" BECHTEL (pronounced BECK-tul) founded in San Francisco in 1898, has become a super-secret corporate octopus. Some say that the firm is really a shadow government, an arm of the CIA. It is the largest construction and engineering outfit in the world, (and some say beyond). Former Bechtel officials hold the most important posts in the US Government. They are part of 'The Web', (an interconnected control system, not the Internet), which links Tri-Lateralist plans, the CFR, the orders of Illuminism, the Cult of the All Seeing Eye, and other interlocking groups. Bechtel is in fact one of the most powerful Reptilian Corporations!"
David 'am I bonkers' Ike.

A great way to get one of the most secretive politico-corporates into the public eye, but here's some more reliable info. :-)

Bechtel began in 1898 as a railroad company, soon after it expanded into general construction of bridges, roads and industrial and commercial buildings. By the 1930's it was a major corporation having played a crucial role in the construction of the Hoover Dam (dams have been a favourite of theirs ever since, as has the power industry in general, Bechtel is now a major player in both the fossil fuel and nuclear industries).

Today Bechtel ( is estimated to be the 20th largest corporation in America (smaller only than the its huge banking, oil conglomerates, and other industrial giants such as GEC and IBM, many of whom are Bechtel dependent clients), and the Bechtel family which still owns it, one of its richest clans (exact figures are hard to get though as the Bechtel family refuses to divulge its profits and wealth, as other corporations do, and refuses to be listed in any top 100 corporations list). When its many international subsidiaries, supported 'ally companies' and 'breakaway' businesses (still often run by Bechtel family members) are taken into consideration it is probably even bigger. However if this wasn't enough it is more powerful institution than even this ranking suggests. Where as most of today's corporations are owned by shareholders, Bechtel is still an entirely private company (possibly the world's largest private company) and is entire under the control of the Bechtel family and their top employees. This makes it a highly directional and powerful entity. It is thus sometimes refereed to as *The* Corporation.

In the International arena, Bechtel is certainly one of the world's largest construction companies, and when combined with its partner companies (such as bin Laden Construction, the Bechtel family are very tight with the bin Laden clan) far outstrips competitors. Some do try to compete of course, though when one company did so in Boston, for a particularly lucrative contract, they were allegedly threatened in an anonymous phone call, "If you want to work in this state again, don't play games with Bechtel!"

A ruthlessly capitalistic enterprise (also the centre of years of allegations of racial prejudice towards and exploitation of its work force) Bechtel is in the forefront of the drive for deregulation and privatisation. Currently Bechtel is a leading player in the World Bank's project for the privatisation of water. To the point that, in 1999, small farmers in Cochambamba, Bolivia, had to buy permits (and pay Bechtel) to gather rainwater on their own property! Some have suggested the 'evil corporation' that privatised Martian air in the film Total Recall was based on Bechtel.

One of Bechtel's most famous projects in Britain was probably the Channel Tunnel, but they also built many of the largest North Sea oil platforms. In fact Bechtel is the company of choice with the oil industry, many of the worlds largest oil rigs and pipelines were (and are) built by them (including the Iraq - Syria pipeline recently in the news). Bechtel is also called to put out oil fires, as they did the Kuwaiti fires after the first Gulf War. Perhaps there only service to the environment, as environmental groups claim Bechtel's industrial projects and nuclear power stations are some of the most environmentally damaging to be found anywhere.

While Bechtel now builds many types of large scale structure, from vast power stations and hospitals to major international airports, and even whole cities (hence their new contract to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure), one of their main specialisation's (along with their incestuous relationship with the oil industry) are highly secret military projects. Not only did they construct most of the military's current infrastructure, they were (and are) also heavily involved in building and maintaining its nuclear programs. Bechtel not surprisingly thus became one of the most influential US corporations within the so-called Military Industrial Complex. In fact, given its power, many regard it as the backbone of the MIL-IND Complex. Bechtel's senior staff have historically also had close links with the RAND Corporation, the primary military think tank responsible for Cold War planning.

Bechtel still secretly specialises in the construction of military bases, especially underground bunkers. Responsible not only for the construction and maintenance of many of America's, and it's allies, army and airbases, including the famous Area 51/Groom Lake, the NORAD complex inside Cheyenne mountain and a host of top secret underground facilities, Bechtel also built Saddam Hussein's bunkers in Iraq when he was a US 'ally'.

Bechtel is also highly security conscious. Even before September 11 cast a spotlight on national security, Bechtel's Nevada Test Site north of Las Vegas was taking aim at terrorism. Managed by Bechtel Nevada for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, the site supports national security and U.S. intelligence and defence efforts, designs emergency response programs, monitors consequences of terrorist acts, and develops technologies to fight terrorism. At the Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Program, for example, police, fire-fighters, and other "first responders" from across the United States learn how to react quickly to terrorist attacks in populated areas. Technologies developed by site researchers include equipment for detecting and predicting the path of airborne hazardous material, as well as new ways to protect buildings from biological and chemical weapons. The site also operates Remote Sensing and Special Technologies laboratories. Immediately following September 11, officials from Bechtel Nevada and the National Nuclear Security Administration proposed creating a National Centre for Combating Terrorism. Based at the Nevada Test Site, the centre is expected to build on the programs already in place there.

Due to its involvement in these areas it should not be a surprise to discover the number of military and intelligence personal who have been senior Bechtel directors. The most famous being CIA directors John McCone (in charge of the CIA at the time of the JFK assassination and invasion of Chile. And also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (1958-1961), and a director of ITT), and William Casey (Reagan's CIA chief, and earlier the OSS officer in charge of operation Paper Clip and the rescue of Nazi scientists). Most recently former Chief of Staff Colin Powell is the most prominent military figure to be associated with Bechtel's. The majority of the Defence Policy Board (formerly led by Richard Perle) which was the force behind the Pentagon's push for the invasion of Iraq have also been Bechtelites. It is thus not surprising that in San Francisco, a city that has become a centre for U.S. anti-war protests, the international construction giant has found its headquarters there a main destination for protesters -- because it is competing for lucrative contracts to rebuild Iraq and role in fermenting the war.

Politically it is said Bechtel gave close to $1.3 million in campaign contributions, mostly to Republicans, between 1999 and 2002. In addition, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz now sits on Bechtel's board of directors.
Bechtel's reputation for having political clout is old and enduring. In 1988 it was the subject of a book, "Friends in High Places," in which author Laton McCartney suggested it profited from its close government connections from the turn of the century through the time of the Reagan administration.
After Steve Bechtel was appointed to the advisory board of the Export-Import Bank in 1969, generous Exim loans were available for Bechtel projects in the Philippines, Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, USSR, and nuclear power plants in Brazil and elsewhere. When Ronald Reagan needed help at the White House, all he had to do was to place a call to Bechtel and ask to have George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger transferred to his administration. According to the
Multinational Monitor the Bechtel Corporation paid bribes to the Korean government between 1978 and 1980 to win nuclear power plant contracts. At the time, Caspar Weinberger and George Shultz were at Bechtel.

Recently Bush slipped the $680 million Iraq contract to the Bechtel Group. The deal puts the company in position to receive a big part of the $100 billion estimated total cost of Iraqi reconstruction. According to the Centre for Responsive Politics, Bechtel gave Republican candidates, including Bush, about $765,000 in PAC, soft money and individual campaign contributions between 1999 and 2002.

The Bush Junta is stuffed with Bechtelites, Donald Rumsfeld once served as a liaison between Bechtel and the Iraqi government to finesse the building of an oil pipeline. And former Secretary of State George Shultz, a member of the board of directors of Bechtel, is also chairman of the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a strongly pro-war organisation with influence in the White House. Colin Powell is also a former Bechtel director.

Bin Laden's estranged family, a sprawling, extraordinarily wealthy Saudi Arabian dynasty, is a substantial investor in a private equity firm founded by the Bechtel Group of San Francisco. In a closed competitive bidding process, the United States Agency for International Development chose Bechtel to rebuild the major elements of Iraq's infrastructure, including its roads, railroads, airports, hospitals, and schools, and its water and electrical systems. In the first phase of the contract, the U.S. government will pay Bechtel nearly thirty-five million dollars, but experts say that the cost is likely to reach six hundred and eighty million during the next year and a half.
When the contract was awarded, two weeks ago, the Administration did not mention that the bin Laden family has an ongoing relationship with Bechtel. The bin Ladens have a ten-million-dollar stake in the Fremont Group, a San Francisco-based company formerly called Bechtel Investments, which was until 1986 a subsidiary of Bechtel. The Fremont Group's Web site, which makes no mention of the bin Ladens, notes that "though now independent, Fremont enjoys a close relationship with Bechtel." A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that Fremont's "majority ownership is the Bechtel family." And a list of the corporate board of directors shows substantial overlap. Five of Fremont's eight directors are also directors of Bechtel. One Fremont director, Riley Bechtel, is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Bechtel Group, and is a member of the Bush Administration: he was appointed this year to serve on the President's Export Council. In addition, George Shultz, the Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration, serves as a director both of Fremont and of the Bechtel Group, where he once was president and still is listed as senior counsellor.
Rick Kopf, the general counsel of the Fremont Group, which manages some eleven billion dollars in assets, confirms that the bin Laden family invested about ten million dollars in one of Fremont's private funds before September 11, 2001. He noted that the bin Laden family has not enlarged its stake since then, but he declined to provide additional details about its association with the firm. He also chose not to discuss the origin or the nature of the relationship between the bin Laden and Bechtel families, both of which made fortunes in huge construction projects in the Arab world. The Fremont Group evidently does not go in for connecting the dots. As Kopf said, "Ownership is private and is not disclosed."

Two men meeting in Kuwait recently to plan Iraqi reconstruction -- Jay Garner and Terry Valenzano -- work for the very same public/private alliance that lobbied Saddam two decades ago. Today, Defense Secretary Rumsfield heads up the Pentagon, which is paying Garner's salary, while Shultz is a board member of the Bechtel Company who is paying Valenzano's bills.
That's not all: Jack Sheehan, a senior vice president at Bechtel, is a member of the Defense Policy Board, a government-appointed group that advised the Pentagon on the war. Meanwhile Bechtel also advises both the federal agencies that provide loans and insurance to American companies overseas. Daniel Chao, another Bechtel senior vice president, serves on advisory board of the US Export-Import Bank, while Ross J. Connelly, a 21-year veteran of Bechtel Group, is the chief operating officer for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
Indeed, Andrew Natsios, the administrator of USAID, which awarded the reconstruction contract for Iraq, was overseeing Bechtel just two years ago as the chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which hired the company to complete the Boston Central Artery project.
Activists say that the incestuous relationship between Bechtel and the US government bodes ill for the Iraqi people. "Bechtel and privatization go hand in hand. As people learned the hard way in Bolivia and around the world, when Bechtel comes to town, you can expect costs to soar and accountability and local control to evaporate," says Juliette Beck, senior organizer at Public Citizen's Oakland office.
Bechtel recently brought a $25 million lawsuit against Bolivia for cancelling a contract to manage the Cochabamba water system, which resulted in skyrocketing rates for local people.
Boston taxpayers have been just as unlucky. The Boston Central Artery tunnel project (popularly known as the 'Big Dig') is wrapping up reconstructing Interstate 93 underneath the surface of the city. In 1985 the price tag of the project was an estimated $2.5 billion. This figure has been spiralling upwards every year. The latest price tag for the project was a whopping $14.6 billion or $1.8 billion a mile, making it the world's most expensive highway.
And California citizens are still paying the bills for the cost over-runs at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County where Bechtel installed one of the reactors backwards. Meanwhile the local environmental costs continue to mount every day as the plant sucks in huge quantities of plankton, fish and even seals with the water to cool the reactors. The reactor also destroys miles of kelp on the seabed by discharging the heated water back into the ocean.
Other construction boondoggles by Bechtel include the Ok Tedi gold mine in Papua New Guinea where the dam Bechtel was building to contain mining waste collapsed before gold was even extracted in 1984. In 1996 when the local people took them to court, BHP, the Australian operators of the mine agreed to spend up to $115 million to contain the toxic waste that they were dumping into the Fly river at a rate of 80,000 tons a day from the mine.

And for the conspiracy buffs, the Bechtel Family, still resident in San Francisco, are said to be the most influential people behind the cities' infamous Bohemian Grove gatherings (some claim they control it). These secret 'hedonistic' (and often pseudo-occult) gatherings are in reality secret networking parties for the 'elite' where political and business deals are initiated. Mostly Republican territory, allegedly every Republican President in the 20th century was nominated here, some Democrat supporters such as the Rockerfellars have been frequent guests. The Bechtel family is said to have gained most of its influence at the Grove, and its camp there, the Mandalay Lodge is the most prestigious, with not only the past and present Bechtelites mob gathering there last year, but also special guests Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger (an architect of the 'clash of civilisations' anti Islamic doctrine). Incidentally many in the Bechtel network are also prominent Freemasons, not unusual in a construction company.

Not surprisingly Bechtel are also very close to the House of Morgan, that banking dynasty that also arose from the age of the railroads, and now is one of the dominant right wing influences within the East Coast foreign policy establishment. A direct link to the CFR and the Bilderburg Group and that conspiratorial malarkey.

If this is all new to you, it is not surprising the Bechtel Family operate under a policy of strict secrecy and pay people a fortune to keep them out of the media's attention. In addition they also maintain a private security agency and counter-terrorist unit, staffed by former special forces personnel, to protect them from would be 'assassins and kidnappers'. Some claim they have their own intelligence agency, but given their CIA and Pentagon connections it is not clear why they should need it.

Of course the unanswered question is are they really cannibalistic, shape-shifting reptilian aliens from the fifth dimension as David Ike claims? The Beck-Tul clan are their leading family he sometimes implies. Well, given the above the question becomes rather irrelevant and is probably an insult to extraterrestrial reptiles!