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Declan Ganley's Iraqi Shenanigans

category national | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday April 18, 2008 17:23author by Tech1.0 Report this post to the editors

This week's Phoenix magazine has a very interesting article on the Iraqi adventures of one, Declan Ganley of Libertas.

Not to mention a reference to David Cochrane's (of Politics.ie and Libertas), scrubbing of any reference to Ganley's Iraqi connections from his website.

I publish the article here in the national interest.


David Cochrane, Declan Ganley’s campaign director for Libertas, has been crying foul over what he describes as harassment of him by Fianna Fail’s solicitors over allegedly libellous comments about Bertie Ahern on his politics.ie website. But Cochrane has threatened heavy handed tactics himself and was swift to erase all trace of questions about Ganley’s activities in Iraq on the same website.

Early this year, one of politics.ie’s users made reference to Blood Money, Wasted Billions, Lost Lives and Corporate Greed in Iraq, a book on the reconstruction of Iraq by the American Coalition Provisional Authority, which outlined the wheeling and dealing during the bidding for contracts by such companies as Halliburton, of which vice president Dick Cheney used to be ceo. The book also outlined in detail how Ganley’s Liberty Mobile had unsuccessfully tried to get a slice of the reconstruction pie in 2004.

Ganley has extensive connections to the neo-con Republican administration in the US. As Goldhawk pointed out (see The Phoenix, 25/01/08), one of Ganley’s advisors in his Rivada Networks is a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Kneuer, while Ganley counts Admiral Timothy J Keating, head of the US Pacific Command, as one of his pals. However, Ganley’s most important trans-Atlantic relationship is with long-time business partner Don DeMarino, with whom
he had bid for a mobile phone licence here in Ireland back in 1998.

Ganley, in a consortium with US phone company Qualcomm, had made two attempts in 2003 to get a contract to build a cellular phone network in Iraq. Neither was successful, with the contracts going to European companies instead. While Ganley was licking his wounds over the failures, a row broke out over the two types of cellular phone systems; one of the systems, GSM, predominantly used in Europe and the other, CDMA, mainly used in the USA. That the European system was chosen greatly hacked off American companies, who saw their country’s hard work in ‘liberating’ Iraq not being rewarded with the spoils of war. One of those who was most annoyed was John A Shaw, deputy undersecretary in the Department of Defence, who just happened to be a lifelong pal of Ganley’s friend, DeMarino.

Shaw had a novel wheeze to help get American companies in on the mobile phone action in Iraq. The contract for Baghdad’s first responder network (that is, the communication system between the police, fire and ambulance services in the city) was up for grabs. Shaw suggested using a piece of positive discrimination legislation written up in the 80s (designed to promote the business interests of Alaskan Eskimos) which allowed companies with Eskimos on their board to bid for no-competition contracts. Crucially, those companies could then sub-contract the work out to whomever they liked.

According to Blood Money, in late 2003, Shaw introduced Ganley to the directors of NANA Pacific, an Alaskan company, with whom he formed a consortium including a new business entity, Guardian Net (which consisted of a couple of old business pals of Ganley’s, including DeMarino).

So far, so good for Ganley, and all perfectly legal. Unfortunately, the NANA/Guardian consortium pushed their luck too far and in their bid for the first responder contract in early 2004 they suggested in discussions with officials in the coalition authority that the network would form a footprint for a commercial network based on the American cellular system. This would, of course, give US companies a chance to avail of the billions of dollars on offer to mobile phone companies in a future, peaceful Iraq. The coalition authority, though, needed a first responder network, not another mobile phone system and in March 2004 they threw out NANA’s bid and started the whole process again. And there ended Ganley’s interest in Iraq’s mobile phone network.

Unfortunately, it was not the end of Ganley’s new pal John Shaw’s interest, and he lambasted the officials who had rejected the bid, suggested massive corruption in the bidding process, and generally made a nuisance of himself. This led to the resignation of two senior officials and delayed even further the process of setting up the first responder network. In October 2004, the wacky Shaw publicly claimed that the infamous WMDs in Iraq had been spirited out of the country by Russian special-forces, a claim that so embarrassed senior White House Officials that they sacked him.

Los Angeles Times journalist T Christian Miller wrote extensively about the entire debacle, which didn’t please Ganley (who had spoken on-the-record to Miller in 2004), and the angry millionaire threatened the hack with legal action, though he never actually filed any writs. Ganley is clearly still sore about the whole affair, though, and when a contributor to Cochrane’s website posted a link to the book, Cochrane deleted the post, cancelled the contributor’s account, and sent an email to his personal email account threatening him and his company (from whose computer the contributor had accessed politics.ie) with legal action.

Related Link: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Money-Wasted-Billions-Corporate/dp/0316166278
author by Bronterre O'Brienpublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 00:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ganley's ties to the U.S. war machine need to be explored and exposed.

That Cochrane is censoring info. on the connection shows that Ganley has something to hide, and shows that Politics.ie values its connection to Ganley more than it does freedom of expression.


Neoliberalism is cover for the greed of the international ruling class and its military machine: Ganley, his hirelings, and Libertas are a pernicious influence on the Irish political economy that must be actively contested.

author by Jimpublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 08:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"that must be actively contested."

How pray tell?

author by B.O'Bpublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They can be contested by political organization. And by exposing their beliefs and political connections to public scrutiny. By understanding 'neoliberalism', its origins, its practitioners, and its nefarious effects.
The censorship at Politics.ie clearly shows that Ganley is uncomfortable that his connection with the U.S. death merchants has been exposed. Lets keep up the pressure and the exposure.

author by puzzledpublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 17:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that ganley is against europe? can anyone enlighten me? I would have expected a neocon to be in favour of an unanswerable europe which courts business interests above all else

author by K. Henrypublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps Ganley's friends in the U.S. military do want to see a united, strong Europe as a competitor with the U.S?

author by K.Henrypublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 23:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Previous post should read:

Perhaps Ganley's friends in the U.S. military do NOT want to see a united, strong Europe as a competitor with the U.S.

author by Bazooka Joepublication date Sun Apr 20, 2008 13:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nobody though it strange that Justin Barrett was appointed chief spokesman of the 'No to Nice' campaign. However when all opposition was mustered behind him out came the Sunday Mirror article exposing his Nazi links.



author by junkypublication date Mon Apr 21, 2008 05:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

David Cochrane's response mainly in regard to moderation of p.ie still no clue what Ganley is really about...

author by Tech1.0publication date Sun Apr 27, 2008 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A piece by Chekov on new recruits to the Libertas side.

Libertas: US Military Contractors Against Lisbon!

author by bernadette o'flahertypublication date Thu Nov 20, 2008 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I never believe everything I read, I like to see evidence, so could I please see this threatening email you mentioned.

Bernadette o'flaherty
Co. Meath

author by Barricade - declanganley-takingeuropeforaride.blogspot.compublication date Wed Feb 04, 2009 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For those interested in the limited sycophantic view of David Cochrane and how he and other Libertas mercenaries inanely echo their boss's every statement, check out the machine nation forums where Cochrane posts under the name "Cookiemonster" or under his own name on his politics.ie site.
How Cochrane/Cookiemonster, who is gay, can toil for a Catholic Right Wing Bucaneer (Jesus wept!) who descibes homosexuality as a choice beats me.
But perhaps those who are permitted to enter politics.ie (I'm banned ref the above story) could question David on this particular right to choose.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87241
author by Cactus Flower - Machine Nationpublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Machine Nation contains a large numbers of threads on Libertas and Declan Ganley, starting from the beginning of the Forum exactly one year ago. Very substantial and informative threads have been built up, and continue, that contain linked and sourced material documenting and scrutinising Ganley and Libertas. It is an open forum, so it also contains many posts that are pro Libertas. In relation to homosexuality, I have been posting on Machine Nation for some weeks pointing that a Libertas representative in Libertas's application for EU funding is a prominent member of the anti-semitic and homophobic, Polish League of Families. This party uses the Nazi salute and its youth wing (Libertas' representative is a leading member) has been involved in street violence against gays, including an incident of throwing acid into a gay man's face.


Ganley and his Libertas project is attempting to dredge together the worst of the European right. My personal view is that reporting and discussion of this is important. Ganley is also subject to dirty tricks from the rival right and to the displeasure of the EU for his opposition to the Lisbon Treaty. Discussion of Libertas on forums tends to be intense. Posts that are abusive or not fact-based will be moderated in Machine Nation, the better to ensure that the Ganleys politics can be accurately assessed.

Machine Nation is an independent and voluntary forum. David Cochrane is a member of the forum who posts under his own name. Machine Nation has no evidence that Cookiemonster is the same individual. It is contrary to the 'MN Site Charter to allow duplicate accounts from one person.

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