Monday, December 22, 2003
OR: "The Halliburton scandal that's entirely made up by Bush's enemies"
Right Thinking from the Left Coast points us to a few articles by NRO's Byron York, who takes on the hysterical Left's accusations about Bush, Cheney, and Halliburton. Both pieces are an eye opener. From the July piece:
The next question was how large the contract should be. That was a difficult problem, because no one knew how big the problem would be. Would all the fields burn? Would none of them? Just a few? The Army assumed a worst-case scenario and decided the contract would be worth any amount between $0 and $7 billion (a common contracting practice known as ID/IQ, which stands for indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity). The $7 billion cap was thought to be sufficient to handle any emergency.
When the Army told Waxman that, he immediately began calling the KBR deal a $7 billion contract. "We are told it was a short-term contract for very little money, then it turned out it was a $7 billion contract," he said on National Public Radio in early May. What Waxman did not say was that he had been told a month earlier that the contract would not be worth anywhere near the cap amount.
Lying by omission is still lying. The Left is doing everything in it's power to cause some sort of scandal for the Bush Administration. All the claims being made against Bush and Co. could have been made against the Clinton administration. But they weren't made against Clinton, because the claims are bullshit.
In 1997, when LOGCAP was again put up for bid, Halliburton/Brown & Root lost the competition to another contractor, Dyncorp. But the Clinton Defense Department, rather than switch from Halliburton to Dyncorp, elected to award a separate, sole-source contract to Halliburton/Brown & Root to continue its work in the Balkans. According to a later GAO study, the Army made the choice because 1) Brown & Root had already acquired extensive knowledge of how to work in the area; 2) the company "had demonstrated the ability to support the operation"; and 3) changing contractors would have been costly. The Army's sole-source Bosnia contract with Brown & Root lasted until 1999. At that time, the Clinton Defense Department conducted full-scale competitive bidding for a new contract. The winner was . . . Halliburton/Brown & Root. The company continued its work in Bosnia uninterrupted.
When one company has the knowledge, the skills, the resources, and the availability to do the job, you let them do their damn job! Both Clinton and Bush understand this. The difference is, the Donks want to beat Bush so badly that they're generating false claims at a record pace. They're lying to beat the band.
York's second piece continues where his first left off.
The Pentagon is investigating allegations that Halliburton overcharged it by $61 million for gasoline and other fuels delivered to Iraq. Halliburton delivered gasoline to Iraq from Kuwait at a price of $2.27 per gallon, while it delivered gas from Turkey for $1.18 per gallon.
The obvious question raised by the discrepancy was: Why would Halliburton deliver high-priced fuel from Kuwait when it could be obtained at a much lower price from Turkey?
The company says it did so because the Army demanded that it deliver fuel from Kuwait. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said to find a fuel source in Kuwait," Halliburton said in a press release yesterday. "[Halliburton] sought and received bids from four suppliers in Kuwait. One met the Corps' specification, and that is the one the Corps approved."
Gee, what a concept! The Army demands a product, and the company hired to deliver that product actually does so! Wow! But why was the Army so desperate for fuel, and why did it approve the high cost?
"The initial import of fuel was in response to a request from General Sanchez to do this because there was an uprising in Basra over the lack of gas and cooking fuel," says the Corps source. "Basra is near the Kuwaiti border. The fastest way to get it there is Kuwait. So we directed them [Halliburton] to do that."
"Basra was a flash point; we were close to civil unrest," the source continues. "Probably at the time we didn't care what it cost, because we were trying to stop a riot. Cost was probably not an issue."
So because the company was performing the job that it was hired to do, the Donks are shrieking at a fever pitch. Well, that's been typical of the Left during Bush's stay in the White House.
Soon the U.S. military was ordering fuel shipments to the rest of Iraq as well. While the Kuwaiti source is relatively close to Basra, it is a great distance from northern Iraq, which made for very long shipping lines. And the violent insurgency then beginning inside Iraq made the work not only expensive but also dangerous for the crews hired by Halliburton to deliver the fuel.
"Not many people want to drive eight to fifteen days through a war zone with a truck full of flammable materials," the company says. "Three drivers have been killed and many others injured while performing this mission, and 60 vehicles have been damaged."
As a result, Halliburton officials say they came up with the idea of arranging for another fuel source in Turkey. "[Halliburton] initiated the idea to source fuel from Turkey," the company says. [Halliburton] presented this idea to its customer, and because of this, saved taxpayers well over $100 million."
Go read both pieces. They greatly illustrate just how far the Left is willing to go in order to smear Bush. They're desperate to take him down, and will stoop to new lows in order to do so. Their lies are just now starting to be exposed, but don't expect to see any retractions from the Fifth Column press in this country.
As usual, you'll have to find the truth on your own. But that's something the Left keeps underestimating us on.