The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Post-war Contracts:
Money for the Big Boys

Apr 14, 2003

Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, already finishing government contracts for 2000-2002 worth 624 million dollars, is expected to gain multi-billion-dollar contracts in post-war Iraq reconstruction.

This is nothing new. Kellogg Brown & Root’s long history with politicians at the top began during the Roosevelt administration. An up-and-coming Texas politician named Lyndon Johnson helped Herman and George Brown make their first million on a federally contracted dam they built near Austin, Texas. Johnson got a nice handshake from the Browns, or as he told an interviewer later, "In those days, it was cash."

Brown & Root went on to build warships for the navy during World War II, even though George Brown was reported to have said, "We didn’t know the stern from the aft–I mean the bow–of the boat." In 1965 Brown & Root constructed an air base in Viet Nam. During the Balkans war, they provided logistics for the U.S. troops there.

Kellogg Brown & Root, like all government contractors get "cost-plus" contracts. We can see exactly what that means when we notice that Brown & Root listed $85.98 as the cost for every sheet of plywood it supplied in Bosnia and Kosovo–the same plywood that costs $14.06 at Home Depot.

These lucrative government contracts, guaranteeing profits on top of such "costs," have lasted for 60 years, under every administration, Democratic or Republican. Cheney is simply the most recent politician to front for them.