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Brit Hume draws uneven parallel on Grapevine

Reported by Chrish - September 13, 2005

Brit Hume tried some verbal gymnastics on Special Report 9/12/05 in an effort to diminish the role cronyism plays in the Bush White House. He took one small lack of connection and by giving it equal weight tried to dismiss the vast network of business and corporate contacts and contracts that are the hallmark of this administration and the entire Bush family.

In full: " Reuters reports that companies with a web of connections to the Bush administration are winning the first contracts to rebuild New Orleans. The story notes that The Shaw Group of Baton Rouge, which has been awarded $200 million in clean-up contracts, employs former Bush campaign manager and FEMA Director Joseph Allbaugh to provide "general business consulting". The Shaw Group's founder and CEO is J. M. Bernhardt of Baton Rouge Louisiana, who was the chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party and was co-chairman of Governor Kathleen Blanco's transition committee, a fact not mentioned in the Reuter's story."

Comment: Not mentioned in Hume's dismissive distracting snippet is the wealth of information that points with all ten fingers to a vast network of corporate handholding and profiteering engineered over the years. Rather than take Hume's insinuation the the awarding of contracts is "fair and balanced" all would do well to read about New Bridge Strategies, "created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Its activities will seek to expedite the creation of free and fair markets and new economic growth in Iraq, consistent with the policies of the United States Government. The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that companies seeking to work in that environment must have the very best advice and guidance available. The New Bridge Strategies team has been carefully constructed to fill that need." This company, run by former FEMA Director and Michael Brown's college roommate Joe Allbaugh, came into being in March 2003 just in time to "steer" corporations through the red tape necessary to "win" contracts from the US (your tax dollars) to rebuild Iraq, which we just broke and bought. Just read the bios. A couple of those members have corporate ties to Neil Bush, the president's brother. Another Bush brother, Marvin has his own ties to the profiteering in Iraq through his Winston Partners. The company hired to clear the dead from NOLA, Kenyon International , is wholly owned by SCI , a holding of longtime Bush supporter and family friend Roger Waltrip.

The list and connections go on and on. Hume's attempt to equate Bernhardt's political support as balance to the far-reaching cronyism and corruption that define this administration is pandering at its worst, a cover-up at best.

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