One would think that a Republican President and Republican-dominated Congress would have understood the concept that competition is healthy. You know, being we’re a capitalist nation at all.
Of course, it’s not like Bush and crew are real Republicans. Or even real Americans. Because for Bush and friends, the safety of the nation and of U.S. Troops are nowhere near as important as making sure your friends and political donors get big government contracts.
From Bob Geiger:
A study completed in late June by the Pentagon’s Inspector General concludes that the Department of Defense (DoD) has risked the lives of U.S. troops in Iraq due to malfeasance in awarding and monitoring contracts for badly-needed armored vehicles.
The study, which was requested by Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, found that since 2000 the DoD has awarded “sole-source” contracts valued at $2.2 billion to just two companies, Force Protection, Inc.(FPI) and Armor Holdings, Inc (AHI).
Inspector General auditors found that the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) made these two companies the sole providers of armored vehicles and armor kits for troops, despite knowing that other suppliers may have produced the equipment so desperately needed in Iraq substantially faster. Both manufacturers fell far behind delivery schedules, while AHI also produced inadequate and faulty equipment.
“We determined the MCSC justification for awarding the sole-source contracts was questionable because MCSC officials knew that viable competition was available and were aware of significant concerns with FPI’s delivery capability,” said the report about the MCSC’s rationale for looking at no suppliers other than FPI. “In addition, Marine Corps officials did not pursue competition as contracts continued to be awarded, which raises concerns about the recurring justification for urgency.”
As Rep. Louise Slaughter said: “It’s been business as usual. The lives of our soldiers took a back seat to who got the contracts.”