?A Pentagon investigation has found overcharging and other violations in a $15.6 billion reconstruction contract awarded to vice president Cheney’s former?? Don’t you love that Associated Press story. It doesn’t even mention the name of the company in this opening paragraph. Let me read you the whole paragraph. ?A Pentagon investigation has found overcharging and other violations in a $15.6 billion Iraq reconstruction contract awarded to vice president Cheney’s former company, a defense official said Thursday.? Really? Overcharging in a contract awarded to Cheney’s former company. Well, let’s read on. ?An ongoing audit of Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary found substantial overcharging for fuel and other items, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.? Of course he’s speaking on anonymity! You know, there’s a lot of Clinton refugees still in the Pentagon, Clinton refugees still in the state department. Just hang on here, folks. “The problems go beyond overcharging, the official said, declining to elaborate.” Right! Of course the official didn’t elaborate, because this is all a bunch of BS.
?A KBR spokesman Patrice Mingo did not immediately return telephone and e-mail?? Well, she has since then. They’re denying it. ?Democratic representatives Henry Waxman of California, John Dingell of Michigan have accused the Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary of Halliburton of price gouging for gasoline used in Iraq. The two congressmen said that Halliburton charged the Army $2.65 a gallon for gasoline under a no-bid contract while another Pentagon agency imports fuel from Kuwait to Iraq at a cost of $1.09 to $1.15 per gallon.?
Now, does something sound not right just in that sentence? You just hang tough if it doesn’t make sense; just sit tight and I’ll explain in a minute. “The Army is to open its KBR contract to competitive bidding next month. Halliburton has denied any price gouging. The company said it needs to charge a high price because the fuel must be delivered in a combat zone.”
Now, this is The Boston Globe version of the story, but it has a little bit more information in it. “Halliburton did not profit from the price differential.” Let’s go back to this price differential. $2.65 a gallon, Halliburton charging Army $2.65 a gallon for gasoline. But another Pentagon agency happens to be importing fuel from Kuwait at a cost of $1.09 to $1.15. ?Halliburton didn’t profit from that differential, officials said. ‘That isn’t money that went to the company, noted Larry DiRita,’ the Pentagon’s top spokesman. Rather, he said the money the Pentagon believes was overcharged went to a private Kuwaiti company that is a subcontractor on the contract. He declined to identify that company. He also noted that during last spring’s war, the Kuwaiti government provided fuel to the United States and its allies at no charge.?
Now, folks, here’s what really is going on. There probably isn’t any price gouging. How many in California have seen your gasoline price shoot up over two bucks? I have a hand showing right now. Did it ever get up to $2.32, did it ever get up to $2.30 or was it $2.10, $2.15. Probably never got to $2.65. Okay, it did get up to $2.30. We’re in a war zone, folks! California is a free state, there’s no war, and it was $2.30. Halliburton is delivering, guaranteed delivery to the Army in a war zone! $2.65 is cheap! Kuwait is flooding the market with no-profit gasoline. There’s no overcharging. Now even CNN is saying no price gouging. I didn’t hear them say it, they just ran a little graphic on the screen. No price gouging. Maybe they were just quoting somebody who is denying this, but this is just a classic. Who is this anonymous Pentagon person? Who in the world would put this out? No doubt this person was listening to this program yesterday. No doubt this person heard Max call and said, “Oh, this is a great opportunity, spent a whole big time on nation’s most listened to radio show.” I have no ties with Halliburton other than I know Cheney. Okay. Go ahead and make the connection all you want. I’ve never bought gasoline from Halliburton. I live in a war zone, and they have never delivered gasoline to me. Nice try, Mr. Snerdley. Program observer trying to get me enmeshed in this.
I don’t know if in this Pentagon or GAO, somebody, but whoever it was that let this news out is simply trying to stir it up, folks. This is, there’s nothing, $2.65, $2.32, whatever it is, guaranteed delivery in a war zone. I betcha by the time this is all taken care of and it all shakes out there’s not going to be any price gouging going on. That’s a reasonable price – guaranteed delivery in a war zone? Of course Gephardt’s demanding an investigation! Everybody is going to demand an investigation. That’s why I’m trying to put this in some sort of proper perspective. Here’s the thing – the liberals are all excited about the president denying France and Germany the right to bid and the big reconstruction deal over there. Aside from that, their number one topic to focus on is Halliburton. They hate Halliburton. Halliburton this, Halliburton that, John F. Kerry is out there saying F-ing Halliburton, F-ing Halliburton and so forth. Halliburton is in the Democrat vocabulary every day. And, lo and behold, here comes this little bit of news about price gouging from Halliburton, and the first paragraph of the story didn’t mention Halliburton, it mentions Vice President Cheney’s former company, feeding right into this hate-America drivel that exists out there on a kook liberal fringe.
RUSH: Alan in East Bend, North Carolina, hello, Alan, great to have you with us on the program today.
CALLER: Carolina dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir, nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Good afternoon.
RUSH: It’s great to have you with us.
CALLER: I’m sorry?
RUSH: Yeah, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thank you. My understanding is that Halliburton’s got this sweetheart deal from the government, but it sounds like the Bush administration and the Pentagon is holding their feet to the fire, whether they’re doing anything bad or not, they’re being audited, they’re being looked at, expenses are being analyzed. Doesn’t sound like a sweetheart deal to me.
RUSH: No. You gotta look at this from the viewpoint of the fringe left. The fringe left will say that this is, remember, according to the fringe left which is becoming the Democrat mainstream, Bush knew about 9-11 before it was going to happen. I mean that’s the centerpiece of the Dean campaign. So if Bush is smart enough to know that 9-11 was going to happen, and also brilliant enough politically to let it happen so he could benefit from it, that took a real stroke of brilliance, instead of stopping it, then he’s entirely capable of launching a phony audit into Halliburton and arranging a sweetheart deal where we fine ’em and then give them an additional contract some years down the road when they get the fine back in order to make it look like there’s no conspiracy. The left will come up with the most convoluted explanation for this.
CALLER: There’s no way to win.
RUSH: No, there’s no. So I actually think, and we’ll know, I guess, at some point. I just find the timing of this, the timing of this is just, I mean here we’re negotiating, the president is holding, you know, tough on this rebuilding Iraq contract, not letting the nations who opposed us in Iraq bid on some of these prime jobs. And all the sudden here comes this guy, anonymous source Pentagon, leaking that there’s an audit. And, by the way, the way this was originally reported – I found this a little curious, too – Halliburton may have overcharged government $61 million. If it’s “may have” overcharged, if it’s a possibility but not confirmed, what is 61? Why not just say 60, or in the neighborhood of? But to come up with an exact figure like this and then put the word “may have,” yeah, it could be 10 million, could be nothing, could be the government defrauded Halliburton by not paying up. I mean we can’t figure out where Medicare fraud is going but we can find out how much Halliburton has defrauded us. I just don’t buy any of this stuff. It’s just too politically pat. But your point is well taken, because if there is a genuine violation by those sleazebags at Halliburton. I’m telling you what, it’s been the vigilance of the Bush administration that found it because they’re not putting up with it.
CALLER: Anything for bad news, when good news is getting out.
RUSH: We’ve got it covered no matter which way the left goes with it, is the point. And the problem, you might be saying, what do you mean, Rush, you’ve got it covered any way the left goes with it? Because, my friends, the left is not ever satisfied with the truth. The left is going to come up with some cockamamie conspiracy. If they don’t like what is said to be the truth in this case when it’s all over with the left is going to come up with some sort of conspiracy theory to explain the truth because the truth just can’t be. I’m saying we’ve got them covered no matter which way they go.
I’ve got a quick question here. I want to just go back to Halliburton for one quick. We’re joking about Halliburton making fun of them here. Actually making fun of the left. My question is did at any time, for all this criticism of Halliburton, did at any time, has anybody accused Halliburton of selling nuclear missile technology or transferring it to the Red Chinese? No, that was Loral, right. Liberals are more concerned about Halliburton’s overcharging, even though Halliburton itself didn’t profit from it. They obstructed an investigation of Loral Space and Communications for giving U.S. technology to the communists, the Chi-Coms in China. They did this via a transfer of responsibility from the state department to the commerce department run by Ron Brown during the Clinton years. And then there’s this, the Washington Post today, Halliburton did not profit from that price differential, officials said. “That isn’t money that went to the company,” said Larry DiRita, Pentagon’s top spokesman. “Rather,” he said, “the money the Pentagon believes was overcharged went to a private Kuwaiti company that’s a subcontractor on the contract.” He declined to identify that company. He also noted that during last spring’s war, as I said earlier, the Kuwaiti government provided fuel to the U.S. and its allies at no charge.
Well, now, that might explain why Kuwait can deliver gasoline in a war zone at a buck 15 a gallon and what Halliburton is charging $2.32 in a war zone, guaranteed, maybe there’s a kickback going to the Kuwaitis who were in on the contract. Halliburton is not getting the money. The Kuwaitis are being paid back here. As for Cheney who has absolutely zero, diddly squat, zip, zero, nada to do with Halliburton business opportunities, I thought he was being, correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I thought Cheney was being criticized some months back because he got out of the company when its stock was high, at the insistence of Democrats and the government ethics officers and then the price fell. You know, they told him when to get out, the Democrats demanded in the campaign to get out, so he got out in the stock price high, then the stock price fell. He’s obviously doing some chicanery. You people forced him out, he’s got nothing to do with Halliburton now. I just wanted to straighten that out.