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October 07, 2003



... as if rewarding corporate friends with military contracts via the Carlyle Group was a driving force behind the decision to depose Saddam Hussein.

Rewarding well-connected companies certainly seems to be the #1 priority of the postwar effort.

Jon Henke

"...even paranoids have real emerging totalitarian states..."

- - -Good line.

Couple other interesting Krugman notes today....I mentioned both on my blog.

Arnold Kling has an excellent open letter to Krugman in todays techcentralstation.com.
Luskin seems to have become infected with the same hyperbole that Krugman can't resist. He makes a few good points, but seems to have descended to Krugmans rhetorical level, lately.

Jon Henke

"Rewarding well-connected companies certainly seems to be the #1 priority of the postwar effort."

- - -That's not entirely accurate:

Additionally, I should point out that while Halliburtons revenues did go up due to the post-war contracts, they *also* lost revenue, due to the war. Half of their revenue is attributable to oil industry inrastructure and supply, and the war choked that WAY down. Their revenues in that arena dropped quite a lot.

So, if Bush was "giving them a hand" he was taking it right back with the other hand.

Finally, the Krugman claims that the administration was practicing "cronyism" with cell networks was proven false within days, as the Iraqi govt awarded those network contracts....all of them...to foreign companies.

I'll await Krugmans retraction. But I won't hold my breath.

John Thacker

"Rewarding well-connected companies certainly seems to be the #1 priority of the postwar effort."

Hmm. Which is why the cellular licenses were awarded to GSM companies, I suppose. Of course, we could be just paying off the Europeans to achieve their acquiescence.


Rewarding well-connected companies certainly seems to be the #1 priority of the postwar effort.

Yes. Most obviously with regard to the cellular phone network - contract handed to MCI-Worldcom: yes, the same Worldcom that practiced what Bush in 2002 called outrageous fraud.

Jon Henk

Actually, that network was handed to foreign companies, and they'll be using systems incompatible with those engineered by US companies.

And, for the record, it's not the "same Worldcom".....the officers who engineered the fraud are gone and the company has undergone quite major changes.
Or perhaps you meant that the employees are at fault? But I doubt it.
What is it, then? The letterhead?


From Arnold Kling's open letter to P. Krugman:

As horse manure draws flies, your columns generate opposition that is vindictive and uninformed.

Ouch. Well, I will simply assume he was referring to the other flies.

John Thacker

"Jesurgislac," that link to your personal journal contains no actual evidence that the contract went to MCI Worldcom. You do provide a link about discouraging primarily state-owned businesses from getting the contracts. If you're so opposed to contracts being handed out for political reasons, why do you favor them being handed out to state-owned businesses? Dealing with state-run businesses is always about politics.

And, in fact, the cellular contracts went to non-US companies, as some of the links I provided about said.

Chris Lawrence

More to the point, WorldCom is barred from receiving new government contracts due to the criminal investigation into its rerouting of phone calls to avoid paying interconnection fees by stripping Caller ID information.

Considering that WorldCom was the main telecommunications provider to the government prior to this scandal, that's a huge blow.

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