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  • US Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars

    Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 by Inter Press Service US Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars

    by Abid Aslam



    WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers have a financial interest in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a review of their accounts has revealed.


    Members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon contracts to provide goods and services to U.S. armed forces, say nonpartisan watchdog groups.


    David Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Iraq, is to brief the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees on Tuesday and Wednesday. The latest findings are unlikely to have a significant impact on this week’s proceedings but could stoke anti-incumbent sentiment in this year of presidential and legislative elections.


    Lawmakers charged with overseeing Pentagon contractors hold stock in those very firms, as do vocal critics of the war in Iraq, says the Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP).


    Senator John Kerry, the Democrat from Massachusetts who staked his 2004 presidential bid in part on his opposition to the war, tops the list of investors. His holdings in firms with Pentagon contracts of at least five million dollars stood at between 28.9 million dollars and 38.2 million dollars as of Dec. 31, 2006. Kerry sits on the Senate foreign relations panel.


    Members of Congress are required to report their personal finances every year but only need to state their assets in broad ranges.


    Other top investors include Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican with holdings of 12.1 million - 49.1 million dollars; Rep. Robin Hayes, a North Carolina Republican (9.2 million - 37.1 million dollars); Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin (5.2 million - 7.6 million dollars); and Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat (2.7 million - 6.3 million dollars).


    Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Democrat and former governor of West Virginia who chairs the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, invested some 2.0 million dollars in Pentagon contractors, CRP says.
    Other panel chiefs who invested in defence firms include Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who presides over the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman, the California Democrat who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


    In all, 151 current members of Congress — more than one-fourth of the total — have invested between 78.7 million dollars and 195.5 million dollars in companies that received defence contracts of at least 5.0 million dollars, according to CRP.


    These companies received more than 275.6 billion dollars from the government in 2006, or 755 million dollars per day, says budget watchdog group OMB Watch.


    The investments yielded lawmakers 15.8 million - 62 million dollars in dividend income, capital gains, royalties, and interest from 2004 through 2006, says CRP.


    Not all the firms deal in arms or military equipment. Some make soft drinks or medical supplies and military contracts represent a small fraction of their revenues. Many are leaders in their industries and, as such, feature in the investment portfolios of millions of ordinary people who invest at least a portion of their savings in mutual funds, which in turn hold stocks in up to hundreds of companies.


    “Giant corporations outside of the defence sector, such as Pepsico, IBM, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, have received defence contracts and are all popular investments for both members of Congress and the general public,” says CRP.


    “So common are these companies, both as personal investments and as defence contractors, it would appear difficult to build a diverse blue-chip stock portfolio without at least some of them,” the group acknowledges.
    If some of the stocks appear innocent, aides say legislators also are. Some did not buy the stocks in question but inherited them. Many hold them in blind trusts, so called because the investments are handled by independent entities, at least theoretically without the politicians’ knowledge of how their assets are being managed.


    Even so, according to CRP, owning stock in companies under contract with the Pentagon could prove “problematic for members of Congress who sit on committees that oversee defence policy and budgeting.”


    Members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees held 3.0 million - 5.1 million dollars in companies specialising in weapons and other exclusively military goods and services, it added.


    Critics have assailed President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for their ties to companies seen as benefiting from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Bush was characterised as pushing conflict in the interest of the oil fraternity whence he hailed.


    Before becoming vice president, Cheney headed Halliburton, a major player in the oil services industry and the object of controversies involving political connections, government contracts, and business ethics.


    Halliburton’s subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, was given multi-billion-dollar contracts to provide construction, hospitality, and other services to the U.S. military following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The contracts drew fire because of Cheney’s history and then-ongoing financial relationship with the firm, and because the company did not have to compete for the Pentagon’s business. The firm was renamed KBR Inc. after Halliburton spun it off last year.
    © 2008 Inter Press Service
    Damn these electric sex pants!

    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

  • #2
    Another KBR Rape Case
    Damn these electric sex pants!

    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

    Comment


    • #3
      Is this like where they hold some mutual fund that has 0.005% of it's assets in Haliburton?

      Moon

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Moon Man View Post
        Is this like where they hold some mutual fund that has 0.005% of it's assets in Haliburton?

        Moon
        No.
        Damn these electric sex pants!

        26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

        Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd be curious what their investments looked like before the wars. Were they all invested in Pepsi? Should these rich guys just put their money in CDs.

          If they moved a bunch of money say before the wars begun I'd say that is pretty bad. If they moved a bunch of money say before 9/11 then time to put on a tin foil hat.

          Plus it is obvious Abid Aslam hates America.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sheriff Blaylock View Post
            I'd be curious what their investments looked like before the wars. Were they all invested in Pepsi? Should these rich guys just put their money in CDs.

            If they moved a bunch of money say before the wars begun I'd say that is pretty bad. If they moved a bunch of money say before 9/11 then time to put on a tin foil hat.

            Plus it is obvious Abid Aslam hates America.
            Next to dhaab...dredbyrd wears the biggest tin foil hat in the Lounge.

            A conspiracy every where the eye can see...the guy is left of Dennis Kucinich. Nice guy...but has some screw ball ideas...and worse...actually believes them and you're blind as a bat if you don't see it his way.

            That said, I'd be perfectly fine if every incumbent lost in the next election.

            Fuck em all.
            Go Cards ...12 in 13.


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TTB View Post
              Next to dhaab...dredbyrd wears the biggest tin foil hat in the Lounge.

              A conspiracy every where the eye can see...the guy is left of Dennis Kucinich. Nice guy...but has some screw ball ideas...and worse...actually believes them and you're blind as a bat if you don't see it his way.

              That said, I'd be perfectly fine if every incumbent lost in the next election.

              Fuck em all.
              What an unusual surprise ... TTB's response is limited to namecalling and making up stuff.

              Brilliant and insightful, as always
              Damn these electric sex pants!

              26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

              Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

              Comment


              • #8
                All public companies have rules where certain employees cannot trade company stock during certain time periods. Just before quarterly earnings releases as an example.

                Maybe the politicians should follow the same rules. No investing in XYZ company if certain actions you take in Congress could provide a benefit to your investment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dredbyrd View Post
                  What an unusual surprise ... TTB's response is limited to namecalling and making up stuff.

                  Brilliant and insightful, as always
                  What's made up...you are left of Kucinich? Be proud. In some ways, I have a lot of respect for Kucinich. He's sincere at least...just wrong about most things.

                  And your idea of insight seems to be hinting at conspriracies. Come on...don't expect serious responses to conspriacy theories with no real meat behind them.

                  I don't doubt that our politicians are invested in the defense companies.

                  Are you suggesting they should be prohibited from doing so?

                  What's your solution to this dilemma? And, electing all pacifists isn't a solution as we both know that's not going to happen. Personally, I might like that but its not going to happen. You know that. Suggest something that could actually be done.

                  Change of topic so forgive me but it doesn't appear your assumed favored candidate for POTUS this election is going to go the route of public funding. Was that only good when deep pocket Republicans were raising more money? Kind of passe now eh? Rather disappointing though given all the Democrat rhetoric in the past on this topic and how ironic that the very legislation McCain led in drafting is hamstringing his own campaign. BTW, let me know when your assumed preferred candidate actually starts acting like a "uniter" instead of just talkiing about it....words are cheap. McCain leads with deeds and actually does reach across the aisle. Something Obama has not demonstrated.
                  Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TTB View Post
                    What's made up....
                    The conspiracy shit.

                    I posted an article of factual information with zero editorializing from myself.

                    Now I realize legitimate journalism must be hard to recognize at this point, so maybe that was the confusing part. It involves research, fact-checking, independent verification.

                    While still legal, it has become quite rare
                    Damn these electric sex pants!

                    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

                    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dredbyrd View Post
                      The conspiracy shit.

                      I posted an article of factual information with zero editorializing from myself.

                      Now I realize legitimate journalism must be hard to recognize at this point, so maybe that was the confusing part. It involves research, fact-checking, independent verification.

                      While still legal, it has become quite rare
                      Fair enough, I apologize for calling you a tinfoil hatter...but are we not allowed to consider your posting history as part of the context here?

                      What is your reason for starting this thread? Just an FYI or do you think there is something sinister in this?

                      I agree with your point about good journalism being hard to find these days. Sad but true.
                      Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                      Comment

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