British defense giant BAE has agreed to pay the UK and U.S. governments almost $800 million in penalties after it finally admitted guilt in the face of long-running corruption allegations. The deal allows the company to avoid being placed on an international arms trade blacklist.
The theory that the Bush administration wanted Iraq for its oil has just gotten a major boost. It turns out that the U.S. State Department sent over a team of lawyers and consultants to help the Iraqi government work out several high-profile no-bid contracts with five Western oil giants.
It’s the end of an era for the friends of General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan, who resigned from her post Tuesday following years of allegations of corruption and other inappropriate uses of power. Doan’s reign over the government’s chief contracting agency was riddled with contract handouts and examples of using her appointed position for political (read Republican) purposes.
Determined to show just how adolescent they can be, U.S. representatives in Baghdad have expressed dissatisfaction and suspicion over a pair of power plants that Iranian and Chinese companies plan to build in Iraq. One American military official described the contracts this way: “As you know, it’s not always as it appears.”
Oil giant Halliburton has decided to move its headquarters to the United Arab Emirates in order to better exploit Mideast opportunities. The controversial company has had much success in the region, with no-bid contracts in Iraq helping it pull in $22.6 billion in global revenues in 2006.
Three Army Reserve officers and two civilians have been indicted for funneling $8 million worth of contracts over two years to a construction company in exchange for luxury items and cash. The officers oversaw some $26 billion in reconstruction funds while they were in Iraq.
According to internal audit documents obtained by The Washington Post, the Defense Department wasted millions of dollars by farming out contracting to the Interior Department in an effort to “expedite” the process. Through the program, Interior routinely awarded overpriced and under-monitored no-bid contracts in exchange for a fee from the Pentagon.
A bipartisan Senate bill that would have created a public database of all government contracts has been blocked by an unknown senator. The bill, which passed its committee unanimously, can now move forward only if the mysterious senator who placed it on “secret hold” removes the constraint. (h/t: Crooks and Liars)
“Don’t let your kids go hunting with the vice president. I don’t care what kind of lucrative contracts they’re trying to land or energy regulations they’re trying to get lifted. He’ll shoot them in the face.” | video