War Profiteers Resolution Talking Points
March 10, 2006
By Charlie Cray
Center for Corporate Policy
** Congress has failed to provide adequate oversight or fully investigate charges
of incompetence, waste, fraud, bribery and other reported abuses in Iraq. Without
such oversight, not only are taxpayer dollars wasted, but both Iraq's transition to
democracy and U.S. troops have been put at further risk, and contractors are rarely
brought to justice.
** Proposals in Congress to establish a special committee modeled after then-Senator Harry
Truman's World War II committee, which cost just thousands while saving $15 billion
in 1940s' dollars, have been rejected three times in two years by the Senate.
** The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $320 billion has been spent on Iraq
and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001, with the Bush administration asking Congress
to approve another supplemental appropriation in 2006 worth $72 billion.
** The Department of Defense has 149 contracts with 77 contractors in Iraq worth
approximately $42.1 billion and funded at $25.4 billion as of May 2005. According to
Defense Department auditors, Halliburton “represents 52% of the total contract value.”
(Defense Contract Audit Agency, Briefing Slides: DCAA Contract Audit Support for Iraq
Reconstruction, May 3, 2005).
** Halliburton, and/or its employees and subcontractors are being investigated for
numerous violations in Iraq and elsewhere, including criminal bid-rigging, overcharging
of taxpayers, and bribery. (See HalliburtonWatch.org for details).
** Five defense lobbying groups, representing thousands of firms, including “some of
the industry’s biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary
KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns” have stalled a
Pentagon proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for
forced prostitution or labor. (Chicago Tribune, 12/27/05)
** The Pentagon and other contracting agencies have failed to provide adequate
oversight, while routinely ignoring reports and recommendations from its own auditing
arm. On February 27, 2006, for example, the Army decided to reimburse Halliburton
subsidiary KBR nearly all of its disputed costs on a $2.41 billion no-bid contract
to deliver fuel and repair equipment in Iraq, despite Pentagon auditors identifying
over $250 million in charges as "potentially" excessive.
** Inspector-General Bowen told "60 Minutes" in February that there are nearly 50
ongoing investigations involving suspected "fraud, kickbacks, bribery, waste."
** Just one company (Custer Battles) has been suspended for its actions in Iraq
charged with fraud.
** The failure to apply responsible contracting standards has infected the entire
federal contracting system. According to The Project on Government Oversight, four
of the top 10 Federal contractors had at least two criminal convictions between 1990
and 2001, yet only one of the top 43 contractors was ever suspended or debarred – in
that case for just five days.
** Average compensation for C.E.O.'s at 34 leading military contractors tripled from
2001 to 2004, to $3.9 million. C.E.O. pay packages were 23 times larger than the
salaries of Army generals serving in the field, and 160 times the size of an average
(See IPS/UFE, “Executive Excess 2005: More Bucks for the Bang”)
** David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, earned $70 million
in 2004, 13,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. In May 2005, the US
Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised
about their effectiveness. (Timothy O’Brien, “All’s Not Quiet on the Military
Supply Front,” NYTimes, January 22, 2006)
For More Information:
The Project on Government Oversight
Center for Public Integrity, Winfalls of War
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
House Government Reform – Minority Office
Special Investigations on Iraq Reconstruction
The Arms Trade Resource Center
New York, NY
The Institute for Policy Studies