US Construction company awarded multi-million contract without public tender

Martin Gilbert’s “History of the Twentieth Century”. Volume 3 I think.

My mistake. I meant successor. But, vocabulary slips aside, my comment stands. (Gore Vidal. The Last Empire Essays.)

Will the left never get their act together?

It’s a sad day for me. I realize that the liberal establishment seems to blindly refuse to get its act together. I see a lot of fingerpointing and name calling. A loud screaming about the total corruption represented by the US and its practices. Yet oddly, I hear not a whisper of a counter proposal. I see no systematic breakdown of the conservative agenda by the left. I see no well-reasoned arguments and a complete lack of logical thinking. All I hear is pouting, whining and whimpering. Is giving well reasoned arguments and counter arguments logically a conservative only trait?

Just one basic question:

What would you have done to get the water turned on for Iraq? Saying not going to war is a moot argument. The simple question is what would you have done differently? How is that different from what is being done?

Think carefully on this for if you don’t, Bush could easily have another 4 years. The Democrat Party establishment is in total disarray in the US. Lack of effective counter proposals, will only mean more of what the world is currently experiencing under the current US administration.


reminds me of the republican party in california. they’ve spent the last decade self-destructing and giving the democrats total dominance. instead of changing and adapting their platform, they just keep blindly running the most conservative candidates they can find and failing miserably time and again. it’s like they take a certain comfort in having democrats in office because it gives them someone to blame. they think that if they keep whining without offering something better, people might get fed up enough when things go bad to elect them back into office.

the difference with the democrats is that they do have popular moderates. too bad all the loudest bush-bashers go and vote for nader and other fringers. what was nader’s foreign policy? did anyone know? did anyone care?

[quote=“wolf_reinhold”]It is useless to debate with poster(s) who don’t read carefully.
You win. I’m out.[/quote]

OK, wolf. Sorry if I misread your statement. But I have read it again, carefully, and I’m still not certain what your point is, particularly in the context of this thread.

I mean, AFAIK, dissent is still a freedom in the US… plenty of people, even, or especially, famous folks, are dissenting right now as we discuss things here in Taiwan. So, I don’t understand your use of the past tense “used to call dissent a freedom”. Complain all you want about my not reading carefully, but I don’t understand your writing???

And who anywhere is calling French and Turkish actions “undemocratic”?

Please explain your statement so that I can try to understand it. I’ll read any answer you give very carefully, I promise. … 5bc62d59d3

[quote]Although the Bechtel Group in San Francisco has been selected as the prime contractor for up to $680 million worth of reconstruction work in Iraq, a substantial percentage of that money

Tigerman, I don’t think any of us would debate that this project will benefit Iraq and its people, but that is not the discussion we are having, as you well know.

The report you cite is tangential to the issue. Rascal was exposing the corruption in awarding a contract without tender to a US company that has close political connections.

A quck Internet search shows Bechtel contributed $33,000 dollars to Republican senators in the last published accounts. That’s almost three times their Democratic contributions (there’s an irony!) if that is relevant.

Here are selected extracts from an article that is relevant to the debate. … 659137.htm

[quote]Bechtel's political clout helps land Iraq reconstruction bid

Yes. And that is why I offered no commentary on the article. I only offered it as related information.

No “corruption” was exposed. It is alleged only. It is quite possible that Bechtel is the best qualified, despite its political connections, to do the job in the short time frame required. Moreover, Bechtel did not receive the contract without tender. The bidding was limited, to be sure, but it was not completely closed. Again, due to the nature of the needs in this case, the restricted bidding was appropriate. It isn’t as though the bidding was for something quite as essential as a new football stadium, right?

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), was responsible for selecting companies for Iraq’s reconstruction, and that selection process was open only to a few US companies asked to tender a bid by the US government. In fact, all six of the companies that tendered bids on the contract that was awarded to Bechtel have donated lots of $$$ to various US politicians – and most of that money went to Republicans. This fact indicates that Bechtel might have been chosen for reasons other than political connections.

Bechtel may have been chosen because of its 60-years worth of extremely relevant experience in constructing pipelines, airports and oil facilities in the Middle East. Bechtel has approximately 1,000 people already stationed in the region, and, as stated repeatedly, time is of the essence in this case.

Iraq won’t be the first Middle Eastern country reshaped by Bechtel, which began working in the Persian Gulf during World War II and never left. Bechtel built or expanded early refineries in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to feed the Allies’ need for fuel during WW2.

After the war, Bechtel stretched a pipeline 850 miles across the desolate Saudi desert to Jordan. The company built an electrical plant to light the Saudi capital of Riyadh, linked the city to the Persian Gulf with a new railroad and later added an airport. Islamic pilgrims from Jidda go to Mecca on a highway constructed by Bechtel.

In Iraq, Bechtel previously helped build an oil pipeline to Syria, a hydroelectric dam near the Turkish border and the pipes, pumps and terminals for the Buzurgan oil field.

When coalition forces drove Iraq’s army from Kuwait in 1991, much of the clean-up work fell to Bechtel.

So, it seems a bit unfair to say that Bechtel was corruptly awarded a contract without any bidding process, when (1) there was in fact a bidding process, although it was quite restricted (and such restrictions are reasonable in light of the time frame) and (2) when Bechtel’s extensive experience in both the relevant types of construction and the relevant region are impressive, to say the least.

Yes, there were political connections. But there were obvious other considerations that, IMO, made Bechtel an obvious choice from among the several companies that tendered bids.

I could be completely wrong. But, I don’t think so.

My, my, my…

Galloway was in Saddam’s pay, say secret Iraqi documents

By David Blair in Baghdad

George Galloway, the Labour backbencher, received money from Saddam Hussein’s regime, taking a slice of oil earnings worth at least

Martin Gilbert’s “History of the Twentieth Century”. Volume 3 I think.


The UK has yet to repay it’s war debt. If all goes on schedule, it will be repaid in 2006.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, the Government have no current plans to mark the completion of the repayment of the United Kingdom’s World War II debt to the United States Government.

Lord Laird: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he recognise the concern at the recent disclosure that the USA is still demanding war debt repayment from the United Kingdom, almost 60 years after the war?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, the loan originally was

You mean it has yet to finish repaying its (no apostrophe) debt. Slight difference.

You mean it has yet to finish repaying its (no apostrophe) debt. Slight difference.[/quote]

Right. You’ve paid or you haven’t paid. Very simple. BTW, I suggest you look up the Johnson Debt-Default Act (1934). It forbade the American government and private citizens to lend money to any country that had defaulted, or failed to repay, its war debts. FDR had to get around this with the Lend-Lease Program in order to send aid to the UK at the beginning of WWII. Finland was the only country to repay its WWI debt.

The fact that you made no comment on an article you selected and so therefore, as you say, you have not put forward an opinion is just plain lawyer talk. People offer examples to illustrate their positions. If you wanted to find

Blueface, it appears my historian disagrees with your sources. If he

[quote=“Soddom”]The issue is, is it right that a US (or any) company with close political ties to the awarding body be awarded a huge contract without a fair bidding process? No I don

Tigerman, I protest at your misrepresentation of my comments.

I did not give my definition of corruption; I looked in three dictionaries on my desk and quoted their common definition.

I did not define fair. I rephrased the original poster

Soddom, I assure you that I am not trying to pick a fight with you or to mistate your position. If I did so, I apologize. You are one of the people here that I very much admire… however, let me explain my post…

Sorry. I did not mean to suggest that you were using your own (non-dictionary) definition. I meant that it was you (not me) who provided a definition (that was from a dictionary).

You stated (I have added bold):

[quote]The issue is, is it right that a US (or any) company with close political ties to the awarding body be awarded a huge contract without a fair bidding process? No I don’t believe so.

Is this corruption? Yes if we can avoid a semantic argument and accept the general dictionary definition of: illegal, immoral or dishonest behaviour, especially by people in positions of power. To add to that, I accept that political donations from corporations are not illegal in the US, but I do believe it is morally wrong and encourages corruption. [/quote]

Sorry again. However, I thought you were agreeing with the original poster. Was I wrong?

No, I do of course. My point was that after you provided a legitimate definition, I had difficulty understanding why you would still consider the award of the contract an example of corruption. After all, there was a bidding process, although very limited. And political contributions are legal (thus not per the definition you cited “corrupt”) and there was nothing illegal or immoral about the limited bidding process either.

You appeared, IMO, to agree that the bidding process was “not fair”. That is why I assumed that you had agreed with the original poster’s implied definition of “fair” in this case to mean completely open to all potential bidders. I commented that what is or is not “fair” is determined by the circumstances, and that in the present case, the circumstances warranted a very restricted bidding process.

The dictionary (American Century Dictionary) definition of “admit”: v. 1 acknowledge; recognize as true

It is not. the definition you provided: illegal, immoral or dishonest behaviour… The award of the contract was not illegal, immoral or dishonest. How can you thus assert that the contract award was “corrupt”?

OK. I think you have misunderstood my post (and I accept/admit that it may have been due to my hastily and poorly posted reply). Anyway, I hope you accept my apology and believe me when I say I am not looking for a fight or to purposely misrepresent you.


You mention the Johnson Debt-Default Act (1934), and I

This is quite old but has the US finished to pay up?$.htm

Maybe not:


Not sure though what it has to do with the topic …

[quote=“Rascal”]This is quite old but has the US finished to pay up?$.htm

Maybe not:


Not sure though what it has to do with the topic …[/quote]

Since the US has been doing the UN’s job in South Korea since 1949, why don’t we just deduct that from the UN “debt”, shall we? I imagine the UN will come out owing the US one hell of alot. What do you think?

Thank you, Tigerman for your careful and chivalrous comments