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Give It Back, Dick: A Modest Proposal Concerning Money, War and Politics

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Indulge me for a moment, wouldya?

Let’s mull over a few related facts and see where it takes us.

Fact #1: With the possible exception of George W. Bush, no one in the world is more responsible for launching the war in Iraq than is Dick Cheney.

Fact #2: Mr. Cheney still retains a substantial financial interest in Halliburton, the corporation he used to head as CEO.

Fact #3: Mr. Cheney knows that he still possesses that financial interest (this is not a blind trust arrangement).

Fact #4: Halliburton has received multi-tens-of-billion dollar contracts to provide services in the post-Iraq war occupation.

Fact #5: Halliburton received these contracts without having to competitively bid for them.

Fact #6: The Department of Defense received instructions from the Vice President’s office to arrange these highly lucrative contracts, and to do so on these highly unusual terms.

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Fact #7: Halliburton subsidiary KBR charged the government a record-breaking 55 percent overhead on its contracts.

Fact #8: KBR hid its schemes by marking the entirety of all information it gave to the government as "proprietary", taking advantage of a contract provision meant to protect companies from unfair competitor advantage, and instead used it to block oversight and investigation.

Fact #9: A (Republican) auditor who uncovered Halliburton fraud in Iraq had his position and office terminated by a clause slipped overnight into war funding legislation passed by the GOP Congress and signed by George Bush.

Fact #10: A Halliburton employee was fired for informing her managers that the company was fraudulently overcharging the American government in billing against its contracts.

Fact #11: Abundant evidence exists suggesting that Halliburton is guilty of myriad contracting crimes in Iraq.

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Fact #12: In 2005 the GOP controlled Senate blocked the establishment of a special committee to investigate Iraq war contracting irregularities. Every single Republican senator except Lincoln Chafee and one other who missed the vote – 53 in all – voted against investigating these crimes, despite the party’s endless claims of impassioned concern for both the taxpayers and the troops.

Fact #13: Halliburton, now headquartered in Dubai, continues to make tens of billions of dollars from the Iraq war.

Fact #14: Therefore, so does Dick Cheney, chief driving force behind the Iraq war.

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David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (dmg@regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
 

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