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Guy
07-16-2004, 20:16
Making money is one thing...greed is another!

Trucks Made to Drive Without Cargo in Dangerous Areas of Iraq.

Byline: Seth Borenstein

"May 23--WASHINGTON -- Empty flatbed trucks crisscrossed Iraq more than 100 times as their drivers and the soldiers who guarded them dodged bullets, bricks and homemade bombs.

Twelve current and former truckers who regularly made the 300-mile re-supply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad told Knight Ridder that they risked their lives driving empty trucks while their employer, a subsidiary of Halliburton Inc., billed the government for hauling what they derisively called "sailboat fuel."


Now watch the Democrats accuse the VP of something. :eek:

NousDefionsDoc
07-17-2004, 19:28
Could it be that they hauled something in and there's nothing to haul out? Hauling empty, called dead heading, isn't unknown, even in the US.

Sweetbriar
07-17-2004, 20:22
Deadheading can happen both ways (the trip in and the trip back out) if there is poor planning - which happens. It ain't for the trucker to ask why - just drive.

Sacamuelas
07-17-2004, 20:29
and I would imagine "valuable" cargo could help be protected by using multiple/simultaneous runs out of the same location in different directions to create confusion for the would be interceptors. :munchin

NousDefionsDoc
07-17-2004, 21:57
Originally posted by Sweetbriar
It ain't for the trucker to ask why - just drive.

I don't know about that so much. They are among the ones getting kidnapped and blown up I believe.

Sweetbriar
07-18-2004, 03:02
Yes, they are, and that is terrible. Unfortunately, however, when you hire on in that position, the people who determine loads aren't going to be informing you of their reasoning or asking you your opinion very much. The talk of "teamwork" and "important contribution" is for the hiring process and rarely continues on into the work life. This is based on 16 years of observing local truck lines. I really doubt that civilian management, of any company, would alter their behaviour or attitudes just because they are "over there". Strange, but true, IMO.

The Reaper
07-18-2004, 08:34
Not to be callous, but every one of the civilian contract drivers in Iraq took the job as a volunteer, and is being compensated in some measure for the risk, almost all are probably making more money there than the Commanding General in theater.

Any time they are scared or think the pay is inadequate for the risk, they can pack their bags and head back to CONUS. If they think they are being asked to drive excessively, imprudently, or unsafely, they can quit.

Our people in uniform are neither receiving the same compensation, nor can they leave when the going is tough and they get scared. They are also subject to the vagarities of their leaders, for a heck of a lot less money.

Just my .02.

TR

NousDefionsDoc
07-18-2004, 08:39
Originally posted by Sweetbriar
Yes, they are, and that is terrible. Unfortunately, however, when you hire on in that position, the people who determine loads aren't going to be informing you of their reasoning or asking you your opinion very much. The talk of "teamwork" and "important contribution" is for the hiring process and rarely continues on into the work life. This is based on 16 years of observing local truck lines. I really doubt that civilian management, of any company, would alter their behaviour or attitudes just because they are "over there". Strange, but true, IMO.

I know one of the Halliburton Security Managers personally, I can assure you that they have altered their attitudes several times and have learned to be relatively flexible in high risk environments. I saw them knowingly lose a job once in order to follow the established procedures for convoy movements. Of course as soon as The People were informed of what had happened, The People took the appropriate steps to remedy the situation and take the job away from those Fren...I mean the competition and give it to the Americ...I mean the rightful contractor.

You are beginning to sound suspiciously like bourgeoisie management. The People, and more importantly, The People's Medic will be watching you... :munchin

NousDefionsDoc
07-18-2004, 08:43
Originally posted by The Reaper
Not to be callous, but every one of the civilian contract drivers in Iraq took the job as a volunteer, and is being compensated in some measure for the risk, almost all are probably making more money there than the Commanding General in theater.

Any time they are scared or think the pay is inadequate for the risk, they can pack their bags and head back to CONUS. If they think they are being asked to drive excessively, imprudently, or unsafely, they can quit.

Our people in uniform are neither receiving the same compensation, nor can they leave when the going is tough and they get scared. They are also subject to the vagarities of their leaders, for a heck of a lot less money.

Just my .02.

TR

Agreed in principle. I would add that soldiers are better able to understand the risk and most are capable of fighting back. Military FP measures are usually light years ahead of civilian measures. I would venture to guess that if you let the Good Ol' Boys carry and harden their own trucks, there would be a significant change in the results very rapidly.

Sweetbriar
07-18-2004, 08:56
So then we are in agreement! They had to alter their attitudes several times and learn to be flexible - things that require a conscious and deliberate change to how they would have run things originally. I don't mean to imply that they want to be indifferent to their drivers' safety, but as The Reaper pointed out, most feel that they are being compensated monetarily for the hazards so they should not also be brought into the decision-making process (a form of compensation) as well. The driver signs on for it, so if he doesn't like it he can leave.

I'm from the right-to-work South. I have pretty much the same attitude, although that doesn't mean I don't notice the results. "Don't worry about the mule, just load the wagon."

Solid
07-18-2004, 09:11
Do you think that Halliburton and its subsidiaries are embezzling?

Solid

Huey14
07-18-2004, 09:32
Wouldn't surprise me anymore.

The Reaper
07-18-2004, 09:52
Originally posted by Solid
Do you think that Halliburton and its subsidiaries are embezzling?

Solid

Embezzlement is illegal. Profiteering is not.

I think they are looking to maximize their profits legally, as any company would.

I suspect that they did the same thing in Bosnia for the Klintons, and heard nothing about it then.

TR

Guy
07-18-2004, 15:46
I was actually looking at this from a different point-of-view, hence my last sentence in the initial post...

Now watch the Democrats accuse the VP of something.

I was watching the news this morning and the commentator mentioned Halliburton and the VP in the same breath.

The VP has sold all of shares in Halliburton yet the media will continue to associate him with anything that Halliburton does wrong.

Don't spend my tax money on incarcerating Martha! :D

Solid
07-18-2004, 15:48
Is it possible for the VP to get 'kick back' from Halliburton friends/ex-colleauges?

Theoretically, I mean.

Solid

NousDefionsDoc
07-18-2004, 15:49
FREE MARTHA NOW!

NousDefionsDoc
07-18-2004, 15:52
Originally posted by Solid
Is it possible for the VP to get 'kick back' from Halliburton friends/ex-colleauges?

Theoretically, I mean.

Solid

Of course its possible. They could set the money aside for him and hire him as a special consultant when he leaves office. The thing is, I don't think he needs the money, so why would he take the risk?

Roycroft201
07-18-2004, 16:29
It gets so old when the media keeps trying to make something fly with the CheneyHalliburton stuff.

At any possible opening, the VP/Halliburton link is made. Yet, as reminded in NDD's other thread, the Kennedy/Chappaquidick link slid off his(Sen. Kennedy's) back a long, long time ago, never to return. (Do I recall there was some sort of monetary payment made to the Kopechne family by the Kennedy's?)


They can't take shots at the VP on other issues because he's not vulnerable. (No blue dresses with a stain; etc. )


( It is scary to consider losing a man with VP Cheney's knowledge to be replaced by a man with the knowledge (?) that Mr. Edwards has. )

Solid: You are very well read, so I find it interesting that you used the word 'embezzling'.

Do you think that Halliburton and its subsidiaries are embezzling?

Have there been media accounts on your side of the ocean recently with those implications and a new spin on it ?

Roycroft201

Huey14
07-18-2004, 17:42
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Of course its possible. They could set the money aside for him and hire him as a special consultant when he leaves office. The thing is, I don't think he needs the money, so why would he take the risk?


Greed can be a pretty powerfull motivator.

Roycroft201
07-19-2004, 00:35
With all due respect to Guy, and sir, please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the point being made in starting this thread was that the media has a tendency to include a reminder of VP Cheney's past association with Halliburton or any of its subsidiaries, whenever anything negative is attributed to those companies in the press.

I agree.

And, sadly, it certainly reinforces the belief that the media leans to the left and objectivety in reporting is becoming rare.

But, along that same line of thought, I highlight the following:

"The VP has sold all of shares in Halliburton yet the media will continue to associate him with anything that Halliburton does wrong"

The caution flag that I raise here is because the statement seems to imply that Halliburton and its subsidiaries are indeed "wrong" - based solely on the remarks to the press made by disgruntled present and former employees.

Let me clearly state here that neither I, nor any member of my family, have any affiliation with Halliburton or any of its subsidiaries.

However, I have been made aware that 'new hires' of Halliburton and its subsidiaries go through a thorough 'orientation' process regarding their job and specifically the conditions under which they will be performing their job. Certainly because the conditions under which they will be working can be extremely difficult and demanding, the compensation is much higher in order to attract and retain employees.

Many new hires, eager to make the big bucks, have lasted a very, very brief time when they then find themselves in the reality of working in areas of the GWOT and the conditions there . Some, I have been told, do what almost amounts to literally turning around and getting right back on the plane that brought them there.

I don't promote hiring under false pretenses.

Nor do I promote "whining" to the press. I would suggest that perhaps a more measured approach would be to question the knowledge and intent of the 'employees' before labeling Halliburton or one of its subsidiaries, as "wrong".

Roycroft201

Solid
07-19-2004, 04:27
On my side of the ocean the fact that halliburton was unilaterally awarded the Iraq contract, had strong links to VP Cheney, and may be misappropriating tax payer's money is regarded as highly suspect.
I think the clear solution here is to perform a quick inquiry, tie up loose ends, and make sure that the tax payer understands that his money is being used efficiently. By simply looking like they are trying to get to the bottom of things, the government should be able to win points with the voters.

JMO,

Solid

Max Power
07-19-2004, 06:39
There was an article in National Review a few months back that talked about this issue (the awarding to Haliburton of the Iraq contract). As they explained it in the article, roughly every 5 years, a competition is held among various contractors. The company that wins is given a contract stating that if there is a situation requiring their services, they will be the sole contractor. This makes sense, better to have everything all wrapped up before something happens than to wait until shit hits the fan and have to start a competition then.

Since this competition process began, Haliburton has won the competition for all but one 5 year period, and that was under Clinton. In that 5 year period, Bosnia came around, and the Clinton Administration chose to go with Haliburton instead of the rightful winner because they felt Haliburton was better prepared. So if any allegations should be made, it should be about Clinton favoring Haliburton and essentially ignoring a standing contract.

When Iraq came around, Haliburton was the holder of the contract, with the last competition being held under Clinton, so the Bush administration had no influence on who was picked.

Solid
07-19-2004, 06:41
I love this forum. Thank you Max!

Solid

NousDefionsDoc
07-19-2004, 08:09
Originally posted by Solid
On my side of the ocean the fact that halliburton was unilaterally awarded the Iraq contract, had strong links to VP Cheney, and may be misappropriating tax payer's money is regarded as highly suspect.
I think the clear solution here is to perform a quick inquiry, tie up loose ends, and make sure that the tax payer understands that his money is being used efficiently. By simply looking like they are trying to get to the bottom of things, the government should be able to win points with the voters.

JMO,

Solid

All that is true. However, so is all this.

Halliburton, with a long history of supporting critical military operations in extremely high risk areas, once again stepped up to the plate when America's finest needed them most and no other company was in a position to do so. At significant image risk, Halliburton agreed to mobilize as quickly as possible in the highly fluid environment. Going back as far Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in the 1960s, Halliburton senior management has led the way in selfless service, often giving up personally lucrative positions with the company to move to the public sector, providing their unique experience and expertise to support critical infrastructure projects in support of US strategic objectives.

As with most projects on a global scale, Halliburton and the government both recognize the potential for continuous improvement in such areas as accounting and accountability. Both Halliburton and the government are taking step to ensure transparency for the public and improve and clarify ambiguities in the contract terms now that the situation has developed and somewhat stabilized.

Now see, the information is basically the same, but I can spin the other way.

Part of the European perception is being fueled by Schlumberger, a Phrench owned company that is, IMO, the only other serious company that could have done part of what halliburton has done. They were left out in the cold because of their government's policies and rightfully so. Schlumberger is Halliburton's major competitor world-wide. The only other choice would have been pice-mealing it out to smaller companies - not a choice at all if you want to move quickly.

Halliburton is fairly uniqui in what they do and the scale on which they can do it. They are also one of the few companies that could take on a project of this size without requiring capitalization from the client - a major driver in this case I'm sure due to the need to move quickly and the cycle times for moeny approval within the USG.

Oil companies such as BP also contract Halliburton through no-bid processes for specific jobs. Nothing unusual. If I'm not mistaken, Clinton did it in Kosovo.

Halliburton KBR is probably making a box of gold off of this, but they have positioned themselves to do so with 40+ years of working with the USG in some very bad places.

I've only met him once, but Dick Cheney is by all accounts a very intelligent man and astute businessman. You don't get to be SECDEF and VP of Pax Americana by being stupid. I am sure he's already made more money than he will ever need. He is also, from what I can see, a Patriot. People don't go into the public sector at his level to make money, they do it for power and to serve. I would trade money for power any day, and I imagine he would as well. If he was greedy, he would probably still be in the private sector raking in millions.

Solid
07-19-2004, 09:04
I'm not going to argue with you because I too support pretty much everything that has happened with Halliburton, as it has facilitated the war effort. However, I would like to adumbrate an alternative interpretation of the facts which you just presented, for the sake of conversation.


Halliburton, with a long history of supporting critical military operations in extremely high risk areas, once again stepped up to the plate when America's finest needed them most and no other company was in a position to do so.

Motivation? I find it unlikely that any company would act without some form of profit motivation- not that that is a bad thing, but I think it is important to differentiate between patriotism and profiteering.



Going back as far Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in the 1960s, Halliburton senior management has led the way in selfless service, often giving up personally lucrative positions with the company to move to the public sector, providing their unique experience and expertise to support critical infrastructure projects in support of US strategic objectives.

Alternatively, Halliburton senior management have entered into government positions in order to preserve and expand upon (attempt to monopolise) their highly lucrative relationship with the most powerful government in the world. Having shared management would go a long way in guaranteeing Halliburton contract rights (and, as Max said, they have been granted contracts in all but 1 case).


Both Halliburton and the government are taking step to ensure transparency for the public and improve and clarify ambiguities in the contract terms...

...Or attempt to camouflage their anti-competitive activities.



----

As I said before, I personally support what Halliburton is doing. However, IMO it is necessary to at least accept the fact that they are in, and have been in, an easily exploitable position, especially when it comes to managerial/governmental relationships. It seems to me that if this relationship existed entirely within the public sector, it would be illegal.

So far, though, I'm not seeing anything wrong with it.

JMO,

Solid

NousDefionsDoc
07-19-2004, 09:11
Motivation? I find it unlikely that any company would act without some form of profit motivation- not that that is a bad thing, but I think it is important to differentiate between patriotism and profiteering.

US public companies make a profit or they go out of business.

Alternatively, Halliburton senior management have entered into government positions in order to preserve and expand upon (attempt to monopolise) their highly lucrative relationship with the most powerful government in the world. Having shared management would go a long way in guaranteeing Halliburton contract rights (and, as Max said, they have been granted contracts in all but 1 case).

Prove it. You honestly think a 60-70 year-old rich man gives up his privacy and sleep for profit? Dick Cheney has been serving the public for decades - off and on.

...Or attempt to camouflage their anti-competitive activities.
Prove it. You weren't listening. Halliburton has NO US competitors at this level for this work. The Phrench can go f---themselves.

All I did was spin the same information the other way. Since the information is not facts, perception is everything. Halliburton is taking the risk, Halliburton is making the money. Capitalism at its finest.

Buy shares.

NousDefionsDoc
07-19-2004, 09:22
I'll tell you something else Solid - this concept of "fair compeititve activities" is bullshit from the contractor's (Halliburton) point of view. When you're in business, you owe up (the client) and down (your employees) - you owe shit laterally (the competition).

The client will put the screws to you if he can. Employees will do the same. But you can't do business with out them. The competition will try to run you out of business - and yes, you can do business without them.

Halliburton has NO obligation whatsoever to ensure that any process by which they win a contract is "fair". It has to be legal, but fair? LOL

Solid
07-19-2004, 09:42
Ah, the cyclical nature of argument. My first post today was going to be about the way that something can be unfair, but legal, and therefore A-OK. I can't emphasise enough that I totally agree with you, I just wanted to play devil's lawyer and see what else I could learn.

To continue in this role (we'll call it the Dem POSition)...

Monopolies do not only attempt to dominate the market by forcing competition to exit it, but also attempt to prevent competition from entering the market. Your counterargument hinged on the fact that Halliburton doesn't have any competition anyway, and will therefore not have to exploit manager/govt relationships or other shady practices to maximise profit through monopolisation. However, as monopolies also attempt to prevent de novo firms from entering the market, Halliburton could be consolidating their position to prevent future competition. This is economically more damaging than running rival firms out of the market.

We can stop this 'argument' whenever you want.

Solid

NousDefionsDoc
07-19-2004, 10:28
Fair? LOL Business is war with a coat and tie.

In capitalism, monopolies are short lived. That is why captialism works mostly.

"Your counterargument hinged on the fact that Halliburton doesn't have any competition anyway, and will therefore not have to exploit manager/govt relationships or other shady practices to maximise profit through monopolisation. However, as monopolies also attempt to prevent de novo firms from entering the market, Halliburton could be consolidating their position to prevent future competition. This is economically more damaging than running rival firms out of the market."

No, it doesn't. My counter-argument is that Halliburton is unique, at this time, with this kind of work and for various other reasons. We ain't making animal crackers here. You don't build up this kind of experise overnight. It takes tools, many of which Halliburton holds patents on. Halliburton has competitors - Schlumberger, Baker Hughes among others. However Schlumberger, again, is Phrench. Baker Hughes doesn't do camps and I doubt (I don't know, I'm guessing) they don't have the capital right now. Also, most companies that size, especially US public companies, are not willing to take that level of risk.

Halliburton consolidates their position on a daily basis, if they didn't, they wouldn't be where they are.

They can't keep other companies from entering the market. I could start up a company tomorrow. But where am I going to get the capital to cover cash flow, transport my heavy equipment, etc.? I'm going to have to try a loan, which means I now have another player in the game for the USG to worry about. One of the main questions you ask is "Does this company have the expertise, money and equipment to fulfill the terms of the contract?" They do, I don't. Now I could get my neighbor's equipment and put it in my yard and show it as my own. I could inflate my capital - but that's illegal.

Capitalism works - the market levels itself. The clients demand satisfaction or they go elsewhere. Look at how many new security companies have started up since 9-11. Some of the good, some ofn them out to make a fast buck. The good ones will stay in business, the bad ones will go away. If Halliburton doesn't perform, all the Dick Cheneys in the world won't be able to keep that contract. Friends get you in the door, they don't get you renewed contracts.

Everything doesn't have to be a competitive open bid. The main reason for bidding a contract is to get the lowest possible price. And that very seldom works in a high risk environment. It does no good to pay a little if the job doesn't get done.

No need to stop Marxist. Feel like you're losing?

Solid
07-19-2004, 11:13
I feel like I've recieved a sound and deserved whipping for some poor back-treading arguments. You win. Have a very SF day.
:D

Solid

Razor
07-19-2004, 13:45
More importantly, how many people actually believe the Pres or VP are personally involved in awarding contracts? Further, are any of those accusers even remotely familiar with the process of government contracting, and the MANY avenues the 'losers' have to protest an award?