Can we call it a loan?….No.

You tax dollars at work going to Halliburton:

Those details include $100 million to build seven planned communities with a total of 3,258 houses, plus roads, an elementary school, two high schools, a clinic, a place of worship and a market for each; $10 million to finance 100 prison-building experts for six months, at $100,000 an expert; 40 garbage trucks at $50,000 each; $900 million to import petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel to a country with the world’s second-largest oil reserves; and $20 million for a four-week business course, at $10,000 per student.

“If those are what the costs are, I’m glad Congress is asking questions,” said Brian Reidl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “If the White House wants to be portrayed as spending tax dollars in Iraq as cost-effectively as they spend [money] anywhere else, they’re going to have to explain this.”

Already, the administration’s request for $400 million to build two 4,000-bed prisons at $50,000 a bed has raised enough questions in Congress to force Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer to explain that cement must be imported to make concrete.


In several closed meetings this week, Republicans questioned why the administration is piling more spending atop an ever-expanding federal deficit. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, plans to offer an amendment making the package a loan, which the White House adamantly opposes.

“The people of eastern Tennessee want to know why the $20.3 billion couldn’t be repaid by the Iraqi people from the oil revenues,” Wamp said.

…and here’s smooth talker Paul ‘Never Served” Wolfowitz coming up with a recruiting pitch for the New Iraqi Army:

Meanwhile, at a House hearing yesterday, Democrats pressed Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz about whether the administration plans to withdraw troops right before the 2004 presidential election. He said no decisions are being made on political grounds.

“These are national security decisions; they have to be made on that basis,” he said. Wolfowitz said that does not mean that “we’re not trying to, in fact, get more Iraqis on the front lines, get them dying for their country so fewer Americans have to.”

That ought to have them lined up at the recruitment offices….



Yeah. Like I would tell you....