BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How Much for the Hammer?

Big sale on Iraqi cooking oil.

From the Houston Chronicle:

KBR spent millions getting $82,100 worth of LPG into Iraq

You're kidding.
WASHINGTON - Iraq needed fuel. Halliburton Co. was ordered to get it there — quick. So the Houston-based contractor charged the Pentagon $27.5 million to ship $82,100 worth of cooking and heating fuel.
God, am I in the wrong business.
The Houston-based contractor charged the Pentagon $27.5 million to ship $82,100 worth of cooking and heating fuel.

In the latest revelation about the company's oft-criticized performance in Iraq, a Pentagon audit report disclosed Monday showed Halliburton subsidiary KBR spent $82,100 to buy liquefied petroleum gas, better-known as LPG, in Kuwait and then 335 times that number to transport the fuel into violence-ridden Iraq.

Pentagon auditors combing through the company's books were mystified by this charge.

"It is illogical that it would cost $27,514,833 to deliver $82,100 in LPG fuel," officials from the Defense Contract Audit Agency noted in the report.
No. It's only "illogical" if someone finds out about it.

And they have.
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the figures were taken out of context.

"The implication is definitely misleading," Hall said. "Transporting fuel into Iraq was a mission fraught with danger, which increased the prices that firms were willing to offer for transportation."
"Wait. Why doesn't the Army that job? A private company is gonna charge Uncle Sam a ton of cash to do a job the Army used to do at a much lower cost."

Halliburton has seen 61 of its workers and subcontractors die in Iraq and Kuwait, many while delivering fuel.

Army officials were desperate to get fuel into Iraq, fearing the lack of such basic necessities as cooking and heating fuel would lead to greater unrest and support for the insurgency.



TAL and MANSOOR, former members of Saddam Hussein's Elite Imperial Guard and current Iraqi insurgents, are cooking in the kitchen of this blown-out building on the outskirts of Fallujah.

Nelly's "Hot in Here" is blaring in the background.

TAL - Mansoor, pass me the Wesson. This skillet is piping hot, yo.

MANSOOR - (sheepishly) We're out.

TAL - What?! We just went to the black market!

MANSOOR - Cooking oil is just...too expensive, bro. It's like, $500 bucks a bottle.

TAL - How'm I supposed to make fried chicken?

MANSOOR - You're not. Just bake it.

Tal throws the chicken across the kitchen and slams his fist on the counter.

TAL - Goddammit, that's it! I'm sick of this bullshit! Where's my rocket launcher?! I'm taking out a humvee.

MANSOOR - It's over by the Xbox.

Tal darts across the room, grabs his rocket launcher, and we...


More later...


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