Fox News praises the mess in Iraq, accidentally gets it right
Those scrambled yeggs at Halliburton are once again getting over on us with the help of their friends at the Fox News Channel.
The estimable watchdog Halliburton Watch notes Fox reporter Gregg Kelly‘s “Bon Appetit” puff piece yesterday about the Dick Cheney company’s great job feeding the soldiers in Iraq. Kelly toured a dining room in Taji, Iraq, and told viewers:
You report, we deride. We’re the ones who are complaining, pal. Halliburton’s international house of profits, protected by a Bush regime that prides itself as being “conservative,” continues to play hide-the-sausage with U.S. taxpayers.
As Halliburton Watch growled last June, the company’s subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) charged us millions of dollars for meals that never existed. The Defense Department’s own audit agency found last June that Halliburton overcharged the government for meals by $136 million.
The vultures at Cheney’s company make much of their money simply by acting as middlemen. The press has picked up on this—the print side, at least. As Halliburton Watch noted in a June 15, 2004 story about the DOD audit:
It’s a friggin’ feast for Cheney’s company. CorpWatch’s Pratap Chaterjee, who often gives us food for thought about the company that still pays our vice president a salary, wrote last June about whistleblowers’ allegations:
Hungry for more details? Former Army captain Marie deYoung, who worked for Halliburton in a contracts office, blew the whistle loud and long about the company’s “Tiger Team,” which was supposed to straighten out criticized and scandalous subcontracts. Chaterjee wrote:
Halliburton housed the Tiger Team at the five-star Kempinski Hotel for $10,000 per employee per month. At the same time, soldiers were required to live in tents at a cost of $1.39 a day. The military requested that Halliburton employees move into the tents, but they refused, De Young said.
Chaterjee would have had little to write about if not for the work of California congressman Henry Waxman, whose Government Reform Minority Office is the best investigative body that no one ever heard of. Waxman laid it out in a cluster of documents last year.
The House Democrats, stymied by the GOP’s refusal to conduct full hearings, tries to wake up the public by hauling out charts and posters (see an example above). Those moments don’t make TV news. So let’s go back to Fox’s Gregg Kelly for a taste of Halliburton’s meals that actually were served. Again from yesterday’s Halliburton Watch piece:
An unidentified and non-uniformed woman is heard describing the food as “pretty unbelievable.”
The Fox reporter added to the glory of KBR’s food, saying, “You know, some of this looks like a brunch, you know, at a Marriott hotel or something like that. It’s pretty elaborate.”
Kelly went on to praise the camp’s “Chef Denzel from India” as “probably one of the few pastry chefs ever deployed to a combat zone.” As Halliburton Watch adds: