Monday, March 12, 2007

Halliburton relocating - to Dubai!

Some more under-the wire news - Halliburton is moving its corporate headquarters and relocating it's CEO to Dubai.

As part of the process, Halliburton will sell off its hugely profitable subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown Root, who specialize in building military bases.

Halliburton's official reason for the move is, according to chief executive Dave Lesar : "One of the things that we would like to pursue is a listing of our shares in the Middle East. We see there are greater opportunities in the Eastern Hemisphere than the Western Hemisphere.''

The unofficial reason is to avoid millions in taxes...and I also sense something a bit different going on.

I've never been one to particularly demonize Halliburton for those famous no-bid contracts, since anyone familiar with the Federal bidding process understands that time was of the essence in Iraq, the company had already submitted what are known as contingency bids and Halliburton was one of the few corporations (and in some cases, the only one) capable of handling certain problems. Most Americans conveniently forget that it was Halliburton who contained the oil fires during both the first and second Gulf Wars, preventing an economic and environmental catastrophe.

That being said, there are ongoing investigations over Halliburton deliberately overbilling the government for its services and dealing with Iran and other suspect countries in violation of US law. Given how well connected the corporation is in the White House, these investigations were not exactly pursued vigorously prior to the `06 midterms and the Democrat takeover of the House and Senate.

Now,in one of the few good results of Congressional turnover, they are being pursued vigorously (to say the least), and CEO Lesar and other corporate officers are particularly vulnerable to suppoenas and service of process...something they obviously want to avoid like the plague.

Then of course, there's all that tax liability they're scuttling out on....after overbilling the government for huge profits, and making even larger profits on those huge profits.

And to top it all off, Halliburton is privy to a great deal of classified security information and they are running to a country with significant ties to Islamic terrorism....the same country that the the Bush Administration
wanted to manage our ports.

I can almost palpably sense a quid pro quo in the making....Halliburton keeps its mouth shut on national security items they may be privy to and clams up on any possible collusion within the government in exchange for a certain - uh- `tolerance' for some of its more questionable deeds.

This stinks to high heaven.

We are going to have to decide, as a nation where to draw the line on this sort of thing. During WWII, a number of companies were sanctioned, penalized and even seized under the Trading With The Enemy Act, a fact the Bush family in particular should be aware of and sensitive to.

As for Halliburton, I suggest that its chief officers' passports be restricted and its records impounded until Congress finishes its investigations. That is certainly nothing legally out of the ordinary. If nothing else, giving Halliburton a tax bonus on profits they may have made by bilking the American taxpayer is simply horrendous.

Res ipsa loquiter.


Anonymous said...

not being a corporate attorney.....
does this action restrict/prevent hally from doing certain business deals with the military/gov't as they are now "a foreigh company"?

being listed on the dubai exchange was supposed to be the plum/privy of the ports management company, as no other companines would list with the dubai exchange.

americans also forget that clinton gave hally the first no-bid contract, to rebuild kosovo. but that was ok.

Anonymous said...

If Haliburton did somehting wrong, they should be prosecuted vigorously. It certainly seems likely that they did. This is one of the best analysis of the situation regarding Haliburton's relocation that I have read.

What we need to keep in mind is that while Haliburton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and all "neo cons" may be low life scums, this does not change the nature of the enemy we face.

The enemy we face in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere poses an existential threat to the US. This is the case no matter what character flaws Bush or Bush administration officials may have. They could be the most evil Americans to have ever existed but this would not alter the fact the enemy we face in Iraq is part of a network of enemies who pose an existential threat to the US. They posed an existential threat to the US long before we entered Iraq and they continue to pose an existential threat to the US.

Unknown said...

you wanna say existential one more time for me ? damn