Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Monday, April 04, 2005

War and Piece: Michael Mobbs, Perle acolyte and Money Man

War and Piece: June 2004 Archives: "This is so unbelievably disturbing. I cannot believe this is my country. Via Salon. Between Ashcroft permitting torture and deporting British journalists, . . . he really should spend some time in a totalitarian prison. Will 60 Minutes please do a story on this?

Posted by Laura at 11:21 PM
Halliburton's sweetheart deal. It's becoming pretty obvious that the office of undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith consulted with the office of vice president Cheney before secretly awarding Halliburton an uncontested $1.9 million contract to develop secret plans for Iraq's oil industry back in October 2002. [The first contract helped make way for Halliburton to be positioned to receive more than $2.4 billion in US-government-funded Iraq oil contracts later on.] As the NYT reports today:

In the fall of 2002, in the preparations for possible war with Iraq, the Pentagon sought and received the assent of senior Bush administration officials, including the vice president's chief of staff, before hiring the Halliburton Company to develop secret plans for restoring Iraq's oil facilities, Pentagon officials have told Congressional investigators . . .

In November 2002, a Pentagon energy group led by Michael H. Mobbs, a political appointee and adviser to Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense, gave Halliburton a $1.9 million "task order," under another contract, to develop secret contingency plans for the Iraqi oil industry.

The proposal was had been described at a meeting in late October of the Deputies Committee, a foreign policy body. Participants included the deputy national security adviser, deputy secretaries of state and defense, deputy director of central intelligence and I. Lewis Libby, Mr. Cheney's chief of staff.

Pentagon officials, including Mr. Mobbs, provided the new details of the oil contracting to staff members of the House Committee on Government Reform at a June 8 briefing.

In a letter faxed Sunday to Mr. Cheney and given to reporters, Representative Henry A. Waxman, the minority leader of the panel, asked him for all records of his office's communications on the oil contracts and for records of Deputies Committee meetings where the Halliburton deals had been discussed.

"These new disclosures appear to contradict your assertions that you were not informed about the Halliburton contracts," Mr. Waxman, Democrat of California, wrote. "They also seem to contradict the administration's repeated assertions that political appointees were not involved in the award of the contracts to Halliburton."

Here's a Fox News-provided biography of Feith's deputy, Michael Mobbs, who looks to be another Perle acolyte (Mobbs, an attorney, served under Perle during Perle's reign as undersecretary of defense during the Reagan administration).

I ran across Mobbs' name yesterday as the point of contact for another multimillion dollar Pentagon contract coming out of Feith's office to SAIC, here (note: .pdf file linked).

But this article is interesting for another reason. Certain people who formerly worked in Feith's office have talked about a number of people from the DC think-tank community participating in a secret Feith-run group looking at Iraq's oil industry, months before the administration declared its intentions to go to war in Iraq. I suppose that would be the Pentagon energy group described above. I was told these consultants worked out of the Pentagon basement. As yet, this story hasn't fully been told that I have seen.

Addendum: More on Michael Mobbs. Correspondent TM writes, "You should lay [your] hands on the new Atlantic. There’s an article by Benjamin Wittes on the Padilla and Hamdi cases. Mobbs, according to the article, is the one who wrote the government declarations on the two which were filed with the Fourth Circuit last year. Hamdi’s lawyer can’t reveal his classified conversations with his client but strongly insinuates that the declaration is (shockingly I know) demonstrably untrue.

This article isn’t available online as far as I can tell but it’s worth reading."

Thanks for the letters. Readers, take note.

Meanwhile, much good stuff in the Center for American Progress's Tuesday "Progress Report" on Halliburton's sweetheart Pentagon Iraq contracts, thanks to Mssrs. Cheney, Feith and Mobbs.

Posted by Laura at 05:56 PM
Slate's Eric Umansky has a new eponymous blog up, here, and already has an interesting post up about the commission investigating the US's WMD intelligence. Big welcome to the competition!"


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