Halliburton: Poster Child of the War Profiteers


More and more revelations about contract abuse by Halliburton come out regularly. Just last week Rep. Henry Waxman issued a report that found Halliburton overcharging in Iraq now totaled more than $200 million, see: http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/. Activists in Houston are working with national groups, including Democracy Rising, to highlight corporate contract abuse by Halliburton when they hold their shareholders meeting this May 18. In the interview below with DemocracyRising’s KEVIN ZEESE, Scott Parkin, a Community Organizer for Houston Global Awareness describes their plans and how it fits into the overall goals of the organization.

Zeese: What organization are you with? What organizations are you working with on this project?

Parkin: I am a community organizer with Houston Global Awareness, a local anti-empire global justice group in Houston, Texas. Over the past year, we have worked extensively with Global Exchange and Code Pink on the Halliburton campaign. We have also worked with a number of local peace groups such as the Houston Peace and Justice Center, Mama’s Brigade and different anti-authoritarian groups in town. We also recently connected with the Austin spokes council who does similar work in Austin.

Zeese: Is Houston Global Awareness only organized for the Halliburton meeting or is it ongoing?

Parkin: No, we originally came together in the summer of 2001 to organize for the September 2001 IMF/World Bank meetings (which were cancelled after 9/11). Since then, we have organized film screenings, teach-ins, rallies, activist skill shares and various protests and non-violent direct actions around the issues of global justice and empire. In February 2003, we began picketing and raising awareness about hometown war profiteer Halliburton and their subsidiary KBR which intensified at their 2004 annual shareholder’s meeting and beyond.

Zeese: What is the goal of the project?

Parkin: The goal of this project is to put economic, social and political pressure on Halliburton so that they withdraw from Iraq. Currently, they are contracted to build 14 permanent bases in Iraq, support the occupation with essential services such as food preparation, laundry and fuel delivery and help reconstruct the oil economy for multi-national oil companies. We see their presence in Iraq as essential to the war and occupation and ending it will seriously hinder the Bush Administration’s efforts at exploitation and conquest in Iraq.

Zeese: What is happening for the Halliburton shareholders meeting?

Parkin: At the Halliburton shareholder’s meeting, we are screening films on recent developments in Iraq, informing folks about Halliburton’s involvement in Iraq with a teach-in and using a large spirited demonstration and non-violent direct action to put pressure on Halliburton. (See schedule at end of interview.) Inside the Halliburton shareholder’s meeting, CEO David Lesar will be informing the shareholder’s about their efforts in 2004 to profit from war and corporate cronyism.

Zeese: What can people do to help?

Parkin: Folks can come to Houston and join the mobilization. If they are unable to make it Houston, they can organize anti-war profiteer actions and events in their towns to demonstrate to the power-brokers that people power still exists in this country and it will end the war and occupation of Iraq.

Zeese: What would be the key points you want readers to take away with them
concerning Halliburton and its role in the Iraq War and occupation?

Parkin: Halliburton is making a killing off the devastation in Iraq, they are actually the "poster child" for war profiteering. They are essential to the war efforts as no other American company could replace the services they provide.

Halliburton has been accused of more fraud, waste, and corruption than any other Iraq contractor — from allegations of overcharging $61 million for fuel and $24.7 million for meals, to confirmed kickbacks worth $6.3 million. Halliburton is also the only Iraq contractor currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.

Recently, media stories have come out about family members of Halliburton truck drivers killed in Iraq filing wrongful death lawsuits about as they said their loved ones were misled about safety conditions, specific jobs and pay. Another Halliburton/KBR employee was gang beat and left for dead on the streets of Baghdad by eight co-workers after complaining about safety and corruption at the Baghdad airport.

Halliburton has a pattern of corruption and deceit in dealing with their employees, the American taxpayers and the Iraqi people. Furthermore, unemployment in parts of Iraq run as high as 60-90 per cent while Halliburton imports Third World workers displacing Iraqi’s from work and contributing to their economic disenfranchisement.

Zeese: What will come next for the Houston Global Awareness after the Halliburton meeting?

Parkin: We are beginning a long term direct action popular education campaign against Halliburton that will go beyond the shareholder’s meeting. Anti-war and global justice activists here recognize that corporate war profiteering is an important pillar of Bush’s power in occupying Iraq. We will continue to make a political, social and economic climate that makes it difficult for Halliburton to continue operations in Iraq.


Current Schedule of Events for Halliburton Shareholders Meeting

Sunday, May 15
Halliburton Shareholder’s activist skill shares. Times, locations TBA. A day of skillshares on Nonviolent Direct Action, Knowing your rights, People Power Strategy, Media/Storytelling, Anti-oppression and Arts Organizing.

Monday, May 16
Rice Media and Houston Indymedia to present films on Iraq and Fallujah.

Tuesday, May 17
Teach-in on Halliburton featuring Pratap Chatterjee of Corpwatch, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange and Code Pink, others TBA, time and location TBA.

Wednesday, May 18
Rally, March and Protest to Stop the War Profiteers. Rally up at 1000 Crawford (Crawford & Lamar), in front of the statue of George R. Brown @ 8am and march to annual Halliburton shareholder’s meeting at the Four Seasons at 1300 Lamar @ 830am.

For more information
Houston Global Awareness Collective at www.houstonglobalawareness.org
Halliburton Watch at http://www.halliburtonwatch.org

Committee on Government Reform Minority Office http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov

Links from DemocracyRising.US under "U.S. Corporations in Iraq and the Cost of the War"

See interview with Jim Donahue of Halliburton Watch http://democracyrising.us/content/view/90/164/


November 26, 2015
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Imperial Myths: the Enduring Lie of the US’s Origin
Ralph Nader
The Joys of Solitude: a Thanksgiving!

Joseph G. Ramsey
Something to be Thankful For: Struggles, Seeds…and Surprises
Dan Glazebrook
Turkey Shoot: the Rage of the Impotent in Syria
Andrew Stewart
The Odious President Wilson
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration