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Under threat of subpoena,
Pentagon surrenders Halliburton documents

7 July 2005

WASHINGTON, July 7 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- The Pentagon has begun submitting documents to a congressional subcommittee investigating Halliburton's scandal-plagued Iraqi oil contract, The Hill newspaper reported today. The contract, valued at $7 billion, was awarded to Halliburton's KBR subsidiary in 2003 without competition.

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, intended to subpoena the Pentagon if the Bush administration refused to surrender the documents.

A subcommittee aide told The Hill that Pentagon officials intend to make more documents public in the near future.

The documents were released only after subcommittee Chairman Shays complained that the Pentagon was redacting (concealing) internal military audits that criticized Halliburton's work in Iraq, including audits criticizing Halliburton's overcharges of U.S. taxpayers.

At the request of Halliburton, the Pentagon redacted portions of one audit that showed Halliburton overcharged U.S. taxpayers by $200 million.

"The redactions have violated the commitment to transparency and regretfully -- very regretfully -- make it appear [the Pentagon] has something to hide," Shays said at a hearing last week. "This undermines our international standing and, even more seriously, harms our efforts in Iraq."

Military auditors recently disclosed that Halliburton so far has $1.4 billion in questioned and unsupported costs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Auditors also found that $8.8 billion in Iraqi oil money managed by U.S. officials in the first 15 months of the war cannot be accounted for. Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for the U.S. Coalition in Iraq, said "there was no assurance that [the $8.8 billion in] funds were used for the purposes mandated...."

The ranking member of the subcommittee, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), lambasted Congress for ignoring the "missing" $8.8 billion while spending months investigating the $10 billion fraud that took place under the United Nations oil-for-food program. "Here, we have a matter that is within the sole control of Congress, the scandalous mismanagement [by] the U.S. of Iraqis' financial resources," Kucinich said. "Through systematic mismanagement, a lack of transparency, the U.S. occupation of Iraq has discredited the United States and I feel has brought shame on our nation," he said.

At the hearing, military auditors disclosed that the U.S. coalition in Iraq had paid a salary to 8,026 Iraqi protective guards at one ministry, but that only 602 guards actually existed. At another ministry, 1,471 guards were on the payroll, but only 642 guards were verified.