Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another privatization success story


Cerberus, guarding Hades, allowing entry but not exit.
Watercolor by William Blake (from Wikipedia)
“In Dante’s Divine Comedy, Dante encounters Cerberus in the third circle of Hell where he guards the souls of the Gluttonous as he ‘barks over them with his three fold throat,’ ‘rendering them piecemeal.’ The text describes Cerberus as often flaying the cursed with his claws and barking very loudly with all three heads. As for the afflicted, they must live under Cerberus’s cruel actions while they continually lie in a mire with ice, hail, and discoloured water ceaselessly raining down upon them.” - Wikipedia
Washington Post, 10 March 2007:
“Some Democratic lawmakers have questioned the decision to hire IAP Worldwide Services, a contractor with connections to the Bush administration and to KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary…

“IAP is owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP, an asset-management firm chaired by former Treasury secretary John W. Snow…

“IAP won a $120 million contract to maintain and operate Walter Reed facilities. The decision reversed a 2004 finding by the Army that it would be more cost-effective to keep the work in-house.”
Silly Army. They surely knew that cost-effectiveness was never the issue, and that this finding would never pass muster with the White House OMB. How can the White House’s favored corporations skim their billions in profits off of people’s labors when people are paid directly by the government for their labor?

The only problem is that Cerberus is directing his guarding duties in the wrong direction. It’s the folks at IAP and Halliburton and KBR and the White House who are the gluttons whose appetites ought to be the issue. This is the perversion that has resulted in the abysmal treatment of our wounded veterans at Walter Reed. Of course, the Pentagon’s solution to this problem is simply to close Walter Reed—by 2011 according to the same Washington Post article. No telling where they plan to warehouse the wounded then.

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