Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War

| April 2, 2003

Kellogg, Brown, and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is building and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq and in other countries involved in the U.S. war on terrorism, including Afghanistan, Djibouti, Georgia, Jordan, and Uzbekistan. It?s no small secret that Dick Cheney served as the chief executive of Halliburton or that he still receives a million dollar-a-year compensation package from the company.

According to a CorpWatch report by Pratap Chatterjee, KBR has secured an open-ended mandate and budget to build military facilities and recreational amusement centers for military personnel wherever the U.S. war on terror happens to take them. In Kuwait they?ve built tented cities adorned with gravel terraces, Burger King, Subway, and Baskin-Robbins to help the troops feel more at home. In Turkey 1,500 civilians are working with the company to build and sustain U.S. military posts. ?The reason that the military goes to contracting is largely because it?s more cost effective in certain areas,? says Major Toni Kemper, head of public affairs at the base. ?We don?t have to pay for health care and all of the other things for the employees, that?s up to their employer.?

Halliburton was one of five U.S. corporations competing for contracts to rebuild Baghdad and other Iraqi cities destroyed in the current war, however, critics say such strong ties between government and big business represent a conflict of interests. ?The Bush-Cheney team has turned the United States into a family business,? says Harvey Wasserman, author of The Last Energy War. ?That?s why we haven?t seen Cheney?he?s cutting deals with his old buddies who gave him a multimillion-dollar golden handshake. Why don?t they just have Enron run America? Or have Zapata Petroleum (George W. Bush?s failed oil-exploration venture) build a pipeline across Afghanistan??
-Nick Garafola

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