Bunnatine Greenhouse, Halliburton Critic, Demoted
Bunnatine Greenhouse, the former head of procurement for the Army Corps of Engineers, has been demoted. Given that she has criticized the awarding of contracts to Halliburton, the move has naturally sparked controversy.
A top US Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq has been demoted for what the Army called poor job performance, The New York Times reported. The newspaper said Bunnatine Greenhouse has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq. The demotion removes her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigns her to a lesser job in the corps’ civil works division, the report said.
Greenhouse’s lawyer, Michael Kohn, called the action an “obvious reprisal” for the strong objections she raised in 2003 to a series of corps decisions involving the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Inc., which has garnered more than 10 billion for work in Iraq, The Times said.
In a memorandum dated June 3, 2005, the commander of the corps, Lieutenant General Carl Strock, said the administrative record “clearly demonstrates that Ms. Greenhouse’s removal from the SES. is based on her performance and not in retaliation for any disclosures of alleged improprieties that she may have made.”
Outspoken critics are sometimes improperly punished for embarrasing their superiors. Sometimes, though, they are outspoken critics because they are disgruntled that they can not persuade their superiors of their policy preferences and are overruled. Given the extreme Left’s interest in proving that the war was all about enriching Halliburton, one presumes the details of this will all come out in short order.
It is worth noting, too, that Kellogg, Brown & Root was deemed to be literally the only company in the world with the capacity to handle a mission of this scope. It’s why the Clinton administration, and the first Bush administration, used them, too. The fact that Dick Cheney no longer gets paid based on Halliburton’s profits–and would have made a hell of a lot more money had he stayed on as their president rather than the comparatively nominal salary of the Vice President–is likely lost on the extremists.