Is this nepotism or is it just a small world?

  • Douglas J. Feith is undersecretary of defense for policy. His former firm

    has recently established a task force dealing with issues and opportunities relating to the recently ended war with Iraq. …[It] is assisting regional construction and logistics firms to collaborate with contractors from the United States and other coalition countries in implementing infrastructure and other reconstruction projects in Iraq. Through its Washington, D.C., office, ZGC is also assisting American companies in their relations with the United States government in connection with Iraqi reconstruction projects as prime contractors and consultants.

  • Joe Allbaugh “served as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under President George Bush until March 2003” and before that “was Chief of Staff to then-Governor Bush of Texas and was the National Campaign Manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign.” (statements within quotes from here.) He is now the CEO of New Bridge Strategies,

    a unique company that was created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Its activities will seek to expedite the creation of free and fair markets and new economic growth in Iraq, consistent with the policies of the Bush Administration. The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C. and on the ground in Iraq.

  • Salem Chalabi is the nephew of Ahmed Chalabi and now the founder of the Iraqi International Law Group.

    The lawyers and professionals of IILG have dared to take the lead in bringing private sector investment and experience to the New Iraq. Our task is to provide a “last mile” connection between foreign capital, initiative, technology, experience and know-how and the organizations, enterprises, institutions and entrepreneurs in Iraq eager to rebuild this ancient and war-torn country, to catalyze and ignite the realization of the New Iraq’s huge economic potential.

  • Haley Barbour is a former RNC chairman and currently CEO of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Inc. Josh Marshall has some interesting links between his firm and New Brisge Strategies.

You tell me what’s happening here.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. Nepotism and cronyism. Nepotism is favoring relatives, cronyism, favoring your shady friends. Not against the law, though.

    The Plame scandal: lawbreaking.

  2. Diana: Yes, that should be cronyism. Not sure about that against the law part though. If there’s lots of cronyism/nepotism in a polity, it can create problems and it should be against the law.

    The Plame scandal I think is going to roll a few heads in the administration.

  3. Re nepotism; biology provides a wonderful break against it: sibling rivalry!! (we discussed this on Gene Exp. once)

    Cronyism: not sure how to outlaw that. The world is made up of cliques.

    Now Novak seems to be backtracking but I think it’s too late. Whee.

  4. I really like the bit where they shut down the two Arab companies who started up a gsm network in baghdad and awarded it to a company who had never before set up a cellular network. It’s still not running properly.

  5. Miranda: No.

    Arash: 🙂

    Diana: Not sure whether cronyism can be completely outlawed, but I think there should be a threshold so that blatant and clear cronyism could be punished (either legally or politically). This sort of problem is endemic in the developing world, but I am not sure if anyone has come up with a good solution.

    KO: Rep. Darrell Issa was trying to get CDMA systems installed in Iraq instead of GSM (which is very common in the region and would make more sense there) ostensibly to punish the Europeans (and also rake in contracts/money for Qualcomm).

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