Mar 21 2013
Art Brennan, an Army veteran of the 82nd Airborne division who served for 20 years in the army reserves and went on to be a superior court judge in New Hampshire for 15 years, was asked in 2007 to head up the State Department’s anti-corruption unit in Baghdad. He served only a month on the job before concluding that “the Department of State has contributed to the killing and maiming of U.S. soldiers; the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians; the bolstering of illegal militias, insurgents and al Qaeda – and the enrichment and empowerment of the thieves controlling some of the Iraqi ministries.”
“Billions of U.S. and Iraqi dollars have been lost, stolen and wasted,” he continued. “It is likely that some of that money is financing outlaws and insurgents such as the Mehdi Army.” Where all that money came from and where it was supposed to go remains so thickly shrouded in mystery that we will most likely never have a clear idea of what happened. In a sense, it doesn’t matter; no massive ground war in a resource-rich country in the post-1970’s age of transnational, corporate mega-capital could yield any other result.
In January 2004, Suzanne H. Woolsey, whose husband James had directed the CIA a decade earlier, joined the board of Fluor Corporation, which promptly secured a $1.6 billion contract from the U.S. government to undertake reconstruction projects in Iraq. One of these, initially slated to cost $33 million, was a wastewater treatment facility in Fallujah, a city which over the next year the U.S. military rid of much of its famously beautiful architecture, as well as thousands of its inhabitants.
Five years after the project’s proposed completion date, it was $75 million over budget, accessible to only one quarter of Fallujah’s residents and noticeable to the rest by its powerful fecal stench. Fluor is currently ranked number one on the Fortune 500 list of engineering and construction companies.