Saturday, June 7, 2008

US Military Awards Contract to Saudi Fugitive

When not paying mercenaries to fight alongside US forces, the US military is awarding contracts to a Saudi wanted by the US Justice Department.

The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.

In relation to the $1.7 billion he's already bilked from tax payers, I suppose that $80 million is a pittance. But, surely there are ways to find jet fuel that don't include paying a man that your own Justice Department has indicted.

Interestingly, Pharaon was also an investor in President George W. Bush's first business venture, Arbusto Energy.

I'm not sure 'interestingly' is the best adverb here. Granting Cheney's old company a no-bid contract to do everything in the conduction of the Iraqi occupation--despite its hand in electrocuting soldiers to death--is perhaps in bad taste, but to take political payback to the point of paying a fugitive might be going a bit far.

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