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May 22, 2008 09:29 PM UTC

"Halliburton is an American success story..."

  • 45 Comments
  • by: Jared Polis

(This is bizarre. Definitely a weird response from Halliburton. – promoted by DavidThi808)

That’s right – “Halliburton is an American success story…”

I could hardly believe that is what Dan Deline (Vice President, Government Affairs for Halliburton) wrote to me recently. It appears my candidacy for US Congress has alarmed the corporate bigwigs at Halliburton so much that they were compelled to write me a warning letter to not criticize them (to read the full copy of the Halliburton letter click here).

It seems my efforts to shine a light on the use of armed corporate mercenaries in Iraq and the corruption and waste within contracting operations in Iraq, has struck a nerve with Halliburton’s Washington, DC, special interest lobbying apparatus.

The most interesting claim they make in their letter is, “We can find no contract between the Federal Government and Halliburton.”

Really? No Federal Government contracts? They can’t find them? Let’s go to Wikipedia and see what we find:

“From 1995-2002, Halliburton Brown & Root Services Corp was awarded at least $2.5 billion… to construct and run military bases, some in secret locations…” [Mother Jones, June 2003]

“In November 2002, [Halliburton] was tasked to plan oil well firefighting in Iraq… Critics contend that it was a no-bid contract, awarded due to Dick Cheney’s position as Vice President…” [National Review, July 2003]

“As of 2003, Halliburton was still operating in Iran…” [CNN report, ‘US companies are operating in Iran despite sanctions’]

“In February 2004, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on government contractors that use offshore tax havens… Halliburton ranked 30…”

An excellent website that chronicles allegations against Halliburton is HalliburtonWatch.

Halliburton is not a “success story.” Their actions are grounds for a full investigation and full accountability including, if necessary, criminal prosecution.

I know what the stakes are when I read Mr. Devine’s opening greeting: “Congratulations on launching your bid to become the United States Representative from the 2nd District in Colorado. We at Halliburton are very involved in your state and currently have over 3,000 employees there…”

Translation: We are watching you. Halliburton is everywhere.

Make no mistake – the perpetrators of no-bid contracts, corruption, waste and offshore tax havens do not want people like me in the United States Congress investigating their actions and holding them accountable.

Now, since Halliburton was kind enough to write and inform me they are watching, I need your help to put them on notice as well that their actions are also being watched.

I am asking you to help me respond to their letter. Post your response letters or notes to Halliburton below. Let Halliburton know what you think about their unpatriotic actions… their waste and corruption… and their claim they do not have any government contracts. I will in turn take your responses and send them to Mr. Deline and make sure he knows that it is we – the voters in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District – who are watching Halliburton!

Jared Polis

People Power!

www.polisforcongress.com

Comments

45 thoughts on ““Halliburton is an American success story…”

  1. Halliburton subsidiary KBR spun off from Halliburton a year ago. That’s the company with the contracts (and bad behavior) you’re criticizing. The letter states as much. Your posting from Wikipedia (which is hardly the rock-solid citation I expect from a candidate for Congress) mentions Halliburton activity that’s four or more years old.

    Of course, Halliburton got rid of KBR because of the problems you’re raising. But facts are facts. Can you produce a current relationship between Halliburton and the “unpatriotic acts” you charge? If you want to charge Halliburton used to own a company that’s still carrying on questionable behavior in Iraq, that’s one thing. But that’s not what you’re saying.

    Even HalliburtonWatch makes the distinction, though it keeps its name because Halliburton is a code word for all manner of nefarious activity involving Dick Cheney, no-bid Iraq contracts, and waste, fraud and corruption in this outsourced war.

    The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is conducting a series of hearings on “Contracting Abuses in Iraq,” including this one last month. The hearing featured witnesses from KBR and DynCorp. Not a Halliburton in sight.

    1. Jared Polis is a Boulder nut, and we can’t expect better from him.

      He should go buy a baskeball or NFL team. Then he’d be in his element.

    2. One of my biggest gripes with corporate structure right now is the abuse of subsidiary companies; subsidiary does questionable things, sends profits to parent, gets sold off when things go bad, parent company is immune.  This is the story of Halliburton and KBR’s relationship.

      But I have to go with RedGreen’s assessment here: technically, Halliburton has NO Federal contracts right now – they’re too busy screwing up our land in Western CO right now.

    3. “We can find no contract between the Federal Government and Halliburton.”

      That almost screams out that there are contracts – but they’re hidden. Either that or their VP for governmental affairs does not know if they have any deals with the U.S. government.

            1. His money allowed the ammendment to be misrepresented to the public.

              The US also supported the war in Iraq, because the US was fed misinformation.

              Political allies told JP that A41 was poorly written, but he pushed ahead anyway because he needed an issue to run against JFG and it was too late to change the language.

              His answers on the 2004(?) Boulder Democratic party survey (same one he supported vouchers on) make it clear that his interest in lobby reform/ethics was a bandwagon he jumped on for political purposes.

      1. Did you? You’re still using the present tense

        the problems are with the business practices of Halliburton

        Go after KBR with all your investigatory zeal. (You’d be joining a rather crowded field of, basically, all the Democrats in Congress, some of whom have sources better than Wikipedia to inform them that Halliburton no longer owns KBR.)

        This was old news four years ago when Dick Cheney told Pat Leahy “Fuck you” on the Senate floor, after Leahy called for investigations of Cheney’s role helping the company he once headed secure post-invasion contracts.

        Is it true you held Halliburton stock until recently? This is just now dawning on you?

            1. Polis owned Halliburton and other stock issued by companies he attacked as “war profiteers” in an ad late last year. it was part of an index fund the investor held.

              The Rocky reported:

              “We hire mercenaries and line the pockets of war profiteers who don’t want to see the war end,” Polis says in the ad. “It’s time to put an end to this war that never should have been.”

              As he speaks, a list of companies, along with their logos and profit figures, scrolls by. Among them are Halliburton and General Dynamics.

              Thursday night, Polis campaign spokeswoman Wanda James confirmed that he has invested in a fund that includes those two companies.

              1. I am not a polis supporter, but this is a spurious attack.

                index funds are a common investment tool and are substantially different than a direct investment.

                If you have an investment portfolio that is professionally managed you will always find investments you do not like.  Some people advocate for socially conscious investing, but those investment pools tend to have higher diversifable risk than other investment pools.

              2. “He owns what they call an index stock, which invests in all the Standard & Poor’s companies,” James said. “Jared didn’t go out and get a prospectus from Halliburton and give Halliburton a check,” she added.

                “More than likely if you own mutual funds, you’re probably invested in them as well. Pretty much all the funds you see will have those stocks in them.”

                James then cited two funds listed in Fitz-Gerald’s campaign disclosure form: the Lord Abbott Midcap Value Fund, which includes Halliburton holdings, and the Growth Fund of America, which has both Halliburton and General Dynamics.

                1. it was part of an index fund the investor held.

                  as my post stated.

                  But yeah, it’s that attention to detail we want in a congressman. You’ve never heard of socially responsible index funds?

                  The question was whether Polis recently held Halliburton stock. If you want to answer how complicated it is handling the portfolio of a multimillionaire, and – and – my opponent does it too, well, that’s at least an answer. But

                  We can find no Halliburton stock.

                  is disingenuous.

                  1. By the very act of saying certain industries are not “responsible” means it is not an index fund.

                    The exclusion of certain industries creates diversifiable risk.

                    In addition, what is “socially responsible” is the matter of debate.  Is Beer bad? How about cigarettes? Weapons? Nuclear power? banks that engage in subprime lending? All oil companies? How about google for outing chineese dissidents?

                    See what I mean, I can define almost every industry in a way that makes it of limits.  

                    1. I don’t care how he invests his hundreds of millions. But I wasn’t around in December, so missed the flap over his Halliburton ad and asked a simple question. He gave a disingenuous answer.

                      Halliburton’s letter points out the company no longer owns KBR and then throws in some usual corporate rah-rah. What did he expect? “Oh no, Jared Polis is on the case, we’d better fold!”?

                      KBR is his target. And Halliburton bears responsibility for its actions while Halliburton owned KBR. But attacking Halliburton now for what Halliburton is doing now (“we’ll be watching”) doesn’t make any sense.

                      The Democratic challenger to Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is running very effective ads challenging her lack of oversight over Iraq War contractors over the last four years. That’s how it’s done. Taking umbrage at a standard corporate letter isn’t.

    4. “We can find no contract between the Federal Government and Halliburton…” Notice how they didn’t say “CURRENT contract.” And they didn’t say “Halliburton OR OUR SUBSIDIARIES.”

      I’ll bet if they rooted around their files they could pretty quickly find some massive ones concerning the VERY RECENT contracts of their subsidiaries with the federal government.

      I’m not that much of a Polis fan (and I’m in the 6th CD anyway), but I believe he wins this one.  

  2. How are the lucrative investments in Halliburton doing Jared. Oh right, you sold them to run for Congress. Funny that they weren’t an issue in your SBoE days, but only when you wanted to buy your way up the political ladder. Democracy at its worst.

    1. I think this is golden for Polis.  When you have Halliburton attacking you and you are running in Boulder… it will help him.

      Being he is running against Joan Fitz-Oil I am sure they hoping she will win. She is the darling of the Gas and Oil lobby. They want her to be the Colorado Champion for the Gas and Oil Biz.

      On the otherhand if Will was such an enviro champion, they would attack him… well if he was worth the time.  He is going to top out at 5% in the polls anyways.

  3. Dear 2nd Congressional candidate, privileged child, self-funding millionaire, running a distant 3rd in the race, Jared Polis:

    A kindergarten teacher would tell you to NEVER cite Wikipedia as a “source”. Did you write the definition yourself or did one of your over-paid, blogger, staff write it?

    Your attack on a strong independent thriving American company like Halliburton is reprehensible. I suppose you don’t have to worry too much about me or those 3,000 employees and families voting for you, you’ll never amount to anything but a privileged rich kid with an ego the size of Texas who can’t even win a simple primary where you outspend your opponents 7-1. HA! Thank god we’ll never see you in Congress!

    Sincerely,

    Voters of the 2nd Congressional District

    1. The challenge to our voters is to write a letter to Halliburton for me to include as a response to their bizarre letter, not a letter to me as you took the time to write.

      There is no attack on the “3,000 employees and families,” the problems are with the business practices of Halliburton including their sole-source contracts, their coverups, and failure to even ensure the safety of their own employees.

      Thanks for taking the time to write!

      Jared Polis

      http://www.polisforcongress.com

    2. Get out of bed with Halliburton or you will catch some strange STD.

      I suggest

      http://www.halliburtonwatch.or

      To think a big war profiteer corp like Halliburton attack Jared Poils is not only shocking but makes me want to vote for the man even more.

      http://www.corpwatch.org/artic

      http://iraqforsale.org/hallibu

      HalliburtonWatch reports that contracting giant Halliburton is moving its corporate headquarters from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, which will help it avoid taxes and accountability from federal investigators. The company is also in the process of disposing all its ownership in the scandal-plagued KBR, “notorious for overcharging the military and serving contaminated food and water to the troops in Iraq.” The article goes on to report that this isn’t the first time Halliburton has used tactics to avoid accountability and restrictions:

      Halliburton has also used its operational structure for contracts in Iraq and post-Katrina — especially multiple layers of subcontractors — to elude oversight and accountability to taxpayers. Read more at HalliburtonWatch.

      ThinkProgress.org also writes about the move, and reports that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told ABC News that Halliburton’s move was:

      “corporate greed at it’s worst. This is an insult to U.S. soldiers and taxpayers. At the same time they’ll be avoiding U.S. taxes, I’m sure they won’t stop insisting on taking their profits in cold hard U.S. cash.”

    3. Halliburton

      Philip Morris

      Enron

      HealthSouth

      Nortel

      Phar-Mor

      Rite Aid

      W.R. Grace

      Celotex

      When companies engage in corruption, waste of government funds, or cold-blooded marketing to kill people – they deserve to be attacked no matter how well they’re “thriving” (i.e., making money hand over fist for their shareholders).

  4. It would be terrible if anyone posting here used oil to power their transportation.

    It would be terrible if anyone here were typing on a keyboard made from petroleum-derived plastics.

    It would be a shame if you thought that Texas and Louisiana were appropriate locations for drilling wells, but thought that Coloradans shouldn’t have to see oil and gas production in their pristine state, a state never before touched by energy or mineral exploration.  After all, it would be hypocritical to suggest that people should not have to face the consequences of their lifestyle choices directly, but that it’s ok to force others to accept those consequences.

    OK, enough poorly written satire.  Halliburton is not the source of the problem.  KBR is not the source of the problem.  They are minor players.  The problem is the exploitation of the global poor by the global wealthy.  Halliburton has just been made a scapegoat by people who want to put the blame on someone ELSE when they get up and look in the mirror in the morning.  They want someone ELSE to be responsible for the Iraq war and all of the other “inconvenient byproducts” of the global capitalist economy.  They want someone ELSE to take responsibility for the damage caused by the carbon-hungry American suburban lifestyle.

    If you’ve ever read the PNAC documents, you know that the Iraq war was planned in the 1990s for the benefit of the United States, as part of a larger strategy to secure its position at the head of the international table in the 21st century.  It was done for all of us, not just HAL.  We the people allowed W to take office in 2000 with a VP who was a part of that group.  We can moan “but Gore got the popular vote!”  Sure, but we let Bush take power anyway.

    It’s amazing how much trust I’ve lost in the last 7.5 years.  I used to be fairly optimistic about the prospects of this country.  Now, not so much.

  5. .

    from the MarketWatch.com website, part of the Wall Street Journal, which is now part of NewsCorp.

    Halliburton to move headquarters to Dubai

    By MarketWatch

    Last update: 7:36 p.m. EDT March 11, 2007

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Halliburton Co. will move its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai, the company announced Sunday.

    Halliburton, once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, plans to maintain a corporate office in Houston, but the company will be run from its new headquarters in the United Arab Emirates.

    The oilfield services giant said its chief executive, Dave Lesar, will move his office to the Middle East to lead Halliburton’s growth efforts in the region. The shift is part of a strategic plan to focus on expanding relation with state-owned oil companies.

    “The eastern hemisphere is a market that is more heavily weighted toward oil exploration and production opportunities and growing our business here will bring more balance to Halliburton’s overall portfolio,” Lesar said in a statement.

    Lesar announced the move at an energy conference in Bahrain

    The Associated Press quoted Lesar as saying, “as the CEO, I’m responsible for the global business of Halliburton in both hemispheres and I will continue to spend quite a bit of time in an airplane as I remain attentive to our customers, shareholders and employees around the world. … Yes, I will spend the majority of my time in Dubai.”

    I assume the move is completed by now.

    .

  6. .

    the public can see who has what contracts by checking out http://www.fedspending.org, a website developed by OMB Watch.

    I estimate that it has info on about 70 – 80% of all federal contracts.  

    Click on the tab for “Contracts,”

    type in the contractor’s name, and select “All Years.”

    For most years,

    Halliburton shows less than $100K in contracts.  

    Based on my knowledge of federal contracting,

    all this means is that Halliburton has been able to get the Government to NOT REPORT their awarded contracts into the Federal Procurement Data System maintained by GSA.

    Which may be why Mr. Deline said he couldn’t find any contracts.

    Maybe he looked in this public database, knowing that Halliburton’s contracts were not listed here.

    After all, this company DID get a no-bid contract to put out oil well fires in early 2003,

    valued at over $1 Billion,

    and that contract isn’t in the database.

    .

      1. .

        If you run this search,

        you not only bring up subsidiaries,

        you will also bring up JV partners like Carlyle Group and NUS.

        So even awards to subsidiaries show up here,

        if the contracts get entered into the system in the first place.  

        I believe that Halliburton’s contracts don’t show up because someone in the awarding agency decided it would reflect poorly on the Agency if the public knew what was going on.  

        So, rather than getting bad press, they simply ignored the regulations that require public reporting.

        They pay a lower price for that.

        That’s why I said that only 70 – 80% of contracts are in there.

        Contracts don’t have to be reported publicly if they are for classified requirements, if they are performed overseas by a foreign company, or for a few other exceptions.

        That would account for about half of the contracts not publicly reported.

        The other half is when, either by error or by design, the requirement to report is ignored or defied.

        .

         

        1. The rest of the post is spot on as well.  My company negotiates gov’t contracts for the Feds (we subcontract) and if you put in our name you’d see more contracts and money.  How embarrassing for Halliburton.

          And it’s not like Halliburton is widely used by the private sector, which means one of  things:

          You’re right about the hidden contracts being classified;

          They are working for other governments, again not as though they provide any widely used services, so I would assume they are working with the sinisters;

          Or they contract with the Martian Government.

          That all sounds a little tinfoil time, but I honestly can’t think of any better explanations.  If somebody else has one, educate me.

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