Granny Rant
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
::: Snippets From Round The World :::

Key contract decisions postponed again
Blair drawn into row over lack of 'level playing fields'

Cheney's Halliburton Still Scooping up Billions In Iraq

It seems the CPA just cannot say NO to Halliburton and Brown & Root. Even
though US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had planned to begin competitive bidding
in August, the plan was delayed and pushed back until mid to late October. Now, to
the dismay of the UK Government and contractors, competitive tendering has again
been put off and moved to between 15 December and 17 January.

Figures obtained from the USACE by Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman indicate that on 21 August, around the time the contract should have been opened to competition, the amount made available to KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary involved, was $704m. Since then the total has risen by $1.011bn.

Waxman said: 'Since August, when the follow-on contracts were supposed to be awarded, the administration has obligated more than $1bn to Halliburton under the oil infrastructure contract. These inexplicable delays may be good for Halliburton; they are costing taxpayers a bundle.'

::: Bush's Thanksgiving Leftovers = Democracy For Iraq :::

The troops will get fake turkey and Iraq will get to vote, ready or not.

The bird is so perfect it looks as if it came from a food magazine, with bunches of grapes and other trimmings completing a Norman Rockwell image that evokes bounty and security in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.

But as a small sign of the many ways the White House maximized the impact of the 21/2-hour stop at the Baghdad airport, administration officials said yesterday that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving plate.

Bush's turkey for Iraq troops was fake.

The photograph was shown around the world of a smiling Mr Bush apparently offering a platter with a huge, succulent turkey to US soldiers.

But it has emerged the Bush turkey had been a "model" adorning the end of the buffet line.

A report also said soldiers had been served their meals from cafeteria steam-trays, says the Daily Telegraph.

Dan Steinberg (March 29,2003) gives an extensive run down on a few Bush fakes.

More Than Bush's Turkey Is Fake

::: Harry's Weblog Wonders At Powerful Men and Fake Turkeys :::

Harry's Take On The Fake
I hope that I am not alone in wondering why the two most powerful men in America have visited both US war zones in the past few weeks. I will admit that I wasn't too surprised at Bush's visit compete with the fake turkey, but Rumsfeld's visit completely caught me off guard. Hasn't anybody told him that we're supposed to ignore and forget Afghanistan, not draw attention to it? Why on earth would the Bush administration want to draw press time to such a colossal failure? In the traditional "Wag the Dog" style, I must also wonder, what is the administration attempting to draw attention away from? Steel tariffs, perhaps? Fake turkeys? Whatever it is, it must frighten the Bush administration to no end seeing that they're willing to use Afghanistan as a decoy. Rodeo clown comes to mind.

::: Bush's War Without End :::

Why should Bush want to give up Iraq when it can become a war without end waged for political gain at home?

Truth be told, Iraq is too good to be true—for Bush. The policy of the Bush administration is "No Exit." Iraq works miracles for Bush. In one stroke, the war can shove aside bad economic news such as the jobless recovery in the recession that never was, or last weekend's reports that the dollar has sunk to new lows against the euro, now worth an amazing $1.20. It provides the rationale for a rapidly expanding defense budget, inflating the already sky-high deficit. It gives Ashcroft wider and wider authority to perform his Christian mission across the country by invoking the Patriot Act almost everywhere and for everything from strip-club money laundering in Las Vegas to setting police provocateurs among anti-war demonstrators in California to investigating food stamp fraud. The attorney general now even has the power to browse around in the records of eBay and Internet providers without having to show probable cause.

The press described the president's brief visit to the troops in Iraq as an uplifting moment as well as a shrewd photo op for his re-election campaign. But little attention was given to Bush's meeting with four members of the Iraq Interim Governing Council while at the airport. He gave one of them a kiss-ass letter to be delivered to the powerful Shiite leader Ayatollah Sistani, who is objecting to the American plan for Iraq on grounds it doesn't call for true elections. (We're all for democracy except when it might lead to bottom-up democracy for Muslims.)

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