Legal fees for Enron 'shocking' in stature

By Enron's own reckoning, the legal and accounting costs of its bankruptcy will exceed $1 billion in 2006. Typically, legal fees in a bankruptcy drop off dramatically after a company gains approval for a plan of reorganization -- a road map for its exit from bankruptcy -- which Enron expects to do early next year. But the company's budget through 2006 estimates more than $300 million will be spent after Enron confirms its plan. That's more than any company has ever spent confirming a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.

"It's shocking," said Lynn Lopucki, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles law school who studies bankruptcy professional fees. The largest amount of professional fees on record is the Luxembourg-based case of Saudi Arabian Bank of Credit and Commerce International, with $200 million in fees, although WorldCom may meet or exceed this total.

Sometime this summer, Enron surpassed $500 million in legal and accounting fees billed by more than three dozen law firms and a handful of accounting and consulting firms since the company filed for bankruptcy Dec. 2, 2001. According to Enron's budget estimates, it will spend $156 million in the second half of 2003 on professional fees. It projects professional fees of $229 million in 2004, $112 million in 2005 and $68 million in 2006.

The budget estimate is located in one of 18 appendices and more than 1,000 pages of amended documents Enron submitted to its bankruptcy court Thursday in support of its plan of reorganization. This is the third version of the plan and disclosure statement prepared by Enron. The modifications to the disclosure statement, which provides financial information and legal framework supporting the plan, came in advance of a hearing next Tuesday when Enron will ask Judge Arthur Gonzalez to approve the massive document, a key step toward confirming the plan.

Creditors have urged Enron to move quickly in developing a compromise plan of reorganization in large part because of a legal fee burn rate that exceeds $25 million a month. A lawyer for some creditors of Enron Corp.'s Enron North America unit that have closely followed professional fees said the future fee estimates are disturbing. "Obviously, that's of concern to our constituency," Judith Ross, of Thompson & Knight, said. "The whole point of a compromise was to move quickly."

Enron's legal expenses are notable both in gross and as a percentage of assets. Based upon estimates of about $12 billion in cash and stock to distribute among creditors, and an estimated cost of $700 million in legal fees before confirming its plan, Enron should expend about 6 percent of its assets for plan approval. By contrast, Kmart, with assets of about $11 billion and legal fees of about $138 million, spent just over 1 percent of its assets to confirm a plan. That's a more typical expenditure in a large bankruptcy, Lopucki said.

Enron, its bankruptcy lawyers and some bankruptcy professors have defended the company's expenditures by noting it is easily the most complex bankruptcy ever. The money in coming years will be spent to wind down outstanding issues and on litigation, Enron spokeswoman Karen Denne said. Legal battles include settling billions of dollars in claims and the dozens of lawsuits filed by Enron against former partners, including banks and other energy companies, seeking the return of millions and, in some cases, billions of dollars.
while we keep track of the Miserable Failure Project, snicker at Senator Bill Frist's Web Shenanagans, and marvel at the Damn Liberal Media thanks to the efforts of oour newest member, Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard. Remember to update your blogrolls, and favor this Slimy Mollusc with a few links.
Study the Myths of the War on Terrorism and Iraq, travel around the world in 80 days with Nellie Bly, or learn how to shake hands with the president. While you're welcoming Pip and the Blogmanac to the League of Liberals, you'll be thinking universally and acting terrestrially. Just wait--it will all become clear!

The League of Liberals is PROUD dismayed to WELCOME tolerate the inclusion of AYN CLOUTER just to keep an eye on her. AYN is the infamous author of THE BLOGFATHER review and the shrill twisted diatribe "How I Came To Hate Liberals" Ayn's work like CANONIZE BUSH and RENAME THE DEMOCRATS has caused speculation about her possible membership in The Landover Baptist Church There should be no question now that The League of Liberals is unbearably Liberal. We are truly the "party of inclusion" and we may see applications from LITTLE BROWN POOHBALLS and the INSTYPOOHBAH.

NOTE: If any of the membership wishes to call into question the leadership that has allowed inclusion of Ayn Clouter and The Politburo Diktat to the League now is the time to speak your piece. Welcome to "The Big Tent"

2 Tits Up Bush Brit Tabloid Growth Industry Here's shocking proof that US takes hostages and buys votes dying for Halliburton with the pilgrim Jihadist


Halliburton Reaches Agreement in Principle to Limit Cash Required for Asbestos Settlement to $2.775 Billion

Halliburton plan a precursor to bankruptcy re-organization
Nov. 14, 2003 HOUSTON, 8:30pm-- Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and the asbestos claimants committee with whom it has been negotiating a proposed asbestos settlement for its DII Industries, Kellogg Brown & Root and other subsidiaries jointly announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle to limit the cash required to settle pending asbestos and silica claimants currently subject to definitive agreements to $2.775 billion. The proposed debtor entities currently are parties to such definitive agreements with attorneys representing more than 95% of the current asbestos and silica claimants.

The company and the representatives of current claimants have agreed that if, at the completion of medical due diligence for current claims, the cash amounts provided in the current settlement agreements is greater than $2.775 billion, the total cash payment to each claimant would be reduced pro rata so that the aggregate of payments would not exceed $2.775 billion.

The terms of this revised settlement still must be approved by 75% of known present asbestos claimants. Despite reaching the agreement in principal, there can be no assurance that such approval will be obtained, that all members of the asbestos claimants committee and other lawyers representing affected claimants will support the revised settlement or that claimants represented by members of the asbestos claimants committee and other affected claimants will vote in favor of the revised plan of reorganization.

Contractors' Deaths Add to Iraq Toll

Haliburton Subsidiary Describes 3 Fatalities
November 14 NEW YORK -- Although the total number of American troops killed in Iraq is 397, as of Nov. 13, the overall American death count is higher. One group whose deaths often go unreported are independent contractors from American corporations working in the war-torn country. These fatalities, often from mines and ambushes, are rarely reported by newspapers and are not listed in the Pentagon's official death toll.

"I know contractors are not reported there," Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Joe Yoswa said about the official Operation Iraqi Freedom death toll. "I can tell you the contractors' names are not listed in the roll-up."

As of Thursday afternoon, for example, three employees of Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton and the largest military contractor in Iraq, have been killed in Iraq since the war began. The contractor deaths were the results of a vehicle accident, an anti-tank mine, and a gunshot wound.

"On 10 July 2003 a KBR employee died as a result of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle accident near the city of Basra in southern Iraq," Halliburton spokesperson Patrice Mingo told E&P Online via e-mail.

The second KBR death occurred on Aug. 5 "as a result of injuries sustained when his truck hit an anti-tank mine," Mingo said. The third KBR employee died on Sept. 3 after being "fatally shot in Baghdad while driving a vehicle that was escorted by military personnel."

"KBR's primary concern is for the safety and security of all personnel, especially those working in such challenging environments and conditions," Mingo said. "We are proud of our many employees who are currently working in the Middle East in support of the U.S. military. These men and women are working hard in the midst of a difficult situation, and are doing a great job."

As a result of cutbacks in personnel, the military has increasingly relied on contractors to perform a wide range of tasks. The size of the United States standing army has shrunk from 2.1 million in 1990 to 1.4 million in 2003, according to an Oct. 30 Associated Press report. In an effort to free up more troops for combat, the military hires independent contractors for just about every other imaginable task.

The total number of contractors killed in Iraq is not known, nor is the number of contractors currently working in Iraq, according to the Oct. 30 AP article. "Estimates range from under 10,000 to more than 20,000 -- which could make private contractors the largest U.S. coalition partner ahead of Britain's 11,000 troops,"
9000 US Casulties in Iraq
Halliburton Employee admits to Illegal Warhead Sale
Rush Limbaugh back on the Air on Monday with Investigation still in progress
A History of Majority Leader Senator Frist
Rush Limbaughtomy has the 12 Step Program for Right Wing Radio Addicts


Cheney Hurts Bush's Chances for Re-Election


Dump Cheney Movement Under Way - Started in State Department

Nov 13, 2003 -- Is Vice President Dick Cheney an electoral liability for President Bush? Some top Republicans are reportedly worried that Cheney's actions might threaten Bush's bid for re-election in 2004. The dump-Cheney talk probably originated with disgruntled State Department folks, who would like nothing better than to undermine the neocon foreign-policy cabal headed by Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The movement's underlying premise is that the vice president's hawkish positions and statements related to terrorism, Iraq and foreign policy have put Bush at risk.

But even as more Republicans criticize the handling of postwar Iraq, international issues are only half the story. Another problem is Cheney's failed stewardship of the administration's domestic agenda in Congress, which also leaves the president vulnerable next year. Cheney is the administration's chief legislative officer, responsible for shepherding its priorities through Congress. He's a regular presence at the weekly Senate Republican policy lunches. He also is the first vice president to maintain offices in both chambers. As a former House minority whip, Cheney is surpassed by few in knowing what makes the institution run.

Despite Cheney's unprecedented ties to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Congress has publicly rebuffed the administration on a series of legislative matters. Barring late reversals, the White House defeats will include changes in overtime regulations, the Federal Communications Commission's ruling on media consolidation and the end of the ban on travel to Cuba, despite veto threats from the president.

Other bills, such as school vouchers for Washington, D.C., and funding for Head Start, have passed the House by a single vote. Several judicial nominees, such as Charles Pickering, have yet to win Senate confirmation. Cheney's role in pushing the administration's agenda isn't likely to get any easier. As Cheney's batting average on Capitol Hill drops, moderate Republicans are straying from the White House line. Even reliable members of the GOP caucus are abandoning ship on issues such as the Cuba bill. When that happens, the White House knows it's in trouble. Of course, not all of the fault lies with Cheney. The White House dispatches other advisers to make its case on Capitol Hill. Party leaders such as Bill Frist in the Senate and Tom DeLay in the House share the blame.

But Cheney's own actions have made him an unusually inviting target. He snubbed Congress and the General Accounting Office by refusing to answer questions about his energy task force. The panel, which came under fire for meeting with industry groups, helped shape the administration's energy agenda. The uncontested bid by Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, to restore Iraq's oil industry left a bad taste in the mouths of lawmakers whose districts contained other energy companies. Democrats have attacked Cheney's nearly $500,000 in deferred compensation from Halliburton.

The vice president's experience in Washington was supposed to balance Bush's lack of expertise in that area. If Cheney, who was elected six times to Congress, can't hold together a GOP Congress for a Republican president, perhaps Bush needs to tap someone else for the job.

In the campaign, Bush needs to be able to point to accomplishments other than his management of Iraq, especially if the death toll continues to rise and his approval ratings continue to drop. With Cheney focusing so much of his attention on terrorism and Iraq, perhaps the vice president has lost sight of Bush's legislative agenda. If so, Cheney may prove to be a bigger domestic liability to Bush than he is a foreign-policy burden. Bush will have to decide whether he can afford both worries.

Mary Lynn F. Jones covers Congress for the Hill newspaper in Washington; Thomas Schaller is a political scientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED the best source for NEWS Oh. the Irony - Bush "welcoming" protests in Britain? He doesn't expect everybody in the world to agree with him except the US Senate on his reactionary Judges Next He'll nominate Judge NO Moore Accept Natalie's "birthday gift" to us "The Speech Bush Did Not Give" and wish Natalie "Happy Birthday" (a few hours late) while you are there.
Cast your vote for the latest plan cause you are either with us or against us Flashback on the stepped up strategy and stage the news one more time. SouthKnoxBubba has the plan.

And Then's Late Night With Majority Leader Frist

League of Liberals member And Then..'s entry in the New Blog Showcase is Late Night With Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
And Then... takes on Tennessee Senator, the Shame of Rocky Top, Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Hell for Halliburton is proud to link to Rush Limbaughtomy's Bill Frist "Republican Role Model of the Day" in support of And Then.... and urges everyone to consider And Then...... and to vote by placing a link to "Late Night With Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist" in their blogs.


Halliburton Hangover

In terms of sheer size, the $87 billion Iraq spending bill recently approved by Congress is the nation’s largest ever for war, bigger than the budgets of the Homeland Security and Education Departments combined. With so much at stake, you would think that Congress would have done all it could to ensure that these tens of billions of dollars are scrupulously monitored and wisely spent, with no opportunity for waste, fraud or abuse.

But you would be wrong. While the Iraq spending bill makes some modest progress on accountability, House and Senate leaders who negotiated the final bill eliminated or weakened more stringent reform measures passed by their colleagues in both chambers. And given the influence of the White House on the final bill, one could reasonably conclude that the Bush administration was wary of many of the accountability measures that Congress originally intended to require.

This spending plan has too little accountability and too few financial controls.

Stripped From The Bill

Consider the reform measures that never made it into the final bill:

GAO audits. The Senate originally voted 97 to 0 to have the General Accounting Office (GAO)— Congress’ investigative arm—conduct audits of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. The CPA oversees the entire rebuilding effort in Iraq, and is in charge of dispensing billions of dollars in reconstruction contracts. That audit provision was stripped in the conference committee on a party line vote. Another provision that would have required the GAO to look at the profits made by U.S. contractors in Iraq was accepted by the Senate, but also never made it into the final bill.

Competitive bidding on oil contracts. Responding to the uproar about non-competitive bidding in Iraq, the House passed an amendment requiring competitive bidding on all oil contracts. The provision eliminated exceptions for emergencies and other extenuating circumstances, such as national security, that might make competitive bidding prohibitive. Every Democrat, plus 47 Republicans, supported it. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who sponsored the amendment, said that it was necessary because “Democrats and many Republicans do not trust the administration to use the government contracting exceptions rarely and fairly.” Still, the Sherman provision was removed during a conference committee vote.

Penalties for war profiteers. Perhaps most astounding, Congress in its final Iraq spending bill did not even include language to penalize war profiteers for defrauding American taxpayers. The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the provision, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), to ensure that contractors who cheated the American taxpayer would face fines of up to $1 million and jail time of up to 20 years. Senators of both parties supported it, but Republican House negotiators refused to include it in the final bill. “Congress is about to send billions and billions of dollars to a place where there is no functioning government, under a plan with too little accountability and too few financial controls,” Sen. Leahy said after his provision was stripped from the final bill. “That’s a formula for mischief. We need strong disincentives for those who would defraud taxpayers. It baffles me why House members would not want to provide this protection to taxpayers.” The inspector general would be appointed by the secretary of defense and would not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Lax Oversight

And even when House and Senate negotiators did see their way clear to approving reform provisions, what they approved was often flawed. For example, the final bill provides for a much needed inspector general to monitor the Coalition Provisional Authority. But that inspector general would be appointed by the secretary of defense and would not have to be confirmed by the Senate—which has historically used the confirmation process to assure the American public of a nominee’s integrity and credentials.

“I am dismayed that this individual is not subject to Senate confirmation,” Sen. Robert Byrd said. Byrd also noted that the bill’s congressional negotiators rejected his amendment that would have required the inspector general to testify before Congress when requested. “Could it be that the president’s supporters in Congress are afraid to hear what the inspector general might tell them?” Byrd asked. And while the inspector general would be required to submit periodic reports to Congress, the President would have the right to waive those reporting requirements for certain reasons, such as national security.

Why the White House and key Republican leaders would be opposed to more accountability for this huge spending bill is hard to understand. But we at Common Cause will continue to monitor the spending in Iraq, to work in coalition with other groups to press the government to report what it is doing fully and completely. We will watch to see if the inspector general named to monitor spending in Iraq is well qualified for the job, and we will keep track of how well or poorly government officials report on the progress of Iraq reconstruction to Congress and the American people. Too much is at stake for us to do any less.

Hell on the Bush Admin all over the Blogosphere

Franken ponders a run for the Senate in his Native Minnesota at Speedkill
Is Gephart the tortoise gonna catch Dean the hare? BYTE BACK is excited.
Mad Kane has the humor round up and St. Reagan's song I am waiting for "Why Can't the American's Teach Their Leader How To Speak" and "All I Want is a War Somewhere", from the same musical.
The latest "Where will you be" picture is up at Hammerdown. There is a whole series of pained expressions.
Chinese food on the Moon - only from The Poison Kitchen
Origination of Denomination and Anti-American Asshats on Parade will Shock and Awe you.
It is Officially Unofficial - Celine Dion is destitute check your sitemeters
ACT now the Shrub is not welcome at this Coffee Break
Rick's response to the Truth Laid Bear has drawn 147 Responses _ some of them are worth the time _ As is Bush honoring the veternarians at Arlington National Cemetary
Bush tells the British what to do and Flint has Jessica in the nude
With us or Against Us Clear Skies and More Lies and they are Coming to take you away It is always a strong signal to noise ratio at SouthKnoxBubba
216 Days have passed in the search is it Time to Evolve? The Sesquipedalian is no Incipient Ass
He is For God and Country and "pretty much a shot in the dark most days..."

We Alway's Knew They'd Come Around and make Bush fear for his re-selection with More Lost Heart's and Minds Losing Faith with the Occupation.
So enters Stageleft like the Freeway Blogger

GOP Sleepover at the Crybaby Party where Mr. Smartass and Mr. High horse were seen begging a Cup O Joe at the LoL Roundup


Michael Moore: Quote of the Day for Halliburton

Nov. 12, 2003 When most authors do a reading they get a few dozen devotees in a chilly bookshop. Michael Moore, the American filmmaker turned best-selling polemicist (of Bowling for Columbine and Stupid White Men fame), is so huge that, when he promotes a book in Britain, he needs consecutive sittings at the London Palladium - and even they don't leave a spare seat in the house.

Moore does very little performance: just him, a shlubby guy in baseball hat standing by the microphone. He riffs on a few themes, reads a chapter of his book and then takes a lot of questions.

He does pack a few great lines. He urges Britons to be brave enough to sack Tony Blair: the left has nothing to fear from the Tories, who are deader than dinosaurs. "Come on, buck up here. You used to be brave and bold and send Australians into battle."

He notes that United States Vice-President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, has won several contracts to rebuild Iraq. If American and British soldiers are dying for Halliburton, "then it's only fair that for every kid that dies, Halliburton has to slay a mid-level executive".

Visit Rush Limbaughtomy for a new 12 Step Recovery Program by Thom Hartmann And listen to the Tom Hartmann Radio Program

He hits all the buttons his audience want pressed: Tony Blair must go, George Bush is evil, Rupert Murdoch should be struck down by a thunderbolt.
Dr. PZ Myers of pharyngula is new League of Liberals member 5 in the past 6 hours.
Appropriate since our embryonic League has possibly reached the pharyngula stage in it's rapid growth.
Godless Sunday, about pharyngula, Tim Berglund Still Doesn't Get It, FOOM!, and my favorite: The Crayola Strategy about Texas textbooks, make for great reading at pharyngula.
You will also find interesting pictures
Please offer an educated welcome to the insightful intelligent pharyngula
and update those blogrolls.
Haunting Bush from the Grave
The Rush Addiction Trifecta and Parsing Rush
School Boards & the Most Patronizing Deception Just a few of the offerings at The Huck Upchuck
Ask Me NO Questions, I'll Tell You NO Lies
A Squid Down in Texas' Pop Quiz
He's not "Changin Tactics"
These Cliff Notes are His
Get a Rope he'll help Bush with "good-byes"

Ornicus sez Left IS Right and it's true
Our "focus" is slightly askew
Praise be to George Soros Want to marry Kucinich?
Read GORE and there's more
Here that's NEW.

Please welcome these new members to the League of Liberals despite the bad poetry.
And don't forget to update those blogrolls.
If it aint broke, don't Frist it.
Shoshana Johnson is a Wonderful American
Bush can be insulting
Soilders, White House and Media Agree, Andrew of BYTE BACK is What Bush is Afraid Of
Please welcome BYTE BACK to the League of Liberals


Cheney Evacuated from White House ___________ Too Bad it's not Permanent

AFP - US Vice President Dick Cheney and White House chief of staff Andrew Card were briefly evacuated from the White House after a tourist plane violated an aerial security zone over the residence. "A small private plane violated the TFR (Temporary Flight Restricted) zone," put in place after September 11, 2001, around 11:15pm (0315 Tuesday AEDT), Secret Service spokeswoman Ann Roman said.

"It was intercepted and escorted out of the zone," by military jets a few moments after it had broached the secure zone, Roman explained adding that the tourist plane's pilot had fully cooperated with the authorities. The security scare sparked an emergency evacuation within the White House forcing the evacuation of Cheney and Card, Roman said. The tourist's aircraft was tracked by the authorities until it had safely landed.
There is no 18 Minute Gap in the blog of the same name. It is all good.
A nice chart on campaign contributions The can't dance puppets of the Iraqi Council - another miserable failure of the Bush Admin.
Webster's introduces McJob The latest plug for the Freeway Blogger and committing crime for Healthcare
Class War you bet says The Estimated Prophet and sobering news in We're Watching You

Iraq contracts ‘for select few’ - So what else is new

Nation building: The burden - and profits - to fall on 'few shoulders'

Monday 10 Nov 2003 As few as three main contractors will be chosen by February to handle as much as $15 billion of public works projects in Iraq. The contracts would be funded through the $87.5 billion spending package US President George Bush signed last week and overseen by a new Pentagon-run Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

The move will be closely watched by critics of the Bush administration, which has been accused of trying to farm out contracts to companies with links to the White House, notably Halliburton and Bechtel. Halliburton has been given the task of restoring and operating Iraqi oilfields. The contract is officially temporary but could be worth $7 billion over two years. Bechtel has been awarded contracts to rebuild the port of Umm Qasr, including the water supply, 12 electrical power stations and 1200 schools. The contracts are worth more than a billion dollars.
Get Headlines at What Really Happened


US bungling in Baghdad

The cost in taxpayer dollars and frustration on the part of allies and Iraqis grows as Halliburton lines it's pockets. The administration seems immune to the price gouging of Halliburton that costs American's millions. Is this any way to run a reconstruction for 20 Billion of your dollars? Why aren't Americans outraged?

Frustrations growing as Iraqis are locked out of their own reconstruction work
Sunday November 9, 2003 Anwar Diab is a frustrated man. As an Iraqi who has recently returned to his homeland from America to participate in its reconstruction, his description of winning a contract from the American authorities in Baghdad is reminiscent of K's struggles with the powers-that-be in Kafka's The Castle.
Speaking on a satellite phone from the Iraqi capital, he outlines the problems in getting any work out of the Americans - and as an English-speaker who lived in the US for 23 years, he will have had it relatively easy.

'There is no system or procedure on how to reach the Americans,' he says. 'Every ministry has an American co-ordinator, but it is very difficult for ordinary Iraqis to reach them. The system is not transparent to Iraqis.' Diab, who started a technology company in Baghdad three months ago, says increasing numbers of small contracts are being handled by Iraqi authorities, where there is openness. But dealing with the US Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) or any of the other government agencies is truly Kafkaesque.

'They have two offices, but the one where the real work is done is in the old palace of Saddam. You cannot go there unless you are invited and you have to be met at the door.' The contacts needed for such an invitation elude most Iraqi would-be businessmen. Diab, who secured a small contract to supply IT equipment for an internet cafe, says: 'I had to use all my personal contacts and knock on the door like a hard-nosed salesman.'

A CPA website now lists contracts for everything from installing valves and switches on power stations to providing policing equipment. But it is criticised for having very short tender periods - sometimes less than a week - which effectively rule out those Iraqis who are aware of it in the first place.

'Those who get the contracts are lucky,' says Diab, 'and it is large American companies that get the big ones. The awarding of contracts to [Halliburton subsidiary] Kellogg Brown and Root and Bechtel [two companies with controversial links to the Bush administration] is above and beyond what is happening in Iraq. But Iraqis are very suspicious of this. And the problem is increased because these companies are not open either, just like the CPA.'

It is not just Iraqis who are suspicious of America in general and Halliburton in particular. President Bush's opponents have lambasted the administration for its award of con tracts to the Texas company. California Democratic congressman Henry Waxman has recently accused Halliburton of profiteering from importing petrol from Kuwait. Waxman is also concerned about the contract, awarded without competitive bidding and before the war started, to KBR for emergency services work on oil infrastructure.

That contract was to be replaced in the summer with two new ones, split into north and south, worth a total of $1bn. On 29 October, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the agency 'letting' the work, delayed the award for a second time, until December, citing increased sabotage and the poor state of infrastructure, and doubling its total value to $2bn.

Halliburton - whose third-quarter revenues rose 39 per cent thanks to Iraq-related work - continues to benefit from the original deal. Waxman says: 'The administration took only nine days to enter into a sole-source contract worth up to $7bn with Halliburton. Yet it now says that rebidding the contracts is so complex that it can't be done in less than nine months.'

Waxman's staff confirm that he is concerned that the administration is not being as expeditious as it might be because Halliburton is involved and gains by any delay. It is not simply political opponents who make the point. One competitor of Halliburton says: 'The longer the contract takes to re-let, the more by definition KBR benefit because they are paid by the man-hour.'
Radical Failure Puppet Liar Thief these are the Screaming Points. Please welcome our newest member and add Screaming Points to your blogrolls.


Picture on left: Observers across the road from the Admin building. I'm the guy below the red line with a raised hand.


In late January 1970 I got a visit from my father's law partner at my apartment on the UT Campus. It came as quite a surprise. Jim Jones was a young lawyer in Dad's law firm and he said he was sent because they thought he could 'relate' to me better. His message was that I had been indicted by a grand jury on the Felony charge of INCITING A RIOT for my participation in a demonstration on January 15th. To say I was shocked is considerable understatement and this is why.
I had traveled to Miami with my younger brother's band over the Christmas and New Year's holiday to assist the band as a manager/sound mixer. My brother and I returned to Knoxville in early January and I decided to enroll at UT to finish up a couple of courses required to complete my degree. On Jan 15 I had gone up to the Hill to register for classes and there encountered a small group of students listening to speeches by guys I later came to know as Peter Kami, Gus Hadorn, and Carroll Bible. They were protesting the decision by a committee to name Dr Edward J. Boling as the next UT President.
I knew Dr Boling quite well because I worked for him as the student in charge of the Alumni Giving program and my family were friends with the Boling family. I understood that the students and some faculty were upset with the choice because they had been named to the selection committee and they wanted an academic person to be President. Boling was a development person who mainly raised money and helped build the physical part of the university.
The speeches were not too exciting until Peter Kami a very anemic looking guy with a Brazilian accent challenged Dr. Boling to an arm wrestling match for the office. It was funny because Peter's arm was pencil like and his lack of muscle was quite apparent.
The "crowd" (small group) grew weary and began to drift away until a long haired fellow jumped on the stump and suggested that the participants enter the admin building and "gum up the works" by standing in the Drop and Add lines. This suggestion failed to rally the troops and they continued to drift toward the stairs leading down the Hill. Then two amazing things occurred.
First the bells rang marking an end to that period of classes and several hundred student poured out of nearby classroom buildings causing a temporary increase of people in the area, and 2) there appeared on the Hill a phalanx of UT Police in full riot gear - White storm trooper helmets, clear acrylic shields, and large riot batons. The 30 men marched in a V formation toward the administration building from the south with shield and helmets glistening in the bright Winter sun. What the speeches failed to do - inspire the interest of the students - the storm troopers managed in an instant. Now the students were very interested although only a few had any idea what was going on.
Over the next 30 minutes about 50 students gathered at the door to the admin building demanding to be admitted and a couple of hundred more stood around waiting to see what would happen next. An announcement over a loudspeaker demanding everyone clear the area was met with derision as student insisted they had the right to free assembly. A couple of the guys nearest the door were pushed an a single diamond shaped pane in a window broke. The troops formed a semicircle around the walkway and front door but people came and went in and out of that with no resistance. Finally an ultimatum and deadline were given and we got to wait and watch the clock tick down.

When the appointed time was reached the front doors to the building opened and out poured some 200 Knoxville Police in full riot gear with gas masks and dogs. We now had over 200 cops for around 150 students. The cops grabbed 15 or 20 of the closest people and everyone else headed off the hill in a hurry.

While I was on the Hill that Jan afternoon I spoke to several fraternity brothers and a number of other students I knew. I had been President of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, An elected representative from the liberal arts college in the student government, a member of the student tribunal, and President of the Freshman Class during the previous 5 years. In 1968 I had been selected as a national student field secretary for my Fraternity and had then gone to the Law School for one year before deciding that law was not for me.
The year working for the fraternity had taken me to UC Berkeley and Stanford in the west where student activists were prevalent and relatively powerful. I had been to universities in New York, Pennsylvania, and New England in the East and the student demonstrators there were quite active as well. One thing I knew beyond all doubt was that there was no hope that that kind of student activism would thrive at the University of Tennessee.

I really was shocked at the police response. What were 200 city police officers in riot gear doing inside the administration building? I know for certain they had to be there prior to the start of the gathering. It would have been impossible for them to arrive later because there was no way inside that would not have revealed their entry. Why would the administration decide on such a massive police response to such a small gathering of students making speeches about their discontent with the selection of a President?

In the days that followed the event I began to spend some time trying to help raise money for the defense of those students who had been arrested. Among them were two fraternity brothers who also had nothing to do with the demonstration. They like me had watched the events out of curiosity. One of them is now a staunch Republican - a stance I find difficult to believe given his experience. The other passed away some time ago. Both were mild mannered southern guys who definitely did not fit the "radical" mode or mindset. Both were shocked, chagrined, and rather embarrassed by their arrests. All of the then KNOXVILLE 21 were charged with FELONY "INCITING TO RIOT" for an event that bore no earthly resemblance to a riot even after the UT cops made their dramatic entrance or the mass of KPD officers poured out of the administration building.

So here it was a few weeks later and I was being driven downtown and booked as the 22 person arrested for the events of Jan 15. The question is why? The answer is simple.
Knoxville Tennessee is a part of the Second Congressional District and that District has never had a Democrat in the seat. The County had been solidly Republican until 1948 when my father became the County Judge (equivalent of Mayor of the City) to fill out the last two years of the CJ who resigned to become Mayor of Knoxville. Dad was then elected to two full 8 year terms in 1950 and 1958 serving for 20 years and he had made one run for the Congressional seat in 1956 coming closer than any Democrat in history in a race against Howard Baker Sr.
The District Attorney of Knox County was a staunch Republican. The picture you see shows that I was present on the hill that day and that is all they required to get an indictment. Their logic was clear - indict the Judge's son and harm him politically.

Eventually all of the charges were reduced from felonies to the misdemeanor of Obstructing the Entrance to a Public Doorway on every participant except Peter Kami the frail Brazilian who challenged Ed Boling to an arm wrestling match. Poor Peter was forced to flea the country over this event His life was put in peril over a harmless bit of theater because he dared to register his protest and speak his mind here at the largest University in the South.
I have little to complain about because I'm still here and I didn't even pay the $25 fine imposed for my non-infraction. But the events of Jan 1970 made me a radical in a land where 'freedom of speech and assembly' are empty and hollow terms even on the campus of a University. The FEAR and PARANOIA of local Republicans shown in their massing of hundreds of cops to quell a small protest rally is in a large part responsible for what happened in the 70's all over the country. The high minded idea of FREEDOM wasn't really enjoyed in AMERICA when those people were in control.

There is a "COLLECTION" in the Hoskins Library downtown consisting of an exhibit about the KNOXVILLE 22