Gray Panthers of San Francisco
January 2006 Newsletter

Privatizing and Profitizing War and Disaster


This administration has given new meaning to “stealing pennies off the dead man’s eyes.” The masters of war have turned tragedy into trillions of dollars. They have privatized war and our Gulf Coast disaster with no-bid contracts to their partners in crime, Halliburton, Bechtel, etc. People of Iraq are kept from rebuilding their own country; people of New Orleans from rebuilding their own city, and denied their right of first return.

Taking the profit out of war will bring us closer to ending wars altogether. With money diverted from wars and rescinding the tax cut for the wealthy, we might actualize true American dreams.

There should never be profits made from war. Last month, Bechtel and URS won a 10-year US Air Force contract of $10 billion “to support Air Force operations around the world.” Past Bechtel contracts in Iraq include $16.3 billion, 2003; $17.4 billion, 2004; another USAID no-bid infrastructure contract is currently estimated at $100 billion. Bechtel donated most of its $1.3 million political contributions since 1999 to the Republican Party. Bechtel, possibly the most profitable private company in the Bay Area, does not reveal details of its contracts in Iraq. After all, George Schultz sits on its board, Donald Rumsfeld was its liaison with the Iraqi government, and Jack Sheehan, Bechtel VP, is also a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board.


(back to January 2006 Newsletter front page)