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Bush Doctrine of Outsourcing Government Directly Responsible for Meltdown At Walter Reed

March 5th, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

I’ve said it before- that President Bush’s zealous drive to ‘outsource’ as much of the federal government as possible to his corporate benefactors under the guise of ’smaller, more efficient government’ is little more than a transfer of wealth from the masses to the few. Another tragic result of such massive outsourcing has been the loss of knowledgable and dedicated personnel from all of the governments agencies, leaving the American public with an understaffed, ill-equipped, and often incapable agency that is no longer able to fulfill it’s mission to the American people. In what becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, Bush has been able to claim that big government is ineffective while gutting the budgets and staff of those agencies to make sure he is right. And at the same time, a small number of bohemoth corporations assume responsibility for managing the same tasks once done by competant and often caring lifetime federal employees, at a higher cost and with little or no accountability.

We saw it from FEMA when Katrina hit. We see it in Iraq daily. Corporations securing no-bid contracts to provide services or support and then fleecing the payments while leaving the job undone or done so poorly a first grader would question the results.

So I guess it’s no surprise to find that outsourcing may well be behind the meltdown at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In a recent article at Army Times, it turns out that an internal memo from late 2006 described in detail how the Army’s decision to “privatize support services at Walter Reed could put patient services at risk of mission failure.” In fact, the Army has been aggressively outsourcing all sorts of work, and specifically at Walter Reed since the year 2000. And the reason for that aggressive outsourcing is given as President Bush’s ‘competitive outsourcing’ initiative.

And guess who has the deal to ‘handle’ Walter Reed? A little company called IAP Worldwide Services, run by former senior Halliburton official Al Neffgen. They scooped up a five-year contract that started in january 2006. Since then, they’ve managed to cut the ranks of federal employees at WRAMC from around 300 to only 60 by early February 2007. Since then, those 60 federal employees have been replaced by 50 IAP workers. And it seems as though they weren’t even the lowest bidder initially. An initial employee bid came in $7 million less than IAP, so the bidding process was recalculated to favor IAP.

Tell me again about how you support the troops Mr. President?

By the way- remember the whole Katrina debacle? IAP is the same company that couldn’t figure out how to deliver ice to the Gulf Coast after the hurricane did it’s damage. Clearly with a proven track record like that, they should be top of the list for any government contracts, especially one so important as caring for wounded veterans.

It’s not about the soldiers people. It’s not about democracy or rule of law. It’s not even about compassion. It’s just about the money- getting it from all of us and giving it to a few of the boys from Club Bush.

We may have to redefine what “Bush League Politics” really means.

[tag]Walter+Reed+Medical+Center, Army+Times, Bush+outsourcing, IAP+Worldwide+Services, Government+Outsourcing, Bush+League+Politics[/tag]

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  1. 9 Responses to “Bush Doctrine of Outsourcing Government Directly Responsible for Meltdown At Walter Reed”

  2. By sonofdy on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    Why do you think this is new to bush? The draw down of the 90’s ENSURED we would have to use contractors in all areas of the military. The VA has had problems since the veitnam war. Instead of trying to use this to attack the president of the moment, perhaps congress should be fixing the problem?



  3. By ken grandlund on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    Sonofdy- Downsizing is not synonymous with outsourcing. One hopes to do better with fewer people while th cutting costs and the other just wants to funnel funds to benefactors to hell with the consequences. Bush has aggressively pushed the privatization of government and gov’t services more than any other POTUS. The results of this policy are clear. Worse service, fleeced tax dollars, weakened gov’t programs.

    Congress has blame too, to be sure. But this is the Bush Mandate at work. Supplicant legislators only allow it to flourish.

  4. By Jersey McJones on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    sonofdy, do have evidence that the “draw down of the 90’s ENSURED we would have to use contractors in all areas of the military,” or are you just regurgitating psychotic anti-Clinton bullshit from the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity?


  5. By Dusty on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    As one of the wounded soldiers testified today:

    This is an obvious example of a broken system trying to survive when what it really needs is to be fixed. I lost the ability to trust the system and sought an open door that would bring public attention to the problems here. Things are now getting done. Some of the lower leaders at Walter Reed have paid a price—possibly with their very careers—as action is taken by higher levels of authority to show they are “fixing” the problem while, at the same time, trying to save themselves from accountability for their dereliction of duty. I believe that is an indicator of how the situation was handled in the past. And I quote, “There’s not a problem until the wrong people have a problem with it.” And, finally, sometimes the wrong people are made to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes

    I think Lt.Gen Kiley, who was in charge of W.R. when it started to become inundated with wounded should be held accountable more so than Weightman who was on the job less than two years.



  6. By ken grandlund on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    I have to hold the civilian ‘leadership’ as most accountable, as it is they who decide and direct policy. If the policy is to outsource everything, military leadership must follow policy or step away. Not to say that those in military leadership shouldn’t have said more, done more to stop this kind of crap- even a little light can change the reality as is happening now.

    So yes- higher up’s in the military share in the blame, but it stems from the Bush ‘outsourcing’ mentality and he (and Rumsfeld- who headed the Pentagon as this was being done) deserves the lion’s share here. IMO.

  7. By Ron on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    “the likes of Limbaugh ”

    Yeah, this “it’s Congress’ fault” is currently being pushed by Limbaugh. Nevermind his people in Congress have had their way for ten years.

  8. By Dusty on Mar 5, 2007 | Reply

    Rushie is such a tool. The repub voters in my red city love that fool. 

    Ken, the outsourcing of course is part of the problem, but the entire blame can not sit squarely on their shoulders..its a burden that should be passed around equally for this issue. I refuse to let Kiley off the hook for this one.  As I said..Kiley has in the past whitewashed Abu-Gharib and Gitmo issues.

    He will attempt to do the same for Walter Reed as he did today at the hearing.

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