Your tax dollars at work

Via the Antiwar blog comes this story, sure to bring a tear to the eye of even the most jaded and cynical snake-oil peddler:

President Bush yesterday asked Congress for an additional $6.4 billion to develop ways of defeating roadside bombs in Iraq -- nearly double what has been provided since 2003 -- in the hopes of reviving an effort once billed as the "Manhattan Project" of the war but which has failed to stop the insurgents' weapon of choice from becoming even deadlier.

Yes - $6.4 BILLION for the sole purpose of combatting IEDs - homemade bombs that are stuffed in soda cans or, as the Antiwar writer put it, in a "dead dog's belly" . But wait - it gets better:

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization... has received $6.7 billion in taxpayer dollars since 2003, for the sole purpose of eliminating the threat of so-called improvised explosive devices.

Yes - $6.4 BILLION (making a total of $13.1 BILLION) going to a group that goes by the preposterous name" Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization", for the sole purpose of combatting home-made bombs. I think I can be excused for failing to have confidence in a project with a sub-Inspector Gadget moniker.

The program has ballooned into a massive organization employing thousands of private contractors, and is based in a northern Virginia office complex where some of the largest defense industry firms have their Washington operations.

Follow the money, indeed. "Supporting the troops" has never been so profitable.

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