Stop the War Profiteers

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) -- whose minority office in the Committee on Government Reform has been a leader in exposing abuse and fraud in Iraq contracts -- issued a letter to the White House today with fellow Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), revealing that Houston-based Halliburton continues to get rich at taxpayer expense. The letter starts:
For nearly two years, we have been raising questions about Halliburton's no-bid contract to operate Iraq's oil infrastructure. As part of this investigation, we have now obtained a report by Defense Department auditors concluding that Halliburton overcharged by more than $100 million for a single task order under this contract. We would like to know why this audit report -- and audit reports on nine additional task orders -- are being whithheld from Congress. We also want to know what steps you are takin gto recover these funds from Halliburton. [emphasis added]
You can read the rest of the letter here.

Yes, this is Halliburton, whose subsidiary KBR -- despite being the target of several criminal probes -- was rewarded with $9.4 million in bonuses for its Army contract in Kuwait and Afghanistan last month. KBR has recieved $7.2 billion for its massive 2001 "logistics" contract alone.

But there's also good news: Congressman John F. Tierney (D-MA) and colleague Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA) have introduced bi-partisan legislation in the House calling for the re-establishment of the "Truman Committee" -- the World War II entity tasked with overseeing military contracts to ensure accountability and to rein in profiteering. According to the press release from Tierney's office last week:
Their legislation establishes a select committee to study, among other things, the bidding, contracting, and auditing standards in the issuance of government contracts; the oversight procedures and forms of payment and safeguards against money laundering; the accountability of contractors and government officials involved in procurement; and the allocation of contracts to foreign companies and small businesses.

"Regrettably, when it comes to ensuring the funds appropriated for our Iraq and Afghanistan military and reconstruction efforts are properly managed and monitored, the standing committees in Congress that have oversight over this issue have been largely silent," Tierney said. 'We must be able to demonstrate to our constituents that their hard-earned money is being well-spent. This select Committee would be charged with doing just that."
The Institute has been calling for such an oversight body since 2003. Contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them you support a Truman Committee to stop war profiteering today.