News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Spoils of War

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Spoils of War

We all know war is about territory and riches, as Aristotle put it. The question is, who gets the spoils in this "war on terrorism"? According to many stories in the media, the big winners in this war are not the American people but contractors whose lucrative contracts with the various military branches top billions of dollars every month. These contractors provide services that range from protection for diplomats, rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, and feeding and supplying the troops in the field.

The following article reports that the Bush administration--and Darth Cheney in particular--do not want the American people to know how much these companies have taken the taxpayers to the laundry. That is, a high-level contract administrator for the Army has been disciplined and demoted after she went public with proof of contractor abuses.

With echoes of a smear campaign, the fate of Ms. Greenhouse reminds me of the fate of Gen. Shinsecki who questioned Cheney's estimate for how many troops would be needed for the Iraq war. It also vaguely calls to mind similar treatment of Joe Wilson and his wife after Wilson questioned the admin's contention that Saddam Hussein was in Niger seeking the prime ingredient for nuclear weapons, yellow cake.
Cheney Strikes Back! Bunnatine Greenhouse Demoted for Criticizing Halliburton & KBR
Halliburton Deal Critic Demoted: Report
By Special Report
Aug 30, 2005, 10:46

CAIRO, August 29, 2005 ( - A high-level US Army official who openly criticized a multibillion-dollar, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq, was removed from her job for what the Army called "poor job performance", according to US press reports Monday, August 29.

Top contracting official Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years, making it to a highly senior post before being demoted in a move branded as an a "reprisal act" by her attorney, according to The New York Times.

For the past several years, she had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq, the paper said.

The demotion, according to the report, removes her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigns her to a 'lesser job' in the Army Corps' civil works division.

She has initially complained internally about this contract, but last fall she started giving interviews to national publications, the Washington Post said, adding that as Greenhouse became more vocal internally, she said she was increasingly excluded from decisions and shunned by her bosses. ...

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