Posted by Mary
David Brooks is the latest hack to grace the oped pages of the NY Times. Today he is doing his water-carrying for the right wing by showing that those cynical Democrats are falsely accusing that Halliburton got its (lucrative) contracts because of its connections to Dick Cheney. Brooks helps set the record straight.
The real story is that the Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, won an open competition to provide the service support for overseas troops. This contract is called the Logcap, and is awarded every few years. KBR won the competition in 1992. It lost to DynCorp in 1997, and won it again in 2001.
Under the deal, KBR builds bases, supplies water, operates laundries and performs thousands of other tasks. Though the G.A.O. has found that KBR sometimes overcharges, in general the company has an outstanding reputation among the panoply of auditing agencies that monitor these contracts.
But some circumstances are not covered under Logcap. During the Clinton administration, the Pentagon issued a temporary no-bid contract to KBR to continue its work in the Balkans. In the months leading up to the Iraq war, Defense officials realized they needed plans in case Saddam Hussein once again set his oil wells ablaze. KBR did the study under Logcap. Then in February, with the war looming, Pentagon planners issued an additional bridge contract to KBR to put out any fires that were set. KBR had the experience. Its personnel were in place. It would have been crazy to open up a three-to-five-month bidding process at that time.
Oh that's right, the threat was imminent and we couldn't wait any longer to start the war. Silly Dems, you are just too darn cynical and you are destroying the civil discourse this President has tried to bring to this country.
Besides which, there certainly isn't any reason for American tax payers to feel ripped off by finding that they overpaid Halliburton $200 M for their altruistic endeavors in helping with the reconstruction efforts, because as David says, "in general the company has an outstanding reputation...." Just what more could you ask for from a good corporate citizen?