|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MAY 15, 2004
|CONTACT: Global Exchange
Pratap Chatterjee (510) 759-8970
Charlie Cray (202) 387-8030
Andrea Buffa (510) 325-3653
New Report: Halliburton Most Unpatriotic Company in America
WASHINGTON - May 15 - Halliburton, the leading recipient of Iraq reconstruction contracts, has surpassed Enron as the most unpatriotic corporation in America, says a report to be released on May 18 by CorpWatch, Global Exchange, and several other watchdog groups. From the scandals surrounding Halliburton's contracts in Iraq to unsettled accounting fraud and bribery charges associated with Halliburton's operations under then-CEO Dick Cheney, as well as its long-standing practice of doing business with states involved in terrorism and serious human rights abuses around the world, Halliburton has a track record of violating many of the values that Americans hold dear - from our belief in human rights and democracy to our insistence on transparency and accountability.
The report, Houston: We Have a Problem, documents Halliburtons blatant use of high-level political connections and campaign contributions to win contracts that allow it to profit from the war on terrorism, not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. The report also provides numerous case studies of Halliburtons business dealings with some of the most odious and corrupt regimes in the world, including Iran, Libya, Burma, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and, formerly, with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Many of these business deals were subsidized with corporate welfare checks from the World Bank and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
With regards to Iraq and the war on terrorism, the report describes Halliburtons estimated $9 billion in contracts and the various complaints and allegations of wrongdoing that have been lodged against the company. Halliburton has been accused of more fraud, waste, and corruption than any other Iraq contractor - from allegations of overcharging $61 million for fuel and $24.7 million for meals, to confirmed kickbacks worth $6.3 million. Halliburton is also the only Iraq contractor currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.
Meanwhile, Halliburton is laughing all the way to the beaches of the Cayman Islands, where their offshore subsidiaries helped them pay only $15 million in taxes in 2002.
The reports release was timed to coincide with Halliburtons annual shareholders meeting, which will take place in Houston May 19. Its recommendations include:
Recommendations for policy makers:
*Cancel Halliburtons Iraq contracts. Enough evidence has been accumulated about Halliburtons shoddy work in Iraq and possible overcharges by the company of some $85 million, not to mention confirmed kickbacks worth more than $6 million, to merit the cancellation of Halliburtons Iraq contracts.
*Investigate and penalize war profiteering. Congress should immediately pass the War Profiteering Prevention Act (H.R. 3673/S. 1813), which would prohibit profiteering and fraud relating to military action, relief, and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Congress should also enact legislation introduced by Representative James A. Leach (R-Iowa), which would establish a select oversight committee to investigate the awarding and carrying out of government contracts in Iraq an Afghanistan, similar to the Truman Committee of World War II.
Recommendations for Halliburton:
*Bring Halliburtons employees home from Iraq. Halliburtons presence in Iraq is angering qualified Iraqis who are being denied contracts to do the work themselves and endangering Halliburtons own employees. Its also clear from the confirmed case of bribery to the allegations of overcharging, that Halliburton is unable to properly oversee its work in Iraq to ensure that Iraqis and American taxpayers are not being ripped off.
*End Payments to Vice President Dick Cheney. It is an unbelievable conflict of interest for Halliburton, the number one beneficiary of Iraq reconstruction contracts to be paying more than $150,000 annually to Vice President Dick Cheney, who pushed for and promotes the very war from which Halliburton is profiting. At the very least, Halliburton shareholders should demand a halt to payment of Cheneys deferred compensation until all federal investigations concerning accounting fraud and bribery that happened during his tenure as CEO are resolved.