Your State Department Spends $704k on Gardening in Belgium

With the effects of the sequester kicking in and furloughs of Federal workers underway, it appears that Washington is getting ready to cut back on expenses even when it hurts.

SecState John Kerry warned that “the State Department will have to stop humanitarian aid to millions of people and delay efforts to ramp up diplomatic security abroad after the attack in Benghazi.”

Kerry also warned that the State Department might not be able to effectively provide emergency services to Americans in trouble abroad, to properly vet visa applications, and or issue passports to Americans in a timely manner. “I hope that Congress can act to avoid these severe, across-the-board cuts to programs that further U.S. national security, advance America’s economic interests, protect Americans at home and abroad, and deliver results for the American people,” Kerry wrote.

So it is good to see that State is saving its money for the important things, like dropping $704,198.30 on gardening services at the Ambassdor’s mansion at the U.S. Embassy to NATO in Belgium.

The award provides for grass cutting, edging, trimming, weeding, and other gardening and landscaping services. It will also mandate the planting of 960 violas, tulips, and begonias. The frighteningly-specific contract says that “any pruning of trees exceeding 2.5 m in height is excluded from the contract. The Contractor shall maintain the height of grass between 4 and 6 centimeters.”


As a matter of simple comparison, the money your State Department spends in one year on gardening for one embassy in Belgium would fund fourteen public school teachers under the Teach for America program.

Yea Government!!!!!



Related Articles:




Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

32 Comments

    • Yes, I read it from time to time. I admire her depth– she has been writing about the Iraq mess since 2003. Fascinating to poke back into, randomly, 2004 or 2007 and see how unending the disaster is.

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”So it is good to see that State is saving its money for the important things, like dropping $704,198.30 on gardening services at the Ambassdor’s mansion at the U.S. Embassy to NATO in Belgium.”unquote

    $704,198.30 right. Important things. unhuh. .30 notwithstanding, I need to see a shrink. Tell ya what. I’ll do it for half that. Fuck it..I’ll do it for 1/10th. That’s $70,419.80 I mean, even at that rate, that’s TEN TIMES what I get in SS per year! I smell a rat. $704,198.30..for gardening..at ONE Embassy. right. WTF.

    ARE THESE PEOPLE FUCKING CRAZY???? 3/4 of a million dollars? For gardening? Really? Who’d they hire, Haliburton??? Kerry’s brother in law???

    Dear DoS. I gotta bridge for sale. To nowhere. Cheap too. You’ll love it.
    bartender..leave the bottle. oh, and help me off the floor.

    ps. Dear DoS. here’s $1.70 for rounding off. It’ll save you $1mil in accounting time.

  • meloveconsullongtime on said:

    About John Kerry, in my opinion the third most stupid US Secretary of State ever (Rice and Clinton are tied for number one):

    1. For the past few days, vis a vis his warning North Korea to be nice instead of naughty, I’ve just kept thinking, “Oh yeah, THAT will have them shaking in their shoes and peeing their pants! John Kerry told them to be nice, or else!” Or else WHAT? Or else others won’t think they’re nice! Yeah, THAT’s how to deal with lunatic Asiatic tyrants with nuclear weapons! (Exponential sarcasm on)

    1.a Although I’m against assassinations on principle, still I wonder why, since Emperor Obama DOES claim the power to assassinate anyone who threatens a terrorist act against the USA – which North Korea’s leader has done with NUKES – then why the f-ck doesn’t Obama target HIM for assassination? Or just nuke Pyongyang, where the “collateral damage” would be LESS than that of the invasion of Iraq?

    2. But then back to John Kerry, the silver lining is that he reminds me of Lurch, and LURCH is FUN!:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYkQ2qlANhc

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”Off topic but was wondering if you ever read her blog.”unquote

    Thank you jo6pac. Just read it. And emailed. Wish I had found it years ago.

    In regards to a few of her “questions”:
    quote:”What about George Bush, Condi, Wolfowitz, and Powell? Will they ever be held accountable for the devastation and the death they wrought in Iraq?”

    Accountable. right. Well, umm, if you mean burning in the pits of hell for eternity, yes, they will. In this reality, history has already branded them War Criminals. For me, 3 million armed American citizens surrounding their granite palaces, ready to drag them out and burn them alive would suffice..if I get to light the fire.
    Things keep going the way they’re headed, just might become reality. In the meantime, hope springs eternal.
    quote:”Finally, after all is said and done, we shouldn’t forget what this was about – making America safer… And are you safer Americans?”unquote
    right. Safer. I love satire. Just remember, we’re closer to these murderers than you are. But thankfully, our beloved Attorney General already informed us that it would be “inappropriate” to murder us with a drone. However..1.7 BILLION rounds of hollow point ammo is another animal altogether. So take heart dear lady, “safer” is in the eye of the beholder.

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”… still I wonder why, since Emperor Obama DOES claim the power to assassinate anyone who threatens a terrorist act against the USA – which North Korea’s leader has done with NUKES – then why the f-ck doesn’t Obama target HIM for assassination?”unquote

    Exponential sarcasm notwithstanding..BINGO! After all, Obomber vaporized Mr. Imminent Threat himself..16yr old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, right? Right.

    Immminent threat. ya know, if Pres Biggest Liar On The Face Of The Planet wasn’t so dangerous, I be rollin on the floor in gut splitting laughter. Immminent threat.
    never mind..I can’t hold it back..
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    god my sides hurt. go ahead..drone me.

    Speakin of Lurch..
    Dear Pres Obtuse..you insult the intelligence of dimwits the world over.

  • meloveconsullongtime on said:

    PVB wrote: Obama only smites enemies who can’t shoot back. That’s how bullies roll”…

    …which reminds me of THIS scene from “I Claudius”, when the lunatic Emperor Caligula returns with his booty from his imaginary battle against Neptune (based on several eyewitness memories recorded by Seutonius et al):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfgDPLkMg-w

  • meloveconsullongtime on said:

    And now just a BIT off topic, but still totally relevant to today’s American Empire:

    Back in the Fourth Century AD, when the Roman Empire was collapsing, the Roman Empire issued lots of coins depicting a Roman soldier killing an enemy. And on those coins were inscribed the Latin words, “Fel. Temp. Reparatio”, literally translated “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

    Here’s an example of one of those coins: http://ancientcoinsforeducation.org/aph/coin_id/CONTIUS2-131%20Rev.jpg

    …and here’s the American song of 1933, singing the same words “Happy Days Are Here Again” (Fel. Temp. Reparatio), just a few years before America became a Superpower after World War II:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqsT4xnKZPg

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    In contrast to State, pigs perform a valuable function. Of course, DS is very good at leading its employees to the slaughterhouse.

  • Kyzl Orda on said:

    I had to reread the cost of the contract three times and the first thought that came to my mind was “…and shouldnt the rest of our government be privatized like this??” Maybe the neocons are onto something?

    Then, the second thought was, why dont we all get together and put a contract bid in for this?! Can you see yourselves living in Belgium? Who here can work a garden hose? A rake? Is familiar with Home depot and knows where to find their garden section?? It would be best if one of us were registered in a real state with elected representatives, someone we can call and then who can call and lean on the good folks at the contract office to help generate faux jobs back in our claimed state.

    On a more somber tone

    meloveconsullongtime, that is the most relevant analogy – I, Claudius, especially how events were portrayed during Caligula’s reign with all the enablers and abettors tripping over themselves to do the dirty work and ingratiate themselves with Caligula and corrupt practices. Our contracting system is utterly broken, especially after the debt-inducing practices for iraq and afghanistan, and you have to wonder who is getting those jobs in the contracting offices??

    This is one of those projects where someone should have sent it back, questioning the need to drop $705,000 on, basically, perennials. They either didnt care about doing their job or they know the ‘routine’ and when there are political connections involved, it’s best to keep quiet so you can keep your head, erm job

  • Kyzl Orda on said:

    From the page at GSA concerning this contract:

    “Place of Performance:
    Prospective offerors will be invited for a site visit. Tervuren, Non-U.S. 3080 Belgium ”

    A tax payer-funded trip to Belgium.

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    Deja Vu All Over Again on National Tax Day: Once again the State Department proves it has an endless imagination to WASTE our tax dollars. As PVB’s situation has proved, the only one to get into trouble is the one who dare speak its name.

    Speaking of “Deja Vu,” while the Usual Foreigner Suspects are tried in the media for the Boston pipe bombing, it is likely the bomber is a homegrown idiot who believes Obama is stealing his guns and “the tree of Liberty must be refreshed…”

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”..it is likely the bomber is a homegrown idiot who believes Obama is stealing his guns and “the tree of Liberty must be refreshed…”unquote
    Expressing my condolences to the families of the victims notwithstanding, my thoughts exactly. From what I saw, the scale of the explosions looked fairly small in relationship to similar events in the mideast, which leads me to believe this is a small local extremist group, if not singular. Even the news had an article this morning about an “expert” who thinks it was perpetrated by “right wing” extremists..whatever that means. I mean, left/right… what difference does it make which direction the political lean is, when the extremes opt for the same expression of their views which end up killing people? No matter what, this event IS a “terror” inducing political statement.
    But seeing as no faction(that I know of yet)has claimed responsibility which would give a clue to their aims, it leaves the door wide open for a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory field day and capitalism at it’s finest, if not fastest. I see someone already is capitalizing within 24hr with T-shirts. Disgusting but not surprising.

  • pitchfork on said:

    ps..Rich, in my view, “the tree of Liberty must be refreshed…” isn’t expressed this way. This is terroism, plain and simple. I would submit, this axiom is viewed within the context of fighting for liberty in a civil war, whereby your opponent is a tyrant..which for all intents and purposes, the way things are going, we may well see within our lifetime. Hopefully not.
    However, tinfoil hats notwithstanding, sooner or later, I fully expect a “red flag” event perpetrated by a faction within government to induce further “fear”. Given the latest event is in my opinion small scale, I doubt that was the case here. In fact, I expect another Waco scale event which, from what I read lately on “patriot” sites, will reciprocate in full blown “patriot” response to “water the tree”. Frankly, from my point of view, that tree is pretty weak, if not almost dead.

  • Kyzl Orda on said:

    Pitchfork, it’s strange you mention ‘patriot’ sites, there was a news source i saw on Yahoo! that mentioned the last part of the marathon was dedicated to the victims of the Newtown massacre and one of the families who lost a child was an honoree of the marathon and were supposed to be near a blast site. Apparently they had received threats over their calls for gun control. The link below mentions their presence at the marathon but i can’t yet find the link on their receiving threats for gun limits advocacy

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/newtown-runners-safe-boston-marathon-bombings-130917759.html

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”…one of the families who lost a child was an honoree of the marathon and were supposed to be near a blast site”unquote

    ummm, you lost me on the “were supposed to be near a blast site”. ????????????????

    Why? This doesn’t sound right. Who would have known? And WHY would you want to be near a “blast site”?

    Could you clarify that please. thnx

  • pitchfork on said:

    ps. quote:”Pitchfork, it’s strange you mention ‘patriot’ sites,…”unquote

    It was only in regards to Rich’s “tree of liberty” thing. Although, I do visit one specific site daily..or more. Due to finding it at the beginning of the Fast and Furious debacle, of which the blog owner was the person to break the story, via ATF whistleblowers who contacted him because of his readership. Here’s what he had to say, which pretty well sum’s up my perspective.
    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/04/boston.html

    btw, I still don’t understand how the “patriot site” thing relates to Newtown family being in the Boston marathon..can you give me a clue. I’m a little rattled today…the bartender left the bottle yesterday.:)

  • pitchfork on said:

    ps2+ ..say guys, I appreciate and do view all the links you provide. No time to review and comment on all of them though. I’m moving in 6 weeks, and considering how much crap a person can collect in 10 yrs, not to mention all the stuff my wife bought to resell on ebay…..I need another 10yrs to get rid of it. hahahahahaha!

  • pitchfork on said:

    ps3+..not to mention a full blown woodworking shop and recording studio. geeeezus..what was I thinking.

  • pitchfork on said:

    ps4+ PVB, it sure would make things eaier, if not less cluttered if you could install an EDIT function if you can.

  • Kyzl Orda on said:

    Pitchfork, here it is from that link:

    “Victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre were also honored along the course with a special marker at the 26th mile.

    That marker was not far from where a pair of bombs exploded, killing three people and wounding 144 others. But while some of the families of the Newtown victims were reportedly seated in a VIP area near the finish line, none were reported injured.”

    You mentioned ‘patriot’ sites and there was a report that the families from newtown massacre who were present at yesterday’s marathon had previously received threats over their advocacy for gun control. usually those so-called ‘patriots’ advocate stock piling weaponry.

  • pitchfork on said:

    quote:”the families from newtown massacre who were present at yesterday’s marathon had previously received threats over their advocacy for gun control. usually those so-called ‘patriots’ advocate stock piling weaponry.” unquote

    While some of those so-called ‘patriots’ advocate stock piling weaponry, myself, I can’t associate the term “patriot” with “threatening” gun control advocates. Most of what I’ve been aware of are responsible, patriotic, pro 2 Amendment Americans. The very idea of a “patriot” threatening anyone, is an anathema to me.
    However, the inverse is striking. The illegal hubris of extreme gun control “freaks”, especially in New York, when in collusion with DHS is now dangerous. This background check thing, when combined with medical background lists , leads to PRECISELY what pro 2nd Amendement, anti-background check advocates have been saying all along,..geee..what could go wrong?

    Well, here’s PRECISELY what can go wrong…ILLEGAL GUN CONFISCATION ..

    http://www.examiner.com/article/radio-host-charges-cuomo-dhs-conspiracy-against-gun-owners
    There is calls for the Gov of New York to resign over this.

    Imagine if SWAT teams were to start kicking down doors of people whom the government considers “unfit” to own guns…guess who’s gonna get killed? Unfortunately, this thing has gotten so out of hand some people are being illegally targeted just for being out hunting ..even Soldiers…
    and the police don’t give a damn about law either…

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/12/police-anti-gun-prosecutor-clash-with-soldiers-in-area-around-fort-hood-video/2/

    As usual, there are two sides to this issue. I just happen to be on the pro 2nd Amendment side of the fence.

  • pitchfork on said:

    Holy cow. Not that I consider myself a full blown gun owning “patriot”, on the contrary, I don’t even own a gun, but I wasn’t aware that yesterday was..ahem..PATRIOTS DAY. Hmmmm. In that case..there might be a connection. Also, considering Friday is the anniversary of both Waco and Oklahoma..who knows.

  • Kyzl Orda on said:

    Ahhh. When i read your excerpt above,

    “In fact, I expect another Waco scale event which, from what I read lately on “patriot” sites, will reciprocate in full blown “patriot” response to “water the tree”. ”

    I took “patriot” in quotes above to be a sarcastic euphemistic jab at militant right wing extremists

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    I suggested the Patriot Day reference as Boston is so closely associated with the last American Revolution. While we may never find the idiot who thought this was a good idea, I fear for the next Steven Hatfill, Bruce Ivins or Richard Jewell if the case goes unsolved.

  • Pingback: An IRS agent, an FBI agent and a gardener …. | The Homa Files

Post a new comment

Your email will not be published.
Submitting comment...