I had a dream. No, that’s not some figurative statement. I had a dream, and it was insane. It started with investigative reporter Greg Palast talking about government boondoggle programs being run by no-bid contractors like Halliburton and Bechtel. No-bid means just that: no bid, and the contractor could be charging very uncompetitive rates. That was bad enough. Then it got more convoluted.
The contractors would employ desperate people from abroad in key positions. Why? Those desperate people needed their employment visas to stay in the USA. Without them, they would face immediate deportation to places like Greece and Spain where the economy was in the toilet and they would face unemployment with no end in sight. These were family people, but their families had to stay back in the home country – to keep them more desperate and dependent upon anything handed to them here, I presumed.
These desperate work visa holders were in charge of keeping secrets. If they talked, they could always be discredited by pointing to how they were aliens, they had bad performance reviews, they drank heavily on the job, and so on. The secrets involved the true nature of the boondoggle programs. They were either true boondoggles, which was bad enough, or they were cover operations for black bag operations – top secret activities of the US Government that ranged from being barely legal on out to flagrant violations of the Constitution and the law.
I was investigating these unfinished buildings, hospitals getting irregular lawn care, and sidewalk contracts enduring massive cost overruns and everywhere there was a scared foreigner, desperately smiling and lying to explain away any inconsistencies. The beauty of that part was that if the guy couldn’t talk straight, he could always fall back on his difficulties with the language as an excuse: “No no no no no… what I to meant to say the was we to not the being of isn’t a the to wasting of the moneys.”
The foreigners would defend the boondoggles tooth and nail because that’s what the contractors wanted them to do. Either they were lining their pockets with the proceeds of the do-nothing project, or they were even more profitable fronts for illegal operations running guns, drugs, or worse on a scale far beyond Iran-Contra.
I woke up from that and shook my head about it. It seemed crazy. When I went back to sleep, the dream continued where it left off and I saw more and more of those things, like in some kind of Biblical vision. Maybe it was. There’s only one way to find out.
And if I did uncover a scam like I dreamed, that would be amazing. But what could we do about it? The much less convoluted vision of a nation being run by interest groups already exists. This added complication would only be possible in such a government and the only way to get rid of it is to get rid of the interest groups’ ability to lobby Congress. The only way to do that, in all truth, is to only elect honest Congressmen that aren’t afraid of death. That last requirement is very important, because these interest groups include those that aren’t above a few “accidents” to keep their gravy train making regular stops.
So that’s my dream and my reflection upon it. Make of it what you will: I know what it means to me.