Friday, July 21, 2006

How Dirty is the Bush Cabal (Yet Again)?

After serving the public many high ranking military officers become war profiteers, sometimes, even stiffing their former employer. The AP news reported:

Two former Pentagon officials, including an acting secretary of the Navy, have been accused of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned. The contracting firm, Custer Battles LLC, was suspended two years ago by the military for submitting millions of dollars in fake invoices.

The current suit names former acting Navy Secretary Hansford T. Johnson, former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs, and Custer Battles LLC officials including founders Scott Custer and Mike Battles, who were barred in 2004 after billing the government for work that was never done and for padding invoices by much as 100 percent.

The sinew of corruption winds its way through the current and past Bush administration. Former undersecretary Combs set up other shell companies through which to funnel banned work. One of those companies is Windmill International which lists its address as the home of Mr. Combs, 53 Weathersfield Lane in Amissville, Va.

A Windmill director Michael Ussery served under the Bush administration as Ambassador to Morocco. He claims to have worked with more than 60 companies. Was he aware of Custer Battles' unethical and illegal business practices as a Board member? If not, why not?

On his contact information for Windmill, Ussery lists the same address as Mr. Combs. This seems odd on the surface. It is even odder when one considers the laws in Virginia that bar persons from the same sex being in partnership with one another. That includes owning a home or sharing a business partnership.

The pattern of ex-Bush officials making kajillions in the private sector is well established as is the administration's sending major federal contracts to its friends. This is the basis for The Carlyle Group’s explosive growth the last 4 years. That Bush I people permeate Carlyle is a sickening coincidence to the current story where Bush II staffers, current and ex, do their best to funnel money to Daddy’s friends.

Democrats have seen the action, playing a lesser but significant game themselves. One only need look at William Cohen, William Perry, and Amon Carter to see a similar pattern. For the dead ringer, look up Tom Daschle. The fall election is a competition for who gets to send government business to their friends. From the looks of the campaign money troughs, corporate donors are hedging their bets. No wonder Ben Bernake gave hedge funds a free ride in his recent testimony to Congress. Now, which Bush buddies will benefit from that recommendation?

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