Tomgram: Ellen Cantarow, An Environmental Occupy Fracks Corporate America
Posted by Ellen Cantarow January 22, 2012 Tom Dispatch
They say you can’t keep a good man down, but the “good” part of that equation is often negotiable. If you thought you had seen the last of the then-disgraced Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, you know what I mean. The same goes for corporations. Even scandals, swindles, and sanctions don’t seem to matter — at least when the company is valued in the tens of billions of dollars.
Founded in 1919, Halliburton — a Houston-based oil services company — always did well, but it catapulted to fame and further fortune during the 2000s as it made a killing off the killing in Iraq. With former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Cheney in the White House, Halliburton, mostly through its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, or KBR, reaped billions in Iraq War contracts. As the money piled up, so did the scandals. AsPolitifact.com observed in 2010:
“Government officials have raised many questions about KBR’s fulfillment of its contracts, everything from billing for meals it didn’t serve to charging inflated prices for gas to excessive administrative costs. Government auditors have noted that KBR refused to turn over electronic data in its native format and stamped documents as proprietary and secret when the documents would normally be considered public records.
“Over the course of several years, the Defense Contract Audit Agency found that $553 million in payments should be disallowed to KBR, according to 2009 testimony by agency director April Stephenson before the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.”