7/09/2006

War Profiteering: The Government Waste You Won't Hear About at OTBL.

Now here's the kind of wasteful government spending you won't here our
friends on the other side of the borderline complain about.

Billions doled out to "security" companies like Halliburton and
Custer Battle for
services they never delivered.




See 60Mins Report:


Our new friend CATO gets upset about the government forcing him to help Katrina
victims, but where's the outrage over this grotesgue waste of taxpayer funds?

CATO: "But why should the government put a gun to my head and tell me I should be helping people solely because they made a stupid decision to live in New Orleans? You cannot make such a justification. They are not my problem. "

A few selected quotes from the 60 Min. Report:


"The United States has spent more than a quarter of a trillion dollars during its three years in Iraq, and more than $50 billion of it has gone to private contractors hired to guard bases, drive trucks, feed and shelter the troops and rebuild the country."

"It is dangerous work, but much of the $50 billion, which is more than the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security, has been handed out to companies in Iraq with little or no oversight."

"Complaints about Custer Battles performance at the airport began almost immediately. Col. Richard Ballard, the top inspector general for the Army in Iraq, was assigned to see if the company was living up to its contract, such as it was."

"And the contract looked to me like something that you and I would write over a bottle of vodka," Ballard says. "Complete with all the spelling and syntax errors and annexes, to be filled in later. They presented it the next day, and they got awarded a — about a $15 million contract."

"In a memo obtained by 60 Minutes, the airport's director of security wrote to the Coalition Authority: "Custer Battles has shown themselves to be unresponsive, uncooperative, incompetent, deceitful, manipulative and war profiteers. Other than that they are swell fellows."

"How did Custer Battles perform that contract?

"Absolutely abysmally. I mean, it was beyond a joke," says British Col. Philip Wilkinson.

Wilkinson was a colonel in the British Army and was assigned to the Coalition Authority’s Ministry of Finance and charged with providing security to convoys that traveled all over Iraq, loaded with $3 billion in cash. The trucks were supplied by Custer Battles."

"And you can imagine, open trucks with that sort of money on the back, was just a red hot target for not only terrorists, but criminals," Wilkinson says. "And, therefore, we needed trucks that were going to work. When those trucks were delivered to us, some of them were physically dragged into our compound."

"Wilkinson says some of the trucks "were towed into the camp."

And Custer Battle’s response?

"When questioned as to the serviceability of the trucks was, 'We were only told we had to deliver the trucks.' The contract doesn't say they had to work," Wilkinson says. "Which, I mean, when you're given that sort of answer, what can you do?"

How did they get away with it?

"Oh," says Wilkinson laughing, "I really don't know. I mean it was just a joke. The assumption that we had was that they had to have high political top cover to be able to get away with it. Because it was just outrageous: their failure to deliver that which they were contracted to do."

12 comments:

On Account of said...

Andy,

Your new friend CATO seems to be indifferent to this kind of waste. Where's his outrage? And the OTLBers
would much rather test drive to verify
whether a district employee travels 6.9 or 7.1 miles on a trip he is reimbursed for milage. I'm so glad we have them as guardians of our tax dollars.

jpn said...

Gee...along with the mileage question...
If it's a cost-plus basis, who would audit the expenses of the private school? We would still hope our comrades at OTBL would still be the vigilant guardians of the tax dollars -- since that would be where the voucher money comes from. We all know the government doesn't create wealth. Of course the OTBL'ers would in their brave new world be fighting against government interferance of the way the schools are run.

Cato said...

Fabian socialism is as wrong as any other form of socialism.

Watchdog Watcher said...

Point well take CATO. The 30 some cent/mile reimbursment clearly equates to the billions squandered by Bush Administration corruption in Iraq.

jpn said...

Cato:

When you say something is "wrong," isn't that a value judgement? Don't you mean "inefficient?" I thought preachers dealt in terms of morals and values and economists dealt in terms of efficient and inefficient?

Cato said...

I am not an economist. I know that since morals come not from some supernatural force but from the capacity to reason. They are real and if they are real they are set. A can only be A, not B. So we don't have this wishy-washy post-modernist approach where people who blow themselves up in a crowd of children are somehow on the same moral plane as everyone else since we have no "objective space" to judge people. Yes we do. So "value judgement"? Well that hints at the idea that someones vaules cannot be incorrect. They can be.

"Watachdog watcher" I assume you mean by that it's okay if someone chops off your hand, but if they take your arm you're gonna cry about it? Of course, you forget trillions have been redistributed from the top to the bottom in this country. We need some sort of exit strategy on the war on poverty, the most costly war in American history.

AndyRand said...

CATO:
I and most people I know do not accept this presupposition.
"I know that since morals come not from some supernatural force but from the capacity to reason." How do you "know" this. You should be saying you believe this because that's what you're doing. You just have faith in Reason rather than faith in God.

Watchdog Watcher said...

Yes the same trillions that have
been earned off the backs of those it's been redistributed too. Take Bill Gates for example. Everyone praises his genius and innovation. Ha, He never innovated anything. He manipulated the innovations of others until he had the power to simply buy out his competition.
Or take Wal-Mart who profits from Chinese slave labor.
War Profiteers must fit well into your morality.

AndyRand said...

"The paradoxical character of the truth is its objective uncertainty."
Kierkegaard

This is why we will never see eye to eye.

Cato said...

If they were "earned of their backs" why didn't they keep the money themselves? Oh right. They are not the movers of the world. They cannot operate such companies. They can operate gargabe trucks. Robots will one day replace them; robots can never replace CEOs, the innovators, the Atlases of the world.

It was a major crime. And so you DO think it's okay to chop off part of your body. Just not "too much." I think it's my body my choice!

AndyRand said...

Have you started Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason Yet?

AndyRand said...

"It was a major crime. And so you DO think it's okay to chop off part of your body. Just not "too much."

Yes, let's start putting parking violators to death by leathal injection.