Monday, November 03, 2003

Study finds cronyism in Iraq, Afghanistan contracts

Many of the companies that have received government contracts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan have collectively contributed more money to President Bush's election campaigns than to any other candidate in more than a decade, according to a study released yesterday.

In one of the most detailed studies of postwar contracts, the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit government watchdog, found that at least 70 companies have been awarded a total of $8 billion in contracts in the past two years.

While some of the contractors were previously known to have ties to White House officials -- such as Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney -- the group found several lesser-known firms that also are linked to senior government officials. One small company's sole employee is married to a deputy assistant secretary of defense, the study found.



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