Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saturday Drive By

Arianna makes a good point today with "Katrina Relief: It's Iraq Déjà vu All Over Again."
The feeling that the Katrina relief effort is going to be Iraq all over again is unavoidable when you look at the list of the companies already being awarded clean up and reconstruction contracts. It's that old gang from Baghdad: Halliburton, Bechtel, Fluor, and the Shaw Group (which has a tasteful notice on its website saying "Hurricane Recovery Projects -- Apply Here!"). Together again. A veritable moveable feast of crony capitalism...

And what about financial oversight of the tens of billions that will be doled out to these corporate chums of the administration? After consistently stonewalling investigations into the corruption that has plagued U.S. efforts in Iraq, the president vowed to have "a team of inspectors general reviewing all expenditures" related to Katrina. But, as Think Progress points out, such promises seem laughable when you remember what happened to Bunny Greenhouse. After blowing the whistle on Halliburton's corrupt Iraq war contracts, the Army Corps of Engineers auditor was demoted. That should really motivate the Katrina contract inspection team.

Uh huh. And Karl Rove is on the scene to smear anybody who raises any questions about what's going on.


  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I saw Greenhouse testify before Dorgan's committee on C-Span the other day. I was crying by the end of the hearing. Here is this incredibly talented woman with a very powerful presence acting as the consummate professional ... upstanding, exacting, moral, proud. And she's being pushed out by the crooks who surround her. It is just maddening.

    So the limit on purchasing contracts used to be $2,500 before requiring approval. Guess what it is now? $250K! And it can be put on a gov't issued credit card! (To make matters worse, contract abuse with splitting among purchase orders was rampant under the $2,500 limit. Can you only imagine what it will be now?)

    As the lawyer sitting at the table noted, anyone given this credit card could, in effect, buy a house in NOLA and just put it on the govt issued card. It wouldn't be questioned until it appeared on the statement, if then.

    And then to hear the testimony of how Halliburton employees bully their way around gov't employees who dare to hold them accountable ... really, the buck doesn't seem to stop anywhere these days.


  2. And who's paying for it all? Not Bush's rich cronies, that's for sure.