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2019-07-25 Iraq
The Shady Connections of a Retired U.S. General Who Made It Rain in Iraq
[Daily Beast] Lieutenant General Frank Helmick was a decorated U.S. Army officer. In 2004, he led the raid that killed the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s murderous sons, Uday and Qusay. Later, Helmick commanded NATO’s training mission in Iraq, then spent a year as Deputy Commanding Officer of all American forces in the country.

But in December 2011, the U.S. military withdrew from Iraq. A few months later, after 36 years in the Army, Helmick retired, too. At the ceremony, then-CIA Director David Petraeus called him an "exceptional officer."

Since then, Helmick’s actions have won him fewer accolades. By the end of 2012, he was back in Iraq. The war had privatized and Helmick privatized with it.

After the American withdrawal, Iraq had a gold rush. Billions of dollars of leftover U.S. military equipment was free for the taking and huge contracts were available as the country struggled to rebuild. Helmick used his contacts to take advantage of this. He joined a military contractor that struck deals with Iraqi oligarchs who are steeped in corruption and have at least superficial ties to some notorious Iranian operatives.

Some might say that’s just the price of doing business in Iraq over the last few years, but that doesn’t make the business any less ugly.

In late 2012, Helmick became Vice President of SOS International LLC (SOSi). At that time, SOSi was a small family-owned company focused on translation and training, and Helmick, as the saying goes, was a rainmaker.

A retired general joining a military contracting company isn’t unusual. But many former high-ranking officials cash out simply by joining the board of a large company, earning tens of thousands to attend meetings and lobby old friends. Helmick, for his part, took a more hands-on role than his retired peers, overseeing SOSi’s "Mission Solutions Group" and managing the company’s Iraq work.

His qualifications were obvious. As one former SOSi employee told us, "Helmick was hired specifically for his contacts in Iraq."
Posted by Besoeker 2019-07-25 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [225 views ]  Top

#1 The Daily Beast - The American version of Al Guardian.
Posted by Mercutio 2019-07-25 07:13||   2019-07-25 07:13|| Front Page Top

Posted by 3dc 2019-07-25 15:06||   2019-07-25 15:06|| Front Page Top

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