Do you enjoy a good conspiracy?
Do you believe this is one? Before this war, the Pentagon asked Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to draw up plans to fight oilwell fires in Iraq.
The Army Corp of Engineers then made KBR the contractor, without taking bids. Blank check. No time limit, no dollar limit, the old infamous cost-plus contract. KBR rakes off a cut: subcontractors (Boots & Coots, and Wild Well Control) do the actual work.
No bids, no competition.
There are political connections. Vice President Richard Cheney headed KBR's parent company Halliburton until 2000. In the last two election cycles, Halliburton gave $709,000 that we know of to Republicans, and $17,677 to George Bush's presidential campaign.
Does that make all this a conspiracy? Or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest? Common Cause thinks so. I don't.
The truth about Life is, we do business with who we know, with our friends.
So the White House and Pentagon are tight with a huge, politically active company. So what? Is that a conspiracy to you, or just the way things work?
Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.
Sydney Morning Herald 3/27/2003
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