Monthly Archives: October 2006

1 out of every 25 weapons sent to Iraq for Iraqi security forces are unaccounted for.

Such a nice way to start the week..reading this report from the Inspector General about how our government ISNT tracking the weapons we send to Iraq. If you do not wish to slog through the entire report, the NYT is glad to provide you with the horrible details here.

Talk about a nightmare..our own soldiers could be killed or maimed by our own weapons. It literally makes me physically ill to think about it. I have always wondered how the “insurgents” were so well armed..perhaps this is why?

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Halliburton still can’t play fair.

Halliburton caught ‘hindering competition and oversight’ by routinely hiding information

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (HalliburtonWatch.org) — The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) reported today that Halliburton routinely hides from public view the details of its contract performance in Iraq, thereby “hindering competition and oversight.”

SIGIR concluded that Halliburton “marks almost all of the information it provides to the government as … proprietary data,” thereby forbidding military personnel from disclosing it to the public.

But marking information as “proprietary” is permissible only during the bidding for, not the performance of, contracts.

By marking almost all data as “proprietary,” Halliburton successfully conceals critical performance information from public discourse, including overcharges of the taxpayers. The scheme, the SIGIR report said, “inhibits transparency of government activities and the use of taxpayer funds.”

The report concluded that Halliburton has turned regulations “into a mechanism to prevent the government from releasing normally transparent information, thus potentially hindering competition and oversight.”

A military audit released to the public last year was heavily redacted at the specific request of Halliburton because it contained numerous criticisms of the company’s work in Iraq, including $108 million in overcharges. Even the overcharges were redacted by the military prior to public release.

Read the numerous examples of the Pentagon’s preferential treatment for Halliburton at this link.

The SIGIR report found that Halliburton “inappropriately” told the Pentagon to conceal information such as reports on dining head counts in military cafeterias (the company admitted billing the military for meals it didn’t serve) and the amount of fuel delivered to foreign embassies (the company was caught overcharging for fuel in 2003).

In an emailed response to SIGIR, Halliburton said it “has encountered situations in the past where extremely competition sensitive data has found its way to the press and/or to the internet. As a result, this data is being properly protected.” It justified the unusual step of marking nearly all of its information as “proprietary” on grounds that “disclosure would cause a forseeable harm” to operations.

Halliburton was recently fired from its troop support contract (known as LOGCAP) in Iraq because of its notoriously delinquent performance. But the Pentagon has announced it may allow the company to bid on the new contract anyway. The winning bidders won’t be disclosed to the public until November — after the U.S. midterm elections. A senior official at the Pentagon told SIGIR that Halliburton’s scheme to conceal information will make it more difficult to carry through with firing the company from the troop support contract. SIGIR said Halliburton’s “practice of marking almost all data it provides the government as proprietary may inhibit the transition of work being performed under the current LOGCAP contract to the successor contracts.”

More Information:

Read the SIGIR report

Associated Press

California’s plan to ship inmates out of state is unconstitutional

This shouldn’t be a surprize. When I heard about Ahnold’s plan to make room by moving inmates to civilan run prisons outside Cali..I sat back and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long. Here is an article from the LAT. To wit:

The opinion by the Legislative Counsel, a nonpartisan legal office that provides policy advice to lawmakers, casts a legal shadow over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to relieve the prison crowding crisis by housing some inmates out of state in lockups run by private firms. The opinion said that, with certain exceptions, the state may not contract out services that have traditionally been performed by public employees.

Ahnolds minions will fight it however..anything to keep the Federal government from taking over the entire prison system here. They already run the health services division of the prison system.

Repubs: Strong on Terror, weak as hell on Vet’s medical benefits

VoteVets.org has released a new ad today which will run in CA. District 4, home of incumbent John Doolittle. You can watch the ad here. Senator Barack Obama, who sits on the Vet.Affairs Committee, understands the need for increasing the monies for the Dept of Veterans Affairs and has co-sponsored bills to increase Vets medical care coverage.

No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, you certainly want the over 44,000 injured Vets returning home to get the medical treatement and benefits they deserve. Evidently many of our elected officials don’t see it that way. Here is a timeline showing attempts to increase funding for Veterans medical benefits..which were constantly shot down by the Republican-led legislatures, which is pointed out in this article in WaPo.

The most recent article on Veterans health care funding I could find is this one from CSPAN. The vote talley can be found here..only 1 Democrat voted against the funding..the rest were Republicans.

I guess the Republicans are strong on terror, but when it comes to taking care of our Veterans..not so much.

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Cheney: Waterboarding is ok. its a no-brainer

For the love of god..did that sumbitch actually say that? According to this write up, he did:

“The radio interview Tuesday was the first time that a senior Bush administration official has confirmed that U.S. interrogators used water-boarding against important al-Qaida suspects, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Mohammad was captured in Pakistan on March 1, 2003, and turned over to the CIA.”

Man, I just don’t see how people can sleep at night thinking this kinda shit is ok. WTF is wrong with them?

Edit: Well, the sumbitch actually said it. The White House website has it online here, the whole interview. Guess it’s not really torture then, if the WhiteHouse says its not…

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