Monday, August 29, 2005

Curmudgeon Scoops The New York Times

I've tried to tell people the Curmudgeon was ahead of his times, sort of like The Beatles or Nostradamus. Well, maybe not ahead of his times but at least ahead of The New York Times. Loyal readers of this site, and you three know who you are, will recall the Curmudgeon blogged about Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse a U.S. Army contracting watchdog in the Pentagon getting thrown under the bus. Well not only has the she been thrown under the bus, but it has stopped and backed up over her.

Now normally I don't pay attention to a woman named "Bunny" unless its for a lap dance, but today's New York Times, gives a little ink to Bunnaine "Bunny" Greenhouse, who has worked in military procurement for 20 years. She was demoted Saturday after criticizing a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq. She has publicly described her complaints about a five-year, $7 billion oil-repair contract awarded to Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Bunny has argued that if urgency required a no-bid contract, its duration should be brief. She has also fought the granting of a waiver to Kellogg Brown & Root in December 2003, approving the high prices it had paid for fuel imports for Iraq, and had objected to extending its five-year contract for logistical support in the Balkans for 11 months and $165 million without competitive bidding.

Ms. Greenhouse has told a Congressional panel, that the Kellogg Brown & Root oil contract was "the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career." She also said the defense secretary's office had improperly interfered in the awarding of the contract.

Her demotion was to be considered only after the Department of Defense inspector general conducted an independent investigation. Apparently that wasn't good or fast enough for the Crusaders in the administration and finally finding a fight they could win the acting secretary of the Army approved Ms. Greenhouse's demotion, effective Aug. 27. That, of course, was a Saturday because cowards and bullies do their dirty work on Friday nights and weekends when the news cycle might not pick it up.

Bunny's lawyer said that the inspector general had not finished investigating the matter and when he telephoned Dan Meyer, director of civilian reprisal investigations in the inspector general's office, Mr. Meyer was "shocked" to learn that the corps had proceeded against Ms. Greenhouse. Mr. Meyer said that he was immediately opening a "civilian reprisal" investigation and faxed forms to Bunny's lawyer to initiate the process.

Hope the DOD has planned for the post-Bunny demotion period better than the post-Saddam period. I'm going to go with "no." Your tax dollars at work again. Overpay Halliburton now and pay Bunny's damages and lawyer later for "civilian reprisal" complaint. When will it become clear to the "red states" that these bullies and Crusaders shouldn't be running a lemonade stand let alone a country?

BONUS POSTING: Capt. Fogg hits it out of the park today with his grand unification theory of why the Republicans are going to ruin this nation. Read all about it here.

BONUS POSTING II: Just when you thought things can't get more absurd, they do. Check out this right-wing comic book which turns G. Gordon Liddy, Sean Hannity and Oliver North into super heros. Love the Ambassador Bin Laden speaking to the U.N. general assembly. Fear as a political marketing tool is being replaced by mental illness in comic book form.


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