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(Cross-posted at my blog, Political Sapphire, MLW and Booman Tribune)

Let's talk about Halliburton, no-bid contracting and a kick-ass public servant named Bunnatine Greenhouse who needs liberals who say they care to make some noise on her behalf. Her picture is right here:


Bunnatine Greenhouse

Mrs. Greenhouse (it seems she likes to be called Bunny, but since I was raised right and she's old enough to be my mama, Ms. Bunny will have to do) has a big, big problem.

Ms. Bunny's problem is that, despite having been the highest ranking civilian member of the Army Corps of Engineers; one of highest ranking woman in federal government service; and despite having had a distinguished and untarnished career as one of this country's highest ranked procurement officers; she is about to be ignonimously shitcanned "for cause". Apparently, Ms. Bunny's personal Waterloo is coming in late September, when her "performance plan" runs out.

Besides, in this case, if Ms. Bunny is not canned, Ms. Bunny's hell raising over KBR's no-bid contracts in Iraq will never stop being a thorn in the side of the Department of Defense, Dick Cheney...or President Bush.
A little history of the problem for those not in the know despite the avalanche of articles written about Halliburton and KBR right around last year's presidential election:

In early 2003, Kellogg Brown & Root aka KBR (a fully owned subsidiary of Halliburton Corporation, and the former stomping grounds of Vice President Richard aka "Dick" Cheney) was awarded several contracts in anticipation of the invasion of Iraq. Anyhow, one of those pre-war KBR contracts was for restoration of Iraqi oilfields, which our brilliant strategists just assumed would be set on fire by Saddam and his minions as they were going down to defeat. It was called the "Restore Iraqi Oil" (RIO) Contract. What was notable about these contracts is that they were no-bid. A no-bid contract is one where a company just gets picked for the job. Just Because. With no competitive bidding process. With no preceding Request for Proposals/Requests for Quotation (the central process for all government contracting; since government contracts are paid with your and my tax money, that money is supposed to be freely available for all qualified businesses to compete for - publicly.)

KBR got billions of dollars ($7bn, in the case of the RIO contract that has become Ms. Bunny's downfall) in "sole source" contracts in this fashion during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. (Last election cycle, folks tried to make an issue of Dick Cheney's relationship/involvement in that process. It got drowned out in the noise machine. Go figure - but part of it may be that because, if you believe Ms. Bunny's story, folks were focusing on trying to find the smoking gun in the hand of the wrong neocon). I'm not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the details of either KBR or RIO because frankly, the details have been blogged to death by folks far better than I, and can be found with the most straightforward google search - or search on DailyKOS, Atrios, or a number of other prominent sites. I will just link this Waxman Letter to Condi just so that folks can get an example of the type of stuff that went on in Iraq in the name of KBR contracting, most of which is seeing the light of day only through the steadfast commitment of Representative Henry Waxman, and most of which is still being completely ignored by the media and by the American People - who have the audacity and the nerve to vote for corporate criminals like Bush and Cheney and against honest Democrats because we purportedly are irresponsible with the public fisc!

According to Ms. Bunny, the negotiation and preparation of the RIO contract was unique, in her 20 years of procurement work, for several reasons: (a) it had been assigned to the Army Corps, which has no experience in procurement of this type; (b) despite that assignment actual control over the process of negotiating and agreeing to contract terms remained with the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (last time I checked he was named Donald Rumsfeld.); (c) KBR was an integral part of internal Army Corps discussions about the contract, something that is anathema to the process of objectively selecting a government contractor; and (d) the contract was written so that any contractor who wanted to bid for the work going forward after the minimum term had to submit a bid that conformed to KBR's already existing plan/proposal - a requirement that could never be met because KBR's proposal had not been disseminated to any of its competitors, and KBR had not authorized it to be shared with anyone.

Apparently, Ms. Bunny had expressed some disquiet with each of these issues as things were progressing. But, in the end, the country was on the brink of war, and Ms. Bunny is a good American. So, Ms. Bunny (who I really wish I could meet - how she worked this was so wonderfully Sapphire; and yes as the name of my blog tries to reflect, being Sapphire can be a good Black woman thang at times, when it comes to calling it as we see it, and to hell with what people think) decided to object to the only thing she could object to at the time: - the contemplated 5 year term of this sole-source, no-bid contract, divided into 2 mandatory years and 3 1-year renewals. Ms. Bunny did something to ensure that it would never be said that she hadn't objected, should that ever be said. (This is just me with my lay psychology on, but I suspect at the time Ms. Bunny was also concerned about making sure later that nobody could say she didn't do her job; I've been there when it comes to needing to CYA.) She did something extraordinary.

Instead of sending a memo, which Ms. Bunny says have a tendency to come up missing, Ms. wrote her objection on the original, document-number controlled, fully executed copy of the KBR RIO contract itself. Just so that as the contract documents continued up the chain of authority, her superiors in DoD would know that she had at least tried.

Here's Ms. Bunny's opinion about the RIO contract, in her own words:

I caution that extending this sole source contract beyond a one-year period could convey an invalid perception that there is not strong intent for a limited competition.

And, just to make sure that it would not be overlooked in subsequent compliance checking, she neatly wrote it right next to her (required) signature on the contract.   Just in case.

You Go, Ms. Bunny.

This is when the right-wing Republican hubris part of the story kicks in. I suspect in retrospect that her superiors wish they'd just shredded that version, reprinted it, and gotten it resigned.
Except they didn't. They first instead tried to persuade (pressure) her to withdraw her objection.

She said no.

That's when the powers-that-be over Ms. Bunny's head at the Army Corps made a serious tactical error.

They tried to stand on her neck and demote her, after giving her the first negative performance evaluation she'd ever had working for government. The jist of it? Not that Ms. Bunny was lousy at procurement, not that Ms. Bunny was no longer a workhorse fully committed to the mission of maximizing public benefit from federal government procurement, but instead that Ms. Bunny "was hard to get along with" and "nobody liked her."

I can see why not, given that they'd been riding herd on her for speaking her conscience in connection with Kirkuk Oil Fields contract and she'd made clear that her job was to honestly and prudently manage public funds, not to get in bed with KBR just because some pretty powerful people -- including those in the Vice President's office -- wanted her to.

Ms. Bunny's demotion was going to be to a desk job in which she no longer had the responsibilities or staff or budget she'd been managing to nothing less than stellar reviews for the preceding 15 years.

(Yes I know, all lovers of ABW's out there: MIS-take. Someone obviously didn't tell these folks about going after Black women whose backs are up and trying to pressure them to do anything. Free copy of ABW's Guide to Life courtesy of me to the Army Corps of Engineers; and an extra, autographed copy to Dick Cheney).

So, since it was clear how things were going to be, Ms. Bunny -- dedicated, public servant -- got a lawyer. And the Army Corps backed off - at least for a while.

However, on June 27, 2005, as part of the ongoing investigation into KBR's contracts and what appears to be $1,000,000,000 (yes that's billion with a "B") in KBR bills that Pentagon auditors admit are extremely shaky (you can read about it here, Ms. Bunny testified before the Democratic Policy Committee looking into the Halliburton/KBR feeding at the public trough.

Three days before this, Ms. Bunny had been warned by the General Counsel's office at the Army Corps that testifying "would not be in her best interest."

But she didn't care. As Ms. Bunny told the Democratic Policy Committee:

I have been involved with government contracting for over twenty years. . . .I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.

You can read all her testimony by taking this link and then clicking on the adobe acrobat link called Bunnatine Greenhouse's Testimony

One thing you have to give the Army Corps credit for - they keep their promises. Ms. Bunny's testimony indeed was not "in her her best interest." Personal interest, that is. However, with a lawyer in tow and a stellar performance record with the Pentagon, yet having a situation where Ms. Bunny had defied her superiors' commaand that she not testify in a public hearing, the Army Corps was left few options with which to go after her for what was now a highly public assertion about the cronyism that was favoring Dick Cheney's favorite company.

They took the only one they had, it seems -- because it appears that shortly after her June testimony, Ms. Bunny was placed on a 90-day "performance plan". As anyone who has ever worked at a large company or government agency knows, "performance plans" mean only one thing in Human Resources lingo: you have 90 days to "shape up or ship out." At least officially. Unofficially in Ms. Bunny's case, since there has never been any discussion, debate or even hint by the Army Corps that Ms. Bunny's work was inferior and needed improvement (and lots of written evidence suggesting otherwise), it means that Ms. Bunny's stellar career with the Pentagon is coming to an end.

They put Ms. Bunny on a performance plan immediately after her testimony, in anticipation of firing her for cause. How do we know she will be fired "for cause"? Because I have never seen an employee who was "performance planned" who wasn't. "Performance planning" as any truly honest employer will tell you, is generally done for one reason and one reason only - so that there is a written record of "cause for termination" and the employer's attempts to "correct" presumptively inadequate (I'll go over that presumption in a minute) employee performance. It is most often used when you have a situation with a protected employee (and, as a civil servant, Ms. Bunny is indeed one of those; she is also Black and female, two suspect classifications when it comes to employment discrimination) whose previous written performance evaluation records do not support a finding that the person is doing their job badly. Or, in the case of Ms. Bunny by all accounts before October, 2004, when the written record proves that they were doing an exemplary job.)

So, almost without a doubt, Ms. Bunny is soon going to be going to court.

The trouble with going to court, however, is that it is notoriously unsympathetic to whistleblower claims despite federal whistleblower laws, which are intended to protect federal workers who come forward to protect us all. I by no means am an expert on these laws -- this is not my area of practice. But it seems to me that the biggest trouble with the whistleblower law as it is written is this: it essentially requires the employee under fire to prove the wrongdoing.

This might be tough in Ms. Bunny's case, since unbeknownst to her (she was out that day; she reports they knew she would never sign it; something that given her position would have been required) the Army Corps issued a waiver to KBR relieving it from the cost reporting requirements that otherwise governed the RIO contract, after the Pentagon auditing arm confirmed that KBR and Hallburton was overcharging and underperforming.  Given this waiver, Ms. Bunny's objection to the contract based on its time provisions might not be enough.  In theory, the decision to enter into the RIO sole source contract was an act of discretion, in this case one that was taken in what will no doubt be referred to as the exigency of war. It does not appear, standing alone, to be per se illegal.  Again, I am not an expert in this area, but the whistleblower laws do not appear to protect workers objecting to merely foolish or theoretically improper acts - only to clearly illegal ones.

At a minimum, Ms. Bunny's case is likely to involve not just her proving that she was retaliated against for complaining but also that she -- legally -- had something to complain about, especially after the waiver was done.

So Ms. Bunny needs our help. Right now, only Representative Waxman appears to be on the case. More in Congress need to intervene and demand that the circumstances of the waiver be examined, that KBR be required to come forward despite the waiver by the Army Corps. Recognizing that a Republithug congress is not likely to do this, we should at least make enough noise to keep this issue front and center. Not just because Halliburton/KBR is growing fat off the public teat (all while feeding our soldiers rotten food!). But also because those few who are brave enough to stand up -- like Ms. Bunny -- are being hung out to dry.

Originally posted to Maat's Feather on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:51 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another Heroine (4.00)
    Ms. Greenhouse deserves our support.  She and Cindy Sheehan are both fighting back on different fronts.

    Recommended diary.

    •  fight the power! (4.00)
      i agree - i've been following bunnatine greenhouse's story for a couple years now, and she's the real deal: a real american hero.

      considering who she's up against she is truly amazing for staying in the game this long, when men like general shinseki have already been kicked to the curb.

      but if she does get pulled down at last by the dark side, i wonder if we can get her to pull an obi-wan kenobi: "if you cut me down, i will only become more powerful."  

      in this context that means running for office of course. she has so far been non-partisan, but if she is "retired" by these thugs i can imagine that might change (like joe wilson).  she would be not just a hero but a great standard-bearer for our anti-corruption campaign next year.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:55:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If she can unite forces with Sibel Edmonds (none)
        then whistleblowers unite! Whistleblowers are becoming a more powerful resistance to this administration, as there seems to be limitless supply. Now add the growing list of CIA dissenters, represented by Larry Johnson, and this group seems quite strong indeed.

        Listen all of y'all it's a Sabotage! - Beastie Boys

        by See you out there on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 06:49:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Another brave woman. (none)
      Let's get this lady some help!
  •  Damn fine lady! (4.00)

    The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

    by Overseas on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:05:06 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad to see (4.00)
    this posted.  Ms. Bunny is indeed worthy of our support and the support of every conscientious american.  I'll write my congresspeople and Rep. Waxman.  I've named one of my cats Bunnatine since I'm past child-bearing stage -- Let's all do some noise here.  recommended.

    The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

    by xanthe on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:05:25 AM PDT

  •  I read her story last weekend (4.00)
    in, of all places, the Greenville, SC newspaper. (We were there visiting my husband's family.)

    I have recommended this diary, and I hope others will rally behind "Ms. Bunny" as they have rallied behind Cindy Sheehan. It is completely outrageous that this competent, dedicated, smart lady is being driven out of public service so a bunch of crooks can continue stealing the rest of us blind.

    One suggestion-- the diary is very, very, very long. It may deter people from reading the whole thing. If there's a way to get everything important into a more compact format, it might be good.

    •  I Admit that's *My* Personal Waterloo (4.00)
      As an attorney, thoroughness is everything.  So I tend to be detail oriented.  I don't blog that often as a result, even on my own site, because when I do post something, I want it to be as detailed as possible so that someone can actually go see the background that went into me taking a position.

      But having said all that, I admit that to some, "too long" is indeed a powerful deterrent.  I'll work on it, and thanks for the feedback.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:16:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For being a Lawyer... (4.00)
        You kept the 'jargon' to a minimum, and it was an extremely interesting read. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

        It's heart warming to know that there are still TRUE patriots left in this country. Let's try to see that they're not shit on, shall we?

        The problem with America Today: There's a difference between The American Dream, and The American Way.

        by Disillusioned on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:53:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Shanikka-- (4.00)
        I'm an editor, so I guess I have a professional prejudice for "shorter is usually better." Looks like I'm in the minority, so disregard!
      •  I understand detail (4.00)
        And appreciate it.

        I've learned, when reading someone like you, to scan then save for deeper reading, if I don't have the time. If I have the time, I grab a cup of tea and a snack, and settle in.

        I actually prefer detail to short blurbs. I know I'mnot alone.

      •  thanks for the great diary (none)
        but one question - I'm clueless: who is "Sapphire"?  I assume it's a pop-culture reference but it doesn't ring any bells with me.

        I seldom watch TV anymore and don't read much in the way of bestsellers, so I miss out on a lot of these references.

        *Springsteen for President*

        by hrh on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:16:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sapphire (4.00)
          Is a highly derogatory stereotype about Black women:  We are always angry, always in-your-face, always disrespectful, and don't know how to just get along.

          It's one of the evil triumverate, along with "Jezebel" and "Mammy".

          However, to me the fact that Black women are, when they strongly feel things as a matter of principle, willing to set aside the niceties of being "ladies" and demonstrate the bravery, honesty, commitment and directness that helped us survive by being "women" and getting "in your face" has not always been a bad thing.  It's instead being "womanish", as Alice Walker labeled those of us who are Black, female and powerful.  Indeed, when we're talking about my heroines in life -- everyone from Rosa Parks to Shirley Chisholm to Katharine Hepburn to Maxine Waters -- they have all been a bit "Sapphire" when it came to speaking their mind against their detractors, and taking a stand.

          So, in the tradition first established by the gay and lesbian community, I am hoping that by calling my tiny little blog "Political Sapphire" I am reclaiming the power and righteousness that is the upside of being "Sapphire" from the evilness of the stereotype.  Since, like Ms. Bunny, I have never "gotten along just to get along".  More of us could take that approach, IMO.

          Hope that made sense.

          My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

          by shanikka on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:39:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More power to you... (4.00)
            ..and may that power flow ever more frequently in your postings here.

            Charter Member - ePluribus Media - Join and Donate - http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

            by just us on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:42:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also appropriated (none)
            by Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women, a damn fine musical trio.

            "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

            by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:39:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Very hard, very clear. (none)
            Always let's you see what time it is.

            Sapphire, ideal for the face of a watch.

          •  I saw the Democratic Committee (none)
            presitation by Bunny Greenhouse and she was very efficient in her presentation of the facts regarding the no-bid contracts. I didn't see much open anger in her as she was very professional and well versed in answering any and all questions. She has knows the facts, the regulations which are being broken and all the numbers.

            She was a model of proficiency as she spoke. I agree that she needs the support of the country.
            She is simply and effectively reporting that rules have been broken and the country has been robbed. She knows her job and what it entails.

            Her efficiency at her work has brought praise throughtout her career and there is no reason to doubt her. She should be praised for again doing her job and having the courage to display to the world where and to whom the money is going and
            has gone. The people of the US own the funds and deserve to see that they are being properly distributed to corporations which are doing what they are appropriately qualified by the government regulations to do.  Exceptions to a system which is designed to see that the distribution of money is being properly accounted for should not be accepted. Bunny Greenhouse is the epitome of one who is concerned with improper and unqualified actions and she is the example of a true patriot.  

            Freedom's Angels ~Cindy/Bunny/Sibel~

            by Skylor on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 01:32:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Amos and Andy (4.00)
          Amos and Andy was a radio show that started back in the 1930's with the roles spoken by whites.

          In the 1950's it was a TV series, often remembered today for its racial identity stereotyping. By the time the 1950's rolled around, there was an emerging black middle class and the "powers that be" finally figured out that this didn't need to be on the airwaves any longer, so it went away (with a whole lot of help from organizations like the NAACP).

          Sapphire was the name of the female lead in the series, the wife of a guy named Kingfish. She was a ballsy, brassy, loudmouthed busybody.  And she took no prisoners.  She was one of the first strong black women to ever hit the airwaves.  And later this name has sorta stuck to signify a black woman that speaks out.

          My guess is that SHE is the inspiration for Shanikka's blog "Political Sapphire".

          •  You Are Correct (4.00)
            That the genesis of the Sapphire stereotype comes from Kingfish's wife on Amos and Andy.  Although I did not focus on the show when I came up with the blog name (I was originally going to call it Ma'at's Feather, but someone beat me to it LOL).

            My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

            by shanikka on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:11:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  learn something new every day! (none)
              Thanks to the both of you for your informative explanations - I'd never heard this term before.  

              I know a bit about Amos 'n' Andy but didn't know Sapphire was a character in the show.  The only thing I could think of was the film Sapphire, an English murder mystery from the '50s.  The title character is a mixed-race woman who is murdered.  London detectives investigate her case.  It's a good movie and very interesting in its handling of English race relations.  However it's so obscure that I doubted it was the origin of the term.  

              *Springsteen for President*

              by hrh on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:31:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I found the writing compelling, and easily (4.00)
        motivating enough to carry me through the diary.  I will be notifying my Representatives.  One...Sen. Grassley, of $1000 toilet bowl and hammer fame, should have no problem, given past history and verbage, to stand up for this Ms. Bunny, even as one of the Republican stalwarts.  If not, then shame on him.

        Charter Member - ePluribus Media - Join and Donate - http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

        by just us on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:37:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  cut a bit (none)
        But it is really good. Send it other places, maybe to newspapers. It needs to be really out there.
        •  what would you cut? n/t (none)
          •  That's a fair question. (none)
            That would be hard. It's a good story and well told. If the author is writing for the serious and committed reader, it's great as it stands. But, with regard to delivering a message to the mainstream reader, the length probably is a factor. As those posting to this comment know well, the best media stories are those that are very tightly edited. I might cut the Sapphire and ABW discussions. I know that's part of the author's voice and I found it interesting but I did skip off for a bit trying to figure that part out. I followed the link to the book and debated purchaing it. Had I been busier I might not have gotten back. Maybe I assume too much about the author's intent. I think this is a very important article that would like to see go mainstream, so I reflected on the length from that perspective.
      •  I didn't think it was too long (4.00)
        But then I used to do contract work with the US government (including the Pentagon).

        I had to scoop my jaw off of the ground when I read about the waiver from cost reporting.

        Do you know if the contracts were cost-plus?  Somehow I remember hearing something about that.

        Great diary.

      •  It is not too long for me. (4.00)
        I loved every minute of it.  Wonderful diary and highly recommended.  Thank you!

        Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

        by macmcd on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:49:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not too long for me (none)
        I'd read about Bunnatine, although I've since forgotten where, and I loved all the detail.

        She's exactly the sort of person we need at all levels of government. I'll send letters off to Harkin and sigh Leach, and maybe even Grassley. I have low expectations of Grassley, except for his astonishing and welcome defense of Sibel Edmonds. So, why not?

        Excellent diary, recommended! Thank you.

      •  Don't cut a thing (none)
        There isn't anything I would leave out.  If you want to "condense" it, put some of the text in scroll boxes.  
      •  Thanks for reminding us about this fine woman n/t (4.00)
      •  I disagree (none)
        If I want to read short, superficial articles I'll go out and get USA Today. Generally, though, I prefer The New Yorker, at least in terms of length.

        Good diary!

        For every complex problem there is a simple solution that is completely wrong.

        by MarkInSanFran on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:26:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Greenville, SC (none)
      has one of those rare things called an Independent newspaper...they ROCK!

      "Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself -- Miles Davis"

      by alabamaliberal on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll write to my Senators and Congresswoman (4.00)
    Thanks for the great post on Ms. Greenhouse.

    I watched her testimony and said WOW- who wouldn't want this articulate, focused, details-oriented person watching how their company's money was spent.
    And she is willing to try to stop the "fox from stealing the hens". That's a missing quality these days.

  •  She is another very courageous person. (4.00)
    You are right, we need to help her. I have read this story and heard it talked about a little bit on Air America but we need to make it front page everywhere. I encourage you to send your diary piece to (Buzzflash) and ask them to print it as a "Reader Contribution" or ask them to link to your Daily Kos diary. Someone over there reads the Daily Kos regularly and links to diaries that they really like, so it may happen automatically--but it's always good to help them along! I also encourage you to write to Raw Story. I think there are some groups that watch Halliburton as well--I will look into that.

    Please write to Randi Rhodes (email address is rrhodes@airamericaradio.com) at Air America. I am SURE she will be very interested and very supportive.

    I don't know who else in the House and who in the Senate overseas Iraq contracts but we need to make a royal stink about this. I will look into that as well.

    The Bush administration and the Republican Party think up new ways to steal from Americans every day.

    by lecsmith on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:14:17 AM PDT

  •  We have just found (4.00)
    We have just found the Defense head of procurement for the next Democratic administration.

    Start keeping a list of public servants who acted like they worked for us.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:15:57 AM PDT

  •  This calls for letters and phone calls to (4.00)
    legislators, national media people, everyone you can think of.   It deserves a Congressional investigation.

    The people who work with her can't afford, for obvious reasons, to make too much noise, so it will be up to outsiders to bang on the doors and windows.   That's us, folks.

    This is BIG and is maybe the opening into the whole Halliburton scam if it gets pushed really HARD.   Think Cindy.   Ms Bunny may well feel as strongly about her career and the whole Army Corps of Engineers as if they were a child of hers and it has to hurt to see the Army Corps of Engineers being abused and wounded by lies and corruption as it has been and is being.

    If they are going to martyr this fine lady, they should pay for it.  Not to mention all the billions of dollars that she has fought to save the country.  

    The Halliburton Scam may be the whole basic reason for the Iraq war.

    God help us all.

    BRING THEM HOME NOW!!!!!

    •  The Cheney connection in this is appalling. (4.00)
      Estimates of no-bid contracts to Haliburton are over $12 billion now. Sorry if I missed that in the diary, I skimmed through it pretty quickly.

      Haliburton payed Cheney somewhere between $32 million and $39 million prior to him leaving for the '04 election campaign.

      Lawyers and financial advisors wrapped up the lucre in an insured annuity thus protecting Cheney from people who say he's doing Haliburton's bidding. The response is "No he's not, he gets the money regardless of the performance of Haliburton stock."

      They can make it legal, they just can't make it ethical.

      "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

      by nuttymango on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:17:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Aunt Bunny (4.00)
    Also a longtime dedicated and diligent civil servant, and one that made some waves in her time, would be proud to share the name.

    My congresscritter Richie Neal is one of those mushy "moderate" Dems, so I don't expect much (hell, I don't expect anything from him if it doesn't involve campaign contributions) but I'll write him about Bunny Greenhouse.

    Another excellent post, thanks Shanikka.

  •  Thanks for writing about Bunny, Ms. Bunny (none)
    We cannot forget about her.

    Recommended!

  •  Highly recommended - thanks for posting! (4.00)
    I was aware of Ms. Greenhouse's fine work on our behalf before they started stepping on her, so thanks for alerting us to her present situation. I'll be sending this to both my senators and my congressman, who's a member ofthe Congressional Black Caucus, and likely to be responsive.

    And I hope Rep. Conyers is on this case.

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

  •  Awesome diary shanikka (4.00)
    You have a wonderful voice and writing style -- I really enjoyed it!

    I heard about Bunnatine Greenhouse's story before, actually, and I think it was on the MSM of all places (maybe Frontline?...long time ago.)  She's definitely got a lot of courage and we should all feel thankful that we have someone like that fighting for us -- and all while we didn't even notice.  It's not a glorious job, but Ms. Bunny is kicking some serious ass all just for us.

    What a lady -- these neocon pricks look like screeching 7th graders next to a person like her, and they hate it.

  •  Bob Herbert &/or Paul Krugman need to (4.00)
    take up her cause ASAP!  If anyone reading this diary has a connection to either of them, please spread the word.  In the meantime, all of us can write to:

    krugman@nytimes.com
    bobherb@nytimes.com

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:51:46 AM PDT

    •  wrote 'em both (4.00)
      Thanks for your ongoing writing about the situation in which our country finds itself.  These are indeed grim days.

      I'd like to ask you to look into the case of Bunnatine Greenhouse, a high-ranking Corps of Engineers employee who is being punished for speaking about about procurement abuses having to do with Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton) no-bid contracts.

      Bunny Greenhouse is an American hero, whose refusal to give into shady contracting is nothing short of inspiring.  She's now on a 90-day administrative path to termination, and she needs support for doing the right thing!

      Who else should we be writing?  Thoughts, anyone?  We might want to let Al Franken know we want him to keep after this story.  Is Randy Rhodes covering?  Olbermann?

      We might want to target some columnists with more regional readership as well -- particularly if they are read in areas represented by House Armed Svs. Committee members.  Reggie Rivers in Denver, maybe?

      Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

      by by foot on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:14:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Her boss (4.00)
    Who's the fool that signed the performance plan? Anyone have his name? We need to shine a little light on the jackass and let him know we are watching.

    The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

    by Overseas on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:19:42 AM PDT

  •  To some extent, my Kossack byline (none)
    is due to the shenanigans that Ms. Greenhouse has exposed.

    The Bush administration and the Republican Party think up new ways to steal from Americans every day.

    by lecsmith on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:22:54 AM PDT

  •  Let's Show Miss Bunny We Deserve Her! (4.00)
    Let's show her there are Americans worthy of her integrity, honesty, character and patriotism.  Let's make some noise!
  •  Sent this letter to my Senators... (4.00)
    Senator Byrd and Senator Rockefeller, of WV, who have both been critics of the unusual procurment practices of this Administration.

    Sure hope it helps!

    _________

    Dear Senator Byrd and Staff:

    I write today to urge you to look into the situation that has arisen for a woman I consider to be a hero.  She has stood up to the cronyism that is rampant in today's Pentagon and has dared to say that the no-bid contracts awarded to Halliburton and KBR are improper and unAmerican.  For her candor to Congress in this regard, Ms. Greenhouse is apparently going to be fired.  Shameful - thsi Administration will stop at nothing to fill the troughs of their political supporters at the expense of our brave soldiers and the American public.  For me, this case is the last straw.  Please read a summary of Ms. Bunny Greenhouse's plight at the following link to a Daily Kos diary:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/14/95153/6524

    And do everything you can to help this brave woman who was simply doing her job to protect the rights of our soldiers at a time of war.  Thank you for any assistance that you can give on behalf of this ethical and decent, hard-working woman.  

    Sincerely, ME

  •  sending to Danny Davis' office today, (none)
    he's a soldier, and I'm honored to have him as my congressman.  thanks shanikka for keeping the lookout, and for the good work.

    Q:"You've called Bush a loser." A:"And a liar." Q:"You apologized for the loser comment." A:"But never for the liar, have I?" - Rolling Stone with Harry Reid

    by alivingston on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:31:07 AM PDT

  •  Great work (none)
    Ms. Bunny sounds like the kind of public servant that this country needs.  We need to call attention to her.  The more attention she gets, the harder it will be to fire her.

    Keep an open mind, but don't let your brains fall out.

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:32:01 AM PDT

    •  Bunnatine Greenhouse for Senate in '06, '08 (none)
      Bunnatine Greenhouse can run against George Allen or John Warner (retiring?). Why work for government when you can BE  government? Check out her bio:

      She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in  Mathematics. She holds a Master of Science, Business Management from  University Central Texas, a Master of Science, Engineering Management from  George Washington University, and a Master of Science in National  Resources Strategy from the National Defense University. She is a graduate  of the Defense Systems Management College's Program Management Course, a  graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the Senior  Acquisition Course.

      Mrs. Greenhouse is married and has three adult children.

      I think she has more time in government than Wes Clark. And never forget this quote:

      "I took an oath of office. I took those words that I was going to protect the interests of my government and my country. So help me God. And nobody. Has the right. To take away my privilege. To serve my government. Nobody."

      Wow.

      I said it. I meant it. I stand by it. - Major Paul Hackett

      by joejoejoe on Mon Aug 29, 2005 at 12:00:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bunny Greenhouse' story... (4.00)
    ...is wonderfully inspiring.  A real "one woman against a whole corrupt system" story, and the underlying themes about race, abuse of power, and personal courage and sacrifice totally transcend what might at first glance seem boring and bureaucratic.  Americans of all stripes respond strongly to tales of unfairness and perseverance.

    This story needs to get out into the public domain.  I had read the the earlier stories in the past year or so.  But Bunny needs to be on "Oprah" and "The View."  She needs to be "ABC's person of the Week" and on Larry King.  Just like cindy Sheehan, this story needs to be everywhere an all the time so that Congress is shamed into do the right thing, and not allowed to sweep this under the rug.

    I'd also suggest that Bunny's story raises the question of why the oversight functions that are supposed to prevent this have so withered away. I don't think the penalties are strong enough, fast enough, or public enough to prevent companies and their allies in the government from being deterred any longer.  

    I've been outraged that contracts keep going to Halliburton and the other guilty contractors, even after their crimes are well-established.  they are literally stealing billions, while people are literally killed for shoplifting diapers at WalMart.  If you saw the movie "The Aviator" you know that after World War II there were highly publicized hearings on war profiteering, such as the ones that ensnared Howard Hughes and actually got our current President's grandfather's wrist slapped for "trading with the enemy."

    It's high time for convening another war profiteering commission.  If the Republicans won't cooperate in congress, take John Conyer's Down Street Memo hearing for an example, and do it "unofficially" but with tons of publicity on the fact that this is something the Republicans don't want Americans to know about.

    As Cindy Sheehan draws attention to the unnecessary deaths Americans are suffering, even as new revelations surface about the failure to provide armor and other essential resources to our troops, Bunny Greenhouse's story encapsulates everything that is wrong about the current administration and the Republican leadership in Congress and the Pentagon.

    I can't think of a more potent set of facts to lay bare before the American people, next to the lies that got us into Iraq in the first place.  And illuminating the obscene way our military-industrial complex cynically profits should help forestall blindly following these greedheads on the imminent campaign into Iran, that we can all see is coming soon.

    "Never give up, never surrender"

    by wonkydonkey on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:45:46 AM PDT

  •  This diary offer so much hope... (none)
    We are trending in the right direction here, at long last.

    Stories are streaming forward now of strong and decent people who are just not going to take it anymore. Hallelujah!  Ms. Greenhouse is remarkable...and deserves our support and protection from the smear merchants and traitors.

    Thanks for hitting that point home.

    Bring them home. Now.

    by ilona on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:48:01 AM PDT

  •  How, do they get away with this (none)
    How do they get away with crap stuff like this. They are doing it almost day in and day out. I know shit was always done but, used to be, if you got caught at it, something was done. At least part of the time. There's characters flant everything.

    I don't know what to do. I write letters and write letters and write letters. I write editors, reporters, legislators, governors, the White House.

    Why does it seem to do no good?

    Maybe Ms. Greenhouse should make a sign and set up a tent in a Crawford ditch. That's one of the few things that seems to be getting public attention right now. (Go Cindy!)

    No. I'm too much of a defeatist. We are making progress. Frank Rich has a very encouraging piece in the NYT (which will never be all bad as long as it has Rich). He points out that George's polls ratings are converging on those LBJ had in March 1968 (just before he he imploded and announced he wouldn't even seek re-election.

  •  With your kind permission (4.00)
    I took the liberty of using a VERY condensed version of your diary as the basis for the letters I sent to my Congressman and Senators. I hope you'll approve, and perhaps others might want to use it, too. Here it is:

    Dear Rep. Owens:

    I'm writing to ask you to do whatever is possible to help Bunnatine Greenhouse keep her job.

    Ms. Greenhouse is the highest ranking civilian member of the Army Corps of Engineers and  one of highest ranking woman in federal government service. Despite having had a distinguished and untarnished career as one of this country's highest ranked procurement officers, she is about to be fired "for cause".

    The cause is that she had the integrity and strength of character to stand up to the Republican war-profiteering machine that has funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to no-bid contracts for Halliburton and its subsidiaries.

     In early 2003, Kellogg Brown & Root was awarded several no-bid contracts in anticipation of the invasion of Iraq. One of those pre-war KBR contracts was for restoration of Iraqi oilfields. It was called the "Restore Iraqi Oil" (RIO) Contract.  According to Ms. Greenhouse, the negotiation and preparation of the RIO contract was unique, in her 20 years of procurement work, for several reasons: (a) it had been assigned to the Army Corps, which has no experience in procurement of this type; (b) despite that, assignment actual control over the process of negotiating and agreeing to contract terms remained with the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; (c) KBR was an integral part of internal Army Corps discussions about the contract, something that is anathema to the process of objectively selecting a government contractor; and (d) the contract was written so that any contractor who wanted to bid for the work going forward after the minimum term had to submit a bid that conformed to KBR's already existing plan/proposal - a requirement that could never be met because KBR's proposal had not been disseminated to any of its competitors, and KBR had not authorized it to be shared with anyone.

     Apparently, Ms. Greenhouse had expressed some disquiet with each of these issues as things were progressing. But the country was on the brink of war,so she decided to object to the only thing she could object to at the time: - the contemplated 5 year term of this sole-source, no-bid contract, divided into 2 mandatory years and 3 1-year renewals. She did something to ensure that it would never be said that she hadn't objected: instead of sending a memo, which she says have a tendency to come up missing, Ms. Greenhouse wrote her objection on the original, document-number controlled, fully executed copy of the KBR RIO contract itself, and signed it. Just so that as the contract documents continued up the chain of authority, her superiors in DoD would know that she had at least tried.

    Here's Ms. Greenhouse's opinion about the RIO contract, in her own words:

    "I caution that extending this sole source contract beyond a one-year period could convey an invalid perception that there is not strong intent for a limited competition."

    Since that day, her superiors have first unsucessfully tried to pressure her into withdrawing her objection, then gave her her first negative job-performance evaluation in her 15 yeras' service, then tried to have her demoted on grounds of being "hard to get along with" (which, for war profiteers, I'm sure she is!).

    In spite of being warned by the General Counsel's office at the Army Corps that testifying "would not be in her best interest"(sounds like a threat to me!), on June 27, 2005, as part of the ongoing investigation into KBR's contracts and what appears to be $1,000,000,000 in KBR bills that Pentagon auditors admit are extremely shaky, she testified before the Democratic Policy Committee looking into the Halliburton/KBR feeding at the public trough.

     Shortly after her June testimony, Ms. Greenhouse was placed on a 90-day "performance plan". As anyone who has ever worked at a large company or government agency knows, "performance plans" mean only one thing in Human Resources lingo: you have 90 days to "shape up or ship out." Since there has never been any hint by the Army Corps that Ms. Greenhouse's work was inferior and needed improvement (and lots of written evidence suggesting otherwise), it means that Ms. Greenhouse is about to be  fired without cause.

    Although she has retained legal counsel and will be going to court, her chances of prevailing there are not good without the light of public and government attention being shined on these nefarious dealings.

    Please do everything within your power to help Ms. Greenhouse keep her job, not merely for her sake, but for us, the citizens of the United States, whose interests she has so ably represented in the face of intimidation and greed.

    Thank you for your kind attention,

    sidnora

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:56:42 AM PDT

  •  More on Bunnatine Greenhouse (4.00)
    See April 2005 Vanity Fair article by Michael Schnayerson. Any evidence of Bunnatine poisoning by LGF, Freeps, John Cole, etc? I remember having a recurrent mental image while reading the VF article of an imagined scene from Celebrity Smackdown of Bunnatine just mauling Dick Cheney. I know I digress.
  •  I saw the hearings on CSPAN (4.00)
    and was mesmerized.  Thanks for the diary.

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:17:00 AM PDT

  •  sent the link (none)
    on to the post-gazette and an associate editor I've corresponded with before.  This should be right up his alley.

    As a civil servant (state level) I respect and admire Ms Greenhouse greatly, and have since her story first came out pre-election.  I hope this gets out into the front pages and headlines but it probably won't... I keep hoping against hope that THIS time it will do it, THIS time something will break, THIS time people will wake up.  It hasn't happened yet.  But the momentum is growing.

    Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

    by JLongs on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:34:00 AM PDT

  •  They thought it would be a quiet hit. (4.00)
    Thank you very much, Shanikka, for bringing her story to all of us. They probably thought noone would notice the trampling of another African-American who loves their country above the dollar, the party, and themselves.

    You're dead-on with the "performance plans", as I've learned first-hand. Fortunately for me, my manager was so overt about his desire to replace me with one of his friends, he flat-out told me in one shot that I've been put on such a plan, and that there was nothing I could do in 30 days to correct it.

    I asked why he would tell me that, to which he replied:
    "Well, what would you say if tomorrow was your last day?"
    "I'd say thank you."
    "Fine - tomorrow is your last day!"
    "Thank you."

    Within three months, he wasn't even given that much consideration before he was released back into the wild (I still think he was feral). My replacement fared no better.

    "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

    by zeitshabba on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:35:23 AM PDT

  •  Contact Info House Readiness Subcommittee... (4.00)
    ...of the Armed Services Committee.

    Responsible for military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs.  In addition, the subcommittee will be responsible for all military construction, installations and family housing issues, including the base closure process.

    Democratic Members:
    Mr. Solomon Ortiz, Ranking (Texas 27th District)
    http://www.house.gov/ortiz/email_me.shtml
    202.225-7742
                                                                                                                   Mr. Lane Evans (Illinois 17th district)
    lane.evans@mail.house.gov    
    Washington,  DC
    Voice - (202) 225-5905
                                                                                                                    Mr. Gene Taylor (Mississippi 4th district)
    Washington, DC
    202-225-5772
                                                                                                                   Mr. Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii First District)
    Neil.Abercrombie@mail.house.gov
    phone:  (202) 225-2726
                                                                                                                   Mr. Silvestre Reyes (Texas 16th District)
    http://wwwc.house.gov/reyes/voice_your_opinion.asp
    Washington, D.C.
    Phone: (202) 225-4831
    Fax: (202) 225-2016
                                                                                                                    Mr. Vic Snyder (Arkansas 2nd)
    http://www.house.gov/snyder/contact/index.html
    snyder.congress@mail.house.gov
    Phone: 202-225-2506
                                                                                                                   Mr. Robert A. Brady (Pennsylvania First District)
    Washington, D.C.
    http://www.house.gov/robertbrady/IMA/issue.htm
     phone: (202) 225-4731
     fax: (202) 225-0088
                                                                                                      Ms. Susan A. Davis (California 53rd District))
    http://www.house.gov/susandavis/IMA/contact.html Washington, DC
    Phone Number: (202) 225-2040
    Fax Number:     (202) 225-2948
                                                                                                                   Mr. Jim Marshall (Georgia Third District)
    http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep
    (use Macon Zip code 31201-0101)
    Washington, DC          
    Phone: 202/225-6531
    Fax: 202/225-3013
                                                                                                                    Mr. Kendrick Meek (Florida 17th District)
    http://kendrickmeek.house.gov/contact1.shtml
    Phone: 202-225-4506
    Fax: 202-226-0777
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr. Tim Ryan (Ohio 17th District)
    http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep
    Use Zip code 44503-0101
     202/225-5261
     Fax: 202-225-3719
     Toll-free: 1-800-856-4152.
                                                                                                                    Mr. Mark Udall (colorado Second District)
    http://markudall.house.gov/HoR/CO02/Contact+Mark/Contact+Mark.htm
    Phone: (202) 225-2161
    Fax: (202) 226-7840
                                                                                                                    Mr. G.K. Butterfield (North Carolina First District)
    http://www.house.gov/butterfield/contact.shtml
    Phone: 202-225-3101
    Fax: 202-225-3354

    Ms. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam)
    http://www.house.gov/bordallo/feedbackForm.html
    phone: 202-225-1188
    fax: 202-226-0341

    "Never give up, never surrender"

    by wonkydonkey on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:40:18 AM PDT

  •  Hopefully she won't be a martyr (none)
    but be hailed as hero instead!

    She doesn't deserve all the grief she is getting. We need more citizens like her!

  •  Fantastic Diary! (4.00)
    This is the perfect example of how skewed our current administration's ideas of accomplishment are. Let's look at some of the cast of characters here and the outcomes of their roles in the fiasco that has become Iraq to illustrate my point.

    Paul Bremer - Lost almost 9 Billion dollars under his watch as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq following the initial invasion.
    Outcome: Given Presidential Medal of Freedom (highest civilian honor the President can bestow)

    Gen. Tommy Franks - Presided over the invasion and initial occupation of Iraq. Bares some direct responsibility for the failure to undertake reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the invasion as well as the military's failures to train Iraqi forces expeditiously.
    Outcome: Given Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Condalisa Rice Failed, in her role as National Security Advisor, to correctly interpret intelligence preceeding the 9/11 attacks after being repeatedly warned by several members of her staff (Richard Clarke in particular). Also pushed the administration's LIES regarding Iraq w/ statements such as, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
    Outcome: Promoted to Secretary of State

    John Bolton Cooked the books on prewar intelligence in Iraq and bullied everyone who got in his way or disagreed with him.
    Outcome: Appointed as Ambassador to the UN

    Bunny Greenhouse Spoke truth to power and corruption and refused to knuckle under to pressure to change her stance on the war profiteering and rampant corruption surrounding the war in Iraq. Stood up for the American taxpayers in light of reams of evidence that the American people are being ripped off by KBR, and by proxy, Haliburton.
    Outcome: Will be fired "for cause" when there is years worth of written examples that she has never shown anything but the highlest level of accomplishment in the pursuit of her duties.

    This administration is the most corrupt group of thugs and criminals our country has ever seen. They take the indiscretions of previous administrations (Nixon admin. in particular) to new heights. They are dispicable thieving louts and every last one of them should spend their remaining years making big rocks into little ones. We MUST keep this in the limelight!

    Bunny (I hope I'm not being presumptious in calling you by your first name), we are behind you and salute your service to this country. Keep speaking truth to corruption and the abuse of power which is so rampant in the corrupt administration.

    We all need to write LTEs and letters to our congresscritters to bring to light the plight of this American hero. I will be drafting mine immediately! Once again, Thank you Bunny!

    Okay Mr President, I'm sick of my friends coming home in flag draped boxes now! Get us out of your mess!

    by green917 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:42:52 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Shanikka (4.00)
    Can I suggest, if you have time, that you post a diary for action items and for strategizing a response?  We should really do everything we can to light this story up, and that'll take some discussion & research.

    Some great ideas here already, of course.  I'll write Krugman and Herbert.  Used to live in Mark Udall's district, but now I'm in (gag) Musgrave's.  Overall, though, I think a strategic first place to focus is on more media coverage -- that'll make it harder for people in Congress to ignore constituent letters.

    Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

    by by foot on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:59:23 AM PDT

  •  Frontpaged at (4.00)
    My Left Wing

    and

    Booman Tribune

    NICE!  Good job Shanikka, it nice to see this story getting out there.

  •  Angry Black Women (4.00)
    Someone needs to send a copy of that Angry Black Woman book to every single Democrat in the House and in the Senate.  Someone needs to tell them how to get busy, get in their faces and kick some ass.

    Erm, except for Rep. McKinney of Georgia.  She probably already has her own copy.

    "I would expect Osama to celebrate 911 with a concert, not us." -- DJ Adequate

    by bink on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:18:13 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for bringing this to our attention. (none)
    This will give me some letter writing to do for a Sunday afternoon.  The diary is excellent, not a bit too long, and fascinating to read.

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:22:37 AM PDT

  •  Bunny's Got Good Cause to Complain (4.00)
    about the special KBR/Halliburton pillaging...She's not the only whistleblower, but others have backed her stories on Helliburton's plundering.....

    ...(Marie)DeYoung, who earned $8,800 a month "for a 90-hour work week," flew to Kuwait on December 14, 2003--the day that Saddam Hussein's capture was announced. She was sent immediately to Camp Udairi, a U.S. military base near the Iraq border, to update 27 KBR subcontracts for work being done at the camp. Her first surprise was that most of the contracts had nothing to do with servicing U.S. troops. They were all about servicing KBR. "Building houses for itself, building separate gyms and rec centers from what the army had ... " (KBR says that all its work in Kuwait and Iraq is done at the direction of the U.S. Army.) DeYoung found the 27 subcontracts in chaos--goods unaccounted for, invoices paid without documentation--because the KBR staffers who'd drawn them up were incompetent, she felt. Most had no bookkeeping skills and were there because of family connections.

    By late February, deYoung had begun working in KBR's LOGCAP office at the elegant Persian Gulf-front Khalifa resort, just outside Kuwait City. There she oversaw a much larger pile of 519 KBR subcontracts that appeared to her to be in no better shape than the ones for Camp Udairi. (A company spokesperson observes that KBR had gone from supporting 25,000 troops at 7 base camps to 211,000 U.S. and coalition troops at more than 60 camps on very little notice, an extraordinary challenge.)

    It was at the LOGCAP office that deYoung saw how well KBR managers in Kuwait were living. They stayed in expensive waterfront hotels in Kuwait City and its environs at more than $100 a night per room. They availed themselves of hotel laundry service, even while KBR was paying outrageous prices to a subcontractor for laundry. And when they left their hotels, they didn't carpool or take buses. They'd requisitioned expensive-brand S.U.V.'s for themselves. DeYoung did some number crunching and came up with the figure of $73 million a year. That, she concluded, was what KBR was spending for its top managers in Kuwait City to live so well. More accurately, that was what U.S. taxpayers were paying--not including the extra 2-to-3-percent profit that came with the cost-plus system. (KBR says only a few managers are in off-base housing and that those in hotel rooms are routinely doubled up. DeYoung says the only people who stayed two to a room were men with girlfriends, "often the lesser paid Balkans girls.")

    -Guerilla News Network

    oh...and guess who is also involved in this KBR mess....."Scooter" Libby..

    There were signs, though no proof, that Vice President Cheney, or someone in his office, had played a part in tipping RIO to KBR. Certainly, his office had been informed of the decision to award the RIO contingency plan to KBR. Michael Mobbs, a political appointee who reported to Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, acknowledged to Congressman Waxman's staff that he had relayed the news that KBR would prepare the RIO plan to various White House officials in an October 2002 meeting. One of those officials was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff. (A Cheney spokesman, Kevin Kellems, subsequently told The Washington Post that Libby had kept Cheney out of the loop about the decision to use KBR for the plan.) And Time would unearth an Army Corps e-mail stating that the contingency plan had been "coordinated" with the vice president's office. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Halliburton executives then met directly with Cheney's staff. KBR, for its part, says the vice president had nothing to do with any of its Iraq contracts.

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:39:42 AM PDT

  •  I emailed 60 Minutes (4.00)
    I watched with interest your story about Bunnatine Greenhouse several months ago.  I see that she is soon to be fast tracked out of her job.

    Army Whistleblower Draws Fire - Yahoo! News
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/being_bunny_greenhouse

    This story is being covered extensively in the blogs:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/14/95153/6524

    Please do a followup story.  Thanks, N

  •  I'm blanking (none)
    On where we saw her story...it was on a documentary or interview (TDS keeps popping into my mind for some reason) and she spoke a little about this.  Thanks for this wonderful diary and putting it all in light that shows the racism.  Too many people don't understand what it's like to be "the black woman in charge".  When "they" don't like what's going on, you know you're ass is on the line.  The only way to deal with it to go out fighting.
  •  My (4.00)
     computer skills are somewhat limited, but we could use a petition here to the Congress.
     Make them respond to this. Make them "do the right thing," here.
     It is the honest hard-working people like this, that will be the downfall of this "disaster on wheels" we call the White House.
  •  If everything fails... (none)
    I hope she sets up a 'retirement fund' account, because I'd be happy to donate some cash, to help her in her transition to a life of leisure.

    I am hoping things work out, and that the administration doesn't get away with this...but if they do, we need to help her after all this is over!

    http://www.democratpassions.com

    by worker on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 12:37:03 PM PDT

  •  New Yorker (none)
    This would be a perfect story for them to cover.  Anyone with contacts there?
  •  Anybody in Illinois? (4.00)
    Maybe Obama would like to get his feet wet on this one.

    The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

    by Overseas on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:11:18 PM PDT

  •  This is a key point -- (4.00)
    In early 2003, Kellogg Brown & Root aka KBR (a fully owned subsidiary of Halliburton Corporation, and the former stomping grounds of Vice President Richard aka "Dick" Cheney) was awarded several contracts in anticipation of the invasion of Iraq.

    And indicates the need to read the RIO contract.  It's not unusual for the Corps or any Fed agency to procure emergency contracts.  Or even that they will be awarded on a no-bid basis.  It is, however, highly unusual for such contracts to have a multi-year clause.  However, if the mobilization costs for the contract are high, even the multi-year component can be justified.  

    What strikes me as the oddest components are:

    1. contracting agency was not the negotiating and supervisory agency.
    2. what were they contracting for?  federal contract specifications for the work to be performed are very detailed even for "design/build" type contracts.  That's how the government can measure if they are getting what they are being charged for.  What were the specifications like in this one?  Payment conditions?  Termination clause(s)?
    3. while GWB was denying that he was taking the country to war, the DOD was signing war contracts?  

    Can we assume that the Congressional Black Caucus on this one (they don't miss much)?    

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

    by Marie on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:20:05 PM PDT

    •  You bring up very good points (none)
      I think the "waiver to KBR relieving it from the cost reporting requirements that otherwise governed the RIO contract, after the Pentagon auditing arm confirmed that KBR and Hallburton was overcharging and underperforming" is also very significant.

      An audit trail would be even more important for a no bid contract issued under emergency circumstances.

  •  aoeu (4.00)
    Frontpage this?
  •  She needs our support every bit as much as Cyndy (4.00)
    Ms. Greenhouse is more than valiant, she's got the brass balls her superiors so horribly lack.  I'm so worried that her story is being eclipsed by Ms. Sheehan's efforts.  It's hard not to notice the number of postings for anything pertaining to Sheehan info and the far fewer numbers for Bunnitine.

    A true patriot is about to lose her job.  She needs all of us to rally round her and bring the horrible corruption she's exposing to the attention of the sleepy American public.  Sheehan did it.

    Bush and co. will be on the run if a two-pronged attack (highlighting both Greenhouse and Sheehan) were waged.  The defaming the powers that be are giving Bunnitine is treason.

  •  The thing about being a C-span junkie is that you (4.00)
    are completely up on this scandal against Bunny. I listened to that hearing, the testimony about how Halliburton and KBR were treating the employee who in doing his job noted that spoiled meat was being fed to the troops while the KBR employees got the cream of the crop was particularly disturbing--nay--it pissed me the fuck off! I will pump out yet another email to my rep, who thankfully has been on the right side of every issue I email him (Chris Van Hollen) about. Thanks for the heads up.

    When Jesus said love your enemies, I'm pretty sure he meant don't kill them.

    by donailin on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:53:45 PM PDT

  •  Bunny Is Cindy... (none)
    But from the inside.  She's fighting a heroic battle, just as Cindy is -- only she's doing it from her position inside the Federal Government.  We need to get involved ("big time", as they like to say) in this, and support her.
  •  Found your diary (none)
    when I got back from taking my daughter off to start her University career, but I wish I had been here to recommend. I've been following Ms. Greenhouse's situation since before she testified. [I teach a course on professional writing and we often deal with ethical issues in business and industry. So this story has been a classic example.] Thanks for the excellent, powerful diary and keeping this front and center. I second the recommendations above that this issue demands a separate action. Ms. Greenhouse is (should be?) one of the faces in our Gallery of Heroes fighting in the trenches against the culture of corruption.
  •  That evaluation (none)
    "nobody likes her" = Unpopular with thieves promised second careers in KBR or its vendors.

    Live in the truth - Bjornstjerne Bjornson

    by multisect on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:05:14 AM PDT

  •  I missed this diary (none)
    Just read it. Outstanding work Shanikka. You must be an honor student. Really, it was terrific. It's a low down dirty shame.
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