Category "Halliburton & The Iraqateers"

Corporations and The Reconstruction of New Oraq

September 27th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Corporations of the Whirlwind: The Reconstruction of New Oraq
By Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse

“At times it is hard to ignore the comparisons between Baghdad (where I was less than a month ago and have spent more of the last two years) and New Orleans: The anarchy, the looting, some of it purely for survival, some of it purely opportunistic. We watched a flatbed truck drive by, a man on the back with an M-16 looking up on the roofs for snipers, as is common in Iraq. Private security contractors were stationed outside the Royal St. Charles Hotel; when asked if things were getting pretty wild around the area, one of them replied, ‘Nope. It’s pretty Green Zone here.’” (David Enders, Surviving New Orleans, Mother Jones on-line)

In the decade before September 11th, 2001, “globalization,” a word now largely missing-in-action, was on everyone’s lips and we constantly heard about what a small, small world this really was. In the aftermath of Katrina, that global smallness has grown positively claustrophobic and particularly predatory. Iraq and New Orleans now seem to be morphing into a single entity, New Oraq, to be devoured by the same limited set of corporations, let loose and overseen by the same small set of Bush administration officials. In George Bush’s new world of globalization, first comes the destruction and only then does one sit down at the planetary table to sup.

In recent weeks, news has been seeping out of Iraq that the “reconstruction” of that country is petering out, because the money is largely gone. According to American officials, reported T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times last week, “The U.S. will halt construction work on some water and power plants in Iraq because it is running out of money for projects.” A variety of such reconstruction projects crucial to the everyday lives of Iraqis, the British Guardian informs us, are now “grinding to a halt” as “plans to overhaul the country’s infrastructure have been downsized, postponed or abandoned because the $24bn budget approved by Congress has been dwarfed by the scale of the task.”

Water and sanitation projects have been particularly hard hit; while staggering sums, once earmarked for reconstruction, are being shunted to private security firms whose hired-guns are assigned to guard the projects that can’t be done. With funds growing scarce, various corporations closely connected to the Bush administration, having worked the Iraqi disaster for all it was worth (largely under no-bid, cost-plus contracts), are now looking New Orleans-ward.

Read The Full Article Here

Halliburton Contract Critic Loses Her Job

August 31st, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Halliburton Contract Critic Loses Her Job
By Griff Witte
The Washington Post

Performance review cited in removal.

A high-level contracting official who has been a vocal critic of the Pentagon’s decision to give Halliburton Co. a multibillion-dollar, no-bid contract for work in Iraq, was removed from her job by the Army Corps of Engineers, effective Saturday.

Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, commander of the Army Corps, told Bunnatine H. Greenhouse last month that she was being removed from the senior executive service, the top rank of civilian government employees, because of poor performance reviews. Greenhouse’s attorney, Michael D. Kohn, appealed the decision Friday in a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, saying it broke an earlier commitment to suspend the demotion until a “sufficient record” was available to address her allegations.

Read The Complete Article Here

Halliburton Secretly Doing Business With Iran

August 16th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Halliburton Secretly Doing Business with Key Member of Iran’s Nuclear Team
By Jason Leopold
Originally Posted on, August 6th, 2005

Scandal-plagued Halliburton, the oil services company once headed by Vice President Dick was secretly working with one of Iran’s top nuclear program officials on natural gas related projects and, allegedly, selling the officials’ oil development company key components for a nuclear reactor, according to Halliburton sources with intimate knowledge into both companies’ business dealings.

Just last week a National Security Council report said Iran was a decade away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. That time frame could arguably have been significantly longer if Halliburton, which just reported a 284 percent increase in its fourth quarter profits due to its Iraq reconstruction contracts, was not actively providing the Iranian government with the financial means to build a nuclear weapon.

Now comes word that Halliburton, which has a long history of flouting U.S. law by conducting business with countries the Bush administration said has ties to terrorism, was working with Cyrus Nasseri, the vice chairman of the board of directors of Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran’s largest private oil companies, on oil development projects in Tehran. Nasseri is also a key member of Iran’s nuclear development team.

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So, Mr. Bremer, Where Did All the Money Go?

July 27th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

So, Mr. Bremer, Where Did All the Money Go?
By Ed Harriman
The Guardian UK
July 7th, 2005

At the end of the Iraq war, vast sums of money were made available to the US-led provisional authorities, headed by Paul Bremer, to spend on rebuilding the country. By the time Bremer left the post eight months later, $8.8bn of that money had disappeared. Ed Harriman on the extraordinary scandal of Iraq’s missing billions.

When Paul Bremer, the American pro consul in Baghdad until June last year, arrived in Iraq soon after the official end of hostilities, there was $6bn left over from the UN Oil for Food Programme, as well as sequestered and frozen assets, and at least $10bn from resumed Iraqi oil exports. Under Security Council Resolution 1483, passed on May 22 2003, all these funds were transferred into a new account held at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, called the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and intended to be spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) “in a transparent manner … for the benefit of the Iraqi people”.

The US Congress also voted to spend $18.4bn of US taxpayers’ money on the redevelopment of Iraq. By June 28 last year, however, when Bremer left Baghdad two days early to avoid possible attack on the way to the airport, his CPA had spent up to $20bn of Iraqi money, compared with $300m of US funds. The “reconstruction” of Iraq is the largest American-led occupation programme since the Marshall Plan - but the US government funded the Marshall Plan. Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer have made sure that the reconstruction of Iraq is paid for by the “liberated” country, by the Iraqis themselves.

Read The Complete Story In The Guardian…,,1522983,00.html

Halliburton Hearing Unearths New Abuse

June 29th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Halliburton Hearing Unearths New Abuse
By Pratap Chatterjee

June 27th, 2005

Every morning 120 trucks line up at the Kuwait-Iraq border to deliver gasoline from Kuwaiti refineries. The drivers, mostly poor South Asian men from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, must cross at dawn because if they wait too long, the managers from Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Texas-based Halliburton, who operate the border post during the day, will subject them to rigorous checks that effectively shut down the deliveries.
“The only way we can cross the border is to arrive before KBR,” says Alan Waller, the chief executive officer of Lloyd Owens International (LOI), a British company which manages 700 trucks from five different sub-contractors.

“For the last eleven months we provided fuel to all of southern Iraq. We have only lost one truck to theft and not one driver has been killed in hostile action. We have responded to civil uprisings in Najaf, Hilla, Karbala, Kut and Nasariya within 24 hours to provide fuel to the public. Our role has become instrumental in normalizing relationships between Iraqi authorities, the population and coalition forces.”

All that changed on June 9th, 2005, when a convoy of LOI trucks, on its way to deliver construction materials for a Halliburton dining facility to a United States army base near Fallujah, Iraq, came under attack. Three drivers, two Egyptians and one Turk, were presumed killed and six trucks were abandoned.

When the survivors limped into the Al Taqaddum military base, they were expected to receive support from the Halliburton staff. Instead they got the cold shoulder. When the drivers tried to leave the country, they hit a roadside bomb and another Bosnian staff member was killed.

Reading from an email apparently sent by a Halliburton manager, Waller, said that the company staff were ordered not to help them. “Many people volunteered to help but were told no by management,” he said before an audience of United States senators and their staff in Washington DC on June 27th. He noted that they were not told that two other convoys had been attacked in the same area in the previous week.

Waller and his business partner, Gary Butters, a former London police detective, were speaking at an oversight hearing on “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in U.S. Government Contracting in Iraq” conducted by Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. The two men flew to the United States to testify after they were twice refused an audience with the United States embassy in Iraq to resolve the situation.

When asked by CorpWatch why Halliburton throws roadblocks in their way at every step, Waller refused to speculate. He simply stated that Halliburton managers say that his company does not have a contract with the United States military and thus they do not qualify for preferential treatment at the border.

He did mention that that his company is now doing work for a seventh of the price that Halliburton did one year ago, when the circumstances were much less dangerous.

Via a sub-contractor called Altanmia Commercial Marketing Company, Halliburton delivered gasoline in late 2003 at an average price of $2.65 per gallon. In spring 2004, shortly before the country was handed over to the Iraqis, the contract was canceled by the US military. The new Iraqi government then awarded an identical gasoline supply contract to LOI and their partners, Geotech Environmental Services of Kuwait, who charged just 18 cents per gallon to supply the same sites.

Waller also told the hearing that he had encountered only one Halliburton worker in the last year of his work in southern Iraq (the Texas company still holds contracts to repair oil field infratructure in Iraq). Meanwhile, he said that every fuel distribution station set up provide gasoline to the Iraqi public — even those that Halliburton was supposed to have fixed — was in disrepair.

“As Lloyd-Owen delivers fuel to nearly every refinery or depot in southern Iraq, we find ourselves frequently encountering examples of poor equipment, no equipment or complaints from Iraqi staff,” said Waller.

Asked to respond to the LOI testimony by CorpWatch, Cathy Gist-Mann, a Halliburton spokesperson, emailed this brief statement: “KBR does not control ANY borders in the Middle East or any other country.”

Billion Dollar Overcharges

The LOI testimony was not the only new evidence offered against Halliburton workmanship in Iraq. Henry Waxman, a California member of the House of Representatives, kicked off the proceedings by presenting a new study gleaned mostly from confidential reports done by the Defence Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).

The study estimates that Halliburton has received roughly 52 percent of the $25.4 billion that the Pentagon has paid out to so far to 77 private contractors in Iraq.

The new evidence, released Monday afternoon, shows that Hallliburton:

* overcharged or presented questionable bills for close on $1.5 billion, almost four times the previous amount disclosed.
* lost 12 giant pre-fabricated bases worth over $75 million destined for the troops. The bases could have housed as many as 6,600 soldiers.
* billed $152,000 for movie rentals.
* billed inconsistently across the board. Video cassette players, for example, were said to cost $300.00 in some instances, and $1000 in others. Likewise, the company charged $2.31 for towels on one occasion and $5 for the same units on another.

Gist-Mann dismissed the Waxman report. “The only thing that’s been inflated is the political rhetoric which is mostly a rehash of last year’s elections,” she said.

“It’s DCAA’s job to ask questions and it’s our job to provide the answers which we have done,” she continued. “Audits are part of the normal contracting process and it is important to note that the auditors’ role in the process is advisory only.”

“Many of these questions have already been resolved. The figure represented in today’s hearing stems from an aggregation of many reviews over a three-year period and the amount is a gross mischaracterization of the true facts,” she added.

Spoiled Food and Leftovers

A third witness at the hearing was Rory Maryberry, a former Halliburton contractor who worked at the dining facilities in Camp Anaconda. Located just north of Baghdad, near the town of Balad, Anaconda is the largest United States military base in Iraq.

In a video-taped deposition shown during the packed hearing, Mayberry explained how the company would sometimes supply food that was over a year past the expiration date or had spoiled due to inconsistent refrigeration. When the United States military occasionally refused the spoiled food, Halliburton truckers were instructed to take them to the next base in the hope that they would escape scrutiny.

Worst affected were the non-American workers. Mayberry says that Halliburton was supposed to feed 600 Turkish and Filipino meals. “Although KBR charged for this service, it didn’t prepare the meals. Instead, these workers were given leftover food in boxes and garbage bags after the troops ate. Sometimes there were not leftovers to give them,” said Mayberry.

“Iraqi drivers of food convoys that arrived on the base were not fed. They were given Meals Ready to Eat (U.S. military prepackaged rations), with pork, which they couldn’teat for religious reasons. As a result, the drivers would raid the trucks for food,” he added.

“KBR’s priority has always been providing the troops the best possible food, shelter and living conditions while they serve in Iraq,” said Gist-Mann, in response to Mayberry’s allegations.

“KBR is not responsible for purchasing food to serve at its dining facilities throughout Iraq. KBR’s dining facilities are thoroughly inspected every month by the Army’s Preventive Medicine Services division, and one of the main things they check is the expiration dates on various food products. If at any point food is deemed unfit to serve, KBR follows the government-approved processes and procedures to destroy it,” she added.

No Bid Contracts

The witness who invited the most attention at the hearing, however, was Bunnatine Greenhouse, a former mathematics teacher from Louisiana, who rose to become the highest ranked civilian in the Army Corps of Engineers. As the person responsible for signing contracts, she spoke out repeatedly against superiors who she says forced her to sign no-bid contracts with Halliburton on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.

Greenhouse blew the whistle on the non-bid contracts in October 2004 when the Army tried to demote her. She filed a complaint for harassment on racial and gender grounds (she is African-American) but the harassment has not stopped. On June 24th, three days before the hearing, Pentagon lawyers met with her to try to persuade her not to testify.

“I have agreed to voluntarily appear at this hearing in my personal capacity because I have exhausted all internal avenues to correct contracting abuse I observed while serving this great nation as the United States Army Corps of Engineers senior procurement executive. In order to remain true to my oath of office, I must disclose to appropriate members of Congress serious and ongoing contract abuse I cannot address internally,” said Greenhouse.

“I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.”

Members of Congress, who attended the hearing, called for a bipartisan commission to review the Halliburton contracts. “This testimony doesn’t just call for Congressional oversight — it screams for it,” said Senator Dorgan.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

US ‘Backed Illegal Iraqi Oil Deals’

June 16th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

US ‘Backed Illegal Iraqi Oil Deals’
By Julian Borger and Jamie Wilson
The Guardian UK

May 17th, 2005

Report claims blind eye was turned to sanctions busting by American firms.

The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.

A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.

In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

“The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions,” the report said. “On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

The report is likely to ease pressure from conservative Republicans on Kofi Annan to resign from his post as UN secretary general.

The new findings are also likely to be raised when Mr Galloway appears before the Senate subcommittee on investigations today.

The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow arrived yesterday in Washington demanding an apology from the Senate for what he called the “schoolboy dossier” passed off as an investigation against him.

“It was full of holes, full of falsehoods and full of value judgments that are apparently only shared here in Washington,” he said at Washington Dulles airport.

He told Reuters: “I have no expectation of justice … I come not as the accused but as the accuser. I am [going] to show just how absurd this report is.”

Mr Galloway has denied allegations that he profited from Iraqi oil sales and will come face to face with the committee in what promises to be one of the most highly charged pieces of political theatre seen in Washington for some time.

Yesterday’s report makes two principal allegations against the Bush administration. Firstly, it found the US treasury failed to take action against a Texas oil company, Bayoil, which facilitated payment of “at least $37m in illegal surcharges to the Hussein regime”.

The surcharges were a violation of the UN Oil For Food programme, by which Iraq was allowed to sell heavily discounted oil to raise money for food and humanitarian supplies. However, Saddam was allowed to choose which companies were given the highly lucrative oil contracts. Between September 2000 and September 2002 (when the practice was stopped) the regime demanded kickbacks of 10 to 30 US cents a barrel in return for oil allocations.

In its second main finding, the report said the US military and the state department gave a tacit green light for shipments of nearly 8m barrels of oil bought by Jordan, a vital American ally, entirely outside the UN-monitored Oil For Food system. Jordan was permitted to buy some oil directly under strict conditions but these purchases appeared to be under the counter.

The report details a series of efforts by UN monitors to obtain information about Bayoil’s oil shipments in 2001 and 2002, and the lack of help provided by the US treasury.

After repeated requests over eight months from the UN and the US state department, the treasury’s office of foreign as sets control wrote to Bayoil in May 2002, requesting a report on its transactions but did not “request specific information by UN or direct Bayoil to answer the UN’s questions”.

Bayoil’s owner, David Chalmers, has been charged over the company’s activities. His lawyer Catherine Recker told the Washington Post: “Bayoil and David Chalmers [said] they have done nothing illegal and will vigorously defend these reckless accusations.”

The Jordanian oil purchases were shipped in the weeks before the war, out of the Iraqi port of Khor al-Amaya, which was operating without UN approval or surveillance.

Investigators found correspondence showing that Odin Marine Inc, the US company chartering the seven huge tankers which picked up the oil at Khor al-Amaya, repeatedly sought and received approval from US military and civilian officials that the ships would not be confiscated by US Navy vessels in the Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF) enforcing the embargo.

Odin was reassured by a state department official that the US “was aware of the shipments and has determined not to take action”.

The company’s vice president, David Young, told investigators that a US naval officer at MIF told him that he “had no objections” to the shipments. “He said that he was sorry he could not say anything more. I told him I completely understood and did not expect him to say anything more,” Mr Young said.

An executive at Odin Maritime confirmed the senate account of the oil shipments as “correct” but declined to comment further.

It was not clear last night whether the Democratic report would be accepted by Republicans on the Senate investigations committee.

The Pentagon declined to comment. The US representative’s office at the UN referred inquiries to the state department, which fail to return calls.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

British MP Galloway vs. The US Senate

May 29th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Galloway vs. The US Senate: Transcript of Statement
The Times UK
May 18th, 2005

George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, delivered this statement to US Senators today who have accused him of corruption.

“Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.
“Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.

“Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let’s be charitable and say errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had ‘many meetings’ with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

“I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as “many meetings” with Saddam Hussein.

“As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

“I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.

“You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.

“Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from the source is true, that I am ‘the owner of a company which has made substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil’.

“Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in London. I do not own a company that’s been trading in Iraqi oil. And you have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and false, implying otherwise.

“Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.

“You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realise played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq.

“There were 270 names on that list originally. That’s somehow been filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this disaster.

“You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, I’ve never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently has. But I do know that he’s your prisoner, I believe he’s in Abu Ghraib prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.

“I’m not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what he said, then he is wrong.

“And if you had any evidence that I had ever engaged in any actual oil transaction, if you had any evidence that anybody ever gave me any money, it would be before the public and before this committee today because I agreed with your Mr Greenblatt [Mark Greenblatt, legal counsel on the committee].

“Your Mr Greenblatt was absolutely correct. What counts is not the names on the paper, what counts is where’s the money. Senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars of money? The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced them today.

“Now you refer at length to a company names in these documents as Aredio Petroleum. I say to you under oath here today: I have never heard of this company, I have never met anyone from this company. This company has never paid a penny to me and I’ll tell you something else: I can assure you that Aredio Petroleum has never paid a single penny to the Mariam Appeal Campaign. Not a thin dime. I don’t know who Aredio Petroleum are, but I daresay if you were to ask them they would confirm that they have never met me or ever paid me a penny.

“Whilst I’m on that subject, who is this senior former regime official that you spoke to yesterday? Don’t you think I have a right to know? Don’t you think the Committee and the public have a right to know who this senior former regime official you were quoting against me interviewed yesterday actually is?

“Now, one of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in this set of documents is, to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made. You assert on page 19, not once but twice, that the documents that you are referring to cover a different period in time from the documents covered by The Daily Telegraph which were a subject of a libel action won by me in the High Court in England late last year.

“You state that The Daily Telegraph article cited documents from 1992 and 1993 whilst you are dealing with documents dating from 2001. Senator, The Daily Telegraph’s documents date identically to the documents that you were dealing with in your report here. None of The Daily Telegraph’s documents dealt with a period of 1992, 1993. I had never set foot in Iraq until late in 1993 - never in my life. There could possibly be no documents relating to Oil-for-Food matters in 1992, 1993, for the Oil-for-Food scheme did not exist at that time.

“And yet you’ve allocated a full section of this document to claiming that your documents are from a different era to the Daily Telegraph documents when the opposite is true. Your documents and the Daily Telegraph documents deal with exactly the same period.

“But perhaps you were confusing the Daily Telegraph action with the Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor did indeed publish on its front pages a set of allegations against me very similar to the ones that your committee have made. They did indeed rely on documents which started in 1992, 1993. These documents were unmasked by the Christian Science Monitor themselves as forgeries.

“Now, the neo-con websites and newspapers in which you’re such a hero, senator, were all absolutely cock-a-hoop at the publication of the Christian Science Monitor documents, they were all absolutely convinced of their authenticity. They were all absolutely convinced that these documents showed me receiving $10 million from the Saddam regime. And they were all lies.

“In the same week as the Daily Telegraph published their documents against me, the Christian Science Monitor published theirs which turned out to be forgeries and the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, purchased a third set of documents which also upon forensic examination turned out to be forgeries. So there’s nothing fanciful about this. Nothing at all fanciful about it.

“The existence of forged documents implicating me in commercial activities with the Iraqi regime is a proven fact. It’s a proven fact that these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst right-wing newspapers in Baghdad and around the world in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.

“Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life’s blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth.

“Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq’s wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq’s money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

“Have a look at the oil that you didn’t even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.

“Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government.”

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Panel Says BayOil Key In Saddam Scheme

May 18th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Panel Says BayOil Key In Saddam Scheme
By David Ivanovich
Houston Chronicle

Houston firm was ‘puppeteer’ in oil-for-food scam, investigators say

Houston’s BayOil (USA) was the “puppeteer” in a scheme to help Russian politicians profit illegally from the United Nations’ oil-for-food program and pay kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime, Senate investigators say.

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations contends the trading firm, led by Houston’s David Chalmers Jr., played a key role in helping Saddam curry favor with Russian leaders. At the time, Saddam was trying to win friends on the U.N. Security Council.

“They are involved in Iraqi oil from soup to nuts,” a Senate investigator said.

In a pair of reports, Senate investigators say BayOil helped anti-Western Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian Presidential Council and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own Unity Party illegally earn millions by circumventing U.N. rules.

The subcommittee’s allegations come one month after a federal jury in New York accused Chalmers and his colleague Ludmil Dionissiev, both of Houston, as well as BayOil trader John Irving of London of scheming with Baghdad to fix oil prices and pay millions in kickbacks to Saddam’s regime.

Read the article here…

Former Bush Adviser ‘Consulting’ For KBR

March 27th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Former Bush Adviser ‘Consulting’ For KBR
Allbaugh to Work For Halliburton, But Won’t ‘Lobby’
By Michael S. Gerber
The Washington Examiner

March 22, 2005

Joe Allbaugh testifies on Capitol Hill a Federal Emergency Management Agency Director, on Sept. 24, 2002, in Washington, as Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman looks on. Ken Lambert/AP Joe Allbaugh, the Oklahoman known for his flat-top haircut and loyalty to President Bush, has a new client: Halliburton, the Houston-based company once led by Vice President Cheney.
Allbaugh, a close adviser to Bush during his Texas days, registered to lobby on behalf of Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), Halliburton’s construction and engineering subsidiary. Allbaugh’s wife and partner at the Allbaugh Company, Diane Allbaugh, is also listed on the registration, which was filed last week with the Senate Office of Public Records.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Halliburton said Allbaugh had not been commissioned to do any direct lobbying.

“KBR hired Joe Allbaugh as a consultant to provide strategy support for our Government and Infrastructure business,” the statement read. “Mr. Allbaugh has not been tasked with any lobbying responsibilities.”

But Allbaugh’s lobbying disclosure form says the company will “educate the congressional and executive branch on defense, disaster relief and homeland security issues.”

A spokesperson for the Allbaugh Co. said Allbaugh was traveling on vacation. The spokesperson said the firm was tapped to advise KBR solely on homeland security issues.

Allbaugh’s close ties to the White House give him contacts throughout the administration, Congress and the private sector. As director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the first two years of the Bush administration, Allbaugh was charged with overseeing the federal government’s disaster preparedness and relief programs.

Prior to joining FEMA, Allbaugh was one of Bush’s closest campaign aides. He managed Bush’s first run for the Texas governor’s mansion in 1994 and later served as Bush’s chief of staff in Austin. During the 2000 election, Allbaugh, a former deputy secretary of transportation in Oklahoma and longtime GOP campaign operative, was the national campaign manager for the Bush-Cheney campaign. Allbaugh, along with Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, was part of the triumvirate of Bush’s closest advisers.

Allbaugh left FEMA in March 2003 when the agency became part of the Department of Homeland Security and he was passed over as secretary in favor of Tom Ridge, but he continued to serve on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Currently, he is a partner in two lobbying firms and chairman of New Bridge Strategies, a company set up by lobbyists with close ties to the Bush administration. New Bridge helps clients “evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq,” according to its Web site.

“This is a perfect example of someone cashing in on a cozy political relationship,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog group. “Allbaugh’s former placement as a senior government official and his new lobbying position with KBR strengthens the company’s already tight ties to the administration, and I hope that contractor accountability is not lost as a result.”

The White House did not return a request for comment on this story.

Halliburton and KBR have played a major role in the reconstruction of Iraq since the American invasion two years ago. The companies came under fire after receiving many government contracts in Iraq, including a no-bid contract to put out oil fires that was worth several billion dollars.

Halliburton, where Cheney was CEO from 1995 until August 2000, has an in-house government affairs shop led by retired Army Gen. Charles Dominy. In 2004, the company reported $400,000 in lobbying expenditures.

In the last few years, KBR has hired a small number of outside consultants, including lobbyists from Covington & Burling and Leo Wright Associates, according to disclosure filings. The contractor also paid Michael Barrett, a former counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to help steer the company through congressional investigations into Iraq contracts.

The Halliburton spokeswoman declined to say how much the company is paying Allbaugh, citing company policy not to reveal the value of contracts with outside consultants.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Secret US Plans For Iraq’s Oil

March 21st, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Secret US Plans For Iraq’s Oil
By Greg Palast

March 17th, 2005

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.

Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam had been conquered.
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists.”

“Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began “within weeks” of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant Falah Aljibury says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d’etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

Secret Sell-Off Plan

The industry-favored plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq’s oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq’s oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.

The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Ahmed Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel. Mr. Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, flew to the London meeting, he told Newsnight, at the request of the State Department.

Mr Aljibury, once Ronald Reagan’s “back-channel” to Saddam, claims that plans to sell off Iraq’s oil, pushed by the US-installed Governing Council in 2003, helped instigate the insurgency and attacks on US and British occupying forces.

“Insurgents used this, saying, ‘Look, you’re losing your country, your losing your resources to a bunch of wealthy billionaires who want to take you over and make your life miserable,” said Mr Aljibury from his home near San Francisco.

“We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities, pipelines, built on the premise that privatization is coming.”

Privatization Blocked by Industry

Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq’s oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme.

Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: “There was to be no privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved.”

The chosen successor to Mr Carroll, a Conoco Oil executive, ordered up a new plan for a state oil company preferred by the industry.

Ari Cohen, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, told Newsnight that an opportunity had been missed to privatize Iraq’s oil fields. He advocated the plan as a means to help the US defeat Opec, and said America should have gone ahead with what he called a “no-brainer” decision.

Mr Carroll hit back, telling Newsnight, “I would agree with that statement. To privatize would be a no-brainer. It would only be thought about by someone with no brain.”

New plans, obtained from the State Department by Newsnight and Harper’s Magazine under the US Freedom of Information Act, called for creation of a state-owned oil company favored by the US oil industry. It was completed in January 2004, Harper’s discovered, under the guidance of Amy Jaffe of the James Baker Institute in Texas. Former US Secretary of State Baker is now an attorney. His law firm, Baker Botts, is representing ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government.

Questioned by Newsnight, Ms Jaffe said the oil industry prefers state control of Iraq’s oil over a sell-off because it fears a repeat of Russia’s energy privatization. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, US oil companies were barred from bidding for the reserves.

Jaffe said “There is no question that an American oil company … would not be enthusiastic about a plan that would privatize all the assets with Iraq companies and they (US companies) might be left out of the transaction.”

In addition, Ms. Jaffe says US oil companies are not warm to any plan that would undermine Opec, “They [oil companies] have to worry about the price of oil.”

“I’m not sure that if I’m the chair of an American company, and you put me on a lie detector test, I would say high oil prices are bad for me or my company.”

The former Shell oil boss agrees. In Houston, he told Newsnight, “Many neo-conservatives are people who have certain ideological beliefs about markets, about democracy, about this that and the other. International oil companies without exception are very pragmatic commercial organizations. They don’t have a theology.”

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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