FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Halliburton, Timber and Howard Dean

The Pentagon has finally weighed in; Halliburton may have overcharged the US government $61 million dollars in gasoline from Iraq. At this point it’s not a matter of whether or not Halliburton gouged our wallets, it’s a matter of “how much” they ripped us off.

And Dick Cheney’s old comrades aren’t the only greedy capitalists hoping to profit from the Iraq calamity. Thankfully, the Pentagon has caught onto Kellogg, Brown and Root’s latest scheme, and smashed it. The crooks would have overcharged US taxpayers $67 million dollars for cafeteria services in Iraq.

Bush’s reaction? Only we can profit from this war! Of course our allies can reap the benefits of the smoldering battlefield as well. But France, Germany, Canada and Russia?

Forget about it.

Well how have the Democrats reacted to all this? “I have long been troubled by the continued growth of the Pentagon’s no-bid contract with Halliburton,” wrote New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg this week, “[and] the delay in the Pentagon’s promise to compete [with] this contract competitively.”

That’s it? He is just “long been troubled?” Not “outraged,” “furious,” or “irate” over Bush’s lies and deceit? Give me a break.

If you notice Lautenberg is mainly upset because the Pentagon has delayed their promise to allow other corporations to compete over Iraq contracts. He does not once acknowledge that nobody should profit from this illegal invasion. But we can’t count on the Democrats to stand up to the imperial aggressors in the White House-that would be asking far too much from a party controlled by the same pin-stripe patrons as the Republicans.

Well, how about Howard Dean? He’s grassroots, and a nubile compared to Bush and Rove’s whorish fundraising talents. He must have something to say on the issue. Right?

Unfortunately, Dean has been far too tight lipped.

He does talk tough from time to time about corporation’s authority over our government’s policies. “The oil companies write our energy policy; big pharmaceutical companies draft Medicare reform without price controls,” Dean recently said, “and in Iraq, Halliburton is awarded a $1.7 billion no-bid contract.” Sounds good to me. But since this statement last fall, we’ve heard very little from Dean on the escalating matter of Halliburton in Iraq.

Why is that? Could it be that his campaign is receiving money from Halliburton connections too? Say it ain’t so!

Sorry, it is.

According to FCC records, Robert L. Crandall (from Dallas Texas), has given Dean $2,000 to date. Who is Crandall you ask? He is the ex-CEO of American Airlines, and has sat on the board of (you guessed it) Halliburton since 1986.

Obviously this does not mean Dean is wed to Halliburton, or anywhere near as embedded as old Dick Cheney. But it does remind us to keep our eyes peeled for future contributions to Dean, and other Democrats from Halliburton employees, executives, and Board Members.

Also, it should be mentioned that Dean wants to open up Iraq bidding to more contractors; “[a]warding reconstruction contracts in a transparent and open process,” Dean’s website contends, “not just to Halliburton — but to the best US or foreign bidder.” So it is quite certain that Halliburton competitors will be knocking on Dean’s campaign door any day now.

One other Dean tidbit worth noting-it has been revealed that the doctor has an interest in harvesting old trees. That’s right. Dean has two stakes of timber land in Virginia, valued at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively, which have recently been priced for liquidation prospects.

Thankfully, cutting down those old trees would be a politically unwise move for Dean to make at this point.

All this means, is that we need to keep a close watch on the Democratic hopefuls. It would be irresponsible to unashamedly cheerlead around a Bush opponent, without fully knowing the facts behind their candidacy. Campaign season is just starting to roll. Plus, if Dean is the victor, it is in our best interest to know what we’ll be up against come 2004.

JOSH FRANK is a writer living in New York. His work has appeared in Left Turn Magazine, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Z Magazine, among others. He can be reached at frank_joshua@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book, co-authored with Jeffrey St. Clair, is Big Heat: Earth on the Brink. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail