6.17.2004

GOP refusing to allow testimony on Halliburton spending

By Seth Borenstein Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Halliburton Inc. paid high-priced bills for common items, such as soda, laundry and hotels, in Iraq and Kuwait and then passed the inflated costs along to taxpayers, according to several former Halliburton employees and a Pentagon internal audit.

Democrats in the House of Representatives, who are feuding with House Republicans over whether the spending should be publicly aired at a hearing on Tuesday, released signed statements Monday by five ex-Halliburton employees recounting the lavish spending.

Those former employees contend that the politically connected firm:

-Lodged 100 workers at a five-star hotel in Kuwait for a total of $10,000 a day while the Pentagon wanted them to stay in tents, like soldiers, at $139 a night.

-Abandoned $85,000 trucks because of flat tires and minor problems.

-Paid $100 to have a 15-pound bag of laundry cleaned as part of a million-dollar laundry contract in peaceful Kuwait. The price for cleaning the same amount of laundry in war-torn Iraq was $28.

-Spent $1.50 a can to buy 37,200 cans of soda in Kuwait, about 24 times higher than the contract price.

-Knowingly paid subcontractors twice for the same bill.

Halliburton is already under fire for allegations of overcharging the Pentagon for fuel and soldiers' meals. The latest accusations center on whether Halliburton properly keeps track of its bills from smaller subcontractors, Pentagon auditors said in a month-old report released Monday by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

The 36-page report by the Defense Contract Audit Agency said that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had a billing system that was "inadequate," had numerous deficiencies and billing misstatements and that KBR didn't follow laws and regulations relating to spending and recordkeeping. Its contracting practices are so bad, the auditors said, that KBR shouldn't be allowed to bill the Pentagon directly without the government poring over every detail in advance.

Statements by the whistleblowers - five of whom were identified - and the government's audit report "portray a company and a contracting environment that has run amok," Waxman wrote in a letter to Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., on Monday.

Halliburton disputed the auditor's report and said Waxman was politically motivated.

Wendy Hall, a company spokeswoman, said Waxman's allegations do nothing "to feed a single member of our military, create a single unit of housing, repair a single oil well or supply a single piece of material for reconstruction."

Hall also noted that Halliburton continues "to be a target in this presidential election year. This is the 35th news release about Halliburton from the congressman's office since March 2003."

But one former Halliburton subcontracting manager, Marie deYoung, said in her signed statement that she had seen "significant waste and overpricing."

"Halliburton rarely collected adequate information from subcontractors to justify payment of invoices. When I attempted to properly verify invoice terms before setting up payment authorization, I was chastised," said deYoung, a former Army captain and chaplain who resigned from the company last month.

According to deYoung, Halliburton's financial staff lives at the five-star Kempinski Julai'a Hotel and Resort in Kuwait. "For a three-month period, the Kempinski hotel charged almost $1 million to house 100 Halliburton employees. By comparison, it costs less than $200,000 a year to lease tents that could house 400 soldiers. ... The military requested that Halliburton move into tents, but Halliburton refused."

Hall didn't respond to the specific charges made by deYoung and other employees, but said, "There are clear inaccuracies in these assertions. We take any charges of improper conduct seriously."

While the allegations of high prices and overcharging are startling, the Pentagon audit report found a larger problem in that Halliburton isn't controlling or watching what its suppliers charge, said Pete Singer, a Brookings Institution researcher who's written a book about private contractors' increasing role in the military.

KBR has a multibillion-dollar, multiyear logistics and supply contract that allows it to add on a profit of 1 to 2 percent and pass along all costs to the government. So far, the Army has agreed to pay KBR up to $4.55 billion for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In his letter to Davis, Waxman charged that since House Republicans won't let the whistleblowers testify Tuesday, the congressional committee is "not fulfilling its obligation to protect the taxpayer from waste, fraud and abuse."

Davis' spokesman Dave Marin said Republicans "simply had not had the time to properly flesh out, corroborate, investigate the many and wide-ranging claims that these individuals have made." If the whistleblowers turn out to be legit, he said, the committee may schedule "a follow-up hearing in the summer months."

Also Monday, the General Accounting Office released its assessment of contracting in Iraq and said most of the no-bid work was legitimately awarded. The GAO did have some objections to a separate Halliburton contract on restoring oil production capacity in Iraq.

Last week, Halliburton revealed that it's being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations of bribery in Nigeria for the late 1990s, when Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of the firm. Last month, a dozen truckers told Knight Ridder that Halliburton sent them back and forth across Iraq with empty trailers more than 100 times.

12.05.2003

THE OWNER'S AND AUTHOR'S OF RUSH LIMBAUGHTOMY HAVE CLOSED THIS BLOG FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE

Please visit SOUTH KNOX BUBBA for great pictures great local color and great comments

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YOU WILL BE MISSED

12.03.2003

Halliburton racks up $1.72 Billion as NO-BID Contract is Extended AGAIN

Pentagon delays award of Iraq oil contracts again - So what else is new.

Army doubles the Halliburton Contract Cost Estimate to 2 Billion for "sabotage".


We didn't really believe it when we were told Halliburton's NO-BID Contracts would be open for bidding in August.
In October when we were told it would be mid-December we did not really buy that either.

Well here we go again.
"Army Corps spokesman Bob Faletti said the "deadline window" had been extended until Jan. 17, 2004. An announcement would be made between Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, "
Nobody believes for a minute that Halliburton won't win the open bidding but why don't they at least care about appearances? We know Dick Cheney is running the war and the country. As long as that is true more billions will be funneled to Halliburton. When are we going to wake up and throw these thieves out of Washington? If 1.72 Billion isn't enough then what is?
12.02.03, 12:35 PM ET WASHINGTON - The U.S. military said Tuesday it had again extended a deadline for awarding two new contracts to repair Iraq's oil fields, giving Vice President Dick Cheney's old firm Halliburton more time under its no-competition deal.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in October it would replace by the end of December a no-bid deal given in March to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, which by last week had clocked up more than $1.72 billion in business.

But Army Corps spokesman Bob Faletti said the "deadline window" had been extended until Jan. 17, 2004. An announcement would be made between Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, he said. "Our goal is to make sure that we have a good contract and so we are giving ourselves that five-week window to ensure we have a good, solid contract," said Faletti.
Bushit! Contracts don't get better with more time! By the time this deal gets done the secret underground pipeline to Kuwait will have sucked IRAQ dry like the Bush led Congress is sucking the treasury dry. All of these thieves will be living on some island like Sultans while we are left here in utter financial ruin and chaos.
In the meantime, he said KBR, which has also bid on the new deals, would continue its work in Iraq."This is not about KBR, it is about having a good solid contract," he said, rejecting past criticism that delays served to give KBR more lucrative business in Iraq.
Yeah and if you believe that I have bridge in Brooklyn.....and you also believe this:
"Work will continue in Iraq and the work to award these contracts will continue. Our goal has always been to issue competitively-bid contracts."

Faletti said the deadline had been extended to give selection officials more time to look at the complicated bids and because of the coming holidays. He said the terms of the contracts -- one for the north and the other for the southern region in Iraq -- had not changed and he did not expect the amount of the contracts to increase.

The two new deals were meant to have been announced in October but were delayed after intense looting and sabotage doubled defense officials' original estimates from a billion dollars to $2 billion.
Yes we have an army there but they can't stop a billion dollars worth of sabotage and looting.
Faletti said looting and sabotage still hampered oil field repair work but it was not as intense. "Every time the pipelines are blown up that is money that has to be diverted to fix it from other stuff that was due to be repaired."

The work given to KBR in Iraq has been strongly criticized by Democrats, who allege cronyism and favoritism in handing out the deals and claim that KBR is overcharging for some of its services. Aside from the oil fields no-bid deal, KBR has a separate logistics contract with the military, with tasks ranging from building bases to delivering mail and feeding U.S. troops.

Last week, three Democratic lawmakers asked the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate alleged overpricing of gasoline sent to Iraq by KBR. Halliburton has strongly denied overpricing of gasoline into the oil-rich country, which has suffered an oil shortage because its refineries are not running to capacity.
Well you wouldn't expect them to admit to being thieves would you? Christ gimme a break. Just take all the money and leave us with some self-respect.

GET YOUR BEST HEADLINES AT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

12.01.2003

Cheney threatens "fundamental principles of the separation of powers"

High court may hear Cheney appeal -
Energy case focuses on confidentiality, presidential powers


This administration now threatens the power of Courts and Congress to balance the Executive

12/1/2003 WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's sustained campaign to build up the powers of the presidency and to extend the confidentiality of White House decision-making is due for a major test in the Supreme Court, possibly as early as today.

The justices appear ready to decide whether they will hear an appeal by Vice President Dick Cheney, who is defending his refusal to disclose files of the task force that he headed in developing the administration's energy policy, which is now stalled in Congress.

If the court grants a review, a final decision would be months away. The administration has raised the stakes on the preliminary decision by arguing that the case threatens "fundamental principles of the separation of powers" between the branches of government.

Because of the sweeping constitutional arguments being made, the case has the potential to sharply curtail the power of the courts and, by implication, Congress to oversee the workings of the executive branch.

The key argument is that the Constitution's separation of powers among the three branches means that the other two branches are without authority to second-guess the president when he and his staff are deciding how to use executive powers.

The position of the administration in the case parallels arguments against judicial interference in the president's handling of the war on terrorism, arguments being made with increasing frequency in court cases involving terrorist suspects or "enemy combatants."

The White House has been making similar arguments in a running battle over access to internal presidential papers that are being sought by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the US, an independent body that is investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Cheney is not only the leading figure in the task-force dispute that is now ready for the Supreme Court's reaction. He also is the central officer of the administration waging the public campaign for greater presidential authority.

Early last year, he told a television talk show that in 34 years in Washington, "I have repeatedly seen an erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job." It is a theme he repeats often in public appearances, and that Justice Department lawyers regularly make in briefs filed in court.

In the energy task force case, those arguments have been losing for the past two years, as a federal judge and then a federal appeals court have ruled that courts may order at least limited inquiry into the decision-making process that the agency used.

Two private groups, Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy organization, and the Sierra Club, an environmental protection group, have sued Cheney, Cabinet officers, and other government officers, seeking to force into the open the role that energy industry executives might have played in influencing administration policy.

So far, the case is nowhere near going to trial, because Cheney has steadfastly refused to acknowledge that the courts may order such an intrusion into the decision-making process. Although given a chance by the federal judge to cite specific documents that the White House could claim were shielded by "executive privilege," the administration has refused to assert that claim as to any document, standing on its view that it need not do so in order to maintain confidentiality.

In the past, challenges over the confidentiality of presidential documents have often been ended, or settled, after presidential assertions of executive privilege -- a broad confidentiality doctrine first outlined by the Supreme Court in 1974 in the White House tape recordings case during the Watergate scandal.

But Cheney and President Bush have refused to invoke that privilege in the energy policy case, saying the independence of the executive branch does not require it. Besides, Cheney has argued, the president should not be bothered with the task of going over each document sought and deciding whether to claim a privilege to withhold it.

Cheney's appeal insists that the task force's work involved only government officials giving advice to the president. But the case against him by Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club argues that industry executives served as influential advisers, too, and their lawsuit seeks documents to show who attended meetings and what role advisers played. US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has allowed the case to go forward, at least to the point of requiring the disclosure of some task force papers -- unless the government claims they are privileged.

Last week, Senate leaders decided not to press for final congressional action on the broad energy measure during the current session of Congress, because of the threat of a Democratic-led filibuster. The bill will be brought up again next month.
These people are megalomaniacs and will stop at nothing to claim total control of the country.

11.30.2003

Five Black Veterans Accuse KBR div. of Halliburton with Racial Bias

Nov 29, 2003 Five black veterans have accused Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, of engaging in racial discrimination. One of the men, a 21-year veteran of the Marines, contended in an arbitration filing that he was paid less than his colleagues, endured racist epithets, was passed over for promotion in favor of less-qualified people who were white and ultimately lost his job at Kellogg Brown & Root, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton, which is a major global supplier of oil field services.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about a company's employment practices based on the accusations of a handful of employees, specialists in employment law say, and nearly every large company has faced its share of discrimination claims. But such accusations made by veterans are potentially very sensitive for Kellogg Brown & Root, which has strong ties to the military.

A former Army staff sergeant said he lost his job when the company fired 84 percent of the blacks in his unit, according to the filing. Two other claimants, a former Army major and a former sergeant, said that, in separate incidents, they were told their jobs were no longer necessary - only to find later that white employees were promptly given their old positions.

A fifth man, a former Air Force sergeant, said that he was repeatedly denied employment at Kellogg Brown & Root when he applied in person for jobs at the company but received an offer when he sent his résumé via fax; the offer was rescinded before he could start.

"I was devastated," said Wayne Whiting, the former Army staff sergeant. He and the other four men have begun arbitration proceedings against Halliburton and Kellogg Brown & Root. "I was a former military guy, now a retired military guy, and I was well known in logistics, and I was just surprised that a company of this magnitude could go on to treat their employees with no kind of respect whatsoever."

The terms of the employment contracts signed by the four former Kellogg Brown & Root employees prohibit them from suing in federal court. This is not unusual, employment lawyers say. A date has not yet been set for the arbitration, which will be in New York, said Joshua Friedman, the lawyer for the veterans.

The stories of the four veterans who worked at the company have common elements. Each man says that he was singled out for unfair treatment by superiors. Two say that they complained to the human resources department at the company, and three filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

All four lost their jobs and contend that clearly less-qualified white employees took their old positions - even after the company told them, in some cases, that the positions were to be eliminated.

Mr. Whiting, for example, started in November 1998 at Kellogg Brown & Root in Taszar, Hungary, helping to run a supply system for the Army, according to the arbitration filing. He was told in an e-mail message in October 2000 that his position was being eliminated, the filing said. Then he learned that one of his subordinates, who is white, was taking over his old job.

According to the arbitration claim, the e-mail message with the news of Mr. Whiting's job loss came after one of his supervisors told him, "You're not the right man and color for this job."

11.28.2003

"Militarily, their statements are almost absurd" Top Military Strategist Says of Bush and Cheney "fear-mongering"

White House assertion of terror network in Iraq may undermine own case for war

WHY IS THIS WAR MONGER LAUGHING?
Ft. Worth TX.- Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking at fund-raisers on Monday, offered his rationale for the American presence in Iraq. "Iraq has now become the central front in the war on terror," he said at a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser in Cleveland and at a fund-raising reception for Rep. Anne Northrup in Louisville, Ky. "We are aggressively striking the terrorists in Iraq, defeating them there, so we do not have to face them on the streets of our own cities."

It's a line that generates applause. It's also a line that makes several military and intelligence analysts cringe. They say it gives the impression that those carrying out terrorists acts against United States and allied forces are internationally organized with the power and reach to wage war on America's shores.

As Cheney and President Bush use the rhetoric, some experts say the White House is giving Americans a false impression of who the terrorists in Iraq are and their reasons for conducting deadly attacks. "Militarily, their statements are almost absurd," said Anthony Cordesman, a national security and military intelligence expert for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "There is no evidence of activity … by extremist terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaida."

The line from the Bush administration and similar ones from some of the Democratic presidential challengers reflect a difference of opinion between politicians and soldiers in the field, Cordesman said. White House officials say the line captures the essence and the urgency to defend America from the nontraditional, guerrilla-type warfare that's becoming an everyday occurrence in Iraq.

A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Bush and Cheney's remarks reflect the belief that there are "al-Qaida or al-Qaida types" behind the terrorism in Iraq. "The president, (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld, (Gen. John) Abizaid have talked about foreign fighters on Iraq soil, foreign jihadists' will to inflate terror," the official said.

But Cordesman and other analysts say military officials in Iraq already have an idea where the bulk of the terrorist threat there is coming from: the locals. Abizaid, the top military official in the region, told reporters two weeks ago that most of the resistance and violence in Iraq have been spawned by former members of Iraq's Baath Party and other groups loyal to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who are waging a low-intensity war to return him to power. Abizaid said the resistance may only number 5,000, but they are a dedicated and dangerous bunch.

"It doesn't take a large group of people to commit terrorist acts," the senior administration official said. "The clear and most dangerous enemy to us at the present time are the former regime loyalists, the Baathist cells that operate in the areas primarily of Baghdad, Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul, Kirkuk, and conduct operations against us primarily through the use of improvised explosives devices, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and, very infrequently but sometimes, small-arms fire," Abizaid said.

In addition, the Baathists have hired criminals "to do their dirty work" and work with a small but well-organized group of foreign fighters, according to Abizaid. Cordesman estimated that about 95 percent of the terrorist threat is from Saddam loyalists.

The argument by Bush and Cheney that fighting the terrorist threat in Iraq will help keep terrorists away from American cities diminishes the White House's original stance for going to war, said Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst for the Brookings Institution. Bush initially said that Saddam's brutality toward his own people, his decision to ignore countless United Nations resolutions and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that threatened to destabilize the Middle East justified going to war.


By now describing the war as an effort to get the terrorists before they get to America, "the administration, in a strange way, discredits its own case," O'Hanlon said. "It's a weak argument," he said. "There aren't that many in Iraq who are foreign fighters who are a threat to U.S. shores. I don't know if it's fear-mongering or false re-assuring."

Cordesman and others say that Americans won't get the full story on the war on terrorism as long as the White House keeps talking about Iraq as a beachhead. "It doesn't prepare the American people for a war forced on us to fight, for its length, its intensity and risks," he said. "It's the kind of politics that gets you through two weeks."
This is the same lying and posturing that Bush and Cheney used to lead us in to this war.

Is Our "Fearless Leader" a Chicken or a Turkey?


Bush sneaks in and out of Baghdad airport in 2 hours under cover of darkness unlike some Presidents we remember
Since things are slow this weekend I took the time to catch up on reading the League of Liberals. Here is what I found from our illuminating and diverse membership:
Indigo Ocean has finished her first novel and ended a dead end
T-Rex Updates Where are they Now and explains why Republicans are bad for the economy
Our Democratic Veteran tracks the brother's Bush and takes two shots at a. sullivan
A MUST READ AND COPY - Natalie Davis All Facts and Opinions 10 Actions to Stop Bush and a few Dem Candidates are failing her test.
George is always a target rich environment says Dohiyi Mir, even with his stagecraft
The Politburo Diktat on less than good intelligence developed a map that fails to give mention to a single L o L member What's up with that?
The People's Republic of Seabrook has Tom Delay as Turkey of the Year and a nice shot at a Compassionate Conservative
Officially Unofficial covers the aftermath of the Shrubs shrubbery damage and other Orwellian happenings
Turkey and more Turkey is the T-Day offering of WTF is it Now?
Turkey at Pen-Elayne's looks appetizing during the Thanksgiving Day Parade which was not to some bigots.
The Cosmic Iguana covers a different Byrd while mentioning that the turkey has landed
Pharyngula found the Turkey in Iraq insulting but the timing of The Two Towers to be Turkey perfect
Cup O Joe ruminates on the recent L o L chat and reminds us that Repugnicans Hate Soldiers
Hammerdown gives us a few thousand words in pictures
The Happy Furry Puppy has T-day predictions
Concentration Camps and UN Resolutions are on the menu at Anarchy Xero
Different Strings covers the FOX "nuze" and Church and State
What can Bush do in IRAQ that Saddam can't asks 18 Minute Gap: answer - Nothing
If Byte Back had tallied the reactions of L o L blogs Ricky would have a very large tally although TPRS would have added to "the Left"
Why North Georgia Dogma is worth note I cannot devine. I make the L o L count about 20 to 2 on the side of "chicken little sneaks in under cover of darkness for photo op = Zero style points or more Mission Accomplished"
Rick's Cafe rates some sites for the King of Blogs and tells us the Marine Girl is back at Across the River
Bush V. the Troops Clareified by Bush Vs the Troops Again Pt II
Failure, babbler, and Blowhard are the 3 Screaming Points
Left is Right has Quotes of the Week and Friday Fun
The Gunther Concept on James Yee
Speedkill says it's serious when they don't tell Fox on the way home
The Poison Kitchen - President's in war zones and a new toy.
The Art of Worldy Wisdom Anonymoses - from Whom God Hid Nothing
Futurballa on Clinton's 21 books and a vote for Damage

The rest will wait until tomorrow

11.25.2003

HALLIBURTON FLEECING US TAXPAYERS - Lieberman, Dingell, & Waxman

The Charges that HALLIBURTON hoped would die
find some powerful support in Congress
Wed 26 November 2003, 23:54 GMT__ Halliburton, the Houston-based oil services and construction group once headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney, is again under fire. The energy giant and its subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root have been accused by three US lawmakers of fleecing ordinary American taxpayers by charging "inflated prices" for selling petrol to US troops in Iraq.

Senator Joseph Lieberman and Representatives John Dingell and Henry Waxman on Tuesday called for a US Defence Department investigation of the company. They said Halliburton was charging US taxpayers $2.65 per gallon to transport gasoline from Kuwait to Iraq, while the Iraqi state oil company paid only 96 cents per gallon. The Defence Department's own fuel distribution centre also paid considerably less, between $1.08 dollars and $1.19 per gallon.

In a letter to the Inspector General of the Defence Department, the three lawmakers have insisted "transparency and accountability are essential if the efforts to reconstruct Iraq are to succeed".

"We hope you will help restore transparency and accountability to this process by undertaking the important investigations described in this letter" "We hope you will help restore transparency and accountability to this process by undertaking the important investigations described in this letter," the trio said.

Alarmed that the company had cornered Iraqi reconstruction contracts worth $500 million, other congressmen have questioned why so much work had been given to Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) without any competition.

Instead of asking for fresh bids, the Pentagon awarded Halliburton new contracts based on a 2001 contract it had won for supplies to US troops. This led to allegations Halliburton was being favoured for its ties to Cheney.

The three Democrat politicians also allege some of the fuel payments to Halliburton come out of the Development Fund for Iraq, which is meant to pay for humanitarian efforts in the occupied country. The Fund, some non-government agencies say, is being mismanaged and the latest furore over "inflated prices" is likely to fuel the charge further.
Democrats ask Pentagon to probe Iraq oil imports
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 — Three U.S. Democratic lawmakers asked the Pentagon inspector general on Tuesday to investigate alleged overpricing of gasoline sent to Iraq by Halliburton, the firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut, Rep. Henry Waxman from California and Rep. John Dingell from Michigan, also urged the Pentagon to look into the use of money from a humanitarian account, the Development Fund for Iraq, to buy gasoline and possibly weapons.

''We hope you will help restore transparency and accountability to this process by undertaking the important investigations described in this letter,'' the lawmakers wrote. A subsidiary of Texas-based Halliburton has been importing gasoline into Iraq under a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until the oil-rich country's refineries are running at full capacity.

Halliburton, where Cheney served as chief executive from 1995 to 2000 when he left to become U.S. President George W. Bush's running mate, has denied claims of overbilling and says the dangerous security situation has elevated prices. The Corps of Engineers also said it has not found evidence of wrongdoing but is looking into cheaper ways of importing oil.

The lawmakers asked the Pentagon to look into why it cost as much as $2.65 a gallon to import gas from Kuwait when the Iraqi state oil company told them it paid less than a dollar a gallon. The Army says it costs an average of $1.60 a gallon. ''The price Halliburton has charged to import gasoline from Kuwait needs thorough investigation,'' the lawmakers wrote.

''Transparency and accountability are essential if the efforts to reconstruct Iraq are to succeed,'' they added. To date, the members of the U.S. Congress said Halliburton had been paid more than $380 million for all gasoline imports into Iraq and an additional $690 million has been approved for future fuel imports.

The lawmakers said that based on figures provided by the Iraqi state oil company, SOMO, Halliburton may have overcharged the U.S. government by about $150 million to date. The lawmakers asked who in the U.S. Defense Department had approved Halliburton's billing and whether the oil services company had violated any laws or regulations.

Referring to the Development Fund, the lawmakers said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq was attempting to use the money to buy assault rifles and millions of boxes of ammunition. These funds were intended to ''meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people,'' they said. The Pentagon's Inspector General's office said it had received the letter and was examining it.
From the Left:
SouthKnoxBubba __ another Mission Accomplished and the must read GOP Bizarro World Politics
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo ___ the CGI President and Culture Clashing with the Facts
Ruminate This ___ AARP; Just Another Insurance Agency and Another Vain and Vindictive Run

Damage: Global Warming Catastrophe - New Evidence

We support Damage in this week's new blog showcase. Read the entry above and while you are there check the archives.
More required reading: The False Hero The Mahablog