No charges have yet been filed against Halliburton or Dick Cheney for the multi-billion dollar contract that was illegally stamped "TOP SECRET" before the US entry into the Iraq war, yet FEMA had to make a special stop at the home of Democrat William Jefferson to "rescue" a small bundle of cash from his freezer. Small, that is compared to the cash packs that have been shipped to Iraq and remain beyond the reach of government auditors.|
And the special visit paid to Jefferson last year in the wake of a continuing disaster was not enough for the Bush administration. It was recently followed up by an unprecedented raid on Jefferson's congressional office in Washington DC.
"We think those materials ought to be returned," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, adding that the FBI agents involved "ought to be frozen out of that (case) just for the sake of the constitutional aspects of it."Although Nancy Pelosi decried the abuse of executive power, she also buckled to the administration in what may be an punitive action, design to stifle the recent complaints by the outspoken congressman from Lousiana. She made the mistake of publicly asking for the resignation of Jefferson immediately following the FBI raid. He has publicly refused, creating the appearance of a rift among Democrats. Pelosi has also allowed herself to be upstaged by Republican Hastert on this issue in an election year, underscoring the need for renewed leadership within the Democratic party. On April 12th, Jefferson released the latest of a long series of protests to the press:
Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative William J. Jefferson (D-LA) expressed concern that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not awarding more contracts to Louisiana firms. Jefferson released the following statement in response to FEMA officials' testimony that some contracts are being awarded to non-Louisiana companies at a U.S. Senate subcommittee field hearing in New Orleans yesterday:
"I am deeply disappointed to learn that FEMA is not awarding all available contracts to Louisiana firms. I received assurances from FEMA procurement and contracting officials - in four separate meetings in my Washington office as well as during a House Select Committee on Katrina investigative hearing - that the re-bidding process would result in awarding all of the contracts to Louisiana firms, with special consideration for disadvantaged businesses.
"This contracting process, with its loopholes and vague language, has resulted in a loss of jobs for Louisiana citizens. FEMA's irresponsible behavior and broken promises are unacceptable. We need contracts to go to Louisiana firms, who employ Louisiana's workers, to engage our economy and put our residents to work so that they can come home and rebuild their lives.
"I have requested a meeting with FEMA Director David Paulison immediately to ensure that the re-bidding process does what I was assured it is supposed to do: award all contracts to Louisiana firms and put our people to work. There are enough firms in this state to do the work necessary and we cannot disregard them."
Meanwhile, Halliburton and Blackwater Security have ruled with an iron fist in Lousiana, with the same degree of impunity...
see: US Contractors Enjoy Impunity in Iraq... that has fuled the so-called "insurgency" in Iraq. These companies are able to pay their "security guards" up to $1500/day while US citizens are driven to homelessness for lack of funding(?!) - aka theft - by the US Government.
Bush Laughs, Lies About Contractor Impunity in Iraq
more documentation of theft by the Bush cabal:
Rove Insider Helped ''Distribute'' Lost Cash in Iraq
If Pelosi had a spine, there would be by now such an outcry about the conditions in Louisiana that Mr. Jefferson that the spiteful pursuit of Jefferson by the Bush gestapo would have to wait it's turn behind a long list of higher priority issues.
Bundles of cash went missing in Iraq under the watch of a carefully selected crew of Bush family cronies: the families of the same people who were associated in the early planning of the Iraq war along with known criminals Larry Franklin and Ahmed Chalabi.
Many were recruited through the Heritage Foundation website, where they had posted their r?sum?s. They were paid six-figure salaries out of Iraqi funds, and most served in 90-day rotations before returning home with their war stories. One such volunteer was Simone Ledeen, daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad. Another was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's older brother Michael who, though utterly unqualified, was named director of private-sector development for all of Iraq.Those lost billions of US cash, featuring those all-too-numerous pictures of "Novo Ordo Seculorum", would have gone a long way toward relieving the human suffering caused by hurrican Katrina. If and when those newly minted billions begin to circulate on this continent, we will need bushelbaskets full in order to buy bread - by way of the same innovation that precipitated the French Revolution in 1788.
Money for Nothing
The American Conservative