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Senator Feinstein's War Profiteering

By Joshua Frank

02/28/06 "Brickburner.org" -- -- It happens all the time. If the antiwar movement takes on the Democrats for their bitter shortcomings, a few liberals are bound to criticize us for not hounding Bush instead. It doesn't even have to be an election year to get the progressives fired up. They just don't seem to get it. "How can you attack the Democrats when we have such a bulletproof administration ruling the roost in Washington?" somebody recently e-mailed me. "Don't you have something better to do than write this trash?!"

Well, not really. It's too cold in upstate New York right now to do anything other than fume over the liberal villains in Washington. "Why do I write about the putrid Democratic Party?" I responded, "I'll tell you, there's a reason this Republican administration is so damn bulletproof – nobody from the opposition party is taking aim and pulling the trigger."

And that's why the Dems are just as culpable in all that has transpired since Bush took office in 2000. They aren't just a part of the problem – the Democrats are the problem.

I mean, who is really all that surprised Bush and his boys wanted to conquer the Middle East? Not me. That's just what unreasonable neocons do: they stomp out the little guy, kill off the weak, and suffocate the voiceless. They only care about the girth of their wallets and the number of scalps they can tack above their mantles.

The Democrats aren't just letting the Republicans get away with murder, however: some of them are also reaping the benefits of the Bush wars. We constantly hear about Dick Cheney's ties to Halliburton and how his ex-company is making bundles off U.S. contracts in Iraq. But what we don't hear about is how Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband are also making tons of money off the "war on terror."

The wishy-washy senator now claims Bush misled her prior to the invasion of Iraq. I don't think she's being honest with us, though. There may have been other reasons she helped sell Bush's lies. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Feinstein's husband Richard Blum has racked in millions of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of which the billionaire investor wields a 75 percent voting share.

In April 2003, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave $500 million to Perini to provide services for Iraq's Central Command. A month earlier in March 2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for "electrical power distribution and transmission" in southern Iraq.

Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband's investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a $16.5 million mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It's a disgusting display of war profiteering, and just like Cheney, the leading Democrat should be called out for her offense.

And that's exactly why the Bush administration is so darn bulletproof. The Democratic leadership in Washington is just as crooked and just as callous.

More on Feinstein's War Dollars

Senator Feinstein's husband has a nice profile at SFGate. Richard Blum has scored bundles from this war and the millions have been deposited in his accounts, which he undoubtedly shares with his wife (even if they aren't, she's certainly reaping the benefits as her salary could not possibly afford a $16.5 million mansion).

Here are the basics:

Blum holds over 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now a defense contractor. Blum is the acting Director of URS which bought EG&G from Carlyle awhile back. URS has banked on the Iraq war, scoring a phat $600 million contract. They have seen their stock price more than triple as a result. Blum cashed in over $2 million on that venture alone and another $100 million for his investment firm.

If this was a Republican senator's spouse you'd bet the liberals would be up in arms. But since Feinstein is a Democrat -- mums the word. Partisanship trumps ethics.

The House the War Bought

This is Dianne "War-Profiteer" Feinstein's new pad in San Fran. Not bad on a senator's salary.

Copyright - Joshua Frank

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