By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
1987 — Provided $84,000 worth of capacitors capable of powering a firing set for a nuclear weapon to Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI). Hussein Kamel, one of Saddam Hussein’s son-in-laws, ran MIMI. In 1995, Kamel and his brother, also a Hussein son-in-law, left Iraq in 1995 and moved to Jordan. There they briefed U.N. weapons inspectors on Iraq’s programs to build weapons of mass destruction, handing over crates of documents. Six months later Kamel, his brother and their families returned to Iraq for a promised amnesty. However, Saddam’s daughters were forced to divorce their husbands. Then, Kamel and his brother, along with their father, sister and her children, were executed.)(return to company index)
(An Italian international bank owned by the Italian government with U.S. headquarters in New York and a branch in Atlanta, Georgia; current U.S. operations are located in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago.)
1988 to 1989 — Authorized $2.16 billion in loans to Iraq, a portion of which Iraq used for various weapons programs. A portion of the BNL loans to Iraq was guaranteed through the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). U.S. taxpayers ended up paying the cost of those loans (and some of these weapons programs) because the CCC had guaranteed repayment. BNL also issued approximately 2,500 letters of credit to Iraqi exporters totaling approximately $800 million. After Iraq defaulted on approximately $850 million in international loans, BNL filed a claim for more than $450 million against the U.S. government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In 1995, the federal government agreed to pay the bank $400 million to settle the claims. Iraq is liable for reimbursing the U.S. Treasury, but repayment is considered unlikely.
The transactions funded by these BNL letters of credit and loans were almost certainly completed, said Jim Tuite, a former investigator for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, in an interview with the Weekly. Some of the transactions were legally questionable from the start. In 1989, federal agents raided the BNL Atlanta branch. Six BNL employees eventually pleaded guilty to charges connected with off-the-books BNL loans to Iraq. The judge in the case also criticized the American policy of encouraging trade with Iraq as a counterweight to Iran. The court found that this policy created a business climate that encouraged BNL’s illegal activity.
From 1985 to 1991, the period of the BNL loans, the company’s paid "Consulting Board for International Policy" included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who also was, during that same time frame, a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.(return to company index)
(San Francisco, California)
1988 to August 1990 — Until the invasion of Kuwait, the company served as engineering consultant for a $2 billion Iraqi petrochemical complex, known as Petrochemical Complex 2, near Baghdad. Bechtel’s contracts were with Iraq’s Technical Corp. for Special Projects, an Iraqi front company for military-related projects. Bechtel, a privately owned, multinational corporation, has just won a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure. The contract, won without traditional competitive bidding, starts at $34.6 million and could eventually rise to nearly $700 million.
Bechtel’s ties with former and current U.S. government officials and agencies run deep. George Shultz, the U.S. secretary of state under Reagan, Bechtel’s former president, is currently on the company’s board of directors. Former Reagan Defense Secretary Casper Weinburger was Bechtel’s general counsel. Reagan’s head of the Atomic Energy Commission was W. Kenneth Davis, a former Bechtel vice president for nuclear development. Former CIA Director Richard Helms also worked as a Bechtel consultant. President George W. Bush appointed Ross Connelly, former head of Bechtel Investments, as chief operating officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Bechtel representatives confirmed the company’s past business dealings with Iraq.(return to company index)
(Formerly based in Woodbridge, New Jersey)
Date uncertain — Received letters of credit totaling more than $5.9 million (from BNL, an Italian bank) to supply tires and tubes for trucks and earthmovers to the Iraqi Trading Company. It is unclear how that heavy equipment was used. But Iraqi Trading Co. was identified by congressional testimony, researchers and media reports as a front company to purchase materials for Iraq’s military. Company may have ceased operations.(return to company index)
1986 — Canberra Industries and Canberra Elektronik GmbH, in Germany, provided $30,000 worth of electronic and computer equipment to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. In 2001, Canberra Industries became part of the newly formed $9 billion Areva Group, created from a merger of two leading companies in the nuclear field. Besides operations in nuclear-related fields, Canberra is now selling Homeland Security technology and equipment.(return to company index)
(A German company, with various North American branches)
1987 — Provided more than $10,000 worth of computers for process control and data evaluation to Saad 16, Iraq’s primary missile research-and-development site.(return to company index)
(A German company with American operations headquartered in Thornwood, New York)
1989 — Supplied $105,000 worth of microcomputers to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, for use with a Zeiss planicomp (digital mapping) system for map-work measurements and calculations of photographic data.(return to company index)