Friday, May 29, 2009

Halliburton Shareholders Sue Cheney and Other Principals

Hmmm. I wonder who will be at the top of the news cycle this weekend. It's been looking like Judge Sotomayor has move Dick Cheney out of top place, but thinks are percolating again, and this time, I'm not sure he wants the spotlight.

Let's see. There was the full-page ad in the New York Times on May 14, supposedly a "grassroots" effort that is looking more and more like the work of Lynn (Mrs.) Cheney.


Throughout the Entire World
The Word 'Torture' means Intense,
Lasting, Brutal Physical Agony

Why is the U.S. News Media Eagerly
Spreading An Incalculably Harmful Lie
That Can Only Motivate Terrorists To
Further Attacks On America?

A Grassroots Plea To
The U.S. News Media

Stop Misleading The World
That Our Country Condones Torture

* You now know as a result of the recent release of what you
choose to call "The Torture Memos" that these are the
14 interrogation techniques permitted by the United States:

* Sleep deprivation... Dietary manipulation... Abdominal
slaps... Facial slaps... Attention grasps... Facial holds...
Forced nudity... Water dousing... Stress positions not designed
to produce pain... Cramped confinement in a dark space...
Confinement with insects such as a caterpillar... Pushing
against a wall... Wall standing... Pouring water on a person's
face to induce the feeling of drowning (waterboarding).

* As you know, waterboarding has not been used for 5 years and
was used on only 3 detainees. Our own troops are subjected to
waterboarding as part of their training.

* By your continual use of the word 'Torture' to describe these
interrogation techniques you have been misleading the world that
the United States condone techniques of barbarous cruelty. The
consequences could be horrendous.

It's Time For The Truth

We are losing the goodwill of people across the
world and you
are aiding al Qaida in recruiting
terrorists for future attack
on America.

Torture Truth Project

A project of Accuracy in Media Inc., 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008 / (202) 364-4401

Do I need to go line by line and explain the "inaccuracies" (lies)? Okay, I won't.

Then, the media blitz by daughter Liz, claiming that anyone who called Daddy Dick a torturer, was guilty of libel. (I'm still waiting for the lawsuits to be filed - I mean, if she's right, why haven't they filed suit?).

Now, it is becoming a little clearer why Dick is on his revisionist campaign. Remember Halliburton? KBR? Prior to becoming Vice President, Cheney was head of Halliburton. KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton. After the invasion of Iraq, Halliburton was given billions in contracts to re-build Iraq (no-bid contracts by the way). KBR is the company convicted of hiring unqualified electricians to do the wiring that resulted in the electrocutions of soldiers while they were taking showers. Despite being found guilty, KBR continues to operate in Iraq, water faucets in barracks are still "hot" (and I don't mean temperature), and recently, the shareholders of Halliburton are getting a teensy, tiny bit irate.

After having a few problems in Nigeria,

"Following a series of U.S. government investigations and lawsuits, Halliburton and KBR have paid more than $650 million in fines, penalties, and settlements — including the largest fine ever assessed by the U.S. Commerce Department and the largest settlement ever paid by U.S. companies for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

This past February, KBR pleaded guilty to bribing Nigerian officials and to violations of the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act], while both KBR and Halliburton settled related civil suits with the Securities and Exchange Commission." KBR’s payment of some $579 million in criminal fines and penalties is believed to be the largest payment ever made by a U.S. company in settling an FCPA enforcement action.


"Former KBR Chairman Albert Stanley is serving seven years in prison for orchestrating the bribery scheme in Nigeria and receiving kickbacks. Other KBR employees pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks or attempting to defraud the U.S. government, as well as conspiracy and bribery, and several have served prison time."

"In 2006 KBR settled government contentions that it overcharged for services to peacekeeping troops in Kosovo and violated the U.S. False Claims Act by, among other things, double-billing and inflating prices of products and services."

So, a company with a long history of service to...well, it's officers? It's Board? continues to operate on government contracts. Did you notice that it was investigated for bookkeeping problems in Kosovo? And it still got contracts for Iraq? What a sweet deal. Once you get on the contractor list, apparently you're there for life.

The problem for Cheney? In a first, the Halliburton shareholders have taken action and filed suit against the company.

"In what is believed to be the first legal action brought by shareholders against oilfield services provider Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) and its one-time subsidiary KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR), a municipal pension fund has filed a lawsuit alleging that poor oversight and lack of internal controls at the two companies enabled a pervasive environment of misdeed and corruption, resulting in enforcement actions and substantial government penalties that have severely damaged investors’ holdings."

"Shareholders accuse Halliburton’s board of directors of breach of fiduciary duty in failing to rein in years of shoddy business practices and criminal activity that resulted in massive fines, penalties and settlements paid to the federal government."

"Named as defendants are 32 former and current directors of Halliburton and KBR — the majority of the companies’ two boards — including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, and Robert Crandall, past president and chairman of American Airlines." [emphasis added]

"The complaint states, “As fiduciaries … the Halliburton defendants were required to exercise prudent supervision over the management, policies, practices, controls, and financial and corporate affairs of Halliburton and KBR, which Halliburton controlled.” The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and intend to seek damages."

The FBI never was able to catch Al Capone, one of the most notorious gangsters of his time. It was his finances that finally brought him down. I'm not suggesting that Dick Cheney cheated on his taxes, but he certainly cheated in his business dealings. Making sure that your ex-company in which you retain a substantial financial interest - blind trust or not - receives billions in government no-bid contracts is cheating in my book.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

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