THE NY TIMES did this article below,
which tells it how it is, piece on how ARMS/ Munitions folks, war contractors
Death Toy guys have insidious influence on/ major biz ties to Government,
i.e. the men that make WAR profitable for politicians who sell out the
citizens! It's as if the GOV were rigged to go places and kill people so
the politico's pals can make bank. DICK CHENEY (today's article is on this
sneering scumbag,) is just ONE ! MULTIPLY by thousands! Even Bush Sr is
one. Oh, they all wrap themselves sanctimoniously in the flag each time,
proclaiming that there is a Red Menace...but it's bogus. They arm the menace.
Remember Iran-Contragate how all those Gov people profitted from selling
killing equipment to the Shah? Khomeni/Iran inherited that stuff.
We fought IRAN and armed Saddam and OSAMA, then we have to go to war with
them to get the war toys back. Noriega, Idi Amin, all our despots who murder
their own people started by our governors, the best politicians money can
buy. THIS HAS TO STOP! We have to write this into the CONSTITUTION NOW.
NOBODY with ties to guns, bombs, planes, arms trading, or any war-related
industry involving gov contracts, our gov selling war toys, any of it,
can ever have
any ties at all, to PEOPLE WHO ARE SERVING
IN GOVERNMENT and defining peace/war policies.
OK? That's today's target, so scan this for some facts.
In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War
By Jeff Gerth And Don Van Natta Jr.
FROM THE New York Times
Saturday, 13 July, 2002
(*Editors Note | At the time Dick
Cheney "retired" as CEO of Halliburton,
run along side George W. Bush for control of the White House, the company
awarded him a Twenty Million dollar retirement package. They stated at the
time that it was their legal prerogative to increase the size of that
package at any time to any amount they desired. In essence Halliburton can
give Dick Cheney as much money as they want whenever they want as long as
it is earmarked; 'retirement package enhancement.' (Now if that isn't clearly an incentive to throw work their way, to boondoggle and send D.C. care pckgs home, what is? This is revolving door policy GREASED!)
WASHINGTON, July 12 -- The Halliburton
Company, the Dallas oil services
company bedeviled lately by an array of accounting and business issues, is
benefitting very directly from the United States efforts to combat
From building cells for detainees
at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to feeding
American troops in Uzbekistan, the Pentagon is increasingly relying on a
unit of Halliburton called KBR, sometimes referred to as Kellogg Brown &
Although the unit has been building
projects all over the world for the
federal government for decades, 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
only logistical arrangement by the Army without an estimated cost.
The government business has been
well timed for Halliburton, whose stock
price has tumbled almost two-thirds in the last year because of concerns
about its asbestos liabilities, sagging profits in its energy business and
an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into its
accounting practices back when Vice President Dick Cheney ran the company.
The government contracts, which the company said Mr. Cheney played no role
in helping Halliburton win, either while he led the company or after he
left, offer the prospect of a long and steady cash flow that impresses
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress
has appropriated $30 billion in
emergency money to support the campaign against terrorism. About half has
gone to the Pentagon, much of it to buy weapons, supplies, and services.
Although KBR is probably not the largest recipient of all the government
contracts related to terror efforts, few companies have longer or deeper
ties to the Pentagon. And no company is better positioned to capitalize on
The value of the contracts to Halliburton
is hard to quantify, but the
company said government work generated less than 10 percent of its $13
billion in revenue last year.
The government business is "very
good, a relatively stable source of cash
flow," said Alexandra S. Parker, senior vice president of Moody's Investors
Service. "We view it positively."
By hiring an outside company to
handle much of its logistics, the Pentagon
may wind up spending more taxpayer money than if it did the work itself.
Under the new Army contract, KBR's
work in Central Asia, at least for the
next year, will cost 10 percent to 20 percent more than if military
personnel were used, according to Army contract managers. In Uzbekistan,
the Army failed to ascertain, as regulations require, whether its own
units, which handled logistics there for the first six months, were
available to work when it brought in the contractor, according to Army
The costs for KBR's current work
in Central Asia could "dramatically
escalate" without proper monitoring, but adequate cost control measures are
in place, according to Lt. Col. Clay Cole, who oversees the contract.
The Army contract is a cost-plus
arrangement and shrouded in secrecy. The
contractor is reimbursed for its allowable costs and gets a bonus based on
performance. In the past, KBR has usually received the maximum performance
bonus, according to Pentagon officials. Though modest now, the Army
contract could produce hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. In
the Balkans, for instance, its contract with the Army started at less than
$4 million and turned into a multibillion-dollar agreement.
Mr. Cheney played no role, either
as vice president or as chief executive
at Halliburton, in helping KBR win government contracts, company officials
In a written statement, the company
said that Mr. Cheney "steadfastly
refused" to market KBR's services to the United States government in the
five years he served as chief executive. Mr. Cheney concentrated on the
company's energy business, company officials said, though he was regularly
briefed on the company's Pentagon contracts. Mr. Cheney sold Halliburton
stock, worth more than $20 million, before he became vice president. After
he took office, he donated his remaining stock options to charity.
Like other military contractors,
KBR has numerous former Pentagon officials
who know the government contracts system in its management ranks, including
a former military aide to Mr. Cheney when he was defense secretary. The
senior vice president responsible for KBR's Pentagon contracts is a retired
four-star admiral, Joe Lopez, who was Mr. Cheney's military aide at the
Pentagon in the early 1990's. Halliburton said Mr. Lopez was hired in 1999
after a suggestion from Mr. Cheney.
"Brown & Root had the upper
hand with the Pentagon because they knew the
process like the back of their hand," said T. C. McIntosh, a Pentagon
criminal investigator who last year examined some of the company's Army
contracts in the 1990's. He said he found that a contractor "gets away with
what they can get away with."
For example, KBR got the Army to
agree to pay about $750,000 for electrical
repairs at a base in California that cost only about $125,000, according to
Mr. McIntosh, an agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
KBR officials did not dispute the
electrical cost figures, which were part
of an $18 million contract. But they said government investigators tried to
suggest wrongdoing when there was not any.
"The company happened to negotiate
a couple of projects we made more money
on than others," said one company lawyer, who insisted on anonymity. He
added, "On some projects the contractor may make a large or small profit,
while on others it may lose money, as KBR sometimes did on this contract."
Mr. McIntosh said he and an assistant
United States attorney in Sacramento
were inclined to indict the company last year after they developed evidence
that a few KBR employees had "lied to the government" in pricing proposals
for electrical repair work at Fort Ord. Mr. McIntosh said the Sacramento
prosecutor said to him, "Let's go for this, it's a winnable criminal case."
A KBR lawyer said that the government's
theory "was novel and unfairly
tried to criminalize what was only a preliminary proposal."
The United States attorney's office
in Sacramento declined to discuss its
internal deliberations in the cast. But it dropped the criminal inquiry and
reached a civil settlement in February, in part because of weak contract
monitoring by the Army, according to Mr. McIntosh and a lawyer involved in
As part of the settlement, KBR paid $2 million but denied any liability.
Last December the Army's Operations
Support Command, unaware of the
criminal investigation, found KBR's past contracting experiences to be
exemplary as it awarded the company the 10-year logistical support
contract, according to a command spokeswoman, Gale Smith.
The Army command's lengthy review
of bidders did not discover that KBR was
the target of a criminal investigation though it was disclosed in
Halliburton's annual report submitted with the bid, according to Ms. Smith.
She said that if the support command's managers had known of the criminal
inquiry, they would have looked further at the matter but not changed the
KBR's ability to earn the Pentagon's trust dates back decades.
"It's standard operating procedure
for the Department of Defense to haul in
Brown & Root," said Gordon Adams, who helped oversee the military budget
for President Bill Clinton.
The company's first military contract
was in 1940, to build a Naval air
station in Corpus Christi, Tex. In the 1960's, it built bases in Vietnam.
By the 1990's, KBR was providing logistical support in Haiti, Somalia and
KBR's military logistics business
began to escalate rapidly with its
selection for a $3.9 million contract in 1992, Mr. Cheney's last year at
the Pentagon. Over the last 10 years, the revenues have totaled $2.5
billion, mostly a result of widening American involvement in the Balkans
"We did great things to support
the U.S. military overseas -- we did better
than they could support themselves," said Charles J. Fiala, a former
operations officer for KBR. "I was in the Department of Defense for 35
years. We knew what the government was like."
Robert E. Ayers, another former
KBR executive who still consults for the
company, said Mr. Cheney "stayed fairly well informed" on the Balkans
Stan Solloway, a former top Pentagon
procurement official who now heads an
association of contractors, said the company "understood the military
mind-set" and "did a very good job in the Balkans."
But reports in 1997 and 2000 by
the General Accounting Office, the audit
arm of Congress, found weak contract monitoring by the Army contributed to
cost increases in the Balkan contract that benefited KBR.
The audit agency's 1997 report concluded
that the Army allowed KBR to fly
in plywood from the United States, at a cost of $85.98 a sheet, because it
did not have time to procure it in Europe, where sheets cost $14.06.
Mr. Ayers, the former KBR executive,
had worked on the Balkans contract.
"If the rules weren't stiff and specific," he said, "the contractor could
make money off of overspending by the government."
The contract awarded last December
by the Army's Operations Support
Command, is "open ended" with "no estimated value," said Ms. Smith, the
command's spokeswoman. She said that was mainly "because the various
contingencies are beginning to unfold."
KBR won this and most of its other
Pentagon contracts in a competition with
other contractors, but KBR is the sole source for the many tasks that fall
under the umbrella contract.
Pentagon officials said the company
had recently taken over a wide range of
tasks at Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, from running the dining operation
to handling fuel and generating power for the airfield. The company employs
Uzbeks, paying them in accordance with "local laws and customs" but
operating under United States health and safety guidelines, according to
For the first six months that American
troops were at Khanabad, the
logistical support was provided by the Army's First Corps Support Command.
Mr. Cole, the contract manager for the joint command in Kuwait, said the
contract would initially cost 10 to 20 percent more than if the Army had
done the work itself. He said that he and his staff recommended using the
contractor because "they do a better job of maintaining the
infrastructure." In addition, he said, the contractor should provide
long-term flexibility, an asset in a war with many unknowns, and cost
savings by avoiding Army troop transfers.
Ms. Smith said that the criticisms
by the G.A.O. had led the Army to build
additional controls into the contract.
At its base in Cuba, the Navy has
followed the same pattern as the Army:
use the military first and augment it with KBR. The Navy's construction
brigade, the Seabees, built the first detention facility for battlefield
detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Navy activated a recently awarded
$300 million, five-year logistic support contract with KBR to construct
more permanent facilities, some 600 units, built mostly by workers from the
Philippines and India, at a cost of $23 million.
John Peters, the Navy Facilities
Engineering Command spokesman, said the
permanent camp was "bigger, more sophisticated than what Seabees do." But
the Seabees built the facilities for the troops guarding the detainees, and
in the 1990's the Seabees built two tent cities capable of housing 20,000
refugees in Guantanamo Bay.
"Seabees typically can perform the
work at about half the cost of
contractors, because labor costs are already sunk and paid for," said Daryl
Smith, a Seabees spokesman.
Zelma Branch, a KBR spokeswoman,
said the company relied on its excellent
record rather than personal relationships to win its contracts. But hiring
former military officers can help the company understand and anticipate the
"The key to the company's success
is good client relations and having
somebody who could anticipate what the client's needs are going to be," Mr.
Ayers, the former company executive, said.
FOR A TERRIFIC LESSON (AND A VERY AMUSING ONE) ON REVOLVING DOOR WAR TOY EXECS, GO RENT 'ADVENTURES OF REMO WILLIAMS" A GREAT FLICK.