Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's So Much Worse Than You Thought. Now Get Moving!

Just as parallel projects are being conducted in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast, the Bush Mafia is operating a huge plunder-and-pillage privatization scam in Iraq. Read this story in the Rolling Stone, and get ready for your head to explode.


Since time immemorial, the distribution of government largesse had followed a staid, paper-laden procedure in which the federal government would post the details of a contract in periodicals like Commerce Business Daily or, more ­recently, on the FedBizOpps Web site. Competitive bids were solicited and contracts were awarded in accordance with the labyrinthine print of the U.S. Code, a straightforward system that worked well enough before the Bush years that, as one lawyer puts it, you could 'count the number of cases of criminal fraud on the fingers of one hand.'

. . . What no one knew at the beginning of the war was that the Bush administration had essentially decided to treat the entire Iraqi theater as an exception to the rules. All you had to do was get to Iraq and the game was on.

But getting there wasn't easy. To travel to Iraq, would-be contractors needed permission from the Bush administration, which was far from blind in its appraisal of applicants. In a much-ballyhooed example of favoritism, the White House originally installed a clown named Jim O'Beirne [husband of undoubtedly objective political commentator Kate, BTW] at the relevant evaluation desk in the Department of Defense. O'Beirne proved to be a classic Bush villain, a moron's moron who judged applicants not on their Arabic skills or their relevant expertise but on their Republican bona fides; he sent a twenty-four-year-old who had never worked in finance to manage the reopening of the Iraqi stock exchange, and appointed a recent graduate of an evangelical university for home-schooled kids who had no accounting experience to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget.
And you thought it was about WMD. Or removing a dictator. Or, wait, um, bringing “democracy” to Iraq.

I guess we know now why Republicans haven’t put repairing our infrastructure high on the government’s “to do” list. My God, there are starving cronies out there!

If after reading “The Great Iraq Swindle” you can manage to choke out an intelligible syllable, you might want to call your representative and senators and RIP THEM A NEW ONE. Then, make sure everyone you know hears about this.

One last thought: This could not continue, here or abroad, without our complicity. We know, and, face it, this story is not new news, but we haven't put sufficient pressure on our media and Congress to investigate, indict, and impeach. Nor, evidently, have Democrats learned the relatively simple art of influencing American public opinion.