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Food Companies Under Investigation for War Profiteering

Food Companies Under Investigation for War Profiteering

Is your favorite agribusiness conglomerate fighting with our boys on the front lines? If not, they may have been excluded from the bidding process because of conflicts of interest between the Pentagon and their competitors.

October 22, 2007 —

The Justice Department is investigating massive fraud and corruption on the part of several large military contractors in Iraq and Kuwait. So what else is new? These contractors don't make weapons or build barracks, they ship hundreds of thousands of pounds of frozen chicken and egg rolls to military bases, public schools, and your local grocery store.

The Pentagon appears to have been overpaying (by hundreds of millions of dollars,) for the food it serves to U.S. forces overseas. The leading characters in this story are Sara Lee, Perdue Chicken, ConAgra, a multi-billion dollar Kuwaiti firm called Public Warehousing, and a handful of shady figures who seem to spend their careers alternating between the military and food suppliers.

The story sounds a lot like dozens we've heard before about conflicts of interest inside the Pentagon, and the willingness of large weapons contractors to steal millions of dollars from the cause they supposedly exist to support. But war profiteering isn't just limited to traditional wartime industries. Anybody with the right connections and the desire to steal can probably find a way to raise their boat in the rising tide of militarism.

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