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Seven Stories Publishes "Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation"

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    CorpWatch Mon, 25 Oct 2004 WHAT S NEW ON CORPWATCH Holding Corporations Accountable http://www.corpwatch.org SEVEN STORIES PUBLISHES
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2004
      CorpWatch <corpwatch@...>
      Mon, 25 Oct 2004

      Holding Corporations Accountable

      "Iraq Inc. will introduce to you the entrepreneurs who really understand
      war profiteering and the price the rest of us will have to pay."
      - Matt Swibel, senior reporter Forbes Magazine

      "A powerful combination of investigative research and on-the-ground reporting."
      -Naomi Klein, author No Logo, columnist The Guardian, UK

      [Advance copies available at: http://www.corpwatch.org/donate%5d

      In Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation Pratap Chatterjee, managing
      editor of watchdog group CorpWatch, brings us the dilapidated
      hospitals, looted ministries, and guarded corporate enclaves that
      mark the plunderous road to America's liberated Iraq. Bringing
      together a critical mass of evidence from major media sources with an
      on-the-ground account of the Iraq occupation business, Chatterjee
      presents the most complete-to-date chronicle of the exploits of
      private contractors hired to reconstruct and manage Iraq.

      Chatterjee reveals the systemic failings of Bechtel, DynCorp,
      Halliburton and other war profiteers to make good to either their
      paymasters, the American public, or their "clients," the Iraqi
      public. He describes the insidious daily instances of incompetence,
      waste, and Iraqi humiliation that have become both the Achilles' heel
      of U.S. occupation architects and their contractors, as well as the
      key recruiting tool of the Iraqi resistance. Drawing on insights
      gained during his time in Washington, DC and Iraq, the author reveals
      the conflicting strategies of Pentagon and the State Department
      planners that have drawn thousands of civilians employed by these
      companies into a bloody no-exit scenario.

      Conducting dozens of interviews with Iraqi administrators working at
      schools and hospitals across Iraq as well as returned exiles involved
      in the political reconstruction of the country, and foreign
      bureaucrats stationed in Iraq, Chatterjee finds a country suffering
      from lack of basic services and a corporate bureaucracy failing at
      both statecraft and basic administration. In a haunting illustration
      of the rising rate of infant mortality, a doctor watches infants die
      for lack of electricity, not for lack of incubators; a schoolteacher
      leads a tour of her school that has just been repaired by Iraqi
      subcontractors hired by Bechtel, yet amazingly in greater disrepair
      that when they began. At Baghdad's Kerkh sewage treatment plant, one
      year after liberation of Iraq, potable water had not been restored to
      the city, while such provision was part of the administration's
      60-day mandate upon taking the city.

      In interviews with whistleblowers as well as reporting testimony
      before the Government Reform Committee posted by Rep. Henry Waxman,
      Chatterjee finds a culture of overcharging promoted by the senior
      management of Halliburton to defraud the military. Here the author
      finds both incompetence and opportunism rife by Iraq's corporate
      managers, reporting employees' assertions that various company
      practices encourage inefficiency. Procurement supervisors, truck
      drivers, and foreign nationals posted in Iraq reveal the skewed logic
      of cost-plus contracts which reward gouging. Conversely, Chatterjee
      documents the subcontracting of conventional projects to cheap
      foreign labor-from Bangladeshis to South Africans-amidst a crisis of
      Iraqi unemployment. This system of subcontracting, he suggests has
      lead to a demonstrably shoddy system of accountability.

      Iraq, Inc. introduces us to the former soldiers and police officers
      lured to the conflict zone by offers of high pay from companies
      including Blackwater and DynCorp. Yet, as illustrated by the private
      contractors hired to interrogate prisoners at Abu Ghraib, recruits
      often lack the expertise and training required to meet basic human
      rights standards in occupied Iraq. Further, the author investigates
      several other shadowy companies operating in Iraq and reveals the
      failures of the psychological warfare firm SAIC to run the Al
      Iraqiyah radio and television network, an American sanctioned Iraqi
      "free press." Such ironies, Chatterjee suggests, are not lost on the
      Iraqis even as they are unknown to the American public.

      In the concluding chapter, the author describes the company hired to
      run elections for Iraq, the most plausible American exit strategy.
      Yet, Chatterjee shows that this very company is importing Mormon
      preachers and disgraced city officials from Texas to impose an
      election system that ignores basic principles of democracy. If the
      future of Iraq rests in these hands the author suggests, the
      continued American presence in Iraq will be judged a bloody failure,
      rather than a liberation to be celebrated with welcoming smiles and
      flowers. Yet, for all Iraq's horrors, business is booming and profits
      are soaring for foreign contractors.

      Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation
      Publication date: November 15, 2004
      5x7 | 192 pages | 192 pages
      ISBN 1-58322-667-2

      PRATAP CHATTERJEE is program director and managing editor of
      CorpWatch ( http://www.corpwatch.org ), based in Oakland, California.
      He has won multiple awards for his investigative journalism on topics
      ranging from the California Gold Rush to the impact of the United
      States invasion of Afghanistan, including four Project Censored
      awards. His articles have appeared in the Financial Times, the New
      Republic, the Guardian (UK), and the Independent (UK), among others.

      Chatterjee has traveled to the Middle East and Central Asia region
      repeatedly to report on the conflicts, focusing his attention
      especially on the multinational companies working in the region.
      Following the defeat of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in April 2003, the
      author made two extensive investigative trips to Iraq in December
      2003 and in April 2004 to investigate the successes and failure of
      the first year of the American occupation.

      His work in Iraq has resulted in numerous interviews on the BBC World
      Service as well as Fox TV Business News, TV Asahi, and Australia's
      ABC News. Reporters from dozens of mainstream publications turned to
      him regularly for research material ranging from the New York Times
      Magazine, the Observer and Guardian newspapers in London, the Los
      Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Business
      Week, Forbes and Fortune magazines, the Newshour with Jim Leher and
      60 Minutes.

      Previously Pratap Chatterjee was global environment editor for Inter
      Press Service, based in Washington, DC, where he reported on the
      World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. His investigative
      writing on companies like Enron and Halliburton, published on
      CorpWatch, led the field by several years.

      More Praise for Iraq, Inc.

      "Pratap Chatterjee follows the imperative of Watergate whistleblower,
      Deep Throat, to "follow the money" to some of the most dangerous
      locales, pursuing war profiteers and private military contractors to
      witness and report directly on their misdeeds. Chatterjee's
      muckracking, practiced with diligence and courage, is all-too-timely
      and far too rare within the ranks of the press. Iraq, Inc., is the
      ultimate primer of how modern U.S. invasion and occupation for profit
      is being waged. You won't learn any of this on the evening news."
      -Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!

      "This book exposes the truly tragic dimensions of the U.S. failure in
      Iraq, especially how the post-war reconstruction efforts have
      alienated the Iraqi people even as they've funneled billions of
      dollars into the pockets of well-connected U.S. companies like
      Halliburton and Bechtel. If you feel you only have time to read two
      American writers about the disaster in Iraq, your choice is easy:
      Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker and Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch."
      -David Weir co-founder of the Center for Investigative Reporting

      "Pratap Chatterjee takes us into the fast-spinning revolving door
      between the government officials who attacked Iraq and the
      corporations who have profited so handsomely from the war. A powerful
      combination of investigative research and on-the-ground reporting,
      Iraq, Inc. is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what has
      really gone wrong in Iraq."
      -Naomi Klein, author No Logo, columnist The Guardian, UK

      "Intuitively, observers of government and business have known for
      some time that shrinking armies would create room for soldiers for
      hire. Along comes Pratap Chatterjee with compelling evidence about
      the depth of private companies' roles in a war zone, which will give
      us a way to measure the consequences of this changing of the guard.
      The book should be of real value to every citizen who wants to
      understand both the economics and wealth creation of defense
      contractors. Iraq Inc. will introduce to you the entrepreneurs who
      really understand war profiteering and the price the rest of us will
      have to pay."
      - Matt Swibel, senior reporter Forbes Magazine

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