Friday, April 11, 2008

The Never-ending War Story - the Prequel

6 months before the US invaded Iraq, Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root, were building bases and installations in preparation for the invasion.

The PBS documentary ‘Private Warriors’ presented this fact in June, 2005.
(Chapter three, ‘Embedded with KBR’; at 5:10)

To repeat:

The decision to invade Iraq had been made and Halliburton had been hired to provide logistical support for an armed assault of Iraq long before the fabricated evidence re: WMDs and Saddam/Al-Qaida connections were presented by the White House to the US people and their greedy, jello-spined representatives.

It might seem beyond credibility, given what we know now, that neither the director, Tim Mangini, nor producers, Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith thought to pursue a line of questioning pertaining to this fact in this ‘hard look at private contractors’. Too off-topic perhaps. (IMHO, the documentary quickly descends into a ‘human interest piece’. Perhaps the tragic story of ex-Navy Seal, Scotty ‘the Bod’ Helvenston and others was too alluring. Helvenston was one of the Blackwater mercenaries killed, burned and strung up from the bridge in Falluja.)

Call me naïve, but I would have thought that drilling to the core of the investigation to fathom the grand reason why we were truly at war in Iraq and in need of all these private contractors would have been the preferred tact to take. (Call it 20/20 hindsight, if you wish.)

If the reporter was correct, sometime in September, 2002, 6 months before the Bush Administration bullied the US into violating international law by invading the sovereign nation of Iraq on March 20, 2003, contracts had been signed and contractors were on the ground building bases and installations in preparation for the invasion. This presumably included the ‘permanent bases’, and quite likely improvements on what is to be the largest embassy compound in the World. A ‘Vatican City’ to serve as the base of future operations in the Middle-east. Most certainly, they were busy building some of the more than 60 sites that KBR operated in Iraq at the time of this documentary.

In his January 28, 2003, state of the Union address, Bush denounced Saddam as “the dictator who is assembling the world’s most dangerous weapons” and listed vast quantities of biological and chemical weapons. What Dubya didn’t tell us is that his cabal of war-criminals had already bargained away any peaceful, diplomatic solutions in a no-bid contract to Halliburton/KBR, three months earlier.

Lest we forget, Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA’s Europe division, a 26-year veteran of the agency, revealed to CBS’ Ed Bradley on ‘60-minutes’ which aired on April 23, 2006, that in the fall of 2002, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director, George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States and was reportedly paid more than $100,000 by the CIA — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

Mr Drumheller went on to say that the administration didn’t care about this revelation, no matter the source. Of course not, by that time, in September, 2002, the real decisions had been made by the people who truly matter, the high mucky-mucks of corporate America, and the ink was drying on the dotted line. The gravy-train was leaving the station with a full head of steam and no red flag was going to stop it.

You can almost hear an echo from the addled, collective brain-pan of Bush’s Inner Circle, ‘We can’t renege on the deals we’ve made with our friends at Halliburton. That wouldn’t be kosher. A deal is a deal.’ One must suppose that the ‘finder’s fee’ on the estimated umpteen billion dollars in no-bid, cost-plus contracts awarded to Halliburton/KBR would be a handsome one. And if one had similar connections with other corporations that supplied materiel and services to Halliburton and KBR at inflated cost, one could wolf down the slop at both ends of the trough. Hog heaven, as they say.

That’s a mighty temptation. Mountains of cash up front and on the back end, lots of powerful friends who’d be happy to give you a corner office, a princely salary and a diamond parachute when you conclude your ‘service’ in the US government.

Beyond the dreams of avarice.

And all you have to do is undermine the Constitution, betray your solemn oath to uphold and defend the precepts of that document, lie to the US citizens you swore to serve, deceive the world with bald-faced falsehoods and steel yourself to live with the fact that the blood of thousands or even tens of thousands of human beings are on your greedy hands.

Such a deal.

So, General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker, when can we expect to bring home our troops and our contractors? When will this war end?

The answer is simple.

The war will end when Dubya, Dicky-boy, Donnie the Rum, Condi, Wolfie, and all those of their sickening ilk can force themselves from the slop of the trough.

Then again, I’m an optimist.

Post Script:
I am very sympathetic to Mr Helveston's friends and family members. I also can understand the reasoning revealed by Mrs Katy Helveston, Scotty’s mom when she told PBS,”When you’ve been in Special Forces for 13, 14 years, you’re trained to do one thing. And there’s not a whole lot of jobs out there for people trained to kill.” Being a private contractor seemed to be a solution to the deteriorating US economy for many of the 10,000 who were in Iraq in 2005.

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