A senior Army civilian contracting official who was critical of the no-bid $10 billion contract awarded to a subsidiary of Halliburton for oil work in Iraq has been demoted.
Can you believe it?
Bunnatine H. Greenhouse has worked in military procurement for 20 years. For the past several years, she has been chief overseer of contracting for the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency responsible for much of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
A spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers says that Ms. Greehouse's demotion was "...based on her performance and not in retaliation for any disclosures of alleged improprieties that she may have made."
Ms. Greenhouse's attorney asserts that his client received glowing job performance ratings until she began questioning the no-bid contract award to the Halliburton subsidiary, Kellog Brown and Root.
In other news, Geoffrey "Camp Gitmo" Miller is still a major general, former CIA director George Tenet still has his Medal of Freedom, Donald Rumsfeld is still Secretary of Defense, and George W. Bush is still president of the United States.
Vice President Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, remains in an undisclosed location.
We have no reason to believe any statement from any source in the military establishment. The Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman fabrications were merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the extent that the entire department of defense has been transformed into the armed branch of the neoconservative movement. The senior generals who stood up to Rumsfeld from the beginning are gone. No one's left but the yes men, and they're committed to going along with the entire neocon game plan, a key ingredient of which is its misinformation/propaganda campaign.
The shame of it all is that the troops in the trenches are doing brave, honorable work. It's too bad they don't have brave, honorable civilian and military leaders.
The Bush White House has created a neo-conundrum in civilian-military relationships. In theory, civilian authority over the military guarantees the country will not become a militaristic oligarchy. In practice, under this administration, the civilian authorities are the militaristic oligarchs.
The politicians run our wars, and our generals--if they want to keep their jobs--are forced to play politics.
Military correspondent Thomas E. Ricks' novel A Soldier's Duty is one of the best fictional examinations of the internal struggles that ensue when military personnel are forced to choose between their sworn duty and their personal values. Set in a "Clinton-like" era, Ricks' observations are even more relevant in today's environment.