Halliburton’s bad gas


Here’s a question that didn’t make it into last night’s vice-presidential debates: Mr. Cheney, how do you feel about your former employers benefitting from forced labor and other human rights abuses in Burma?

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According to a new report from EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL, Halliburton, the oil company that boasted Cheney as CEO until he jumped on George W.’s presidential bandwagon, received a little help from the Burmese military while building a gas pipeline in the 1990s. To make sure everything went smoothly, the Burmese soldiers allegedly forced a few thousand villagers to work in support of the project, and raped, tortured and killed a few who found this arrangement unsatisfactory.

“Halliburton’s participation in these projects shows a callous disregard for the consequences of their business behavior,” says the report.

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.