The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, April 23, 2005

State Department finds corruption among Iraq contractors

You probably haven't heard a whole lot about the corruption of the White House's cherry-picked contractors working in Iraq-- unless you look at international news sources, that is. Aside from the $8.8 billion that just went 'missing' from the Coalition Authority, there's plenty of other dirt being dished out by our own government. So why aren't we hearing about it from our own journalists?

From the Asia Times (full story above):

NEW YORK - The Halliburton corporation, already the Iraq war's poster child for "waste, fraud and abuse", has been hit with a new double whammy. A report from the US State Department accuses the company of "poor performance" in its US$1.2 billion contract to repair Iraq's vital southern oilfields.

And a powerful California congressman is charging that Defense Department audits showing additional overcharges totaling $212 million were concealed from United Nations monitors by the administration of President George W Bush.

The new overcharges bring to $2 billion, or 42% of the contract amounts, the grand total of questionable bills from Halliburton.

According to Representative Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives sub-committee on government reform, "both the amount of Halliburton's overcharges and the extent of the information withheld from the auditors at the UN's International Advisory and Monitoring Board [IAMB] were much greater than previously known".

Waxman said the Defense Contract Audit Agency, which monitors all Pentagon contracts, had identified Halliburton overcharges and questionable costs totaling $212.3 million - double the total amount of known overcharges under Halliburton's Iraq oil contract.

In one case, Waxman said, the overcharges exceeded 47% of the total value of the task order.

But the Defense Department - at Halliburton's request - withheld the new amount from IAMB, the UN audit oversight body for the Development Fund for Iraq, Waxman charged.

The thing is, Truman and a Democratic Congress launched an investigation into war profiteering by American contractors during WWII. The GOP has no interest in saving taxpayer dollars-- just sweeping it under the rug.