July 12, 2006

No more Haliburton to kick around.

I noticed yesterday that my daily dose of Iraq news was conspicuously missing from page 3 of our Cedar River Rag. Just an oversight on the part of some overworked copy editor I’m thinking. Day two and once again no Iraq. Am I witnessing a paradigm shift in the delivery of war news? We will have to wait and see if a trend has truly developed.
The more interesting news was buried back on page 6, a blurb that will have the loons spending the weekend reprinting their protest signs.
"Army Discontinuing Deal with Haliburton."
This episode has been a blunder by the administration. Didn’t anyone have the PR sense to do something about the whole Haliburton imbroglio from the start? Why give your detractors such a prime target that fits so neatly on a protest sign.
First. I will admit that every time I heard that there was going to be another round of base closings I thought "gee that’s great but where are they going to put all those guys." How hard would it have been to hammer home the fact that during the 90’s, the military that was once a self sufficient war fighting entity had cut staffing by 40%, farmed out the jobs of cooks, truck drivers and the like to a temp agency, and shifted war fighting responsibilities to the part time help over at the Guard and Reserves.
Second. In light of that, explain loud and long that if you are going to be structured this way you hire companies that can meet these needs. The people over at Kelly Services are great but its oil service companies that are geared to get this job done. They are experts at logistics and no industry is more capable of throwing men and equipment at projects worldwide than they are. The have handled projects from the North Slope of Alaska to the oil fires in Kuwait. Including the company (Veco) that mustered the forces to clean up the oil spill in PWS in 1989.
Finally, if it smells like a rotten fish it probably is. Giving sole source, no bid contracts to someone you are connected with smells no matter what spin you put on it. The whole brouhaha should have been avoided.

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