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Cheney's Halliburton: Fraud, Extortion, Brutality

excerpts from a report by Chris Floyd. August 5, 2005

Although Halliburton has already entered the American lexicon as a byword for rampant cronyism, the true extent of its graft is only now emerging, most recently in a remarkable public hearing that revealed some of the corporation's standard business practices in Iraq: fraud, extortion, brutality, theft -- even serving rotten food to U.S. soldiers in the battle zone. Testimony from Pentagon whistleblowers, former Halliburton officials and fellow contractors revealed the grim picture of a rogue operation, power-drunk and arrogant, beyond the reach of law, secure in the protection of its White House sugar daddy.

One tale is particularly instructive: Halliburton's strenuous efforts to prevent a company hired by the Iraqis, Lloyd-Owen International, from delivering gasoline into Iraq from Kuwait for 18 cents a gallon. Why? Because LOI's cost-efficient operation undercuts Halliburton's highway-robbery price of $1.30 a gallon for the exact same service.

But how is Halliburton able to interfere with the sacred process of free enterprise? Cheney's firm, a private company, has control over the U.S. military checkpoint on the volatile Iraq-Kuwait border, and it also has the authority to grant -- or withhold -- the Pentagon ID cards that are indispensable for contractors operating in Iraq. Halliburton used these powers to block LOI's access to the military crossing -- which provides quick, safe delivery of the fuel -- for months. Then the game got rougher.

In June, Cheney's boys blackmailed LOI into delivering construction materials to a Halliburton project in Fallujah: no delivery, no "golden ticket" Pentagon card, said Halliburton. They neglected to tell LOI that convoys on the route had been repeatedly hit by insurgents in recent days. And sure enough, LOI's delivery trucks were ripped to shreds just outside a Halliburton-operated military base. Three men were killed and seven wounded. But that's not all. An e-mail obtained by investigators revealed that Halliburton brass had expressly prohibited company employees from offering any assistance to the shattered convoy.

You have been reading excerpts from "Blood and Gravy" by Chris Floyd. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/dyh4v. Thanks to informationclearinghouse.info. We visit often and we hope you will too.

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