Friday, March 21, 2008



A couple weeks ago Peter Welch (D-VT) went ballistic when he caught the Bush Regime in its latest blatant attempt to transfer billions of dollars in taxpayer money to its corrupt campaign contributors and financiers. Since then, Welch and Henry Waxman have been on the move via the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The short version is that the Regime surreptitiously inserted a loophole into plans to protect taxpayers from avaricious contractors like Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater, who are raking in billions as war profiteers.

The Committee wants to get to the bottom of the skullduggery and has informed the Regime that if they don't have the relevant documents by April 4 they will issue a subpoena. They want to know exactly why the loophole was slipped into the plans. "The controversial loophole has irked Democrats and Republicans alike. But it has the support of a trade association that lobbies on behalf of giant global government contractors, including Blackwater USA, KBR Inc., Boeing Co., CACI International Inc. and Lockheed Martin."

Even a proven Bush shill like Attorney General Mukasey says he can't understand why this was done and he has objected. In a letter to Secretary of Defense Gates and a gaggle of Regime operatives and hacks, Waxman and his colleagues say they are "concerned about a proposed change to federal contracting rules that would exempt overseas contracts from a requirement that the contractor detect and prevent fraud and report it to the government."
At a time when the United States is engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, conducting extensive redevelopment programs in both countries, and employing the services of an unprecedented number of private contractors, preventing fraud by contractors overseas should be a high priority. Instead, the exemption for contracts to be performed overseas appears to have been inserted in the rule late in the process and against the wishes of the Department of Justice, which raises serious questions as to why and how such a policy was developed.

On May 23, 2007, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that the Federal Acquisition Regulation be amended to “require contractors to establish and maintain internal controls to detect and prevent fraud in their contracts, and that they notify contracting officers without delay whenever they become aware of a contract overpayment or fraud, rather than wait for its discovery by the government.” DOJ believed such a rule was necessary because few government contractors voluntarily disclose suspected instances of fraud. DOJ proposed specific changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Welch represents Vermont, a frugal state where concern for government waste and fraud is palpable. He didn't mince any words. "Who snuck this in at the eleventh hour and why? No contractor should be given a free ride to defraud taxpayers, at home or abroad." Anyone remember Lurita Doan over at the GSA? She wasn't fired for her breach of government ethics last summer and DWT sources inside an investigatory agency are telling us to expect another set of damaging revelations that could drive Bush's job approval ratings into the single digits, courtesy of Ms. Doan.

The potential proportions of this scandal are causing mainstream conservatives to serve notice on the Bush Regime inner circle that they're on their own on this one.

The Justice Department and the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction have asked the exemption be eliminated before the rule becomes law. Additionally, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has threatened to block the loophole in the federal budget if the administration does not do away with it.

OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy has repeatedly declined to comment on the loophole or how it was added to the overall fraud crackdown.

The House inquiry is looking at whether the exemption was added at the request of private firms, or their lobbyists, to escape having to report abuse in U.S. contracts performed abroad.

Meanwhile, as Crooks & Liars points out, the vaunted and much hyped "success" of the Bush-McCain "surge" is a fraud-- and a collapsing fraud at that. Whether venal like Fox or lazy like CNN, the media doesn't want to do the kind of investigative reporting that makes journalism worthwhile, at least not when it comes to the Iraq War.

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At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fine tirades.

Forgive me if this is the wrong way to contact you. I am in the process of disinterring the music writings of recently deceased and sorely missed Adam Block, who was your later successor as music critic for the Bay Area Reporter in the late 70's.

I wonder if you know the identity of your immediate successor in that role, who used the byline "D. Lawless"? From superficial evidence, my guess is that he was Adam, using a pseudonym, but I would love to nail it down.

Thankyou so much for your attention, not to mention your work against the Regime.

Fred Nemo

At 11:27 PM, Blogger tech98 said...

DWT sources inside an investigatory agency are telling us to expect another set of damaging revelations that could drive Bush's job approval ratings into the single digits

Repukes who still support Cheney/Bush appear to be cult-like in their blind loyalty, meekly accepting of kleptocrat levels of corruption and incompetence and pathologically primed to make excuses for whatever egregious crimes are perpetarated by the regime and blame the victims. I doubt this will shake them out of it.


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