Is anyone really surprised?

December 8th, 2003 – 7:19 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Hey, why should corporate America treat Iraqi children any better than it treats American ones? At least that seems to be how Bechtel (one of those friends of Bush who got a big reconstruction contract in Iraq) feels about it.

On its corporate Web site, under a page titled “A Fresh Start for Iraqi School Children,” Bechtel Group showcases sparkling new classrooms filled with happy, young Iraqi students.

But the reality is far different, according to Army investigators.

“In almost every case, the paint jobs were done in a hurry, causing more damage to the appearance of the school than in terms of providing a finish that will protect the structure,” a recent Army investigation into Bechtel’s work found. “In one case, the paint job actually damaged critical lab equipment, making it unusable.”

Bechtel is one of the biggest corporate winners of U.S. contracts to rebuild Iraq. Before the war ended, it received a $680 million contract to fix Iraq’s electrical grids, water ports and more than 1,200 schools. In October, it won an additional $350 million contract to continue the electrical work.

Like the Iraqis needed another reason to hate America. It’s reprehensible, and the Army investigation shows that it’s true, and yet I’ll bet there’s no chance of Bechtel either losing future contracts because of it or having to go back and clean up its mess. I’d say it’s another shining moment for capitalism and privatization.

[via Atrios]

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