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Thursday, July 28, 2011

U.S. Patriot punished by abusive Power

Whistle blower Bunnatine Greenhouse

My name is Bunnatine H. Greenhouse. I have agreed to voluntarily appear at this [Congressional] hearing in my personal capacity because I have exhausted all internal avenues to correct contracting abuse I observed while serving this great nation as the United States Army Corps of Engineers Senior Procurement Executive.

Greenhouse was testifying in 2005.

In order to remain true to my oath of office, she said, I must disclose to appropriate members of Congress serious and ongoing contract abuse I cannot address internally. 

I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR [Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton] represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.

Re-reporting, editing by Carolyn Bennett

After surviving various forms of retaliation and threats to her life, and after recent settlement of a lawsuit, American Bunnatine H. Greenhouse appeared this week on Pacifica’s Democracy Now program. This is some of what she said in interview with Amy Goodman.

“I had taken an oath of office that said that I was going to conduct the business of procurement and contracting in the [U.S.] Corps [of Engineers] impartially, beyond reproach, with the highest degree of integrity, and with preferential treatment toward none. That was federal law, and one that I respected.

“I noticed that when they sent in the sole-source, no-bid contract justification, it had in there only government-imposed uniqueness of the company (KBR [Halliburton]), not their own uniqueness — a contingency plan, for example, that the winner had to be familiar with a contingency plan.

“That was a plan that … the government had developed under another—out of scope, under another contract, which is like an economic analysis that determines all of the budgeting, all of the actions and movements that were going on in the prosecution of that war [in Iraq].

“Halliburton had been granted that privilege to do that at $2 million.

“I felt that that was a conflict of interest for any follow-on contracts resulting out of that contingency plan.

“They also had to know—the winner had to know the day-to-day operations of CENTCOM.

“Halliburton also had been awarded the LOGCAP contract, you know, which also was a government-imposed uniqueness on them; so they [Halliburton and the U.S. government] were the only one[s] who knew the day-to-day operations.

“These kinds of things I felt were unfair, a conflict of interest; and those conflicts of interest had been mitigated.

“Also, they [Halliburton and the U.S. Defense Department] were asking for a five-year contract for compelling emergency. There is no compelling emergency in the world that people sitting back in Washington would not have an effect upon after a one-year period to change or to continue if it was needed for the same contractor for that venture.

“Five years just could not be tolerated. They immediately changed it to a two-year base and three-year options, when it came to me as the final signatory.

“When I found out that [U.S. Army] Gen. Strock had [approved] … the five years — and because the war was imminent — I had no choice but to write my objections above my name to let them know that we possibly would be misunderstood … with a contract for five years, even though it was two years and three one-year options. …

The Department of Defense had total responsibility for getting this done — this contract, the whole operation was under the U.S. Department of  Defense and the Department of Defense had chosen the Army as the executive agency; then it [authority] flowed down to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do the execution under this contract.

“Had I not [written my objections above my signature to let them know that we possibly would be misunderstood], those five years would never have been revisited, and that would certainly hurt the industrial base, where this contract was supposed to be a bridge.”

Sources and notes

“EXCLUSIVE: Fired Army Whistleblower Receives $970K for Exposing Halliburton No-Bid Contract in Iraq,” Democracy Now, July 26, 2011, http://www.democracynow.org/

Bunnatine (Bunny) Greenhouse is a former chief oversight official of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers. She reached a settlement with the government six years after she was demoted for publicly criticizing a multi-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to Halliburton, a company formerly headed by then-Vice President [Richard] Dick Cheney. [DN]


Bunnatine (Bunny) H. Greenhouse is a former chief contracting officer Senior Executive Service (Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting (PARC)) of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

On June 27, 2005, she testified to a Democratic Party public committee, alleging specific instances of waste, fraud, and other abuses and irregularities by Halliburton with regard to its operations in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. She described one of the Halliburton contracts (secret, no-bid contracts awarded to Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) — a subsidiary of Halliburton) as ‘the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.’

A long-time government employee, Greenhouse was hired by Lieutenant General Joe Ballard in 1997 to oversee contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers. After Ballard retired in 2000, Greenhouse’s performance reviews, which had been exemplary throughout her public career, suddenly soured. Greenhouse filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint alleging race and gender discrimination, which, according to her attorney, had never been investigated.

In August 2005, Greenhouse was demoted in what her lawyer called an ‘obvious reprisal’ for her revelations about the Halliburton contracts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunnatine_Greenhouse

The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was originally conceived of as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).

Its area of responsibility includes countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia — most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Gulf War, the United States war in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Forces from CENTCOM currently are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, and central Asia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CENTCOM

The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) provides contingency support to augment the U.S. Army force structure means to adequately support its forces using private military companies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LOGCAP

Carl Ames Strock (Ret ... 1948) was a United States Army officer, and was Chief of Engineers and the Commanding General of the United States ... Carl A. Strock, Lieutenant general shows up "On Hurricane preparedness for New Orleans." General Carl Strock, Chief of Engineers at the Corps of Engineers, testified before Congress. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works controversies (New Orleans): Gen. Carl Strock testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water that, ‘We have now concluded we had problems  ...’  [June 2011], http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=Gen.+Strock+


Articles also at Bringing Women a Global Voice: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire Bennett's books available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; The Book Den, Ltd.: BookDenLtd@frontiernet.net [Danville, NY]; Talking Leaves Books-Elmwood: talking.leaves.elmwood@gmail.com [Buffalo, NY]; Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza: http://www.bhny.com/ [Albany, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY]; LONGS’ Cards and Books: http://longscardsandbooks.com/ [Penn Yan, NY]

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