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Halliburton’s Access of Evil #


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Halliburton’s Access of Evil

In addition to accusations of profiteering, given its close relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton Co. is under fire for doing business in countries the US has identified as “sponsors of terrorism.” According to David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding information about the company’s links to countries that have been sanctioned by the U.S.

Waxman’s letter doesn’t accuse Halliburton, a company that contracts out oil and military support services, of breaking the law directly. Instead, Waxman pointedly asks the Defense Department if it plans to look into the company’s use of foreign subsidiaries to continue its business with Iran, Libya, and Iraq.

Baker reports that Halliburton’s Wendy Hall defended the company’s operations in sanctioned countries, remarking that the work done in those countries are “staffed and managed by non-US personnel.”:

” ‘We do not always agree with policies or actions of governments in every place that we do business and make no excuses for their behaviors,'” the spokeswoman said.

But Waxman, and his supporters at Citizen Works, a non-profit political organization, argue that Halliburton’s contracted use of taxpayer money to “maneuver around restrictions on doing business with state sponsors of terrorism” sends an ironic and infuriating message to US citizens, who believe that their tax money funds national security and the alleged war on terrorism.

In his letter to Donald Rumsfeld, Waxman writes:

    “Halliburton has recently been awarded a leading — and lucrative — role in the U.S. war against terrorism. Yet there is also evidence from press accounts and other sources that indicates that Halliburton has profited from numerous business dealings with state sponsors of terrorism, including two of the three members of President Bush’s ‘axis of evil.’ I would like to know what the Defense Department knows about these ties and whether you think this should be a matter of concern to the Congress and the American taxpayer.”

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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