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Whistleblower on Halliburton contracts gets the shaft

Bunny Greenhouse questioned Halliburton’s cozy relationship with the Bush admin, and is being hung out to dry as a whistleblower. Photo: Time

I posted about this brave procurement officer for the Army back in October. Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse’s job was to contract with suppliers for the highest quality resources at the most reasonable price, which is what one is supposed to do in that position. However, when it came to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), things were different. (AP):

Over her objections, KBR was awarded three multibillion-dollar war-related contracts, two of them without competitive bidding. Together, they are worth as much as $20 billion — the entire cost of the Manhattan Project, adjusted to today’s dollars.

Since last year, Greenhouse has been put through the wringer, with poor “evaluations” and a demotion.

Greenhouse has known for a long time that her days may be numbered. Her needling of contracts awarded to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) predated the war in Iraq, beginning with costs she said were spiraling “out of control” from a 2000 Bosnia contract to service U.S. troops. From 1995 to 2000, Halliburton’s CEO was Dick Cheney, who left to run for vice president. He maintains his former company has not received preferential treatment from the government.

Since then, she had questioned both the amounts and the reasons for giving KBR tremendous contracts in the buildup to invading Iraq. At first she was ignored, she said. Then she was cut out of the decision-making process.

Last October 6, she was summoned to the office of her boss. Major Gen. Robert Griffin, the Corps’ deputy commander, was demoting her, he told her, taking away her Senior Executive Service status and sending her to midlevel management. Not unlike being cast out of the office of bank president into the cubicle of branch manager. Griffin declined to be interviewed by the AP.

Her performance was poor, said a letter he presented. This was a surprise. Her previous job evaluations had been exemplary, she said. The basic theme was that she was “difficult,” and “nobody likes you,” she said. If she didn’t want the new position, she could always retire with full benefits, the letter noted. Over my dead body, said Greenhouse.

“I took an oath of office. I took those words that I was going to protect the interests of my government and my country. So help me God,” she says. “And nobody. Has the right. To take away my privilege. To serve my government. Nobody.”

Yes, this is what happens to the little people that try to do the right thing, looking out for taxpayer dollars. This is the reward for rooting out preferential business relationships and corrupt practices. This government is rotten to the core, starting with the vindictive bastard at the top.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding