by David Phinney
Wednesday July 24th 2024



‘This Hearing Saved the Government 20 Million Dollars’

by David Phinney

March 31, 2004: Four armed Blackwater contractors guarding KBR were killed and dragged from their vehicles. Their bodies were beaten and burned. Their charred corpses were then dragged through the city streets before being hung over a bridge crossing the Euphrates River.

Feb. 7, 2007 — From the time four U.S. security contractors were killed in streets of Fallujah on March 31, 2004 until yesterday, the U.S. Army couldn’t determine if, in fact, Halliburton/KBR had broken its multibillion-dollar contract agreement by commissioning the private security company, Blackwater, to guard a subcontractor’s convoy.

Then suddenly, one day before a Congressional hearing on the events surrounding the killing and burning of four private security contractors — the Army figured it all out: Halliburton/KBR had violated the sweeping contract to provide support services to the Army in Iraq.

The LogCAP contract — now clocking about $16 billion in receipts — strictly prohibits Halliburton/KBR from using private security companies unless otherwise approved by the combatant commander. Halliburton had no approval and was exptected to rely on Army security.

The result of the Army’s sudden recognition after three years of investigation? Just yesterday the Army decided to withhold a payment of $19.6 million owed to Halliburton/KBR, according to Tina Ballard, U.S. Army deputy assistant secretary for policy and procurement.

Withholding payment for the private security costs, she said, was the extent of any punitive action against Halliburton/KBR for allowing a subcontractor to use the high-profile private security company, Blackwater.

“That’s not too much action,” said a disappointed Rep. Henry Waxman, D. Calif., who chairs the House committee on oversight and government reform. Then a hint of satisfaction flashed across his face: “This hearing just saved the government $20 million.”

Greetings from the people who managed the war from beginning to now.

It took the Army three years to discover that the contract that sent four Blackwater security contractors to their deaths in Fallujah, was in fact, illegal.

Throughout the Wednesday hearing, witnesses testified again and again to incredulous lawmakers that Haliburton/KBR’s sweeping LogCAP is pyramid game — a multilayered morass of subcontractors operating with little, if any, supervision.

Halliburton/KBR is given sole responsibility for monitoring the behavior of its subcontractors — the Army, in turn, relies on Halliburton/KBR to report any problems and make sure that its subs adhere to Army guidelines.

That leaves the door open for plenty of mischief, waste, fraud and abuse — including the widespread use of forced labor, which the Pentagon acknowledged last spring was taking place. And just as with the contract that led o the death of four American civilians, not one company has been penalized for using forced labor drawn from the poorest of the poor in this world.


Reader Feedback

3 Responses to “‘This Hearing Saved the Government 20 Million Dollars’”

  1. Cristian says:

    also these European caveman first don’t tell the truth they came to the cotninent starving, then turn around and starting killing everyone then they asked all he rest of the Europeans to come to America to? help them kill people and take the land that was not enough they open all borders and even built a statue a wave of millions and millions of Europeans like them to come here, 13 little colonies of a few miles each and they went a killed millions to get the rest and force them to sign fake shit

  2. Isabel says:

    The only way to correct this media bliendnss is to accuse them of being “racist” and “Islamophobic” and “post-colonialist” in their purposely-slanted reporting which ignores the valiant Iraqis working to rebuild their own country, in the face of terrorism. A humble people who are being callously overlooked by the “indifferent Western media” purveying its “globalist agenda”.What else could it be but “bigotry” on the part of an “imperialist” (if not “Zionist”) Media to ignore the vast majority of good Iraqis in favor of the small minority of bad ones?Sound blatantly “racist” and crypto-“Islamophobic to me.Like cures like. The Media’s own knee-jerk b.s. thrown back at them may be the ethical homeopathy they require to correct their “culturally hegemonic” and “patronizing” ‘oversight’.

  3. Contractor says:

    that 16 mil has exactly what to do with Blackwater? You’re blaming LogCap on their death?
    Wooohooo….man, you really should have spent some time over here in 04′. Everyone..and I mean everyone…went driving around however they could—the fact that blackwater had new vehicles put them mountains above anyone else in the country. Even other BW teams.
    As far as LC is concerned….hey, sh*t happens….when the military refuses to supply convoy escorts and the 3 COL’s openly berate KBR and threaten to have them arrested…..well, someone has to get the food thru. The military was too incompetant to do it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.