Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bush makes a killer deal with Uncle Bucky

The NY Times revisited in a Sunday editorial the scathing story last week in which Marines returning from Iraq complained that they still don't have armored Humvees as Donald Rumsfeld promised they would.

I commented on the story in "Bush: AWOL on armor," and "Troops are dying while Bush sells out the war on terror."

What the Times isn't revealing, however, is that troops might not be getting slaughtered in their Humvees if George W. Bush weren't so concerned with funneling the plate armor contract to a single plant operated by his Uncle Bucky.

In a March 2nd column, "Bucky Makes a Killing," Jeffrey St. Clair wrote:

A few months before his selection as president, Bush's Uncle Bucky quietly joined the board of a small and struggling St. Louis defense company called Engineered Support Systems, Incorporated (ESSI). Since Bush joined the team, ESSI's fortunes have taken a dramatic turn for the better. This once obscure outfit is now one of the top Pentagon contractors. Next year its revenues will top $1 billion, nearly all of it derived from defense contracts with the Pentagon or with foreign militaries financed by US aid and loan guarantees. Even sweeter, most of these contracts have been awarded in no bid, sole source deals.

One of its biggest no-bid contracts came in 2004 in the wake of mounting causalities in light-armored vehicles hit by roadside bombs. ESSI won a deal to upgrade the armor of thousands of vehicles in or bound for Iraq. The company's annual report for 2005 forecast that ESSI might make as much as $200 million from this bloody windfall alone.


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