McCaskill, a former state auditor who has made contracting accountability one of her trademark issues.
The problem with all empires is simple: looting the Treasury becomes the full-time occupation of the ruling elites. People fight to get to the top of the Pyramid of Pentagonic Power so they can get into the scam and see if they can profit via war, occupation and bribery. The US ‘surge’ had virtually nothing to do with soldiers fighting and everything to do with bribing the Iraqis so they would cooperate with the looting of Iraq.
This way, our ‘democracy’ there is even more evil and more corrupt than the one we have here and ours is very, very corrupt. Since there is no third party in the US, both the GOP and DNC take turns, looting. Neither will investigate the other which is why war mongering criminal Pelosi refused to even entertain talk about impeaching Bush and Cheney for war crimes, crimes against the Constitution and treason.
Indeed, our Founding Fathers feared a standing army for precisely these reasons. More grounds to investigate everyone in our government for venality, exploitation of the US tax system for their own profits and of course, over and over again, treason. Destroying a nation’s economic system and bankrupting the government is treasonous in the extreme. Allowing attacks while gold-plating defenses is treason.
As a result, these men obtained backing for their private militias, renamed Awakening groups, and in addition, signed “construction” contracts with the Americans who put millions of dollars in their pockets, even if not always into actual construction sites. As early as April 2006, the Rand Corporation released a report, “The Anbar Awakening”, identifying America’s potential new allies as a group of sheiks who used to control smuggling rings and organized crime in the area.
One striking example was Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who founded the first Awakening groups in al-Anbar and later led the entire movement until he was assassinated in 2007, shortly after he met with president George W Bush. It was well known in the region that Abu Risha was primarily a smuggler defending his business operations by joining the Americans.
Not surprisingly, given the lucrative nature of the cooperative relationship that developed, whenever an Awakening group sheik is assassinated, another is always there to take his place. Abu Risha was, in fact, promptly replaced as “president” of the Anbar Awakening by his brother Sheik Ahmad Abu Risha, also now in the “construction business”.
In Afghanistan, we are allies with drug dealers. We did this in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, too. The drug lords love the US occupations of their operations centers. They hate and fear the communists and the Muslim radicals. Being immoral bastards, they love immoral US bastards and both parties view this whole business as a wonderful way to capitalize the banking system, enrich politicians and increase US power since all evil despots need to depend on the US military system to support tyrannous regimes!
Then, we strut around the planet, trumpeting our victories for democracy and freedom. This ugly little farce is why no one respects us anymore. If only we were honest about things, we might even save some money. For example, we could halt the odious ‘War on Drugs.’ But too many elected officials make money off of this gross invasion of privacy. It allows the suspension of huge sections of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a golden opportunity to confiscate property. And since the price of drugs hinges entirely on its illegality, this increases the profits for our illegal-drug production colonies which are protected by our corrupt, very expensive military.
And we wonder why our economic system is collapsing!
Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.
Court records show that last month investigators subpoenaed the personal bank records of Col. Anthony B. Bell,who is now retired from the Army but who was in charge of reconstruction contracting in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 when the small operation grew into a frenzied attempt to remake the country’s broken infrastructure. In addition, investigators are examining the activities of Lt. Col. Ronald W. Hirtle of the Air Force, who was a senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004, according to two federal officials involved in the inquiry.
Note that the warmongering NYT does mention one member of this army of treasonous Pentagon people but doesn’t connect this man to our government systems whereby he was encouraged and assisted in his looting expeditions. Way back when we first demonstrated against this war before it started, we predicted, all of us millions of anti-war demonstrators, that the war would be an illegal looting expedition. Turns out, as usual, the people in the streets carrying signs were 100% correct about nearly every detail as well as the overall picture. This is why the US media hates us and won’t report even immense demonstrations except to minimize the numbers or mock our message.
Feinstein’s spokesman denies her comment over drone attacksSafar al-Muzaffar 19, 1430 A.H
US senator Dianne Feinstein’s spokesman Philip J. LaVelle denied senator’s statement on Saturday insisting her assertion, over US drone attacks into Pakistani soil being operated from bases in Islamabad, was based on previous news reports instead of Intelligence report.
Philip J. LaVelle, a spokesman for the senator, said her comment was based solely on previous news reports that Predators were operated from bases near Islamabad.
“We strongly object to Sen. Feinstein’s remarks being characterized as anything other than a reference” to an article that appeared last March in a US newspaper, LaVelle said and added, Feinstein did not refer to newspaper accounts during the hearing.
Feinstein is an idiot. Our assassin machines are pure evil. And we mostly kill civilians. True, we are holding our hands back by not wiping out ALL civilians. After 9/11, many Americans wanted to kill everyone in Afghanistan. This desire was not fulfilled. So we slipped away from THAT particular war crime and crimes against humanity. But we itch to do this to anyone who refuses to bow to our empire. Only, few are confronting us on any level. All of our ‘allies’ as well as outright rivals and even potential, dire enemies are joining in the looting expeditions against the American People.
They are happily lending our looters more and more and more money so we can ‘create jobs’ within our stupid military/ industrial complex. Our wars on terror and drugs are really wars FOR drug lords and FOR terrorizing people. Until we figure this out and then arrest and punish the many criminals who infest our entire political system, we will continue to bleed massive amounts of red ink.
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