As the Bush / Cheney White House prepares for war in Iraq, few companies are set to benefit as much as Halliburton.
Yes, that’s the same Halliburton that Dick Cheney headed up until the controversial presidential election of 2000. The same Halliburton where Cheney made over $20 million. The same Halliburton that got embroiled in an Enron-like scandal due to questionable accounting practices under Cheney’s helm. And the same Halliburton that continued to quietly trade with Iraq long after the Gulf War ended.
During the 1990s Halliburton had contracts worth over $70 million with Iraq. Today it is set to profit from a war against Iraq as Halliburton has with the so-called war on terror.
Since Sept. 11, the Pentagon is increasingly relying on a unit of Halliburton called KBR, sometimes referred to as Kellogg Brown & Root. It has done work from building cells for detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It feeds American troops in Uzbekistan. And near the Turkish/Iraqi border Halliburton it helps run three military bases.
In July, the New York Times reported, "The attacks of Sept. 11 have led to significant additional business. KBR is the exclusive logistics supplier for both the Navy and the Army, providing services like cooking, construction, power generation and fuel transportation. The contract recently won from the Army is for 10 years and has no lid on costs."
The Times went on to report that Halliburton is the only company that has a contract with the Amy that has an unlimited budget.
This comes despite Halliburton’s questionable past performance on government contracts.
Halliburton recently paid the government $2 million out of court after the Pentagon accused the company’s employees of lying and overcharging the government.
We go now to the Turkish/Iraqi border to speak with journalist Pratap Chatterjee who has been closely tracking Halliburton and recently visited a Halliburton-run base.
- Pratap Chatterjee, freelance journalist who is now on the Iraq Turkey border. He has reported for Inter Press Service, Third World New Service among other agencies.