Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Abracadabra.. Halliburton's Vanishing Act

The Howard Cabinet's disappearing trick with the WorkChoices name is nothing compared with Halliburton's handling of KBR. After years of accusations of international political interference, bribery and overcharging, Cheney's Crew have finally moved the "iffy stuff" into one basket and gotten rid of it. Now they're talking up how well the scam worked.

Overcharging in the Balkans, political kickbacks in South Australia, ripping off defence forces in Iraq and all suchlike are now regarded as Not Halliburton's Problem. "It wasn't us, it was them!" cry Hal chiefs as they refuse to discuss KBR business.

In Australia, by the way, the name change went from Kinhill Australia to Halliburton Australia to Halliburton/KBR Australia to KBR Australia. See how different they are? Don't forget we're dealing with a wholly US owned subsidiary here... the Australia bit is just more window dressing.

The problem is that most of the share- split was by name only. If you had a Halliburton share your could swap it with a KBR share, or vice versa. After that the CEO's simply started to say "no comment" when being asked about each other, and that was supposedly that.

Then Halliburton packed its bags and moved from Texas to the Middle East, believing itself untarnished by the scandals it had committed there.

"Things are calming down as they should," Halliburton Chief Operating Officer Andy Lane, told Reuters on Thursday. "Most of the war protesters are totally about the Iraq issue and KBR's involvement there. So when you look at Halliburton going forward, we're just a pure energy services business.

The UK Government wasn't convinced. KBR were in charged of the British dockyard that catered for their Trident nuclear-defence submarine system, and the Brits asked for the split to be postphoned while a check if the "new" KBR could do the job. Halliburton stuck two fingers in the air and split the shares. The UK kicked them out of the dockyard.

It's lucky for them that they aren't running the dockyard in Adelaide under their own name. Here they simply had their (Halliburton) Global Vice President for Infrastucture resign and take up a "new" job... running the dockyard where the AWD warships will be built. No muss, no fuss, as they say in Texas. I wonder, if like Cheney, Andrew Fletcher is receiving "deferred payments" from his "former employer" while undertaking the "new role" ?

In the same way that our Prime Minister appears to believe that changing a name will take away the public's perception of a local problem, Halliburton expect to be excused for past crimes by shuffling names.

It's an interesting gamble given that in the US, UK and Australia it is the name of Halliburton that is associated with the wrongdoings. They're trying a similar trick to get out of trouble from trading with Iran.

An attempted rewriting of history is underway. Keep your eyes open.