Sunday, July 30, 2006

How's this workin for ya, Shrub?

Audit Finds U.S. Hid Cost of Iraq Projects . An agency in the State Department running a shell game! Hiding costs and overruns, withholding information, lying (gasp.) The findings appeared in an audit of a children’s hospital in Basra, but they referred to the wider reconstruction activities of the development agency in Iraq. Guess who the contractor is? Bechtel. Yes, THAT Bechtel, the one with a slew of contacts within the Government. After leaving the Nixon administration, former Treasury Secretary George Shultz joined Bechtel in 1974 as its executive vice president. Shultz suspended his association with Bechtel when appointed secretary of state by President Ronald Reagan in 1982. In 1983, Shultz dispatched diplomatic envoy Donald Rumsfeld to meet with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to advocate for construction of a pipeline running from Iraqi oilfields to Jordan's port of Aqaba. According to documents recently obtained by the Institute for Policy Studies, Hussein was afraid Israel would bomb the pipeline, so an investor in the project—whom Bechtel claimed was not on its payroll—reportedly tried to arrange a deal through the U.S. Attorney General's office by which Israel would receive some $70 million per year not to bomb the pipeline. Critics accused Shultz of intervening on behalf of Bechtel, which he denied. Shultz rejoined Bechtel in 1989 as a member of its board of directors after retiring from the State Department. Upon returning, he learned that the company had assumed a $2 billion contract for project management of an Iraqi petrochemicals complex that manufactured ethylene oxide, a chemical used in the production of plastics. U.S. chemical experts pointed out, however, that the chemical was also a precursor to mustard gas. On Shultz's recommendation, Bechtel pulled out of the project. Shultz currently serves as a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

In 1998, Bechtel hired former Marine four-star general Jack Sheehan as senior vice president in charge of project operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Sheehan served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic and Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Command before his retirement in 1997. After leaving active duty, Sheehan served as Special Adviser for Central Asia for two U.S. defense secretaries. He also sits on the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon-appointed board that advises it on defense issues.

But back to the Basra Children's hospital. The project was budgeted to cost $50 Million. Bechtel told the Agency in April that it would actually cost $98 Million. But the Agency wrote in its report the project cost was $50 Million - The rest was reclassified as overhead, or “indirect costs.” "We find the entire agreement unclear,” the inspector general wrote of the A.I.D. request approved by the embassy. No kidding, ya think?

Meanwhile, Partisan Divide on Iraq Exceeds Split on Vietnam. While people were sharply divided over Viet Nam, it was not a division along party lines, as this appears to be. As a nation, we still feel the scars from the Viet Nam War. The Vietnam War caused a wrenching debate that echoes to this day and shaped both parties, but at the time, public opinion did not divide so starkly on party lines, experts say. The partisan divide on Iraq has fluctuated but endured across two intensely fought campaigns in which war and peace — and the overarching campaign against terrorism — have figured heavily. Each party has its internal differences, especially on future strategy for Iraq. But the overall divide is a defining feature of the fall campaign.

How we vote this fall is essential. We have an opportunity to take back our country. John Dean, in Conservatives Without Conscience, has some quotes before the table of contents:

"If you think [the United States] could never elect an Adolf Hitler to power, note that David Duke would have become governor of Louisiana if it had just been up to the white voters of that state." - Professor Bob Altemeyer

"The administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form." - Jonathan Schell

And if we sit back, and let the neo-conservatives have their way, the bloodbath will continue.


Jimbo said...

Diva Jood, I'm going off topic here, but I nope you umderstand.

In my comment on HWs, I did not mean “Zionist” as an epithet or slur. I know that the gov’t of Israel is the culprit, not the Israeli people themselves. Just like the Bush Administration are the a-holes in Iraq, not all Americans. I have the utmost respect for Israelis and their people all over the world. I am very sorry that I insulted you, Diva Jood. Please forgine me.

glenda said...

OOOh, diva, this is what I'm looking for. May I reprint at PT, with all references, of course to the oringinal writer/posts? My hard drive crashed this week and I am still trying to get the new everything/email/bookmarks, etc. set up, so did not get the other posted, sorry. Technical problems totalled my week. Pls. let me know...I love the way you put this together.

DivaJood said...

Jimbo, there has been a Jewish presence in Israel for longer than Palestinian, and I just left a long comment at Fuzzy and Blue. Please understand, I don't feel personally insulted; but I need to keep things balanced and clear. I am a leftist, and a Zionist. But I don't support the actions of the Israeli government in this current war.

Glenda, yes, please, you may reprint with all the references - and for some insane reason, I can't make comments on the Peace Train again. I dunno, is it me, or is it the server? I feel so, well, blonde.

glenda said...

Damn. but's a good thing, right? I vacilate between blonde and red, myself.
Ok, let me check with Dude. Keep trying. This is totally over my head, but I had the same problem a few days ago. THe Blue Republic was hacked by some Turkish militants not too long ago and everything has been a little off since, but it seems to come and go. We thought it was all fixed. PT is on the same server...I will report this!

Tina said...

I left a comment for you at my place, and thanks for providing history and perspective on this issue... but I have a question? How in the hell did my post primarily about Idiocy in American politics and society become hijacked and turned into a post suddenly about Palestinian land vs Jewish land??? Sheesh... oh that's right, those 2 idiots "Rick" and that uber-moron "Tired of It All" decided to hijack my post and start shit. I have had enough crap all week. The last thing I need or want is that on the weekend. Sorry, I just really am not in the frickin mood to have my blog become ground zero for THAT incredibly twisted, difficult, and painful issue, yet Republican trolls feel the need to come to my place and turn it into their platform... don't they have better things to do? Like playing in traffic?

DivaJood said...

Glenda, I have the same color vacilation, but because I also have grey, the blond blends better. I meant, my brain is blond.

Tina, I apologize for that insanely long comment I put up at your blog - I was sort of pissed off at some idiotic comments, and hadn't had enough tea.

Jimbo said...

Diva Jood, A couple of years ago I was told that the ruins of ancient Israel were buried in Turkey. I was also told that the Zionists wanted to take over Palestinian land because their was no way they could get land from Turkey. My sisters husband told me this. He is a Fox News watcher and I was fool enough to believe him.

I spent a few hours "Googling" and reading. Even looking at Biblical maps of Israel. I now believe that my brother-in-law is a liar and a hateful jerk.

In my opinion, Israel does have the right to exist. When I use the term "Zionist" I dont mean it as a slur.

I was badly misinformed and should not have commented on the subject at all. Please forgive my ignorance.

7/31/2006 07:20:04 AM

DivaJood said...

Jimbo, that's actually very funny, the Turkey bit. Your sister's husband is a bit mis-informed.

Comment away, it is the only way people can find the truth, by meaningful discourse, research, and keeping an open mind.

Jimbo said...

Diva, my brother-in-law is a salesman. Google "Koran 9:11".
He sent me crap like that.

If you'd be so kind I have a few questions about some things;
Why did the Jews leave Israel? War?
What are Philistinians?
Where are Palestinians from? Everywhere?
What words do I Google to find out?

DivaJood said...

Hi Jimbo
There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Israel for almost 4000 years. We never really "left." But we did migrate to other areas.

Philistines were from the Agean Sea region; they settled along the coastal region that is now Israel and Gaza. It is believed that the term Palestine was derived from Philistine.

Where Palestinians are "from" is a huge debate, and part of the problem.

Wikipedia is a great source, and most of their entries will have links to other sections.