Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal



(AGI) - Tehran, Iran, Aug 23 - US multinational Halliburton lost a 310 million dollar contract for natural gas extraction in the Iranian site of South Pars. According to Tehran authorities, Oriental Oil Kish, a subsidiary of Halliburton operating in the Middle East, won the contract last January thanks to bribes. The activities of the company in South Pars have been suspended and the contract annulled. Halliburton, once led by US Vice President Dick Chaney, is under investigation for the same contract in the US as well, on the basis of a 1996 law that punishes companies, both American and foreign, which invest more than 40 million dollars in Iran. The contract should now be passed on to the National Iranian Drilling Company, the Iranian state-owned energy company.


Ex-Halliburton Subsidiary Worker Guilty

The Associated Press
Friday, August 19, 2005; 8:32 PM

PEORIA, Ill. -- A former employee of a Halliburton Co. subsidiary pleaded guilty Friday to accepting more than $100,000 in kickbacks from an Iraqi company in exchange for securing it a U.S. military construction contract, prosecutors said.

Glenn Allen Powell, 40, of Cedar Park, Texas, will be sentenced Nov. 18 in federal court for major fraud against the United States and violating the anti-kickback act. He faces 10 years in prison on each count and up to $1.25 million in fines.

"He's very sorry about what he did. He made a mistake and he wants to make it right," said Powell's attorney, Samuel Bassett.

Powell, who was fired after an internal investigation, has repaid part of the money to Halliburton and plans to repay the rest, Bassett said.

Prosecutors say Powell was a subcontracts administrator for Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc., which provides engineering and other project management services for the military.

In exchange for $110,300 in kickbacks, Powell recommended the Iraqi company for a $609,000 subcontract to renovate four buildings into office and warehouse space, prosecutors say. Prosecutors declined to name the company.

"A government contract is not a license to steal," U.S. Attorney Jan Paul Miller said in a statement. "The public should be able to trust that the individuals who implement government contracts do so honestly."

Halliburton has removed the Iraqi company from its list of subcontractors and given the military a credit for the amount of the kickback, spokeswoman Melissa Norcross said.

Vice President Dick Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and Democratic members of Congress have repeatedly questioned whether Halliburton and its subsidiaries received favorable treatment because of its connections. Cheney and other administration officials have denied Cheney had any role in Halliburton's government contract work.


My sadness at the privatisation of Iraq

Michael Meacher

The US transnational companies are taking over — and they'll benefit for years to come

IF DEMOCRACY is the goal of American policy in Iraq, as President Bush repeatedly says it is — not eliminating WMD, not controlling Middle East oil, not removing a dictator guilty of genocide — then with the Sunni walkout from government and Kurdish intransigence over federalism and Kirkuk, that policy is nearing breakdown. But democracy was always only an after-thought, and anyway never really on offer in the first place.
Before the US proconsul Paul Bremer left Baghdad, he enacted 100 orders as chief of the occupation authority in Iraq. Perhaps the most infamous was Order 39 which decreed that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatised, that foreign companies could have complete control of Iraqi banks, factories and mines, and that these companies could transfer all of their profits out of Iraq. The “reconstruction” of the country amounts in effect to wholesale privatisation of the economy and is little short of economic colonisation.

These laws will not be reversed while 140,000 US troops remain in the country, or a network of US military bases planned to be retained in Iraq for a much longer period. Aid for rebuilding the electricity and water services, the oil industry, and the legal and security systems will reside with the US Embassy for many years to come.

If all 100 orders are taken together, they set the overall legal framework for overriding foreign exploitation of Iraq’s domestic market. They cover almost all facets of the economy, including Iraq’s trading regime, the mandate of the Central Bank, and regulations governing trade union activities. Collectively, they lay down the foundations for the real US objective in Iraq, apart from keeping control of the oil supply, namely the imposition of a neoliberal capitalist economy controlled and run by US transnational corporations.

But what is remarkable about these laws is not only their overall degree of control, but their far-reaching application. Order 81, for example, has the status of binding law over “patent industrial design, undisclosed information, integrated circuits and plant variety” — a degree of detailed supervision normally associated with a Soviet command-and-control economy. While historically the Iraqi Constitution prohibited private ownership of biological resources, the new US-imposed patent law introduces a system of monopoly rights over seeds. This is virtually a takeover of Iraqi agriculture.

The rights granted to US plant breeding companies under this order include the exclusive right to produce, reproduce, sell, export, import and store the plant varieties covered by intellectual property right for the next 20-25 years. During this extended period nobody can plant or otherwise use plants, trees or vines without compensating the breeder.

In the name of agricultural reconstruction this new law deprives Iraqi farmers of their inherent right, exercised for the past 10,000 years in the fertile Mesopotamian arc, to save and replant seeds. It enables the penetration of Iraqi agriculture by Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow Chemical and other corporate giants that control the global seed trade. Food sovereignty for the Iraqi people has therefore already been made near-impossible by these new regulations.

This is merely one example of the pervasiveness of the orders left behind by Bremer. But their impact is largely concentrated in the near-monopolisation by US corporations of the economic contracts awarded by the US-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority. Overwhelmingly they have been allocated to big US companies, notably Bechtel and Halliburton, which happens to be Vice-President Dick Cheney’s former company, sometimes on a secret no-bid basis — such as the contract to repair and operate oil wells awarded to the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root.

Almost no contracts have gone to UK companies, apart from one to repair and rebuild the Baghdad sewage system. For oilfield repairs over a two-year period the contracts have been worth some $7 billion. For the little known and disarmingly entitled Logistics Civil Augmentation Programme, the contracts value is far greater.

The funding of these massive contracts has largely come from the Iraqi oil revenues expropriated for US corporate use. The oil money is held in the US Federal Reserve, and the US Government is determined to keep control of it under an international board. The US has already spent around half the revenue, mainly on these long-term contracts with their construction companies. Of course John Negroponte, who was then the American Ambassador to Iraq, made clear that these enormous funds will be managed in consultation with the Iraqi Government, but there can be little doubt where the decision-making power will lie.

Whether this enforced takeover of the economy and imposed privatisation across the board of all the main economic sectors is in accordance with international law is now much disputed. But whether it can be reversed when America holds all the military, political and economic cards is another matter. The only way for the US authorities to sidestep the potential conflict is to ensure that the new Iraqi Government is pliant enough not to press for full sovereignty. Paul Bremer thought of that too.

His Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) effectively gives the Kurds, the most pro-American section of the population, a veto over the new constitution because the TAL itself states that it can only be amended by a 75 per cent vote in parliament. The Kurds hold more that 25 per cent of the seats.


Halliburton provided Iran with key nuclear reactor components

8/10/2005 8:11:00 AM GMT

Halliburton, the scandal-plagued oil company, that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run, sold an Iranian company key components for a nuclear reactor, Halliburton sources revealed.

Cheney was CEO from 1995 to 2000, during which Halliburton Products and Services set up shop in Iran.

Halliburton, which sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government, was secretly aiding one of Iran’s top nuclear program officials on natural gas related projects and provided the official's oil development company with the components last April, the sources said.

FARS, one of Iran's many state controlled news agencies reported last month the arrest of several executives of the Oriental Oil Kish Company, which is owned by sons and other relatives of the defeated mullah presidential candidate Hashemi Rafsanjani, saying that the men were involved in widespread corruption of Iran's oil industry, specifically tied to the country's business dealings with Halliburton.

According to a report posted on the Iran Press News website: "They were brought up on charges of economic corruption". “Following the necessary investigations by the judiciary's bailiffs, with warrants from the public prosecutor's office, the case of economic corruption and malfeasance, certain of the authorities of Oriental Kish Oil Company have been arrested and under questioning. The head of the board of directors was also among those detained.”

Halliburton, with a history of violations of U.S. law by conducting business with countries the Bush administration claims are supporting “terrorism”, was working with Cyrus Nasseri, vice chairman of the board of directors of Oriental Oil Kish, on oil and natural gas development projects in Tehran, registered in the United Kingdom and Dubai. Nasseri, a key member of Iran’s nuclear development team, participated in Iran’s nuclear negotiating with the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to a report published by the Financial Times: “Nasseri, a senior Iranian diplomat negotiating with Europe over Iran's nuclear program, is at the heart of deals with U.S. energy companies to develop the country's oil industry”.

“A reliable source stated that, given the parameters, the close-knit cooperation and association of one of the key members of the regime's nuclear negotiation team with Halliburton can be an alarm bell which will necessarily instigate the dynamics of the members of the regimes' negotiating committee,” according to the Iran Press News story.

In late July, Nasseri was questioned for passing Iran’s nuclear secrets to Halliburton and receiving $1 million in bribes from the company, Iranian government officials said.

According to Iran Press News, a huge network of oil mafia was uncovered during investigations.

Halliburton sources revealed that the company sold Iran centrifuges and detonators to be used specifically for a nuclear reactor as well oil and natural gas drilling parts for well projects to Oriental Oil Kish.

Halliburton’s business with Oriental Oil Kish first surfaced in January, when the Iranian company said that it gave some contracts of the South Pars natural gas drilling project to Halliburton Products and Services, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Halliburton.

Later on, Halliburton said the South Pars gas field project in Iran will be the its last project in the country, “due to a poor business environment,” according to BBC.

In May and under mounting pressure from lawmakers in Washington, Halliburton decided to end its deals with Nasseri, but continued acting as an advisory capacity to his company.

Currently, the U.S. law doesn’t prohibit foreign subsidiaries from having business with what President Bush calls “rouge” nations as long as the subsidiaries are truly independent of the mother company.

But Halliburton’s Cayman Island subsidiary never did fit that description.

According to a February 2001 report in the Wall Street Journal, “Halliburton Products & Services Ltd. works behind an unmarked door on the ninth floor of a new north Tehran tower block. A brochure declares that the company was registered in 1975 in the Cayman Islands, is based in the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Dubai and is non-American. But, like the sign over the receptionist's head, the brochure bears the company's name and red emblem, and offers services from Halliburton units around the world.”


Oil Addiction and Saudi Dependence

By Matthew Rothschild
August 9, 2005

On Monday, Bush signed the energy bill.

Also on Monday, the price of crude hit a record $64 a barrel.

The oil markets obviously know that the new energy law will do precious little to wean America off the black liquid.

“This new law is a historic failure,” Representative Edward J. Markey told The New York Times. “It fails to do anything to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars and SUVs, even though more than two-thirds of the oil we consume goes into gasoline tanks.”

Nor does it mandate increased use of solar or wind power, he noted.

Nor, for that matter, is it going to make the world less dependent on Saudi oil.

In fact, the world is more dependent on Saudi oil than ever, as Jad Mouawad pointed out in the Times on Saturday.

In the lead up to the Iraq War, Cheney and Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld had visions of Iraqi oil flooding the world market and acting as a counterbalance to the Saudi crude.

But like just about everything else concerning the Iraq War, they got this one wrong, as insurgents have crippled the pipelines and refineries.

Iraq is actually pumping out less oil today than it was before the war.

As a result of this and other adverse developments, “the alternatives to Saudi Arabia are fewer today than seemed to be the case just three years ago,” Mouawad reported.

No wonder, then, that Bush sent his daddy and Dick Cheney and Colin Powell to convey the President’s respects to the new leader of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah.

So here we are, four years after September 11, an attack carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of them Saudi, an attack masterminded by the prodigal son of a wealthy Saudi family, an attack justified by the madrassas financed by the Saudis, and the United States is still on bended knee before the Saudi throne.

All because of our addiction to oil, and because of our government’s policies that serve ExxonMobil and GM, and because of Bush’s hostility to conservation, to clean energy, and to anything that might take the United States seriously down the responsible path of energy independence and environmental sanity.

Such a course would require Bush to take on the big energy and car companies.

Such a course would require Bush to acknowledge the necessity of regulation.

But he has neither the inclination to take on his friends nor the ideological equipment to grasp the need.


Ex-Employees Faulted Halliburton Role in Iraq

By Deborah Hastings The Associated Press
Published: Aug 6, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - Others besides Bunnatine Greenhouse have testified that Halliburton, the biggest holder of American rebuilding contracts in Iraq, has deceived the government and cheated taxpayers.
The company denies the claims.

Rory Mayberry, who worked for Halliburton subsidiary KBR from February through April 2004, testified from Iraq, via videotape, to the Democratic Policy Committee in June.

As a food manager at a U.S. military camp, Mayberry said he witnessed KBR employees serving spoiled food to American troops, including items whose expiration date was more than a year old, and food from trucks that had been bombed and shot at. "We were told to go into the trucks and remove the food items and use them after removing the bullets and any shrapnel," Mayberry said.

Halliburton also charged the U.S. government for hundreds of specialty meals prepared for foreign workers from Turkey and the Philippines, Mayberry said. The foreign workers were actually given leftovers from troop meals, Mayberry said.

KBR managers told employees not to speak with government auditors who arrived at the camp, Mayberry said, saying he ignored those orders. As punishment, he said, he was sent to Fallujah for three weeks, where there was heavy fighting. "The employees that talked to the auditors were moved to other bases that were under fire," Mayberry told the committee.

Its members expressed outrage.

"There obviously is no honor by a company that would serve outdated food to American troops in Iraq, serving their country," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. "The more I learn, the more I shake my head and wonder. Who on Earth is minding the store here?"

Halliburton spokeswoman Melissa Norcross said the claims were a "gross mischaracterization." KBR does not interfere with government auditors, she said. Food service is monitored by employees and invoices are not padded.

"The only thing that has been inflated is the political rhetoric," Norcross said.

In July 2004, former KBR logistics and subcontract planner Marie DeYoung testified before the House Committee on Government Reform. While working in Kuwait, she said, she was told by KBR managers to pay invoices to subcontractors without verifying their accuracy - because government auditors were only scrutinizing unpaid bills.

DeYoung said she also witnessed "significant waste and overpricing" for laundry and other services provided to troops. That included paying $100 per 15-pound bag of laundry in Iraq, a cost which was passed on to the government.

"Every dollar that is squandered because of waste, fraud, or abuse is a dollar we do not have for critical equipment and supplies for our troops," said DeYoung, who served more than 10 years in the military as a commander, a chaplain and an operations officer.


Halliburton announces 284 percent increase in war profits

25 July 2005

WASHINGTON, July 25 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton announced on Friday that its KBR division, responsible for carrying out Pentagon contracts, experienced a 284 percent increase in operating profits during the second quarter of this year.

The increase in profits was primarily due to the Pentagon's payment of "award fees" for what military officials call "good" or "very good" work done by KBR in the Middle East for America's taxpayers and the troops.

Despite the scandals that plague KBR's military contracts, the Pentagon awarded $70 million in "award" fees to the company, along with four ratings of "excellent" and two ratings of "very good" for the troop logistics work under the Army's LOGCAP contract.

The Pentagon has provided preferential treatment to Halliburton on a number of occasions, including the concealment from the public of critical reports by military auditors.

Audits conducted by the Pentagon's Defense Contract Audit Agency determined that KBR had $1 billion in "questioned" expenses (i.e. expenses which military auditors consider "unreasonable") and $442 million in "unsupported" expenses (i.e. expenses which military auditors have determined contain no receipt or any explanation on how the expenses were disbursed).

But the top Pentagon brass ignored these audits and rewarded KBR's work anyway.

Halliburton's earnings announcement comes on the heels of new reports showing the Iraq and Afghan wars have already cost U.S. taxpayers $314 billion and that another ten years of war will cost $700 billion.

In another coup for Halliburton, a federal judge this month decided that whistleblowers may not sue U.S. companies for fraud if payment for services was made in Iraqi, not U.S., money. Halliburton was paid over $1 billion in Iraqi oil money during the first 15 months of the occupation. The judge's ruling means the False Claims Act cannot be used to offer large rewards to corporate insiders who reveal wrongdoing or overcharges for services. The law is considered America's most successful deterrent against contractor fraud, but the judge's decision will help Halliburton and other contractors avoid tough scrutiny in Iraq.