Halliburton's Massive Fraud in Iraq

Let me first say I don’t believe in any of that war profiteering conspiracy BS the Left often spouts. But it’s still disgusting what this company has done to the U.S. (and the U.S. taxpayer, i.e. all of us), and a further consequence of the increasing privatization of much of the defense establishment under Rumsfeld.

Halliburton’s Fleecing Ends – Or Does It?: Margaret Carlson
2006-07-17 00:10 (New York)

Commentary by Margaret Carlson
July 17 (Bloomberg) – I wonder how many customers
McDonald’s Corp. would keep if instead of including a Coke with a
Happy Meal, as the menu promised, the company charged for it
twice.
That’s what Halliburton Co. did to Uncle Sam, billing $45
for soda by the case and billing for it again when served by the
glass at meals.
It’s all part of the cost-plus, no-bid life of Halliburton
and its subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, the sole source of
just about everything the U.S. Army needs to supply troops in
Iraq. For three years, the U.S. government kept paying double for
soda and many other things with nary a complaint.
But last week, all that ground to a screeching halt when the
Pentagon announced the end of no-bid contracts – or did it?
Not really. That’s like saying to the outlaw Jesse James,
``We’ll no longer hand over the money. You have to ask nicely.‘’
Which is not to compare Halliburton to a common criminal.
There’s nothing common about what Halliburton did and a
heist of $1.4 billion, an estimate of Halliburton’s overcharges
by Pentagon auditors.
Two sets of hearings by Representative Henry Waxman and
Senator Byron Dorgan, using the Pentagon’s own information,
exposed Halliburton’s deceitful billing practices: charging for
twice as many employees as actually hired and always choosing the
most expensive vendor. Instead of paying 80 cents a pound for
bacon, Halliburton paid $6. Instead of $450,000 for ice,
Halliburton paid $3.4 million, blaming transportation costs.
Where did it come from, Alaska?

                      `MWR Baghdad'

 For 2,500 soldiers, KBR billed $152,000 for videos, and

$617,000 for extra soft drinks for MWR (morale, welfare and recreation''). How's $100 per bag of dirty laundry and $1.5 million for tailoring, seamstress service and textile repair’’
sound? Need towels for the gym? Halliburton’s happy to supply ‘em
at prices you won’t believe.
At one hearing, former Halliburton employee Henry Bunting
held up an ordinary towel made extraordinary after KBR insisted
on embroidering a logo on it saying MWR Baghdad.'' That jacked the price up from $1.60 each to $7.50. Halliburton charged for surge capacity’’ for extra meals
long after there was no chance 5,000 extra mouths would be
passing through base camp to be fed. When Halliburton food
manager Rory Mayberry noted the discrepancy, his superiors told
him to keep quiet about it or face reassignment.
It would be bad enough if this awful behavior claimed no
victims, but Halliburton’s greed put soldiers already in harm’s
way at greater risk. Rather than purify the water, KBR ignored
regulations so that soldiers bathed and brushed their teeth in
water with E. coli bacteria floating in it. Rather than fix new
but poorly maintained trucks, KBR abandoned or torched them,
leaving soldiers stranded along roads mined with explosive
devices, according to an eyewitness at Dorgan’s hearings.

                       Sell-By Date

 Food long past its sell-by date was served, along with food

spoiled by insufficient refrigeration. Imagine coming home from a
hard day at war trying not to get killed and being presented with
rancid meat.
While soldiers were afraid to shower for fear of getting
nasty bacterial infections, KBR managers charged the Pentagon for
luxurious rooms with crystal clear water at the Kempinski Hotel
on the ``unpolluted azure coastline’’ of Kuwait for $10,000 a
month, according to former Halliburton employee Marie DeYoung.
How could the Bush administration stand by and pay up while
the troops were so poorly treated? The same way L. Paul Bremer,
the U.S.'s former top official in Iraq, could get a Medal of
Freedom even as a draft audit of the Coalition Provisional
Authority shows that $8.8 billion went unaccounted for on his
watch. At the same time, for telling auditors about those 5,000
daily meals not served (adding up to over $200 million), poor
Rory Mayberry was banished to a hardship posting in Fallujah.

                     Life Is a Breeze

 And consider what happened to Bunnatine Greenhouse, the

highest-ranking civilian in the Army Corps of Engineers. She
added a handwritten note that couldn’t be missed to the
Halliburton contract the Secretary of Defense had to see when he
signed off advising the contract be limited to one year. She had
already criticized the Defense Department for letting Halliburton
attend confidential Pentagon meetings.
Greenhouse was ignored, sidelined and lost her job. She
later testified before Congress to ``the most blatant and
improper contract abuse’’ she’d ever witnessed.
For Halliburton, life is still a breeze. The Pentagon
ignored its own auditors and paid most of Halliburton’s bills,
including hundreds of millions for gas from Kuwait. To justify
paying for double meals, it upped Halliburton’s take to 3 percent
of costs and every individual meal was counted as 1.3 meals.

                     Terrible Message

 Letting Halliburton continue, much less bid on government

logistics contracts again, sends a terrible message. It says, If
I catch you bilking the government, I’ll suggest you knock it
off. But I’ll still pay you, and require only that you compete
for the opportunity to do so again – and likely win because of
experience gained from three years on the job, more information
than anyone but the Army itself, and an infrastructure already in
place. Halliburton could lose if federal procurement officials
took into account ``past performance,‘’ as required, although
their pathetic performance in the past makes this unlikely.
In March, Waxman tried to amend the defense appropriations
bill to deny contracts to any firm the Pentagon found billed more
than $100 million in unreasonable costs. Republicans blocked it.
With their tax cuts and sweetheart contracts, Republicans
have asked mostly what their country could do for them even while
the country is at war. Halliburton is just the lucky bidder. Dick
Cheney, Halliburton’s chief executive during the second half of
the 1990s, should be ashamed of his former company.

 (Margaret Carlson, author of ``Anyone Can Grow Up: How

George Bush and I Made It to the White House’’ and former White
House correspondent for Time magazine, is a Bloomberg News
columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

–Editor: Greiff (scc)

Just goes to show you that democracy is really just a front to make regular people feel like they have something to say. In reality the social elite can and will do anything they want. We can bitch and moan and they’ll continue until they feel like stopping, then presenting it like they stopped because they “listened”, lol.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
and a further consequence of the increasing privatization of much of the defense establishment under Rumsfeld.

Agreed, it is getting ridiculous. We (AF) now have contractors to teach us how to do our jobs. Before all this privitization started we used to have instructors in our respective career fields that would train the new people coming in, now it is a contractor, which aroung here is basically a retired military guy with a goatee. Even granting that the majority of them retired from a job that they are now teaching, there is no way that they are current as someone actually doing the job. But they are getting paid between 50-80K to do something that we could and should be doing ourselves.

If all this is true, I want my money back for this, and some butts to be kicked and thrown in the clink. Time to write my totally ineffective, unrespected senators. I can always think about Massachussetts when I feel bad about my senators, though.

While we’re thinking about government waste and Massachussetts, I would also like the 12+ billion dollars wasted in the stupid fucking Big Dig back. How do you even spend 14 billion dollars on a road construction project!!! Let alone waste 12 BILLION of it? And then you build it so well that it falls apart before it’s even done? Is downtown Boston even worth 14 billion dollars? Good God I don’t give a rat’s red asshole about the drivers in Boston… they chose to live in that cesspool, let them sit in their car and have a nice long smelly commute. Why do they need FEDERAL funding for this stupid project?

[quote]Gregus wrote:
Just goes to show you that democracy is really just a front to make regular people feel like they have something to say. In reality the social elite can and will do anything they want. We can bitch and moan and they’ll continue until they feel like stopping, then presenting it like they stopped because they “listened”, lol.[/quote]

GOD! It feels GREAT to be part of the social elite. I think I’m going to send in the cops to take away your computer before you hurt yourself with all this thinking.

It would be nice to see a couple of Haliburton execs to hang for this if the allegations are true.

I have no problem with insane profits, but screwing over the actual soldiers that are in Iraq is inexcusable.

There are enough of these stories to make anyone furious.

And the thing is, this can be solved with a really easy market based solution: take bids for the fucking contracts. If someone overbills you intentionally or gives you bad results, don’t give them any more money.

Amazing… And yet sadly not all that surprising. Wherever there’s a conlict there’s a profit to be made, and someone mercenary enough to exploit it.

[quote]ChuckyT wrote:
Gregus wrote:
Just goes to show you that democracy is really just a front to make regular people feel like they have something to say. In reality the social elite can and will do anything they want. We can bitch and moan and they’ll continue until they feel like stopping, then presenting it like they stopped because they “listened”, lol.

GOD! It feels GREAT to be part of the social elite. I think I’m going to send in the cops to take away your computer before you hurt yourself with all this thinking.[/quote]

LOL! It would be great to be part of the social elite. But unlike you i don’t get headaches when i think.

[quote]Gregus wrote:

LOL! It would be great to be part of the social elite. But unlike you i don’t get headaches when i think.
[/quote]

I waited all this time for THAT?

[quote]ChuckyT wrote:
Gregus wrote:

LOL! It would be great to be part of the social elite. But unlike you i don’t get headaches when i think.

I waited all this time for THAT? [/quote]

Let me assure you Chucky, you’re no part of any elite.

[quote]ChuckyT wrote:
Gregus wrote:

LOL! It would be great to be part of the social elite. But unlike you i don’t get headaches when i think.

I waited all this time for THAT? [/quote]

You actually waited? Allrighty then.

Your assurance – like your arguments, your philosophy, your politics, your attitude, and your existence – are worthless.

My replying to you is the first time you’ve had any real value in your whole life. You’re welcome.

Check out CORPWATCH.org for a real eye opener on KBR & Haliburton. How many on going investigations ?