"The Pentagon cannot tell us what the war has already cost, will not tell us what it might cost in the future and has ignored congressional requests and legislation asking for honest budgets, transparent reports on spending and projections of future costs."
Have you had enough? If that snippet from Tuesday's Chicago Tribune (thanks for the link, Lefty!) makes your blood boil (mine just passed hard crack stage), read the whole story. It requires registration. Do it! It's easy.
Every American citizen needs to read and inwardly digest every word of this piece. Deception, smoke and mirrors, fraud, dishonesty, corruption and greed. Mismanagement, cooking the books, failure to disclose. Sound familiar? Yes, Virginia, the United States of America is being run like Enron. We are being flim-flammed and bamboozled by the president and his merry men. (Read on -- there's more!)
Read the whole Tribune article and then channel your indignation. It's time to rattle the cages of Representatives, Senators, and anyone who has political acumen or clout (or knows someone who does). Telephone, fax, email, write letters. It is beyond time for citizens to speak out against the unconscionable arrogance and nefarious scheming of the megalomaniacs leading our country down the primrose path to ruin.
Gordon Adams, a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, wrote an article in the January 2 Chicago Tribune entitled "Funding the Iraq war on the QT." Adams cites the $2 billion weekly price tag for the Bush war in Iraq. He says the war may end up costing in excess of $1 trillion. The Pentagon received $70 billion in October, and in February, it's anticipated Bush will ask for another $100 billion for 2007.
As noted earlier, the Pentagon will not reveal the cost of this war'"past, present, future. So our legislators are required to pull estimates out of'"oh, you know. To date, the best estimate puts the cost at about $380 billion. Just so you know? Without Pentagon input, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting the cost of this war out to 2015.
So how is it that the Pentagon continues to flim-flam Congress? Adams says the Pentagon doesn't ask for money for Iraq. They ask for money for the "Global War on Terrorism" without stipulating what is being spent where. They ask for lump sums without providing details. The GWOT budget is labeled "emergency," which apparently enables it to bypass Pentagon budget office scrutiny. And once the Pentagon has the money, it doesn't report to Congress how the money has been spent.
Hello? Is anybody paying attention??? Very few, infrequently, it seems. Adams says that Senators McCain and Gregg put forth an amendment requiring the Pentagon to put the Iraq budget into the regular budget request, which would give Congress a look at it. Bush nixed that idea. Then the Iraq Study Group called on Bush to pony up Iraq numbers in the February budget. Adams says, "There is no indication the president will comply."
Senator Conrad and Rep. Spratt (new congressional budget committee chairs) asked Bush to bring an open Iraq budget to Congress that includes an estimate of future costs. Adams says there has been no response from the White House.
So, ummm, what's wrong with this picture? Answer: Everything!
I cannot fathom any for-profit or non-profit enterprise being allowed to exercise this level of secrecy and defiance, the Enrons and Halliburtons notwithstanding. And the extreme excesses and waste in Pentagon budgeting and spending are legendary.
LeftyMN was poking around earlier today in Riverbend's Baghdad Burning site, circa 2003. She said her cousin and several friends were engineers in the construction business who rebuilt bridges in Baghdad in the 90s. In costing one particular bridge, they had estimated using Iraqi companies and based on then-current costs of labor and materials, they determined that the bridge could be reconstructed for about 1.5 million USD. However, the USA provisional government gave an estimate of $50 million, and a US construction company got the contract. One story among many.
Okay. Read the Chicago Tribune article, all the way through. Do a little fact-checking. And then take to the phones, faxes, computers. Alert your favorite media darlings. Send a link of this post and/or the Chicago Tribune article to your favorite bloggers. Spread the word.
By the way, is it any wonder Bush believed that Rummy was doing a heckuva job?