War for Dollars

It’s no secret that one of the primary motivating factors for attacking Iraq was to make Cheney and his cronies even richer.  From no-bid contracts even before we started to destroy the country to gouging and failure to deliver services, this is probably political corruption at its absolute finest.  MSN Money reports some details in War means a windfall for CEOs.  Here’s an excerpt:

President Bush’s military buildup has caused defense-contractor revenue to double, triple and even more during the past five years, and their executives have reaped huge bonuses and stock windfalls as the companies’ share prices have jumped.

Take a look:

  • CEOs at top defense contractors have reaped annual pay gains of 200% to 688% in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
  • The chief executives at the seven defense contractors whose bosses made the most pocketed nearly a half-billion dollars from 2002 through last year.
  • The CEOs made an average of $12.4 million a year, easily more than the average corporate chief. Since the start of the war, CEOs at defense contractors such General Dynamics (GD, news, msgs), Halliburton (HAL, news, msgs) and Oshkosh Truck (OSK, news, msgs) have made, on average, more in four days than what a top general makes in a whole year, or $187,390.
  • Defense contractor CEOs are enjoying these big rewards partly because much of the war effort is being outsourced by an administration that believes private companies do things better than the public sector, say researchers at the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

    “In the most privatized war in history, lucrative opportunities abound for chief executives of defense contractors,” says Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies.

An associated story (also from MSN Money) is Who’s profiting from the Iraq War?.  It’s the usual list of suspects, most with ties to Washington.

The interesting thing to me is that no one really seems to care about this.  We can attack a country based on falsified “evidence”, murder hundreds of thousands of people, and a few lucky Americans can get rich from it.  Apparently, all of this is OK.  At least I rarely hear the claim that we’re somehow trying to help or liberate the poor people of Iraq.  In almost every way, their lives are worse.  And what exactly are these CEOs going to do with the additional money?  Buy another George Bush, Inc.?  It’s really pretty silly, overall, but it does seem to be compatible with American “ideals”.


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