Tag Archives | Profiteering

You Can Be A Patriot or a Profiteer…But You Can’t Be Both

This week, the three military contractors that do the most business with the Pentagon announced their quarterly profits for 2012. Their profits continue to grow while they push Washington, D.C. to protect their budgets at the expense of the rest of us. Here’s the breakdown so far for this year: This week's announcement raises a fundamental question: Should people and companies be allowed to make huge profits from war? Even raising this question in today’s environment may seem trite, but we used to have different answers than those that prevail in modern-day Washington, D.C....
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There’s No Business Like War Business

War Is A RacketPepe Escobar writes in the Asia Times:

Lies, hypocrisy and hidden agendas. This is what United States President Barack Obama did not dwell on when explaining his Libya doctrine to America and the world. The mind boggles with so many black holes engulfing this splendid little war that is not a war (a “time-limited, scope-limited military action”, as per the White House) — compounded with the inability of progressive thinking to condemn, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the Muammar Gaddafi regime and the Anglo-French-American “humanitarian” bombing.

United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 has worked like a Trojan horse, allowing the Anglo-French-American consortium — and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — to become the UN’s air force in its support of an armed uprising. Apart from having nothing to do with protecting civilians, this arrangement is absolutely illegal in terms of international law. The inbuilt endgame, as even malnourished African kids know by now, but has never been acknowledged, is regime change.

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WikiLeaks Revelation: Iraq Security Firms Operate ‘Mafia’ to Inflate Prices

From the Guardian:

Halliburton’s senior executive in Iraq accused private security companies of operating a “mafia” to artifically inflate their “outrageous prices”, according to a US cable.

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Written by a senior diplomat in the US’s Basra office, the confidential document discloses the tensions between private security firms, oil companies and the Iraqi government as coalition forces withdraw from protecting foreign business interests.

John Naland, head of the provincial reconstruction team in Basra, wrote in January this year that several oil company representatives complained of “unwarranted high prices” given an improving security situation since 2008.

“Halliburton Iraq country manager decried a ‘mafia’ of these companies and their ‘outrageous’ prices, and said that they also exaggerate the security threat.

“Apart from the high costs for routine trips, he claimed that Halliburton often receives what he says are ‘questionable’ reports of vulnerability of employees to kidnapping and ransom. He said that he recently saw an internal memo from their security company which tasked its employees to emphasize the persistent danger faced by IOCs [international oil companies].” Naland wrote.

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Disaster Profiteers See Dollar Signs In Haiti

In The Nation, Jeremy Scahill writes on how Blackwater-esque private security companies are chomping at the bit for huge paydays offering their ‘services’ in the reshaping of Haiti:

We saw this type of Iraq-style disaster profiteering in New Orleans, and you can expect to see a lot more of this in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. Private security companies are seeing big dollar signs in Haiti thanks in no small part to the media hype about “looters.”

Among the services offered are: “High Threat terminations,” dealing with “worker unrest,” armed guards and “Armed Cargo Escorts.”

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The Sick Business of Health-Care Profiteering

Think Wall Street’s titans are the highest paid C.E.O.’s in the land? Think again. With median annual compensation of more than $12 million, medical moguls take the pay prize, even as the quality of care we receive falls to embarrassing lows. As the debate over health-care reform intensifies, Vanity Fair’s Matt Kapp catalogues the industry’s unbridled profiteering:

It’s become a national pastime to bash Wall Street’s lavish pay packages, but as we enter the vortex of another health-care showdown, consider these overlooked facts: With median annual compensation of more than $12.4 million, C.E.O.’s at the big health-care companies make two-thirds more than their counterparts in finance and are the highest paid of any industry. The health-care industry’s total annual profit has grown to an estimated $200 billion, and it doled out nearly $170 million in campaign contributions in 2007 and 2008. It now spends more than any other industry lobbying the federal government—$3.5 billion over the past decade and a record $263 million in the first six months of this year.

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