News: Halliburton or How War Profiteering Works - Part 1: The Secret Deal for Iraq's Oil

Halliburton war profiteering

Four months before the United States invaded Iraq, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton Corp., on a deal that would give the world's second largest oil services company total control over Iraq's oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton's most senior executives.

Previously undisclosed Halliburton documents obtained by The Public Record confirm that controlling the world's second largest oil reserves was a top priority for the Bush administration. Additionally, the deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR - see this post) to operate Iraq's oil industry saved Halliburton from imminent bankruptcy.

In October of 2002, Halliburton was saddled with a multibillion-dollar asbestos liability as well as a serious slowdown in domestic oil production. The company’s stock plummeted on the news falling to a low of $12.62 in October 2002 from a high of $22 the year before.

A month later, in November 2002, Halliburton’s financial troubles seemingly disappeared. At the urging of unnamed officials in the Office of the Vice President, according to the documents, the Department of Defense recommended The Army Corps of Engineers award a contract to Kellogg, Brown & Root to extinguish Iraqi oil well fires in addition to "assessing the condition of oil-related infrastructure; cleaning up oil spills or other environmental damage at oil facilities; engineering design and repair or reconstruction of damaged infrastructure; assisting in making facilities operational; distribution of petroleum products; and assisting the Iraqis in resuming Iraqi oil company operations."

That was a deal hatched five months before the start of the Iraq war, when the Bush administration said publicly that it had not been working on war plans, and at the time when the UN weapons inspectors had just re-entered Iraq. (Full)

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