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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: FindLaw's Writ - Chander: Secrets and Lies. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

FindLaw's Writ - Chander: Secrets and Lies
by Swater at 1:21 am EDT, Apr 25, 2003

Good little article on the spoils theft in Iraq.

FindLaw - Secrets and Lies: How Secret Bidding and the Shut-Out of Foreign Corporations in Iraqi Reconstruction Violates International Trade Principles
by Elonka at 12:40 pm EDT, Apr 25, 2003

] The lack of competition harms the U.S.'s claim to be Iraq's
] liberator. Rather than championing justice, the U.S. appears to
] be engaged in the colonial enterprise of propping up domestic
] industry through foreign engagements.
 . . .
] In addition, the United States Agency for International
] Development (USAID) awarded what will probably be the largest
] contract of all - the main Iraqi reconstruction contract - to the
] San Francisco firm Bechtel, a company with deep Republican ties.
] The award was the result of secret bidding among only a few
] American companies that had been invited to participate. Many
] (perhaps all) of the bidders had given significant campaign
] contributions in recent years, the bulk of which went to
] Republican candidates. The contract was for an initial
] $34.6 million, but could grow up to $680 million over the
] next 18 months.
] The result of these compromised processes is likely that U.S.
] taxpayers paid too much, and Iraqis will not receive the best
] reconstruction services possible. After all, firms with extensive
] experience in Iraqi construction (including European and Egyptian
] firms) were shut out of the process. And it will appear to many
] that cronyism, rather than ability, seems to have been the
] decisive factor when it comes to the Halliburton and Bechtel
] contracts.

It is my hope that the current "selective bidding" process is temporary, with the main advantage of speed in getting the ball rolling rather than requiring a lengthy review process with a large number of bids from different countries -- In other words, I believe it's more important to go in there and get things started rapidly, since many services are currently in a shambles and we just don't have the luxury of sifting through for the "perfect" contract while people are suffering in the short-term. As things stabilize though, I do believe it would be prudent to allow more international involvement in the Iraqi reconstruction process, and especially to ensure that the longterm (or permanent) contracts are not all exclusively American.

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