Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Halliburton; At It Again

$160 million here, $160 million there, pretty soon you're starting to talk about real money:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pentagon auditors have recommended withholding nearly $160 million in payments to Halliburton Corp., saying the company charged the military for meals in and around Iraq that were never served.

Vice President Dick Cheney's former company released a statement Monday night saying it hoped to persuade Army officials to reject the auditors' recommendation.

The alleged overcharging for meals last year is one of several suspected improprieties with the contract work in Iraq of Halliburton subsidiary KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root. Authorities are investigating allegations of overcharging for fuel delivered to Iraq, kickbacks involving two former KBR workers and other management problems....

When you give a company like Halliburton several billion dollars of tax payer money how can we expect them to act without impropriety? Particularly because this is the third public discovery of wrongdoing by the big "H" or KBR. It might be easier to overlook if they just did it once or if the Vice President still wasn't collecting a check from them, but repeat offenses are unforgivable and should be met with criminal charges. Of course you remember the fuel overcharging by KBR and the kickbacks taken by two Halliburton employees from subcontractors.

I give full credit to the bean counters at the Pentagon for discovering this padding of Cheney's portfolio overcharging.

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