Purchases help support MediaMouse. Of those companies, Halliburton is one of the most famous.
During his tenure, Cheney dramatically increased the number of government contracts KBR had. However, Chatterjee shows that Cheney was not atypical and that KBR has always thrived off its connections with powerful politicians. Going back to World War II and the construction of warships, Chatterjee explains that KBR has profited greatly—and often dubiously—from its ties with the government including questionable campaign contributions to Lyndon Baines Johnson.
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This history is rarely explored by the media and it was fascinating to read. To that end, Chatterjee paints a disturbing picture of government contracts handed out to a company that has been involved in a variety of objectionable practices ranging from kickbacks, bribes, and fraud to allegations of slave labor. This includes everything from charging inflated prices for goods and services to running empty supply trucks across Iraq simply to make more money.
Some of these workers are also victims of human trafficking and have been coerced into working in Iraq through false promises. Becoming a Halliburton and a KBR shareholder in order to gain access to as much inside information as possible, Chatterjee also moved to Dubai, where the company recently relocated its headquarters. For the Pentagon generals, it has meant that they can do far more with far fewer soldiers Accompanying this new industry is the potential for bribery, corruption, and fraud.
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Together with the workers who are rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure and the private security divisions of companies like Blackwater, Halliburton's Army now outnumbers the uniformed soldiers on the ground in Iraq. Two decade later, when Dick Cheney became Halliburton CEO, despite no prior experience in the oil business, he used his Washington connections to orchestrate lucrative Halliburton contracts in such trouble spots as Angola, Azerbaijan, Iran and Nigeria.
Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War
As Pratap Chatterjee demonstrates, the company's fortunes are irrevocably linked to the war in Iraq. Pratap Chatterjee is an award-winning investigative journalist and managing editor of Corpwatch.
He is the author of Iraq Inc.
Related Halliburtons Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War
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