Monday, May 31, 2010

Corporate Criminals - Halliburton

Halliburton, and their former subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), helped make Iraq the hellhole it is today. Again, what I am talking about here are acts that, were they committed by individuals or even countries, would be severely punished. As committed by corporations they are forgiven and even legal.

The Crimes of Halliburton
Rape, Prostitution, Bribery, Slavery, Fraud
Certainly the most publicized crimes has been the frequent rapes associated the company. Perhaps most chilling has been their arguing that rape was a "workplace" injury, like a truck accident. The prostitution charge is more difficult but two names keep coming up, DynCorp and Halliburton. Although one could argue that Halliburton is simply a CIA subcontractor. The slavery charge comes from their forcibly trafficking in human labor. As to fraud, KBR's contracts during the Iraq War have been notorious as have the stories of providing substandard food and water to soldiers.

Which brings us to the interesting nexus of Halliburton and the Gulf oil spill. Halliburton was the concrete contractor for Deepwater Horizon. At a mile underwater, no one will ever know if Halliburton cut corners or used substandard materials.

Halliburton seems to always be involved in bribery scandals as well. Whether it is the Middle East or Africa, they seem to be caught frequently buying influence. It is difficult to believe they have not been bribing the Pentagon as well.

Before the Iraq War (January 2002), Halliburton stock languished at $5 a share. Four years later (2006) their stock had risen by over 700%. They had revenues over $14 billion last year. Their CEO, David J. Lesar, is an accountant not an engineer which means he neither knows or cares what a good engineering job looks like, he is all about profit.

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