Saturday, February 16, 2008

GI views on KBR-Halliburton

Kellogg Towers in Greenford,
West London. With US vice -president Dick Cheney kept on the payroll after he stepped down as boss, it's maybe not surprising Kellogg-Brown Root/ Halliburton, has done well out of war contracts. The company has also been favoured in Britain. But GIs serving in Iraq are not so fond of it.

(NB -Halliburton announced last year, to uproar from US congressmen and commentators, that it was moving its headquarters from Houston to Dubai. It followed up by separating from its KBR contracting subsidiary).

Thanks to Mike Marqusee and Iraq Occupation Focus for this extract from the soldiers' publication:

From: [XXXX, Soldier Iraq]
To: GI Special,
Traveling Soldier’s

sister publication
Subject: thank you

My name is [XXXXXX],

I’m a [XXXXXX] with
currently deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq.

I just wanted to thank you for putting out
GI Special. Its nice to know that a lot of
other people who are deployed, or have
previously deployed think being in Iraq
is completely counter-productive.

I, personally, don’t believe in fighting for
the profit of a handful of people. I also
don’t believe in fighting for a government
that is willing, if not eager, to fuck its own
people over.

KBR [Kellogg, Brown, and Root] is a
perfect example. KBR handles just
about everything on our FOB.
I was talking to a KBR maintenance
guy named [xxxxxx] about what
exactly KBR did. He told me about how
he had been in Iraq for the past
4 years working, and how
sheisty KBR is.

They had a lot of civilian Americans working
for them, and from what I’ve been told by a
few of them, they got paid pretty well considering
the shit-hole conditions they have to work in.

But now what’s happening is, KBR is actively
seeking reasons to fire these people, and starting
to hire people from other countries, who do the
same job, for a fraction of the money.
Putting people like [xxxxxx] out of a job
for even the slightest fuckup.
At the time I just thought, “hey, that’s not right “.

But then I was reading through Traveling Soldier
and I noticed that KBR was one of Halliburton’s
entities, and that Cheney has some major say in
what’s going on with that company. Maybe this
information isn’t fully correct, but that’s just what
I got out of it all.
The shit is really piling up on this administration.

I fully support all the men and women deployed to
Iraq and Afghanistan but, I’m already at the
“fuck the army” point, I’ve never been a supporter
of this war, and I thank you for doing what you do.

Keep it up.


Dear Soldier,

First of all, I want to thank you for reading
GI Special and Traveling Soldier
and writing us.

On KBR, Halliburton, and Cheney: KBR is a
subsidiary of Halliburton. Cheney was
Halliburton’s CEO for five years, and
stepped down in August of 2000.
Since leaving, he has received
$250,000-$300,000 every year in deferred
compensation and his stock options are worth
an estimated $8 million.

for the story.)

The scandal is that KBR got no-bid
ontracts worth billions to “rebuild” in Iraq.

No-bid means there was no competitive
bidding, the Pentagon simply handed them
the contract and wrote them the checks.
This is in addition to the logistical
support they provide at the many
permanent military installations
that are being built in Iraq which you know
of first hand.
KBR also got no-bid contracts to rebuild in
New Orleans after Katrina.

Did KBR get these lucrative deals
because Cheney is the #2 man in
the White House? The answer is obvious.

When Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont
confronted Cheney about this issue
on the floor of the Senate, Cheney told him
to “go fuck yourself.”

If that’s how Cheney thinks about
his colleagues in the Senate who dare
to raise the issue, I can only imagine
what he thinks of rank-and-file
anti-war soldiers reading
Traveling Soldier and GI Special!

Hope that clarifies things.

An increasing number of people
working in the anti-war
movement, including organizations
like Iraq Veterans Against the War
are behind you 100%, doing our best
to bring you and all your friends
home safe and sound.

Keep writing, stay safe.
– Pham Binh
Traveling Soldier Editorial Board

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