(WMR) -- WMR
has learned from an NBC News source that six years after the United States
invaded and occupied Iraq, there have been no improvements to critical
infrastructures in the country, including electricity and water.
With NBC News under the firm corporate control of its
defense contractor parent, General Electric, do not expect to see Brian
Williams cover this story any time soon.
According to the source, with summer temperatures
as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit, Iraqis must contend with the sweltering
heat without air conditioning or fans. Some enterprising Iraqis have fashioned
crude �air conditioning� fans that blow air off of water
surfaces and operate off of small diesel generators. However, most Iraqis have
no easy way to avoid the extreme heat and they have abandoned hotter upper
floors and congregate on relatively cooler ground floors.
Iraqi government officials merely pay lip service to
restoration of electricity service. Some Iraqi ministers, taking cues from
their American spin doctors, have actually blamed power failures on terrorist
bombings. Demonstrations against the lack of electricity have recently been
held in Basra and Al-Nasiriyah.
One of the reasons that there has not been an improvement in
the public utility sector in Iraq is fraud, according to the source. Several
American contractors, as well as uniformed U.S. service personnel, have �become
millionaires� in skimming money intended for public works projects to line
their own pockets. They have been assisted by corrupt Iraqi officials who have
also reaped the benefits of rampant corruption. The Electricity Ministry is
viewed by the Iraqi people as the center of fraud and corruption that has
resulted in numerous blackouts in the country.
The Iraqi Water Resources Ministry is also rife with
corruption and the improvement of critical clean water supplies in Iraq has not
improved. The water problems in Iraq began when Coalition Provisional Authority
chief Paul �Jerry� Bremer ordered the Saddam Hussein-era Ministry of Irrigation
abolished and replaced by five different commissions and 11 parastatal
companies that became rife with Bremer-tolerated fraud and corruption.
Corrupt Electricity Ministry officials, some dual
U.S.-Iraqis, have also enjoyed a close relationship with U.S. Embassy
personnel. One of the largest contractors to the Iraqi Electricity Ministry was
Southeast Texas Industrial Services (STIS) of Buna, Texas. STIS was to
build a 500-megawatt power plant along with a refinery for power plant
STIS, which was politically linked to George W.
Bush, had never held a contract outside the United States. On May 14,
2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that STIS was suspected by Iraqi
officials of bribing for the contract a corrupt dual U.S.-Iraqi
Electricity minister who was linked closely to the U.S. Embassy and was
ultimately tried on corruption charges. STIS also saw contract opportunities
open up in Jordan. STIS eventually ended up abandoning the project amid charges
that it failed to meet its obligations. The contract was inherited by
Washington Group International of Boise, Idaho, which just so happens to be
owned by URS Corporation, a company in which Richard Blum, the husband of
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has a financial stake.
One of the main U.S. government agencies that interfaces
with the Iraqi Electricity Ministry is the State Department�s Iraq Transitional
Assistance Office. The other U.S. agency involved with Iraqi infrastructure
redevelopment is the amply-corrupt U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), which is more concerned with providing �official cover� for U.S.
intelligence operations than in improving infrastructures.
published in the Wayne
Copyright � 2009 WayneMadenReport.com
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report