Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Blood Money 

"I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this disaster." -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From Lisa Myers of NBC News:
The Pentagon has already awarded Halliburton Co., the controversial military contractor, deals worth up to $18 billion for its work in Iraq. But now former Halliburton insiders have come forward with new allegations of massive waste of taxpayer money.

Marie deYoung, a former Army chaplain who worked for Halliburton, was so upset by attacks on the company she e-mailed the CEO in December with a strategy on how to fight the "political slurs." But today, after five months inside Halliburton's operation in Kuwait, deYoung has radically changed her opinion. "It�s just a gravy train," she said.

DeYoung audited accounts for Halliburton�s subsidiary KBR. She claims there was no effort to hold down costs because all costs were passed on directly to taxpayers. She repeatedly complained to superiors of waste and fraud. The company's response, according to deYoung was: "We can be as dumb and stupid as we want in the first year of a war, nobody�s going to care."

DeYoung produced documents detailing alleged waste even on routine services: $50,000 a month for soda, at $45 a case; $1 million a month to clean clothes � or $100 for each 15-pound bag of laundry.

"That money could have been used to take care of soldiers," she said.

DeYoung also claims people were paid to do nothing. Mike West says he was one of them. Paid $82,000 a year to be a labor foreman in Iraq, West claims he never had any laborers to supervise. "They said just log 12 hours a day and walk around and look busy," he said. "OK, so we did."

Both deYoung and West have since left the company.

 Posted by Hello
UPDATE (courtesy of Zemblan patriot M.F.): Awwwwww. Halliburton has just announced that it will take two second-quarter charges totalling $815 million, as a result of asbestos litigation and delays with an offshore construction project in Brazil:
The charges are another financial headache for the Houston oil-services and construction giant, which already faces potential liquidity problems stemming from its military-support work in Iraq.

Separately, Army officials have begun to bid out work on longer and often-cheaper terms to local Mideast companies, taking it away from Halliburton. Next on the list, Army officials said, may be dining and other work in Iraq, which Pentagon officials estimated cost the Army between $5 million and $7 million a month.

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