The chart accompanies a long article by Glenn R. Simpson that characterizes the no-bid yellow-ribbon slime who are feeding American troops and starving American taxpayers (WSJ):
Prominent American food companies are under scrutiny in a federal probe of possible fraud and corruption in the military's food-supply operations for the Iraq war.
The inquiry is focused on whether the food companies set excessively high prices when they sold their goods to the Army's primary food contractor for the war zone, a Kuwaiti firm called Public Warehousing Co. A related question is whether Public Warehousing improperly pocketed for itself refunds it received from these suppliers. Public Warehousing bought vast amounts of meat, vegetables and bakery items from the food companies, and delivered them to U.S. troops.
Public Warehousing's dealings are the subject of "a very large and active investigation into criminal and civil fraud involving amounts in the hundreds of millions of dollars," Justice Department lawyer Brian Mizoguchi told a judge in Federal Claims Court in Washington, D.C., on June 12. Public Warehousing, which receives more than $1 billion annually to feed troops in Iraq and Kuwait, denies wrongdoing. [...]
A key figure in the probe is David Staples, a top procurement official at the Army who formerly worked at Sara Lee's Jimmy Dean sausage unit. Records show Mr. Staples required Army food contractors to purchase products from certain suppliers rather than allowing the contractors to shop around. [...]
In one of the most striking examples of the agency's selectivity, Tyson Foods Inc., one of the world's largest chicken producers, has been virtually shut out in the competition to supply the troops for the Iraq conflict. Much of the chicken supplies for Iraq and Kuwait are provided by Perdue and a ConAgra unit called Pilgrim's Pride Inc. That is in line with a recommended menu on a spreadsheet issued by Mr. Staples's agency. The spreadsheet lists foods and recommended suppliers such as "turkey thigh roast, raw, netted, 8-10 lb avg" next to "Sara Lee."
In an April 3, 2007, letter to the Pentagon, a lawyer for Tyson complained that "elements within the military" were providing sole-source contracts "to certain companies employing former military personnel."
So much for the glory of competition and the inherent wisdom of the free market. I guess all of that routine Republican faux-capitalist blathering is as much bullshit as its reasons to go to war.
If we're spending $2.4 million per month on lobster tails, and the war has been going on for 55 months since March 2003, that would put the total American lobster tail cost for fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq at about $132 million. (Discounting, of course, the effect of any lobster tail "surge.")
In effect, what the Republicans are saying with their lobster tail budget is "Fuck you, uninsured American children! Fuck you, Iraqi civilians! The lobster tail supply in Iraq is more imporant than any of you, according to the inhuman financial priorities of our chickenhawk American leadership."
But a hundred million dollars speak louder than any words.