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I disagree with some of those who put down Petraeus as a liar, simply because they fail to agree with his assessment. It may come across to some as funny that I have thought, if not said, some to the same things against which I am now taking issue, and if so, so be it……

What changed?

What happened was this. I became more familiar with what was going on within Iraq. Of course, being of skeptic I tended to look at things hard. Very hard. To my surprise, I found out that I was seeing real signs of hope. This hope was not in the eyes of the politicos; it was the eyes of Iraqis. Since desperate souls grasp any rope tossed to them, I have waited quietly to make sure that these Iraqis were not suffering any type of delusion. I listened to all three reports expecting to see something in them dash my half submerged optimism, upon the reality of Iraqi shores.

I think my conversion may have come about when I was studying the conversion of Al Anbar province. Those Sunnis chose to back us because they like us. Of course it wasn’t much of a contest, considering who their alternative was…..But it may have also come while studying the criticism leveled at us by the British, as they packed up and split. They criticized our arrogance , heavy handedness, and unwillingness to trust: all valid complaints Each of these were addressed under the Petraeus doctrine. After reading the Petraeus Book on the suppression of Insurrections, I realized his tactics were not part of the problem. They were in direct opposition to the problem. I understood what he was trying to accomplish.

What happened under Petraeus, happened not because of the amount of troops we had at our disposal, but because of the way we used them, that made a difference.

The surge may have helped. For before the surge, we, due to our insufficient numbers, acted like Soviets, if I may be blunt. We were there to suppress and pacify. We, with our own patriotic roots, should have been more aware that by taking that stance, we directly increased our own opposition.

Once we added just a few more troops on the ground, we were able to interact with the local population, while still having enough force surrounding us to protect us. Prior to the surge, the problem was that whenever a few shots were fired, we would have to shut down our clinic, and head out across the desert. However with additional troops able to chase the insurgents, the military medical corp could continue to cure the local citizen’s ills. That was the difference. We could finish what we started.

Of course the original problem was created by republicans, Rumsfeld in particular. Had we ramped up enough ground forces from day 1, we never would have needed the surge in the first place. Yes, we know their insurrection began because they believed we wanted their oil. (That republican Cheney messed everything up). But if I understand correctly, we dropped that privatized oil plank as a “no go” and are now supporting the nationalization of oil assets. We are pursuing more of a Biden local strategy, tribal leader by tribal leader, and doing so because of the surge. Paul Bremmer’s national unification strategy was not working.

What I found, in essence, was that everything I said eight months ago that we needed to do in Iraq to win, we were now doing.

Can this late development be twisted to mean I justify this war that was fought on false pretenses? Hell no. It will always stand as a stupid war, instigated by stupid ass republicans. Nothing can ever change that. We could have achieved much better results at far less cost, had we chosen to use other means.

But we didn’t. We went in against all common dignity, history and sense. So since we did, does the resulting mess lie at our doorstep? Does we broke it, mean we own it?

Perhaps. But instead of a “oops, I broke it” moment, it is more of an “Honey, I’m pregnant” moment. Whatever happened way back then, has now changed things permanently.

Of course we can put up our hands and say, “Whoa, that’s your problem bitch…” and walk out the door. Many people do and feel no remorse about doing so. But that is not how I want my America to be perceived. I want My America to be responsible. I want My America to do the right thing. My America will be no punk. My America will be a Dad……….

So emotionally, that is how I have come around about to see how we could win in that barren land. It is nothing new. Biden has pushed it for years.

To win, these things must happen. They are in our control.

Congress must finally stand up to the President. If Iraq can finally realize that America does not equal Bush, that we too think he’s a moron, that we too can admit and correct our mistakes, our relations will improve. If the American Congress ever gets some backbone, and forces upon the president a withdrawal timetable, the Iraqis too will get some backbone and begin controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the president, and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, and invest that money into Iraq’s infrastructure, hiring Iraqis to build their own sewers, roads, and buried electrical conduits. If Congress could do that, then the Iraqis might get some back bone and start controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the President, and force impeachment if he fails to comply with Congress’s orders. Only then will Iraq realize that America is not over there to conquer, but sincerely is over there to help. If we are decisive over here, they will be decisive over there,……. instead killing time and each other until our next inauguration day.

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The long awaited Petraeus report is due today. Since the White House has admitted it will be responsible for content, one can assume that it will represent the Republican take of the war in Iraq.

However, timed to break just before the Petraeus report, were two other reports of which we have heard already. One, by David Walker of the GAO, could be said to represent the Democratic view of the crises at hand. The other, sponsored by Senator Warner, featuring General Jones (Retired: who looks like he stepped out of the move “White Christmas”) could be said to provide a centrist, or otherwise unbiased, review.

Oh boy….here we go again……surprisingly, all say the same thing………WHAT?…….. All say some progress has been made militarily, but the true solution needs to be political.

So when asked if the surge worked, the answers are all the same. There are gains in stability in some regions as a result of the surge. But politically, we are in the same spot or worse, as we were in January 07.

At each of these hearings, each time this same conclusion is uttered, the Dems posture and say the surge didn’t work….and the Republicans hunker down and say some progress shows momentum…..you can’t quit while you are moving forward.

Oh No! Parallels to Vietnam: In Vietnam, the US Military won every engagement it fought against the enemy. However our State Department was unable to matriculate a political solution. So it is in Iraq. I heard Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) make a speech that would have fit quite nicely in an anthology of “Hawk’s” statements from the early ’70’s.

America: we are smarter than this….We should not make the same mistake twice……

All three reports comment on the marvelous success we fell upon in Al Anbar province. However it was not our military that forced the issue. Rather it was the local population that became fed up with Al Qaeda’s brutality so much that they did something about it. It was fortuitous that the troops were there, to capitalize on the decision made by the Sunni sector.

Had we not had the surge and enough troops in the field, we could have still been holed up in the Green Zone, and the opportunity that presented itself, could have slipped through our fingers. Supposedly the tipping point for the Sunnis came when Al Qaeda made a point of punishing a tribe by killing 6 or 7 of its young boys. The chieftain asked for protection. The astute Lt Col. said “I’ll have a tank parked here in two hours”…… The domino effect rolled throughout the region based on the momentum off that one incident.

But one incident doth not a war make…. As we succeed in Al Anbar, we are unraveling in the South; insurgents are moving back in as the Brits pull out. This should surprise no one……going back 67 years ago:

hostile forces will withdraw into the more remote parts of the country, or will be dispersed into numerous small groups which continue to oppose the occupation. Even though the recognized leaders may capitulate, the subordinate commanders often refuse to abide by the terms of the occupation. Escaping to the hinterland, they assemble heterogeneous armed groups of patriotic soldiers, malcontents, notorious outlaws,…… and by means of guerrilla warfare, continue to harass and oppose the intervening force in its attempt to restore peace and good order throughout the country as a whole.

Anyone out there recognize that? That was taken directly from the declassified version of the Marines’ Small Wars Manual, first published in 1940. It suggests that to countervail such forces, similar to what we anticipate today, we need numerous presence patrols organized with the help of local, native militias, and outposts that are erected dispersed over a wide area in order “to afford the maximum protection to the peaceful inhabitants of that country.”

This blanket approach of embedding Marines into local tribes, and assisting them in regaining some type of stability in their lives vis a vis their experience with the chaos caused by terrorists, means we often wind up doing the work, and leaving local militias with the credit. This has worked well in the southern Philippines, and has for many years worked well in Afghanistan. We did not employ these type of winning tactics in Iraq, until Petraeus took over, and because of bureaucratic squeamishness over causalities, we have let up on our winning strategy inside Afghanistan.

Americans are good…..and as long as we fight on the “side of good”, we continue to win the hearts and minds of local populations. On this direct level no one can compete with us. No one! Our administration lost sight of that. Intent on imposing a government made to help the image of the republican party, American forces found themselves, instead of fighting for the good in the local populations eyes, fighting for oil rights and Cheney/Bush’s tough machismo.

I call this post Mosquito Wars, because as I sat through each of these hearing, listening to all everyone had to say, the war became less of a military adventure, and more of a politically psychological one. After all, that is how the Soviet’s broken regime crumbled…..not by nuclear strikes or preemptive invasions. They just imploded.

The Soviet analogy sets this up well. During the peak of Cold War, we were beset by Soviet spies. They were relative easy to find, hard to kill, and harder still for their agency to replace. Today against the terror threat, the parameters have changed. The terrorists are very hard to find. easy to kill, and easy for their agency to replace.

The way you fight terrorism is with intelligence. If you know what terrorists are going to do, you can prevent it. But finding out is hard, especially when they mimic regular citizens. But as long as the root causes of terrorism are still out there, as long as there are breeding grounds to replace the ones killed or captured, terrorism itself will be never conquered.

Which brings us to mosquitoes. You can live with them, by walking around with mosquito netting over your head whenever you choose to go out, or you can spend 100 % of your outdoor time, watching your bare arms, and swatting whenever one lands. But if you really want to kill mosquitoes, you change the environment to one where they cannot survive. We did so as we built the Panama Canal. We suffocated their breeding grounds with oil; we sprayed standing water. We succeeded.

Terrorists are not lions, tigers or bears…oh my. They are mosquitoes. Totally harmless entities until they land on you. So lets fight them the same way we fight mosquitoes.

Fix the abject poverty in the area where they breed. For a mere 12 billion, it is estimated, we could permanently end poverty in the world…….Drill some wells, teach crop techniques, vaccinate their livestock, provide lifesaving medical attention, and do so with some M16’s standing by in case a lone mosquito slips in and needs a good swat…

It’s America…..it’s how we win…….and it is not to late to win in Iraq. Announce the timetable, work hard to build an Iraq ready for withdrawal, and leave whenever we are done, not a moment before. But announcing the timetable is the key to developing political will among all factions in Iraq.

Remember how the moment Reagan was sworn in, the Iranian hostages were released after 444 days of captivity? They were not going to budge an inch as long as Carter was still president.

Let us move things fast forward too, by changing our leadership on this side of the Atlantic, doing so on our fast forward timetable (67 votes), thereby giving Iraq some hope too………

It’s something to think about; the next time you swat a mosquito……

Republicans have a really odd vision of history. This just in from a Far Right Evangelical website which I will not name out of respect for those here who wish not be linked to the more extreme elements of their sect……(But with a little research, I am sure anyone can locate the source….)..

Disclaimers aside, this sect, out in the Midwest was praising Bush/Cheney and the nuclear weapons on their way to Iran… Here is their amazing logic…….

In the 30’s the dust bowls ripped all the topsoil away. Extreme drought and extreme temperatures preceded the dust storms. This summer extreme temperatures and extreme drought dominate the Midwest. It was only World War II that pulled us out of the Great Depression some 10 years later.

Their claim was that if Bush held strongly to his beliefs, and did not waiver and back down from nuking Iran, WWIII would begin and the rains would come.

Of course…..anything is allowable on the internet………

WTF?photo by SUCHAT PEDERSON, News Journal

Hube is married to a Latina. Chavez is also a Latina. It may seem hard to believe, but based on evidence to the contrary, it could be possible that Hube supports the policies of Chavez. Even up to a whopping !% chance that he does. IT COULD BE POSSIBLE.

Mike M is familiar with geo positioning technology. In the wrong hands, that could be dangerous. He has recently returned from Canada, which has less stringent border requirements than does the US. There could be a chance that he spoke with someone about sensitive technology. Perhaps even a gigantic 1% chance that it possibly could have happened. BUT STILL, IT COULD BE POSSIBLE.

Randy, has left WGMD. Sometimes a personal event can change a person’s perspective. He is knowledgeable of radio technology. That knowledge in the wrong hands, could be dangerous. Perhaps there is even a 1% chance that he will instigate some type of disruptive event. You say it is far fetched. I say THERE IS A POSSIBILITY!

Congressman Mike Castle has supported the war in Iraq. despite the fact that it removes resources devoted to finding Bin Laden in Northwestern Waziristan. Why would someone WANT TO LET UP pressure on America’s number one terrorist, if that person wasn’t being a sympathizer to Al Qaeda’s cause? What other reason would representative Mike Castle have for aiding and abetting Bin Laden? The chances are possible that he is a mole, operating not to defend the Constitution, but under code from a lanky Arab who climbs over rocks and shoots a gun……(at least that is all we ever see him do…) You laugh, but look at the results. There is at least, if one rounds up, a 1% chance that congressman Mike Castle is helping Al Qaeda. IT COULD BE POSSIBLE.

Dave at FSP supported McCain in 2000, and now supports Mitt. Anyone who supports Mitt Romney is aware of his views on Iraq. His sons have not joined any branch of the Armed Services…. Does that mean that secretly, Mitt does not want them fighting and killing terrorists? By default, anyone who does not want to fight or kill Al Qaeda, must want them to live. Therefore anyone who WANTS a terrorist to live, is being supportive of their cause. Dave, who supports Mitt, who supports his sons’ decisions. which indirectly support sparing the lives of terrorists, could be considered a co-conspirator. At least there could be, again rounded up, a 1% CHANCE THAT IT IS SO.

The Cheney doctrine is as follows: Even if there’s just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty. It’s not about ‘our analysis,‘ as Cheney said. It’s about ‘our response.’ … Justified or not, fact-based or not, ‘our response’ is what matters. As to ‘evidence,’ the bar was set so low that the word itself almost didn’t apply.

You laugh, but look at those arrested so far on terroristic charges. Granted it is hard to arrest, and prove intent before a crime has been committed. Sometimes the flimsiest of evidence is necessary to proffer a conviction. And sometimes the evidence is stretched a little too thin. We are fortunate that ultimately our actions will be judged, not by government officials, but by twelve citizens culled from a pool of those who could not escape their jury notices. We are fortunate that members from such a group would be skeptical of the government’s infallibility.

But acting on the possibility of 1% chance of a terrorist attack, as we demonstrated in the above examples, crosses the line that differentiates the reasonable from the unreasonable.

The underlying tenet that makes unthinking Americans susceptible and willing to believe this nonsense,.. is that on an emotional basis, it makes sense. After all, I still vaccinate my children for diseases they have less than a 1% chance of exposure.

However that being granted, the simplistic doctrine of “if at least 1 percent, then act becomes especially frightening in the context of international conflicts, not just because of the number of threats misconstrued to meet the 1 percent threshold is overwhelmingly large, but because the consequences of misconstrued military action are so terrible, expensive, and irrevocable.

Therefore the emotional argument turns against the 1% doctrine. What do we have to give up to maintain such an unrealistic level of security? Here are some examples……….

At the last Drinking Liberally, I ordered a Heineken. Across the bar was a Miller Lite drinker, dressed conservatively, who glared at me. I deduced there was more than a 1% chance he would give me trouble…….I shot him.

My wife visited the Doctor. “Anything wrong” he asked and she said “I woke up with this scratchy throat. It could be allergies.” He said it could be cancer and if it is, we don’t have time for conclusive tests. Begin chemotherapy now, just in case.

The leader of the free world, conferred with his second in command. The consensus was that they could attack a third world nation intent on building a nuclear weapon before the leader’s term was up. Just as in the last engagement, no one worked through the possible consequences of their drastic action. Perhaps Russia will retaliate with a nuclear attack of their own. There is at least a 1% chance of Armageddon.

As Cheney said. “It’s about ‘our response.’ … Justified or not, fact-based or not, ‘our response’ is what matters.

So impeach now.

WDEL featured the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq  today. It was good that the group gets some publicity.

However I was surprised that most of the show was an attempt to discredit the group by tying them to a ‘partisan’ partner, and trying to blow the lid off of their non partisan status.

At one point, the inexplicable was asked of the group? “Why are you protesting only Mike Castle, a republican, and not Tom Carper, or Senator Biden?”

I’m listening and not believing my ears. There was no way he was saying what I heard him say. The last time something so off base was allowed over the air waves, was when Gerald Ford said Eastern Europe was not, and never would be under Soviet domination during a Ford Administration. Could anyone else be that confused while on the air?

Everyone in the studio was stunned and tried to save the interviewer’s face by saying politely……”like….duh…. they are on our side, they are against the war…………whereas Mike Castle supports the war, and as the republican, is the enabler who keeps this policy going forward, so we are targeting him……

All I can say is, fortunately they have commercial breaks to allow the interviewers to regroup.

So for those who listened in, here is how it went.

You are a partisan group. . . . . . Uh…..no we are not…..

You are a partisan group. . . . . . Uh…..no we are not…..

You are a partisan group. . . . . . Uh…..no we are not…..

You are a partisan group. . . . . . Uh…..no we are not…..

Of course I was expecting more… Does anyone care about those families who lost children for nothing? That is the true tragedy that republicans seem to ignore. What every American knows and out of politeness does not say, is that every death from Iraq, is the republican’s fault. Every future death in Iraq, is the republican’s fault. We don’t have to prove it to anyone. We know it. Deep down. We know it. It is the republicans fault. Mike Castle is a republican. Every death is his fault.

If Mike Castle stood up and said, this war was started under good intentions, but I cannot support it anymore, the house of cards that keeps this war funded, would dissolve. Years from now, some presidential candidate just might include Mike’s biography in a book titled “Profiles in Courage.” Any attempt, like Fox News, to shift the argument away from what matters, our sons and daughters, is a moral sin. Right now, in Arlington cemetery, lies a St. Marks graduate. From the pages of a William Penn yearbook, a ghost stares out….. And we have a radio host trying to say that stopping the war is a partisan adventure???

It is time for real Republicans to stand up and say this war is wrong. It is time for real Republicans to accept that we were sold a bill of goods that like Enron financial reports, were at the least, untruthful. It is time for real Republicans to publicly repudiate those who mock our servicemen by supporting this administration. It is time!

What would you do with 2.86 Billion?  Would you redo every Delawarean High School, and hire additional teachers?  Would you inspect and repair those bridges in danger of falling down?  Would you put it as seed money into forming a Single Payer health care system so needed by this state?  Would you invest it and use the interest to fund the Highway Fund on a yearly basis?  Would you buy up farmland  in danger of development, so Delaware will always be a wonderful place to live?

What is this 2.86 Billion anyway?  Why are we speculating on what we would do with it if we had it?

IT IS DELAWARE’S PORTION OF THE MONEY WASTED IN IRAQ.   If we were not spending it on a religious civil war over there……we could be spending it here, on us………

For those of you who still do not know, anyone still supporting the policies of this administration in that part of the world, is the person to be blamed for us not spending that money where it is needed.  Here!

That person needs to switch parties, and then support spending that money here, not there.

It is so frustrating to live in these times. So many things need commented upon. They need researched. They need exposed. They need discussion.

It is in times like these that one discovers exactly what one’s priorities are.

I woke up feeling the need to comment on Delaware’s wind power. It has been awhile for me and I needed, particularly with the cancer clusters in the news today, to find outwhether any other coal fired power plants had cancer clusters popping out around them.

Then I received some economic news that set me off.   New insights of a Stock Crash that makes 1929 look puny.

I then got a call from someone who had no health care and wanted my advice on how to go about getting a cyst removed…..Another topic that needed addressed.

Later today I got fired up over watching a panel discussion describing the so called union of Canada, the US, and Mexico. Although the presentation was just on trade barriers only, during the questioning, the public conversation turned to covering a union of the three countries. The most telling of the answers was that this type of wild speculation was prevalent only because every negotiation was being done in secret. No one really knows what is going on on the larger scale because each splinter group is meeting with its counterpart without disclosing any information to the other splinter groups.

What was needed was full disclosure with one negotiation held around one table done in the open for all to see………

Sort of a metaphor for Delaware’s State legislature………

Next, while listening to WDEL I got fired up over my children’s education. Ideas popped out of the conversations and I needed to flush them out and post them.

But by the time I got back to post, it was time to check on the court case in San Francisco. Like a kid opening a present, I frantically searched for any comment from that telling exchange. I finally found one just minutes after it was posted.

So as I look back and reflect upon my day, I see I value the environment, cheap energy, open disclosure, improvements in education, and a fierce protection of our privacy. But at the core of my being, I will drop all these to protect the Constitution. The Constitution is really worth giving up ones life over.

And right now, after last weeks vote on the Protect America Act, our Constitution is in danger. Great danger. Of course each of our elected officials can decide NOT to be Julius Caesar and NOT take the reins of a dictatorship that have been handed to them, but they would be bucking the trend of human history, if they did so………

I am struggling to understand how and why any Democrat would or could have voted to allow this travesty to happen. The more I find about the turn surveillance has taken since 9/11, the more apparent it seems that everything was staged to allow the reins of power to be handed to a choice few. For once done, no one can take them away. I am struggling to figure how rational, thinking human beings, could be so unaware of the potental of wrong doing and yet so trusting of those who have proven they cannot be trusted.

After all that is why History is there. In 2002 when protesters were chanting “No Blood For Oil” I smiled and thought that made a nice chant, but that slogan was so far fetched that it never could have seriously been possible. My research into whatever files I could find leading up to the invasion of Iraq, have proved otherwise. Apparently, we did invade Iraq for oil……..

So even though the idea of a “shadow” government that could quietly become the acting government also seems like a nice chant, but is still a bit too far-fetched and could never be possible,……. I have, no choice, but to act like it is, based on the past actions of this administration.

Yes, of course I hope I’m wrong……I hope it with all my heart. But had a greater number of Americans seen the light in 02, and frozen this nation in its tracks, we would not be where we are today, looking over casualty lists……

This stuff is not out in the open. The main stream media neither can or will investigate deeply enough. Even then, the stories are getting buried when and if they are reported.

I can only hope that more citizens become concerned that their right to privacy has gone with their ability to challenge this administration.

With spy satellites now focusing cameras on our backyards with a resolution of 4.54 inches, we need to be very careful about who is looking. Men, it would be a smart idea to keep your clothes on. Women, watch out for those cleavage shots………

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Constitution is in grave danger. You need to hold your Congress accountable: they have made a decision worse than the Dred Scott Decision. Don’t just phone or email……That becomes a statistic. Show up at one of his meetings in Georgetown, Dover, Wilmington, or Newark……Ask him in front of everyone why he decided to sell your freedoms down the river……….Only public scrutiny and/or embarrassment can and will make the difference. For if our public officials  defray from defending the Constitution, then it is up to us to ensure that this document, and the freedoms that come with it, are still around for our grandkids and great-grandkids…………..

Even if just to stall for time, bite up several of the six months, distract the administration from carrying out their mysterious plans,  impeachment procedures need to begin.  Had such fortitude been present in Rome, as Caesar crossed the Rubicon, history could have turned out much differently………….

I

If you didn’t heed my earlier post and shift all your assets over to fixed rate, you still have time. Not much, however according to this.

Those we should really fear

What a difference between Fox News, a stupid ass propaganda machine, and Fox TV. As a “24” buff, I am holding out hope that old adage of “the last is always the best”, holds true again…….. But whereas that television show always illustrates just how easily terrorists can invade our daily lives, the terrorists are always……and the key word is always, controlled by someone within the White House. The enemy turns out to be someone representing corporate America, …our friend……How prophetic…

So in my effort to write a sequel to “24” that mirrors real life, I decided to investigate a company that has shown up on our radar screens almost as frequently as Halliburton: Bechtel. The one good thing about Bechtel is that it is based in San Francisco. ( I did that for my friends on the right…..) Otherwise it seems like it could provide a conduit for a weapon of mass destruction as demonstrated in “24” that could sufficiently to do enough damage to cement martial law and provide Americans with their own version of Fidel Castro. Fortunately ours would talk less.

Perhaps if you knew what I just learned, it would sound a little less far-fetched……

Bechtel participated in the building of Hoover Dam in the 1930s. It has also had involvement in several other high profile construction engineering projects, including the Channel Tunnel, numerous power projects, refineries, and nuclear power plants, BART, Jubail Industrial City and Kingdom Centre and Tower in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong International Airport, the Big Dig, the rebuilding of the civil infrastructure of Iraq funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the hauling and installing of more than 35,000 trailers and mobile homes for Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi.

The company, which guards its privacy religiously, and is closely allied to power, is often the target of accusations by journalists and politicians, in need of a corporation to pick on…..

As of 2001, a darker sinister side of Bechtel has arisen. Recently, the company has come under criticism for the alleged mismanagement of the Big Dig project, its financial links to the bin Laden family, and the manner in which it received Iraqi rebuilding contracts after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Politicians in the United States and in Europe have made accusations of cronyism between the George W. Bush administration and Bechtel. It seems that anywhere in the world one finds a oil, power, or water producing facility, Bechtel is there.

Just how moral and ethical is this corporation?

Recently in Bolivia Bechtel received the rights to provide water to the city Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest. Shortly thereafter, water rates in that city went up an average of about 200 percent, an action which resulted in the Cochabamba protests of 2000. Many had to withdraw their children from school and stop using doctors because of higher costs for water. Martial law was declared, and Bolivian police killed at least 6 people and injured over 170 protesters. Amidst Bolivia’s nationwide economic collapse and growing national unrest over the state of the economy, the Bolivian government withdrew the water contract. Bechtel sued the Bolivian government for breaking the contract…….

Back on the home front, in a contract that should have been broken but wasn’t, Bechtel received over 660 million to rebuild Iraq. Most of the Iraqi anger focused on the US today, is a direct result of work that was promised, but never done…..However, they took the money…..

In America at least 7 of its executives have sat in cabinet positions or on governmental blue ribbon panels. These include one secretary of defense and one secretary of state. The company is extremely close to the Saudi Arabian royal family and maintains very close ties to the Bin Laden family.

But the scariest scenario is one of which I was completely unaware until browsing around today. Bechtel is the controlling partner of the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons center in Bill Richardson’s home state of New Mexico.

It started with political dissatisfaction over the University of California’s opposition to the Iraq war, that led the Department of Energy to open its contract away from the University, to bids from other vendors in 2003. Although the university and the laboratory have had difficult relations many times since their first World War II contract, this was the first time that the university has ever had to compete for management of the laboratory. The University of California decided to create a private company with the Bechtel Corporation, Washington Group International, and the BWX Technologies to bid on the contract to operate the laboratory. The UC/Bechtel lead corporation – Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) – was pitted against a team formed by the University of Texas System partnered with Lockheed-Martin. In December 2005, the Department of Energy announced that LANS had won the next seven-year contract to manage and operate the laboratory.

So on June 1, 2006, the University of California ended its 60 years of direct involvement in operating Los Alamos National Laboratory, and management control of the laboratory was taken over by the Bechtel offshoot. Approximately 95% of the former 10,000 who were not democrats, plus UC employees at Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory were rehired by the Bechtel offshoot, LANS to continue working at the laboratory. Other than the University of California appointing three members to the eleven member board of directors that oversees LANS, the university now has virtually no responsibility or direct control.

University of California policies and regulations that used to apply to UC campuses and its two national laboratories in California (Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore) no longer apply to LANL

Just how secure is Los Alamos? Apparently from the outside it is secure. But from the inside,  a different scenario emerges. Whether at the “Big Dig” site in Boston, or the plains of Iraq, this company is not well know for its strict oversight and reputation for safety. Now, a corporation that is awarded contracts, earning billions wherever massive destruction occurs, is itself in charge of controlling a large amount of America’s uranium inventory. Soon, if it hasn’t started already, trucks are to begin transporting this fissionable material to a different secure location hidden in an undisclosed Nevada desert; how much will you bet that not all of it will reach its destination? With a price over 2 billion dollars an ounce, you think it will all make the journey intact?

I wouldn’t bet on it…..

So it appears that this administration, which is so desperately seeking to hang on, not only to its power, but to its historical place in annuals of time, now, has through it’s close friends in Bechtel, access to very means needed to create its own Reichstag fire, and using that excuse to declare martial law and seize power: this time, unfortunately killing thousands upon thousands of American citizens.

Far fetched? Perhaps….but it is not as far fetched as one would like……..