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

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Message David Michael Green

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.

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.

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 (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
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