News Release

* Halliburton: Scandal or Small Potatoes? * U.N. Sanctions on Iraq


Chatterjee is the author of the recent articles “Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War” and “Cheney’s Close Ties to Brown and Root.” He said today: “The Cheney-Halliburton story is the classic military-industrial revolving door tale. As head of the Pentagon under George Bush senior, Cheney helped privatize army work on U.S. military bases to Halliburton. In 1995, after Cheney became the CEO of Halliburton, the company jumped from 73rd to 18th on the Pentagon’s list of top contractors. Cheney had brought with him a trusty Rolodex … Cheney continues to receive as much as $180,000 a year in deferred compensation from Halliburton while the company continues to rack up contracts for oil services, construction and military support services — a triple-header of wartime spoils. Now Cheney’s office has repeatedly misrepresented facts regarding his relationships with Halliburton — for example, claiming that he did not meet with Halliburton prior to the invasion of Iraq; yet last October his staff did meet with Halliburton and other oil multinationals to plan the takeover of the oilfields. All of this might be legal, but then so was slavery. It is at the very least a conflict of interest and an ethical conflict, but most of all it is corruption in the highest offices of the land.”

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Director of the Campaign for Corporate Reform for the group Citizen Works, Cray said today: “Rep. Waxman has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to explain why they have given Halliburton a contract that includes ‘operation’ of the oil fields and ‘distribution’ of Iraqi oil for a time period that could extend into 2004. The administration made repeated assurances before and during the war that Iraq’s oil belongs to the Iraqi people, but with the administration appointing Iraqi exiles as front-office figureheads and Halliburton apparently running the show behind the scenes — long past the stage where fires had to be put out and production facilities secured — it is not clear where Halliburton’s role ends and Iraqi self-determination begins.”
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Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, Paul is monitoring the U.N. and U.S. government efforts to lift the economic sanctions on Iraq. Author of the report “Oil in Iraq: The Heart of the Crisis,” he said today: “Halliburton is just the tip of the iceberg. There are companies that stand to profit on a far greater scale. Democratic Party stalwarts want to expose Halliburton because of its Republican ties. But the giant oil companies, like ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Shell and BP, are the ones that stand to make the really big money from the occupation of Iraq. The proven oil reserves of Iraq are over 100 billion barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia, and likely reserves go up to 250 billion barrels and beyond. Crucially, profit margins will be enormous because Iraqi oil is of very high quality and is very cheap to produce. It will cost about $1 per barrel to get oil out of the ground, while prices may be $25 or $30 a barrel. When the Anglo-American oil giants gain control over Iraqi oil, their profits may run into the trillions of dollars over several decades, making Halliburton’s gains look like small potatoes.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167