Thursday, September 08, 2005

Honorary WHIG of the Week, Former FEMA Director (and current war profiteer) Joe Allbaugh

No, Joseph Allbaugh is not a known member of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), and he is not the honorary WHIG of the Week so we could run this picture and make the obligatory joke about his hairline being a disaster area (though he is living proof that looks don't count if you want to be counted in among the in crowd at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), or to point out the fact that his old boss obviously had a crush on him.

He and his college roommate and current FEMA chief Mike "Brownie" Brown are in the news this week because of the massive failures of FEMA in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but it's not even that connection that this blog is interested in, though it is the reason he came to our attention.

We're more struck by how he's just one more piece of the tight inbred nexus of war dreamers, planners, sellers, and profiteers who gave us the current quagmire in Iraq that will still be a disaster long after we're celebrating Fat Tuesday again in the Big Easy. Here's Josh Marshall writing in The Hill on October 1, 2003 (around the time we realized that the "Mission" was not quite as "Accomplished" as we had been told by the guy dressed up like a Naval Aviator for his aircraft carrier photo opportunity).
The Bush Crony Full-Employment Act of 2003=The
[...] Remember Joe Allbaugh? He’s part of what they used to call President Bush’s Iron Triangle — Allbaugh, Hughes and Rove.
In chronological order, he was Bush’s chief of staff when Bush was governor of Texas, his campaign manager when he ran for president and his Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director after that.
So you could say they were pretty close.
A couple weeks before the beginning of the war, Allbaugh left his job at FEMA to get into the business of securing pricey Iraqi reconstruction contracts for high-flying clients.
Allbaugh’s new firm is called New Bridge Strategies. But it’s actually an outgrowth of Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers. [...]
Haley Barbour, of course, is now the Governor of Katrina-ravaged Mississippi. Surely a coincidence, but a coincidence that would have some poetic justice if it weren't for the human lives lost and ruined.
Marshall's article goes on to talk about connections between Iraq War II profiteers and others with close WHIG connections like the Chalabi family and Pentagon Iraq Group (PIG) leader Doug Feith. The real reason for giving Allbaugh this honor on this dishonorable week for FEMA is because the membership in the White House Iraq Group may not be limited to those names in the few published accounts about the group. Why wouldn't the third leg of Bush's unattractive Iron Triangle be privy to the actions of the other leg, WHIG Hughes, and the hypotenuse, WHIG Rove? The fact that Allbaugh attempted to sell those connections to make a buck between the Tigris and Euphrates (when he should have been concentrating on the Mississippi) is probably not a crime in Bushite Corporate America®. But it probably should be.

Crossposted from Whiggate Update


Virginia Gal said...

Your post has lead me to wonder..what kind of grades did all these Bush high-up's get in high school/elementary? Were they poor students, is our country being run by a bunch of people who as kids got "D's" and "F's?" That would be sad, cause I was always taught in school that the kids with good grades would be the leaders, the ones with potential to do great things. The kids with "D's" and "F's" well, not to disparage trash collectors (which I think is a noble job, cause everyone complains and you gotta do it, with all the smells etc.), but that is what these poor students were suppose to do.

True Blue Liberal said...

Dear V.G., I imagine they had a mixed scholastic record, but none of them seem to have been standouts in the classroom. It does impress me over and over again that we have a government full of people who (like their boss) got to where they are because of "who they know" not "what they know". That's usually not a great way to hire people (to say the least).