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Wartime Contracts Favor Bush's Corporate Cronies

FROM THE GREEN PARTY OF
THE UNITED STATES
MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release:
Tuesday, April 1, 2003


WARTIME CONTRACTS FAVOR BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S CORPORATE CRONIES

Greens see extensive war profiteering by firms with White House and Pentagon connections, while Bush urges Americans -- especially troops and veterans -- to sacrifice.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Funding for the war on Iraq, while requiring massive cuts in social spending for health, education, services, and welfare and reduction of veterans benefits, is becoming a huge windfall for favored corporations, say members of the Green Party of the United States.

"This $100-billion war is proving a cash cow for corporations, especially those with connections to the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon, while U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and soldiers face death and injury," said Tom Bolema, Town Councilperson (Green) of Juniper Hills, California. "European governments are furious that the administration plans to award the major contracts, worth somewhere between $20 billion and $100 billion, to U.S. corporations, without any competitive bidding process."

"The Bush Administration has already awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a Pentagon contract to rebuild Iraqi oil fields," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States. "USAID awarded a $4.8 million contract to Stevedoring Services of America to manage the Umm Qasr port. Companies like the Bechtel Group, Fluor Corporation, Parsons Group and defense contractors Carlyle Group and Global Crossing are expected to make millions off the war. Humanitarian relief, including assistance in Iraq's water shortage, is proving a distant second in priority behind military deals and control over Iraqi oil."

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics documents that Halliburton (for which Vice President Cheney served as CEO from 1995 to 2000), Bechtel, Fluor, and Parsons contributed a combined $2.64 million to political campaigns between 1999 and 2002, with 68 percent of those dollars given to Republicans.

"Bechtel is asserting the right, granted through the IMF and World Bank, to take private control over municipal public water supplies in Bolivia, most controversially in Cochabamba," said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Party of New York State. "Will Bechtel use its current connections and postwar influence to take over Iraqi resources?"

Other recent revelations:

*** According to the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network and the Institute for Policy Studies, current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then Secretary of State George Shultz, acting on behalf of Bechtel, began negotiating a deal with Saddam in 1983 to open up the Aqaba pipeline through Iraq. Saddam's rejection resulted in the first rift in U.S.-Iraq relations.

*** An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed that nine members of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board have ties to major defense contractors. (The exposure of Richard Perle's conflicts of interest connections with Global Crossing led to Perle's resignation as board chair last week, but Perle will retain a seat on the board.)

*** Massive new powers for Vice President Cheney to classify U.S. documents will ensure less oversight and accountability, shielding contractors and government officials with conflicts of interest from public scrutiny.

"These deals reveal that the major motivation for the invasion has less to do with concern for liberation, an already dubious promise under prolonged U.S. occupation, than with giving the U.S. corporate and political control over Iraq and its resources," said Ben Manski, Wisconsin and national party co-chair. "It's a situation comparable to Enron's looting of Croatia when the Clinton Administration awarded it a contract to help rebuild that nation after the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. What we're seeing now is Enron politics at its worst."

MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org National office: 1314 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN
Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,
nallen@acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
scottmclarty@yahoo.com

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