Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gutknecht invokes politically sustainablity Happy Talk

“All of the information we receive sometimes from the Pentagon and the State Department isn't always true.” – Gil Gutknecht.

After Gutknecht’s recent trip to Iraq, he got a little publicity. On Meet the Press, Josh Bolton (Bush’s Chief of Staff) was asked about Gutknecht’s comments … so was Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on Fox News Sunday … and not to mention Tony Snow ( Bush’s Press Secretary).

So one would have thought that Gutknecht would have changed his tune in his weekly email to constituents. No, his regular feature of “Happy Talk” of accomplishments in Iraq continues. http://www.gil.house.gov/elineitems_06/Iraq/072806Iraq.pdf

What Gutknecht does not acknowledge is the series of American taxpayer-financed projects in Iraq that face overruns, delays and cancellations. It is estimated that possibly $30 Billion Dollars may have been wasted on some of these projects. The Los Angeles Times reported, that the Parsons Corporation is responsible for the "wholesale failure in two of the most crucial areas of the Iraq reconstruction — health and safety — which were supposed to win Iraqi good will and reduce the threat to American soldiers." Parsons finished only 20 of 150 planned Iraq health clinics, somehow spending $60 million of the budgeted $186 million for its own management and administration. It failed to build walls around 7 of the 17 security forts it constructed to supposedly stop the flow of terrorists across the Iran border. The Army Corps of Engineers ordered Parsons to abandon construction on a hopeless $99.1 million prison that was two years behind schedule. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pa...y?ctrack=1&cset=true
Not to mention the Basra Children’s Hospital - the project has been consistently championed by the first lady, Laura Bush, and Secretary of State Rice, and was designed to house sophisticated equipment for treating childhood cancer. That project lead by Bechtel, the American construction giant, fell nearly a year behind schedule and exceeded its expected cost by as much as 150 percent.

And on the day of Gutknecht’s email, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issued an audit report used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress.

In April, his email stated that he was adding his name as a co-sponsor to Republican Rep. Leach’s House Resolution 116 that would be “a landmark proposal to create a special House committee to investigate Iraq war spending.”
That proposal is the type of work that fiscal conservatives want done.
Why --- because Congress is derelict in its oversight duties. Look at the recent Congressional Budget Office report that the Budget Authority for Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War on Terrorism, Through Fiscal Year 2006 is 432 Billion Dollars.
And the vector is going up !

Why does he keep including these “Happy Talking Points”?

Well here’s another quote from Gutknecht: "Essentially what the White House is saying is 'Stay the course, stay the course.' I don't think that course is politically sustainable." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/19/AR2006071901787_pf.html

So is Gutknecht saying decisions should be based on how “politically sustainable” it is --- forget what is right for the country, forget what is right for humanity, forget what is right for your fellow citizens, forget the next generation -- just answer the question will I be re-elected?
I don’t care if the voters select a Republican, Democrat or Independent, but we need a Congressman that will champion oversight of spending and not react to what he deems as “politically sustainable.”

No comments: