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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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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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