You may have heard about the enormous, bigger-than-the-Vatican American Embassy that’s been under construction in Iraq for, like, forever, a temple being erected to the Balls of Bush, the man who invaded Iraq and liberated its oil.
You may have even heard about how it was built with what amounted to slave labor. You may have heard about lots of problems with the construction, and how the contractor who built it, who wasn’t even American, skimped and cheated and lied.
Well, you probably didn’t realize what a huge scandal this actually is. Because the media doesn’t report this stuff. But Jeremy Scahill does. He’s one of the only real journalists out there. And it turns out that the cheating and corruption was so bad, from this Kuwaiti contractor, that he’s gonna have to probably pay back $130 million dollars to the U.S. government for this boondoggle.
The Baghdad embassy-the largest of any nation on planet earth and ten times bigger than any other US embassy-is striking evidence indicating a continued US presence in the country for many years to come. The structure cost more than $700 million and is the size of 80 football fields. It is bigger than the Vatican, six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York and is about two thirds the size of the National Mall in Washington. It has space for 1,000 employees who are guarded by scores of paramilitary mercenary forces. In other words it is the perfect structure for a nation that claims to be leaving Iraq very soon.
The embassy is more like a fortress and hardly sends a message of warm diplomacy. “What kind of embassy is it when everybody lives inside and it’s blast-proof, and people are running around with helmets and crouching behind sandbags?” said Edward Peck, the former US ambassador to Iraq when the embassy was first being constructed.
Yup, it’s a grand monument to the stupidity that is George W. Bush. It’s about as big as he is stupid.
And you may have a WTF moment when you think “wait a minute, why was the company hired to build this monstrosity not American, but Kuwait?” Well, Scahill answers that for you:
In 2006, David Phinney reported: “Several other contractors that competed for the embassy contracts… believe that a high-level decision at the State Department was made to favor a Kuwait-based firm in appreciation for Kuwait’s support of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. ‘It was political,’ said one contractor.”
And if you thought American slavery ended with the Civil War, you were wrong:
FKIT has been plagued by allegations from whistleblowers who worked on the embassy that say the company “brought workers, mostly South Asians and Filipinos, to Baghdad under false pretenses, then abused and threatened them while there.” The company, predictably, denies those charges.
Rory Mayberry, who first worked with First Kuwaiti in March 200 as a medic on the embassy construction site, “alleges that when he showed up at the Kuwait airport for his flight into Baghdad, there were 51 Filipino employees of First Kuwaiti also waiting for the same flight – except the Filipinos believed they were going to Dubai,” reported NBC News. “He says the Filipinos were told to proceed to “GATE 26″ at the Kuwait airport – but no Gate 26 existed. There was only a door to a staircase that led to a white plane on the tarmac:”
Mayberry says even he was given a boarding pass that was marked for Dubai, though he knew he was going to Baghdad.
“The steward was having problems keeping guys in their seats because they were so upset, wanted to get off the airplane,” says Mayberry. “They were upset they weren’t headed to Dubai where they were promised they were working.”
He says when he arrived in Baghdad he notified the State Department official in charge of the embassy project about what had happened on his flight and she replied “that’s the way they do it.”
Ah, yes, just like the good old days, when a fellow could pass out drunk on the streets of a European city and wake up in a ship bound for the New World!
Why, you might ask, were they shipping in laborers when the Iraqi workforce was completely out of work? Why didn’t they hire Iraqis for this job? I mean, the unemployment rate was only in the 70 – 80% range. Oh, come on, that’s a rhetorical question, right? Ha! I mean, how were the Kuwatis suposed to make any REAL money if they had to pay Baghdad workers Baghdad wages! Everybody knows what a bunch of spoiled Union goons those guys are!
You can get more details of the contractor’s failings in the article, but what I really wanted to pass along to you was the most disheartening part of this entire sickening story.
Because you might think this was just an aberration, right? One more of countless Bush administration scandals, and thank god we got rid of him, right? And those days are over, right? And this kind of stuff isn’t going to happen again, right?
Obama has decided that we’re gonna do this all over again, this time in Pakistan! Yessir, it worked out so well in Baghdad that we need more of these Monster Embassies to carry out our friendly activities.
ISLAMABAD – The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The White House has asked Congress for – and seems likely to receive – $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.
The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.
Hm, must be part of the economic stimulus program. Oh wait, this is in a foreign country? How the fuck are Americans supposed to benefit from this massive government spending? Oh wait, we’re NOT. It’s another FUCK YOU from Team Obama.
And here’s the really telling part:
A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years.
Three years! Waiddaminute, three years ago ….. Bush was in power! This is Bush’s idea, Bush’s plan, Bush’s boondoggle. Brought to you by …. Obama!
There really is no difference. Bush/Obama. Bushbama. ObamBush. Bush’s third term is what it should really be called.
Scahill says it better than anyone, calling it a “colonial fortress”:
Ah, good thing the US quest for violent global domination was brought to a screeching halt with the November presidential election. Without Obama’s election, we’d still have an occupation of Iraq, mercenaries on the US payroll, torture of prisoners, an unending and worsening war that kills civilians in Afghanistan, regular airstrikes in Pakistan, killing civilians and an embassy the size of Vatican city in Baghdad, which was built in part on slave labor. Not to mention those crazy “Bush/Cheney” neocons running around trying to become the “CEOs” of foreign nations. Wow, glad that’s all over. Whew! And, it’s a really good thing Bush is no longer in power or else the US would come up with some crazy idea like building a colonial fortress in Pakistan to defend “US interests” in the region.
I love this guy.