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Bye, bye, Bunnatine.

US Army auditor who attacked Halliburton deal is fired. Bunnatine Greenhouse, senior Army Contracting Specialist and the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who blew the whistle on Halibuton after Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq has been fired - ostensibly for poor performance. Ms Greenhouse testified in front of Congress (pdf). She asked many questions: Why is Halliburton -- a giant Texas firm that holds more than 50 percent of all rebuilding efforts in Iraq -- getting billions in contracts without competitive bidding? Do the durations of those contracts make sense? Have there been violations of federal laws regulating how the government can spend its money? She said that the decision to award KBR a $75 million extension for troop support in the Balkans was "the most blatant and improper abuse I have witnessed" in 20 years as a government contract supervisor. Last October, she was summoned to the office of her boss. Major Gen. Robert Griffin, the Corps' deputy commander, was demoting her, he told her, taking away her Senior Executive Service status and sending her to midlevel management. She was offered early retirement, but refused. Now she's been fired.
posted by three blind mice on Aug 30, 2005 - 52 comments

No Greener Greenhouse

Trees don't suck as much as hoped. In an paper published in the journal Nature, Swiss scientists challenge the belief held by some that rising levels of atmospheric CO2 will make the Earth a greener greenhouse. The belief that forests act as carbon sinks is a key aspect of the Kyoto protocol. Heavily forested nations such as Canada lobbied hard for the recognition that forest and agricultural land management practices that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere contribute significantly towards achieving the Kyoto greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limitation and reduction targets. These beliefs may be overstated. "Some scientists and politicians cling to the idea that a carbon-dioxide-rich future might favour the greening of planet Earth. It's time to disillusion them," says Christian Körner, one of the scientists who authored the paper.
posted by three blind mice on Aug 26, 2005 - 16 comments

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