Wednesday, July 07, 2004
If you had any doubt about the power emanating from a narrow spectrum of private interests over policy decisions in the "New Iraq", here's a story in which an Undersecretary of Defense is going on little secret missions on their behalf: (from "Pentagon Deputy's Probes in Iraq Weren't Authorized, Officials Say", LA Times)
A senior Defense Department official conducted unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts and used their results to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients, according to current and former Pentagon officials and documents.
John A. "Jack" Shaw, deputy undersecretary for international technology security, represented himself as an agent of the Pentagon's inspector general in conducting the investigations, sources said.
In one case, Shaw disguised himself as an employee of Halliburton Co. and gained access to a port in southern Iraq after he was denied entry by the U.S. military, the sources said.
In that investigation, Shaw found problems with operations at the port of Umm al Qasr, Pentagon sources said. In another, he criticized a competition sponsored by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to award cellphone licenses in Iraq.