by Register Editorial Board | DesMoinesRegister.com | 11 December 2003
$2.64 a gallon for gasoline for Iraq? Pay to Haliburton is outrageous.
War profiteering has long been despised by Americans, and Halliburton's outrageous contract in Iraq ought to reopen that vein of moral outrage. Your government is paying the company more than twice what others are paying to bring in fuel from Kuwait, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Halliburton's defense of its pricing - that it's a costly, dangerous undertaking and that the company can only negotiate a 30-day contract for fuel - isn't convincing.
Not when the United States is paying Halliburton an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline from Kuwait while Iraq's state oil company pays 96 cents a gallon and the Pentagon's Defense Energy Support Center pays $1.08 to $1.19 a gallon.
Halliburton has an exclusive contract. Vice President Dick Cheney is the former chief executive officer of the company. This may well be legal, but that doesn't mean it is proper.