Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In case you missed it, Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report spotted a key point in that decision to terminate Halliburton's no-bid contract:

... Halliburton's multi-billion dollar deals are wrapping up just as U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq end.

Steve quotes from the Washington Post story:

The decision on Halliburton comes as the U.S. contribution to Iraq's reconstruction begins to wane, reducing opportunities for U.S. companies after nearly four years of massive payouts to the private sector.

Of the more than $18 billion Congress allocated for reconstruction in late 2003, more than two-thirds has been spent and more than 90 percent has been contractually obligated, according to the inspector general's office overseeing reconstruction work. The rest of the money, which is collectively known as the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, needs to be obligated by the end of September.

Army spokesman Dave Foster said in a written response to questions that funding for 11 contracts covering various aspects of reconstruction -- including transportation, communications, water distribution and the electric grid -- will expire this fall. While the contractors will be allowed to finish any work previously requested, no new work can be ordered after September.

And then quotes Foster again:

"The Iraq reconstruction is winding down ... so there is no need for new contracts to replace the existing."

In other words, Halliburton's sweetheart reconstruction deals are ending at the exact same time the Bush administration is no longer spending big bucks on reconstruction deals.

It's remarkable timing, isn't it?

Sure is.

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