Corruption legal in Iraq for US corporations!
American companies are barred by law from paying bribes or taking kickbacks abroad. But Iraq is still largely a lawless place. And one company director for a British firm doing business in Baghdad says that makes all the difference.
‘I’ve never seen corruption like this by expatriate businessmen. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like a feeding frenzy,’ he says. One prominent Iraqi businessman said he was told he’d have to raise his bid by $750,000 to get a major contract, so long as he kicked back that amount to the contractor’s rep. The businessman refused to identify the contractor, but did say, ‘No Iraqi would ask for a bribe that big.’
The “feeding frenzy” of corruption that Newsweek describes may be due, in large part or in its entirety, to Executive Order 13303, “Protecting the Development Fund and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest,” which was signed by President Bush on May 22, 2003.
On August 8, 2003, Ruth Rosen of the San Francisco Chronicle summarized this order as follows:
“[T]he president’s order appears to place U.S. corporations above the law for any activities related to Iraq oil, either in that country or in the United States.