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Thursday, July 7, 2005

what you just bought for iraq

just so you know where your tax dollars are being put to work…

The U.S. military has signed on Halliburton (NYSE:HAL – news) to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion, the Army said on Wednesday.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider such an announcement necessary, she said.

it’s been a long time since i did contract work of any sort with the federal government, but once upon a time, i vaguely recall that all contracts over $25,000 (yeah, that’s 25 thousand) were required to be announced (at the time, in the commerce business daily). perhaps someone more familar with the current federal acquisition regulations can explain how a bureaucracy as large as the army field support command manages to offer up a $5 billion contract without “considering” an announcement of some kind.

and while we’ve got your attention, let’s consider what else $5 billion might be doing… (yeah, i know this isn’t entirely fair…)

$5 billion could save 6 million kids [washington post via seattle times, 2005.06.25]

For about $5.1 billion, the lives of 6 million children younger than 5 could be saved each year, provided the money were spent to extend proven methods of disease prevention and treatment in the world’s poorest countries.

“In 15 years we could have a dozen cables running full steam putting 50 tons in space every day for even less, including upper middle class individuals wanting a joyride into space. Now I just need the $5 billion, Edwards added.

The Real Cost of Hunger [un chronicle, 2001]

Beyond what the United States and other countries are now doing, it will take an estimated $5 billion a year, of which $1.2 billion would come from the United States. If this annual allocation were continued for fifteen years, until 2015, we could reduce the 800 million hungry people by half. To erase hunger for the remaining 400 million would cost about the same if it were to be accomplished in the fifteen years leading up to the year 2030.

Laser project attempts to trigger fusion [ap via jsonline, 2005.05.24]

“We never intended to spend $5 billion to $6 billion to build a laser facility for . . . civilian research,” Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee that funds the NIF program, lectured an Energy Department scientist last year when he learned fusion ignition experiments might be postponed.

posted by roj at 7:41 am