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Bunnatine Greenhouse settles whistleblower suit after she was injured by boobytrap

(The Bunnatine Greenhouse segment is after the Noraway attacks. I couldn’t figure out how to separate them or fast forward. It’s well worth your patience.)

EXCLUSIVE: Fired Army Whistleblower Receives $970K for Exposing Halliburton No-Bid Contract in Iraq

Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse

Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse, the former chief oversight official of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, has reached a $970,000 settlement six years after she was demoted for publicly criticizing a multi-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to Halliburton—the company formerly headed by then-Vice President Dick Cheney. Greenhouse had accused the Pentagon of unfairly awarding the contract to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. Testifying before Congress in June 2005, she called the contract the worst case of government abuse she had ever witnessed in her 20-year career. Just two months after that testimony, Greenhouse was demoted at the Pentagon, ostensibly for “poor performance.” She had overseen government contracts for 20 years and had drawn high praise in her rise to become the senior civilian oversight official at the Army Corps of Engineers. With the help of the National Whistleblowers Center, Greenhouse filed a lawsuit challenging her demotion. In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, Greenhouse announces that a settlement has been reached in what is seen as a major victory for government whistleblowers. We’re also joined by Greenhouse’s attorney, Michael Kohn, and by Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblowers Center. (Click HERE for original article)

In a recent comment from Charles M. Smith:

A bittersweet ending to the Bunny Greenhouse case. Ms. Greenhouse certainly deserves the settlement. However the circumstances that led her to take the settlement rather than go to trial are outrageous. Given what we know of Ms. Greenhouse’s character, I believe she wanted a court trail, with testimony under oath, more than money. Unfortunately physical violence and the Army refusal to protect her forced her to settle and leave. Once again, no individual will be held accountable, the Corps will have protected those who retaliate and intimidate good civil servants and we all suffer a loss.

My best wishes go out to Ms. Greenhouse who is a great American and an outstanding example of a public servant. ~ Charles M. Smith

Charles M. Smith, a retired Army civilian employee, went up against KBR on behalf of the troops and taxpayers and was demoted for it as well. Smith was chief of the Field Support Contracting Division of the Army Field Support Command at Rock Island Arsenal where one of his primary jobs was to oversee the enormous Army LOGCAP contract with KBR during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Charles M. Smith has testified before Congress on several occasions and is now President of CALEX LLC a consulting firm which specializes in the areas of Government Acquisitions and Logistics. Mr. Smith also blogs at Charles M. Smith Site and other sites such as TruthOut.

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4 Comments

  1. Comment by A_COL:

    First, this was NOT a “sole source” and even the Washington Post uses the term “no competition” rather than “non-competitive” contract to hide the fact that the original KBR contract was competed but so unattractive and fraught with risk that KBR was the ONLY company to bid on it. Additionally, at the time KBR was probably the only company that had the expertise to successfully perform the LOGCAP mission.

    Ms. Greenhouse, the wife of a retired Army Colonel, was a fine civil servant that proves the “Peter principle.” She was a GS-15 at what is now Army G-6 (then DISC4) handling (DOD 5000) administrative acquisition oversight of automated information systems, when she was selected to be the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting (PARC) at the Corps. Her Army position was Acquisition Oversight and did not include contracting or procurement. Without any background in construction contracting she was thrust into an area for which she had no training, background nor aptitude. Regardless, as an SES she was expected to be able to perform without additional training because she had now reached the pinnacle of Government Service. Unfortunately, she did not succeed and never gained the respect of the Corps professionals she was supposed to support through her contracting expertise. Her office became known as a bottleneck for contracts.

    Unfortunately, this part of the back story will never be told by reports because they will never dig deeply enough into it understand it nor do they have the motivation. Their agendas are obviously to smear the Corps of Engineers and vindicate a whistleblower but if they were a real investigative reporter they would report the whole story without the bias.

    As an aside, the patron saint of KBR was actually former President Lyndon Johnson who was responsible for saving the Brown & Root Construction company in the 1930s to help his main political backers, George and Herman Brown. Google “the Congressman from Brown and Root” or read Robert Caro’s renown LBJ bio Path to Power to understand how instrumental he was in building the company and they were LBJ’s main contractor for construction in his Vietnam War.

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, Bunny Greenhouses’s concerns were initially about the Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) contract.

      • Comment by RIO Contract Manager:

        Yes, you are correct,it was the RIO contract. I have a lot to say about “Ms. Bunny” but will leave it alone. Suffice it to say thank God she is no longer a civil servant.

    • Comment by George W. Hare:

      In response to A_COL: So, you inform us that LBJ was a corrupt, conniving politician. Tell us something we didn’t know. Regardless, LBJ’s actions in his political career don’t excuse the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton wars in Iraq. Cheney was Secretary of Defense during Operation Desert Storm during which Halliburton and Brown & Root (now KBR) made out quite well. Then Cheney took a break from his “public service” to be Halliburton’s CEO (1995-2000). Back to “public service” as Vice-President, can anyone claim, with a straight face, that Cheney wasn’t well aware of where the money was flowing for his second go round in Iraq? And that the higher-ups in the Pentagon weren’t aware of his interest?
      I can’t respond to your criticism of Ms. Greenhouse because I don’t have the background or resources. It would be nice, however, if you revealed enough background or other evidence to support that criticism. Thank you.

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