Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Free Market Capitalism Is Dead Under Bush and Cheney

Read an astonishing idea a few days ago that depressed me so, I stopped writing for a few days. MIT professor and respected writer and thinker Noam Chomsky wrote at his blog, "An End to Capitalism? The state-corporate system is quite remote from anything that might be called "capitalism" or a "market system," though it has elements of both." Read his article here....

He's right. This is no longer capitalism at all. It's complete control by the much-feared industrial (corporate)-military (state) complex. Free market capitalism, which is neither helped nor hindered by government, is dead under the Bush Administration. All hail the mighty and impenetrable US corporate-state partnership.

Play ball with the big boys....Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice....or you essentially don't play ball at all. And consumers...the American public...are the big losers, left to eventually pay the tab.

Don't believe me? Then please do me this favor: after reading the Reuters article below, go to War Profiteers and read about Halliburton.


From Reuters, via Yahoo News, this afternoon.....

Army gives $5 billion of work to Halliburton by Sue Pleming (Wed Jul 6, 6:04 PM ET )

The U.S. military has signed on Halliburton (NYSE:HAL - news) to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion, the Army said on Wednesday.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider such an announcement necessary, she said.

"We did not announce this task order as this is really not something we ever really thought about doing," said Theis.

Halliburton, which was run by Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995-2000, has been under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq and several U.S. government agencies are looking into whether it overcharged for some work.

A Halliburton spokeswoman said the new spending package was approved by the Army after the company submitted estimated costs for the year based on services requested.

The $4.97 billion figure represented the maximum under the contract, and the actual amount could be lower since the Army doled out the work on an incremental basis, she said.
The new contract is about $1 billion more than the company earned under last year's services contract.

In March, a former KBR employee and a Kuwaiti citizen were indicted for defrauding the U.S. government of more than $3.5 million by inflating the cost of fuel tankers.

The new work order, called Task Order 89, is valid until April 30, 2006, and went ahead despite critical military audits released last week by Democratic opponents of KBR's Iraq work.

A top U.S. Army procurement official said last week Halliburton's deals in Iraq were the worst example of contract abuse she had ever seen, a claim KBR strongly rejected as "political rhetoric."

KBR was awarded the logistical contract with the military in December 2001, covering tasks from feeding U.S. troops to delivering mail, doing laundry and building barracks.

U.S. Senate critics of Halliburton were quick to denounce the new deal. "At this point, why don't we just hand Halliburton the keys to the U.S. Treasury and tell them to turn off the lights when they are done," Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said in a statement.

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