For the time in a while there happens to be a good article in The New York Times this morning updating the KBR-Iraq contract abomination.
If you read the following and you don’t get angry, or you can’t appreciate why Eisenhower warned us of the military-industrial complex, then you’re reading the wrong blog:
The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops.
Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”
But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.
Army officials denied that Mr. Smith had been removed because of the dispute, but confirmed that they had reversed his decision, arguing that blocking the payments to KBR would have eroded basic services to troops. They said that KBR had warned that if it was not paid, it would reduce payments to subcontractors, which in turn would cut back on services.
Oh this story gets better. Read the justification for the reversal:
“You have to understand the circumstances at the time,” said Jeffrey P. Parsons, executive director of the Army Contracting Command. “We could not let operational support suffer because of some other things.”
Some “other things?” I guess billing unjustified costs falls into the “other things” category. Wink. Wink.
Do you realize what this means? KBR was able to–whether intentionally or unintentionally–effectively hold the Army hostage via the necessity of the services it was providing.
What is going on with our corporations?
You know I hear many fellow capitalists get angry when they hear a liberal or someone raise the issue of corporate greed. But is this type of behavior from our corporations acceptable?
Of course it isn’t. This is precisely what corporate greed is!
These pirates running a good portion of our companies today would sell their own mothers to expand to China or to shave .02% off their operating costs.
I honestly don’t know how they sleep at night.
You can call me an anti-capitalist all you want, but you’re wrong. I’m a capitalist who won’t sell his country out to make a quick buck.