HALLIBURTON AND KBR
You might think that Halliburton and Blackwater are old news, but they are still messing around trying to get a big piece of military contracts and private policing in America and Europe. If you don't know much about either of them, the info below will fill you in and get you up to date as well.
In his farewell speech, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us against the current connection that exists between the government, big business and the military. ''This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State House, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.''
This union has been called “The Iron Triangle.” Eisenhower also said, ''In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.''
But he also told us the weopon we can use to thwart this conspiracy, ''Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry'' .
Dick Cheney was quoted during the 2000 presidential debate, when asked about how financially successful he had been during his time as Halliburton's CEO, “I can tell you, Joe[Lieberman], the government had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
But when he helped to write a corporate biography for the company in 1996, and in it he stated, “But no matter how well we position ourselves in the market, I am struck by the extent to which the success or failure of project is as much of a political decision as it is an engineering decision. Many times the engineering and technical aspects of a project can be relatively easy, but the project may be thwarted by unresolved political issues.”
Dick Cheney was made CEO of Haliburton, because he had political connections on Washington and at the Pentagon. During the next five years after his appointment, he was instrumental in getting the company $1.5 billion in government backed loans. Previously, they only had $100 million in loans. Halliburton's government contracts doubled from $1.2 billion to $2.3 billion. They moved up on the Pentagon's list of top contractors from 73rd to 18th. The other members of the company must have been rubbing their hands together and smiling with glee, when Cheney became Vice President of the United States.
During the 2000 Presidential campaing investigations into the company began, partly by anti-war groups. And the more people investigated the more they found.
The Securities and Exchange Commission investigated them for fixing their books to show higher profits, that shareholders were unaware of. They were also investigated by the U.S. Attorney's office because they overcharged the government for word at Fort Ord, California in 1997. They dropped the investigation, but KBR settled a Civil Case for $2 million dollars. They were investigated
by the Nigerian government because they bribed one of it's tax official and they admitted to doing so.
This investigation was dropped, but a Civil Case was settled by Kellogg Brown & Root for $2 million. KBR is a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR received a $2 billion contract to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure.
If you belief the company's image as a patriotic company, you would still have to agree that it does not excuse it's business practices.
“The biggest problem I faced as Secretary of Defense was the United States Congress.” “Now that I'm chairman and CEO of Halliburton, the biggest problem I face is the United States Congress.”
During his time with the company, Dick Cheney, hired several people from the Pentagon's staff to work for Halliburton.
Joe Lopez—retired four-star admiral and former aide to Defense Secretary Cheney, went to work for Halliburton in 1999, becoming senior vice president of government operations at KBR.
Dave Gribbin—former assistant to Congressman Cheney and Cheney's Chief of Staff at the Pentagon, became Halliburton's vice president for government relations and its chief lobbyist between 1996 and 2000. Then he went back to the White House with Cheney.
Charles Dominy—retired three-star general and former commander at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, went to work for Halliburton in 1995 and became chief lobbyist in 2001 after Gribbin went bact to the White House.
Lawrence Eagleburger—former president of Kissinger Associates, George H.W. Bush's secretary of state, and a former board member of Dresser Industries, served on Halliburton's board 1998-2003(Halliburton purchased Dresser in 1998 and in addition Prescott Bush, G.W.'s grandfather served on Dresser's board from 1930-1952 and George Sr. worked there)
Ray Hunt—Dallas based Hunt Oil Company. Provided financial support to both Bush presidents candidacies. He was appointed by George W. Bush Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He began to serve on Halliburton's board 1998.
C.J. “Pete” Silas—served on the Transition Energy Advisory Team of George W. Bush. He became a member of Halliburton's board in 1993 and served until 2005.
Kenneth Derr, former Chevron CEO , joined the board in 2001
Kirk Van Tine—registered lobbyist for Halliburton, He was general counsel and later Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE MAY 15, 2003
The Speaker pro tempore--
Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support an effort by the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman), one of the most distinguished Members of this House. He has called for full disclosure of the massive unbid $7 billion contract, that is 7,000 millions of dollars, that Halliburton Corporation has just received from the Department of Defense for the reconstruction of the demolished nation of Iraq. The emergency no-bid contract for Halliburton, again not competitively bid, is supposed to fight oil fires.
Vice President DICK CHENEY just happened to head up Halliburton Corporation after he left the first Bush administration and before rejoining this Bush administration. Reports indicate he currently receives $180,000 per year in payments from Halliburton Corporation in the form of deferred compensation.
The company apparently will be able to expand this no-bid $7 billion contract, first, to operate the oil fields themselves and, second, to distribute the oil to which our Nation is so hopelessley addicted.
In a letter to Lieutenant General Robert Flowers, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) said he did not mean to suggest that the Corps has intentionally misled anyone about Halliburton's contract. However, the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) is concerned s all of us should be, about the reluctance of the Bush administration to provide complete informantion about the Halliburton contract and other contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq.
The gentleman from California, (Mr. Waxman) questioned how the long-term contracts for Halliburton could be reconciled with the administration's stated intent to give the Iraqi people control of the oil in Iraq.
The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) said, “Only now, over 5 weeks after the contract was first disclosed, are Members of Congres and the putlic learning that Halliburton Corporation may be asked to pump and distribute Iraqi oil under contract.”
The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) repeated the Corps' statement that the contract could be worth up to $7 billion for up to 2 years, Mr. Speaker, as the United States begins the long and expensive process of rebuilding in the wreckage of Iraq, perhaps we should reflect on the process of massive unbid contracts, using taxpayer dollars, to the company that was formerly headed by the Vice President. If the press were awake in America, they would persue this story to the very ends of the Earth.
If the Congress were more responsible in fulfilling its responsibility as a co-equal branch of government to our taxpayers, we would have hearings into this connection. If the death of Vince Foster is worthy of congressional investigations, then certainly unbid billions of dollars of contracts to
Halliburton and others close to this administration deserve at least the same level of scrutiny.
This Member of Congress intends to offer a bill to assure competitive bidding in any contracts related to rebuilding in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is amazing that I even have to do this, and it will be interesting to see who opposes me.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution said in a recent editorial that the secret Halliburton deal endangers U.S. Credibility. The Constitution questioned why a Halliburton subsidiary was the only company invited to bid on the Iraqi contract, why the contract was kept secret from the public until 2 weeks after it was signed this March, and why the true scope of the contract was not disclosed until last week. All are legitimate questions, particularly in a Nation that is trying to inculcate the rule of law and transparency as part of the nation-building process in Iraq.
The Journal Constitution also raised questions about a previous contract between the Halliburton subsidiary and the U.S. Army during Mr. CHENEY'S reign at Halliburton. The GAO determined in 1997 that Halliburton charged the Army more that $85 per sheet of plywood for building projects in Bosnia. A follow-up report in 2000 said the subsidiary's crews were being paid to clean offices as often as four times a day, and the company receives more than $2 billion for work being done in the Balkans.
Even if the Halliburton subsidiary were the only company capable of doing work in Iraq, which most oil industry people contradict, then why all the secrecy about the no-bid contract?
Mr. Speaker, Reuters Nes Service reported Halliburton has disclosed that it made approximately $2.4 million in improper payments to Nigeria, another oil regime getting favorable tax treatment.
The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) should be commended for his dogged pursuit of the truth. The American public should wish him well.
Fracking for Natural Gas
How did Halliburton and KBR get to be so powerful?
Between 1900 and 1912 the number or automobiles registered, jumped from 8,000 to 902,000.
More cars being purchased meant more gasoline was needed and more wells needed to be found and drilled. The early wells in the eastern states used steam powered rigs. They pounded through the rock and earth with a chisel on the end shaped like a see-saw. In the southwestern states the ground is unstable and the holes that they drilled would cave in faster than they could dig them. To drill there, took lots of labor and lots of money.
A rotary drill which was attached to a long hollow pipe was the method used in the late 1920's. This method worked the dirt up as the drill went down. While it is working it's way down, more pipes are added. Pressurized liquid called drilling mud, was forced down the hollow pipe and out of the drill bit, this forced the debris back up to the surface, and cooled down and lubricated the drill bit. Sometimes underground water and gases leaked into the oil and ruined it.
Almond A. Perkins owned a company that had a method of forcing cement down the hollow pipe of the drill. As it was forced back up the walls of the hole, it would seal out the groundwater and gases to keep the oil uncontaminated. Earl Haliburton workde for Perkin's company.
Earl Halliburton moved around the Southwest trying to find people to hire his company to drill using the method he had learned from Almond Perkins. At one point he and Perkins fought over the patent. But Halliburton had added some of his own ideas to Perking original design.
It took a while for Haliburton's company to become successful, because he didn't get paid if the wells he dug didn't produce oil.
In 1924, Erle Halliburton issued 3,500 shares of stock at $100 a share and named his company, Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company, or Howco for short. Some of the biggest oil producers in the area like Duncan, Oklahoma bought into his company. His salary jumped to $15,000 a year. He also received $130,000 to use his patents and reinvested this money in his company.
While Halliburton was building his company, Brown and Root were getting their start in building roads.The company owned by George and Herman Brown and their brother in law, Dan Root, grated roads and graveled them. They eventually, branched out into building bridges and laying asphalt. He
Brown and Root knew that they needed government contracts and in order to get them, they needed to get the support of politicians. Texas' Highway Department was known to be corrupt at that time and so was the Texas Highway Commission. Brown and Root did not have the money to pay bribes because their company was too small. In their biography on the Brown brothers, Joseph Pratt and Christopher Castanada wrote, “They had to become more adept at playing the game of political influence. This was a natural part of doing business in the world of public works contracts. They accepted this reality.”
One of these important political connections was with former Texas senator and eventually U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson.
Eventually, KBR became part of Halliburton's company because the services that both companies provided often crossed over.
What is Halliburton now? It is the largest oil and gas services company in the world. It provides almost every service possible to the energy industry. It has over 100,000 employees in more than 120 countries and it has more than 7,000 clients. Kellogg Brown and Root was split off from the main company in 2002. As previously outlined, KBR is the engineering and construction part of the company. Halliburton still provides most of the operating income.
While working for Haliburton, Dick Cheney bought Dresser Industries. It had claims against it from 400,000 people for asbestos related injuries. Haliburton had to settle for $4.7 billion dollars. In order to protect the companies assets from this settlement, Haliburton split in Halliburton Energy Services Group and KBR, and placed KBR under bankruptcy protection.
While giving his State of the Union Address in 2005, George W. Bush referred to the asbestos claims as, “frivolous asbestos claims” and “irresponsible class actions”. It is obvious where his interests lay. This company had old ties to his families oil business.
Halliburton is an international company. They have offices in Nigeria and oil and gas projects there too. They are often hired by Chevron to build facilities in Nigeria. KBR was hired to build Chevron's Agbami offshore drilling facility in 2005.
Gidikumo Sule was killed in Opuama village in the Niger Delta in 1997. It has been reported that he was killed by the Nigerian Mobile Police. Supposedly, he was part of a group that took over a Halliburton barge because they were protesting the fact that the company failed to keep an agreement to hire local workers. He was reportedly unarmed. The Mobile police are funded by the oil companies. They then carry out the orders that come from the oil companies. They are referred to as "Kill and Go" squads. This is because they can go into an area, kill with impunity and leave. It has been reported that they were ordered to kill Gidikumo Sule, along with suppressing protestors all over Nigeria.
The 1996 Iran-Libyan Sanctions Act, prohibits American companies from doing business with Iran. But there is a loop-hole. A companies subsidiaries can do business there as long as the employess are not U.S. citizens and are not acting as a front for the the larger company that owns. them.
The money from pension funds is often invested on behalf of the members of the funds. New York City's pension fund in heavily invested in Halliburton. This pension fund is worth over $82 Billion dollars. The firefighters and policemen of New York discovered that their pensions were being used to support Iran.
CBS News reported in 2004, that Halliburton Products and Services, Ltd. sold nearly $40 million dollars a year in oil field services to the government of Iran. They were able to do this because it is a subsidiary of the larger Halliburton Corporation and is registered in the Cayman Islands. CBS's reporter, Lesley Stahl, went to the Cayman Islands and only found a mailbox. The mail is rerouted from the Cayman's to Halliburton in Houston, TX.
Reporters from 60 Minutes were told that the company was run from Dubai. The reporters went there and found that the subsidiary had phone and fax lines that were shared with the main company. Then a Federal Grand Jury in Texas opened a criminal investigation.
Under pressure from Congress, the general public, media and it's shareholders, Halliburton agreed not to take any new contracts in Iran. It however kept the ones it already had there.
Their business in the United Kingdom serves as an example of how they do business. They received contracts to build access roads and ramps at Heathrow Airport from the British Airport Authority. They are also designing submarine refueling and refitting areas for the Ministry of Defence, and they have contracts to handle the logistics of rapid deployment from the British military.
In Russia, they have contracts to dismantle and destroy 350 intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as the launch silos.
Despite the Libyan sanctions prohibiting doing business there, they are overseeing the construction of Libya's Great Man-made River Project.
Halliburton is helping the Malasians to upgrade their natural gas facilities. They are also building a railroad link between Darwin and Alice Springs in Australia. In South America, they are building waste-water treatment plants and a pipeline for Bolivian and Brazilian oil companies.
The companies contracts in Iraq are in the billions of dollars. And they have contracts to provide support for American Peacekeeping forces in the Balkans.
The company has a subsidiary called Halliburton NUS Environmental Corp. It has a $25 million dollar contract to remove both above ground and underground storage tanks and the contaminated soil around them for the U.S. Air Force..
KBR was also involved in building Guantánamo Bay. And it was still part of Halliburton at the time it received contracts to build the military bases in Iraq.
Halliburton has been proven to be corrupt. They have contracts with the Air Force and several other governmen agencies. They collaborate with the EPA to decide how to clean up environmental disasters.
If the idea of such a corrupt company contracting with the Air Force and other agencies like the EPA to decide how to go about cleaning up environmental disasters isn't scary to you, I have no idea what would be. Some of the stuff they are involved with is nuclear. I will be writing a separate article on Natural Gas drilling and the contamination of ground water. Guess who has their fingers in that pie?
Much has been reported in Europe and the U.S. about the privitization of police forces. Halliburton has it's feet right square in the middle of that too. I will also be writing a post on that..
The Halliburton agenda: the politics of oil and money, Dan Briody – 2004
Congressional Record, V. 149, Pt. 9, May 14, 2003 to May 21, 2003 - Page 11964
Congressional Record, V. 149, Pt. 10, May 22, 2003 to June 9, 2003 - Page 12783
The Bush agenda: invading the world, one economy at a time - Page 119, Antonia Juhasz – 2006