Team Bush, Team War Profiteers
Earlier this month, the President also asked for an additional $20 billion for Iraqi reconstruction as part of his larger supplemental appropriations request. Unfortunately, the President provided no assurances that the billions of dollars in new contracts will not be awarded through similarly secretive processes.
United States Senators Joseph I. Lieberman & Frank R. Lautenberg, Sept. 23, 2003.
Many other lesser members of Team Bush or the official Bush administration too numerous to list here have for the past five years (nearly) been working the revolving door of war business and government, to great personal financial advantage. In Part Three we will also detail how various Bush relatives are personally benefitting from the war in Iraq and the "War on Terror".
The grim truth is that the threat President Eisenhower warned about in 1961 is today the primary reality of the Bush governance, and the carpetbaggers of Washington are setting the tone for an era of war profiteering without equal in all human history. Only an aware and committed citizenry can hope to stop them.
In a radio address on 27 August 2005, President Bush called for Americans to be prepared for "more sacrifice" in Iraq. But who is to do the sacrificing? Not the President or any of his relatives and associates, that's for sure. They don't send their sons and daughters to fight in Iraq, they have "better things" to do. Mr Bush's "haves and have mores" prefer to rake in enormous windfall war profits generated by companies they have investments in, and which offer many of them high-paid jobs and extraordinary perks in the scandalous "revolving door" between the current US government and the big business corporations now profiting so hugely from this war.
We've all heard of Halliburton, so closely associated with Vice President Cheney. But here are a group of giant American corporations now doing "very nicely indeed thanks" out of the Iraq war as at the second half of 2005: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Honeywell and United Technologies. Behind them come dozens of medium-sized companies and hundreds of smaller ones for whom, far from sacrifice, war is a bonanza.
Lockheed Martin's net profit, for example, jumped 41 percent in the first six months of 2005. With orders worth US$73 billion to hand, their gravy train looks like rolling on for quite some time. Boeing's military division reported sales of US$15.3 billion in January-June 2005, with operating profits rising 16 percent to US$1.7 billion. Northrop Grumman's half-year earnings rose no less than 45.3%...
The latest Bush appointments on the blood money gravy train:
The new Deputy Secretary of Defence Gordon England, (replacing prominent Iraq war advocate Paul Wolfowitz, who became president of the World Bank), has previously held executive positions with both Lockheed Martin Corp and General Dynamics Corp. Below him, being nominated by President Bush as Secretary of the Air Force is Michael Wynne - even though the US Senate has previously refused to confirm Mr Wynne as the Pentagon's acquisition chief, because of concerns about a whole range of Air Force weapons-buying scandals. And who has the White House put forward for a replacement Secretary of the Navy? None other than Donald C. Winter, a current executive of Northrop Grumman Corp. Remember them from the windfall profits list?
And what happens to the honest ones? A senior contracting official, Ms Bunnatine Greenhouse, who criticised the Pentagon's decision to give Halliburton a multibillion-dollar, no-bid contract for work in Iraq, was sacked at the end of August 2005 for "poor performance". Yes indeed, the people in power find any criticism of all this revolving door corruption to be a very "poor" show, from their point of view. The dismissal, described by her attorney as bearing "the hallmark of illegal retaliation," handily scotches the investigation into her embarrassing finger-pointing at the thieves in action. Said Ms Greenhouse, "I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR (a division of Halliburton) represents the most blatant and improper abuse I have witnessed" in 20 years working on government contracts.
One Last Dismal Word
Many of the big corporations that own much of the US media are doing their best to avoid letting you read, see, or hear information they don't want you to know about, or try to ensure that such information is at any rate relegated to obscurity. The Web, and the publishing of books (both physical and e-books), remain the last free bastion of "the inconvenient truth". If sites like this one are forced off the Web, you'll know why. We hope that a kinder, more globally responsible America will eventually triumph over the military-corporate elite who have at present usurped government and fooled many of the American people into supporting them.