Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

War profiteers

June 26, 2007


To the editor:

During World War II, then-Sen. Harry Truman started a watchdog committee looking for, and finding, illegal war profiteering. Truman asked hard questions and didn't let up until he had answers, thereby bringing guilty people and businesses to justice. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff George C. Marshall said that Truman's efforts were worth multiple divisions of troops to the war effort.

I suppose one could be inspired that the Justice Department, headed by Alberto Gonzales, sees Americans as being so much more honest than the World War II generation, deservedly seen as one of our greatest. I can only imagine that this is why, as stated in a congressional subcommittee June 19, there's not been a single conviction of war profiteering against anyone in six years, although allegations have been raised that "tens of millions of taxpayer dollars - and perhaps far more - have gone into the pockets of contractors who overbilled for services, paid bribes and received kickbacks."

Oh, for another Harry Truman!

Daniel Patrick Schamle,



jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I wonder that too. But if you can't or won't understand what I meant about blinders restricting you, then I don't think you have any room to criticize anyone else.

And I can't say that I believe that any of the terrorist events had anything to do with the election. Prior to 9/11, it was not a rampant, or even frequent, topic of discussion.

To the best of my knowledge, at least. Part of the reason, I think, that Clinton was particularly impotent in doing anything serious about it.

50YearResident 10 years, 3 months ago

Right Thinker says <>

The "buck stops here" is nowhere in Bush's presidency. He blames everyone else for his failures and he could very well be the next President to "Nuke 80,000 People". You are right on one issue, there is no comparison between WWII and the Iraq War. The worst President in American history = George W. Bush.

werekoala 10 years, 3 months ago

'buck stops here' - please.

That why no one gets fired when the biggest terror attack in our nation's history occurs? Why the Admin vigorously fought any attempt to figure out what went wrong on that day?

That why when it turns out we were completely, utterly wrong on the WMD issue and the threat posed by Saddam, nothing happens? No one gets fired, and the Director of the CIA gets the Medal of Freedom?

That why when politicized estimates of the amount of money, troops and time needed to occupy and secure Iraq turn out to be off by a factor of 10 or 100, again, no ones gets fired, no one apologizes, just business as usual.

That why when US troops are found systematically torturing Iraqis, only a handful of low-level guys see any punishment at all?

Hell, if GWB had half the balls of Truman, he'd have declared a draft, built up another 500,000 troops, and shipped half over to Iraq, and used the other half to effectively secure our borders. Then he'd have had the DHS start some serious domestic preparedness initiatives. And for desert, he'd have stared down the oil companies, and aggressively invested in alternative fuels.

But since he cuts brush, I guess in your mind that makes him a real cowboy.

freeordie 10 years, 3 months ago

The Japanese were aggressors in WWII. The Iraqis were not. Not Only does the "left", whatever that means these days, think he is the worst president in U.S. history, check out his opinion poles here AND abroad. I encourage you to go down with that sinking ship. Yeah, he's great. RIse up against this Government.

mick 10 years, 3 months ago

Prescott Bush was Hitler's banker. Many wanted to try him for treason.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 3 months ago

Wrong_Thinker ponders, "how can one compare WWII to the Iraq war?"

I agree, the Iraq War has gone on for much longer then WWII!

packrat 10 years, 3 months ago

scenebooster, Provide a link to your quoted "source".

The US Supreme Court ordered Florida to follow its own laws and end the illegal recounts. Bush won.

After the election was over, a group recounted all of the votes in Florida and discovered that Bush would have won even if the counts continued.

Your "source" neglects to mention that NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN all called Florida for Gore before the polls closed in the western part of the state. How many people in that predominately Republican part didn't bother going to the polls?

How are people turned away "even prior to reaching the polling places"?

50YearResident 10 years, 3 months ago

All I know if I was running for president and the election came down to the votes in a state controled by my brother, manipulation of the vote count would put me in office 100% of the time if my brother's name was Jeb.

dagopman 10 years, 3 months ago

My brother is a social sciences teacher at a Kansas middle school. After the controversial Florida election with the "so called" confusing ballot, he requested and obtained the butterfly ballot to present to his class of 30 students. 29 students had no difficulty in understanding the ballot. He later asked one student how it was possible to find the correct hole for the person you wished to vote for. The student said, as only a child can, "all you have to do is find your candidate's name and follow the arrow".

As voters it is our responsibility to mark our ballots correctly, not some judge or canvassers to try to interpret how we meant to vote.

The Florida vote was as fair as it could possible be. Let it go.

zimmerman 10 years, 3 months ago

packrat-- Other than the sources that scenebooster listed, here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on the subject.

n May 2000, DBT(the company put in charge of Florida's voter registration lists) discovered that approximately 8,000 names were erroneously placed on the exclusion list, mostly those of former Texas prisoners who were included on a DBT list that turned out never to have been convicted of more than a misdemeanor...Voter demographics authority David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC, reviewed The Nation's findings and concluded that the purge-and-block program was "a patently obvious technique to discriminate against black voters"

dagopman-- I agree with you that the "confusing" ballots didn't seem that confusing, but really, that's just the story that the media picked up, while a bunch of other shady things that happened in Florida were not really covered. Here's just a few:

---The manual recount in Miami-Dade County was shut down shortly after screaming protestors arrived at Miami's recount center. It turned out that these protesters were Republican Party members flown in from other states, some at Republican Party expense

---Some 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally. These were ballots which were mistakenly filled out. However, in predominantly white counties the voting machines (Accuvotes) would return the ballot and allow voters to try again, whereas in predominantly black counties the reject mechanisms were not enabled, thus giving voters only one chance to mark the ballot correctly

---Xavier Suarez, who was ousted as mayor of Miami in 1998 on charges of absentee voter fraud, was later elected to the Executive Committee of the Miami-Dade GOP party. Suarez helped fill out absentee ballot forms and enlist Republican absentee voters in Miami-Dade County for the 2000 presidential election

---State senator Daryll Jones claimed that on the day of the election there had been an order to set up road blocks, which were set disproportionately in Democratic regions of the state

As far as the recount goes, I'm not sure about you, but it seems pretty fishy to me that anyone would actually want to stop recounts on a vote that was so close and so contravercial.

Jamesaust 10 years, 3 months ago

"...a single conviction of war profiteering against anyone...."

I guess that a prerequisite would be measured standards.

When the government directly cannot account for BILLIONS of dollars, has cash - literally! - delivered by the pallet to 'be distributed as necessary,' or cannot even account for firearms handed over to Iraqis (who knew to keep a log of serial numbers? isn't that contrary to NRA policy?), then you can hardly complain when there is a similar lack-of-accountability from private contractors.

The real question is: the Democrat Congress has been in place since January - why haven't THEY taken action?

packrat 10 years, 3 months ago

Wikipedia is not a valid primary source.

"Some 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally. These were ballots which were mistakenly filled out. However, in predominantly white counties the voting machines (Accuvotes) would return the ballot and allow voters to try again, whereas in predominantly black counties the reject mechanisms were not enabled, thus giving voters only one chance to mark the ballot correctly" Show a real source.

THe recounts were ordered stopped because they were in violation of Florida law. They had to be complete by a certain time, and they weren't. Gore would have lost even if the recounts had been allowed.

The roadblocks claim is just absurd.

preebo 10 years, 3 months ago

Haliburton and Blackwater...

Damn, Scenebooster beat me to it. Ah well...

zimmerman 10 years, 3 months ago

packrat--- I realize wikipedia is not a perfect source for information, but if you can tell me a source that both the left and the right agree is unbiased I'd like to know it. As far as the sources you've listed, they both seem somewhat credible, but neither really goes into much depth on the subject. Each sums up the enitre election in less than one page. Say what you want about wikipedia, but it certainly doesn't condense topics to that extent. You should definitely take a look at the wikipedia articles on the election. They include the same information that is in each of the sources you've listed, but they also include facts your sources have left out. One example is your claim that "Gore would have lost even if the recounts had been allowed." I realize how you might think this after reading these condensed and incomplete summaries of the data, but you should definitely check out the original sources, that are posted on wikipedia. After looking at the unsummarized data it's pretty obvious that an actual recount should have been done.

packrat 10 years, 3 months ago

I actually read the recount data right when it was completed.

packrat 10 years, 3 months ago

I re-read the entire article and a few of the followup sources. I stand by my statement. If the recounts had been allowed to proceed the way Al Gore and the Democratic Party want George Bush still won.

If AL Gore had won Tennessee, he would have won the election.

DaveR 10 years, 3 months ago

This nonsense back & forth kills boards like these. It drives serious commentators away. It is as annoying - and as useless - as spam.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

ferdinand: You have way too many blinders on to be able to insinuate that anyone else in incapable of rational thought. You're one of the more cartoonishly one-sided voices here.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

And your comment made no sense at all. Assuming the American public knew about the impending attacks is the only way that you can say Al Gore was "fired by the public" for his failure to prevent 9/11.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

And for the rest, profiteering on this war takes many shapes and sizes. I would say that quite a number of democrats could be considered as profiteering off the war, as they've taken the stance (and changed it in a number of instances) guaranteed to give them an edge on Republican competition. From the outside, I suppose it's difficult to tell whether they did it for principle (cough) or to simply gain political presence, but. . . . .

Maybe I'm just burnt out and cynical.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

You'll notice, of course, that I wasn't referring to occurrences of incidents, but to occurrence of discussion. So, do you think we talked about terrorism more before or after 9/11, and do you think the people, and their elected representatives thus cared more before or after 9/11. Let's have the same discussion, here.

If, of course, that's even possible for you.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

Uh oh, looks like I lost him Damn me and my desire to have only one discussion with no jumping around to irrelevant points.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.