Halliburton: No Bid, No Dice

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About three years too late, the Army is dumping Halliburton Co., Dick Cheney’s old company, as the provider of first, second, and third resort (no questions asked, no cost too high) provider of logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide. (Washington Post)

A reminder of why that arrangement, in effect since 2001, has proved less than ideal:

Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping soldiers around the world fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home. Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs. Whistle-blowers told how the company charged $45 per case of soda, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.

The Post reports that last year the Army paid Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that performs this work, more than $7 billion under the contract, with $4-5 billion coming this year. An Army official says the company did a bang-up job and the decision reflects a desire not to have “‘all our eggs in one basket’ because multiple contractors will give them better prices, more accountability and greater protection if one contractor fails to perform.” (It took them this long to figure that out?)

For more on Halliburton, see Ed Harriman’s unsparing examination of the Iraq reconstruction boondoggle in the London Review of Books and Michael Scherer’s look at the company’s global reach in Mother Jones.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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