Thursday, July 01, 2004

Meanwhile, back at the Halliburton ranch (aka Iraq) a

"former Army chaplain working for Halliburton was so upset by attacks on the company, she e-mailed the CEO with a strategy on how to fight the political slurs. But today, after five months inside Halliburton‘s operation in Kuwait, Marie deYoung has radically changed her opinion.


MYERS: DeYoung audited accounts for Halliburton subsidiary KBR. She claims the there was no effort to hold down costs because all costs were passed on directly to taxpayers and that she repeatedly complained to superiors of waste and fraud. The company‘s response?

DEYOUNG: Quote: “We can as dumb and stupid as we want in the first year of a war and nobody is going to care.”

MYERS: DeYoung produced documents detailing alleged waste even on routine services, $50,000 a month for soda at $45 a case, $1 million a month to clean clothes or $100 for each 15-pound bag of laundry.

DEYOUNG: That money could have been used to take care of soldiers.

MYERS: DeYoung also claims people were paid to do nothing. This man says he was one of them. Paid $82,000 a year to be a labor foreman in Iraq, Mike West claims he never had any laborers to supervise.

MIKE WEST, FORMER HALLIBURTON LABOR FOREMAN: They said, just log 12 hours a day and walk around and look busy. OK. So we did.

MYERS: Both deYoung and West have since left the company.

Pentagon documents obtained by NBC News support the whistle-blowers‘ charges. In December, auditors complained of Halliburton‘s serious deficiencies, including lack of cost control and cost consciousness, examples, purchase of hundreds of high-end SUVs and pickup trucks loaded with options like C.D. players, which most KBR employees do not need, duplication and gold plating in purchases of computer and high-tech equipment, Halliburton employees living in five-star hotels.

The company declined an interview, but suggests critics are politically motivated—quote—“When Halliburton succeeds, Iraq progresses. Sadly, a few people don‘t want either of those results.”

Halliburton also says the soda problem has been corrected and the laundry charges are being investigated, but insists it absolutely not true the company is cavalier about taxpayer money.

DEYOUNG: They‘re using the war as an excuse, but it‘s not the war.

It was very bad management.

MYERS (on camera): Pentagon auditors apparently agree. They‘re withholding $186 million from the company and threatening to hold back even more unless Halliburton corrects the problems.

... We are shocked - SHOCKED!

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