George Graham

There’s Good and Evil and Then There’s Halliburton

When I look at Dick Cheney’s scowling face (above) and recoil at the venom that spews from his twisted lips, I am convinced of the existence of unadulterated evil and of the dominance of Lucifer in a sick world.

Surely Cheney and all that he stands for exist to bring misery to mankind. He and his ilk could not be driven by mere money. Their objective must be more horrible – to inflict suffering for its own sake.

I thought of Cheney this morning when I read of the devastation wrought in the Gulf of Mexico by the unchecked greed of the oil barons and their soulless lackeys in Congress.

The right-wing propaganda machine is up and running in a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the real cause of the environmental and economic catastrophe. Conspiracy theories flood the airwaves and the web. Rush Limbaugh speculates that environmentalists might have blown up the oil rig to spotlight the dangers of offshore drilling. He and other conspiracy nuts also point to North Korea as a possible suspect. Or how about Venezuela, China, and other Communist nations?

Of course, there is no evidence to support any of this nonsense. It is wild surmise, and its purpose is to distract attention from the real villains in this dreadful accident.

As investigations begin into the cause of the horrendous explosion that killed 11 workers and is wiping out thousands of jobs and destroying the environment along the Gulf coast, the shadowy figure of Houston-based Halliburton is emerging as the real suspect.

You remember Halliburton? Cheney’s old company, from which he might still be getting a regular income … the toxic war machine involved in scams and rip-offs worldwide … A company infamous for a multitude of iniquities, from no-bid and no-account contracts in Iraq and post-Katrina New Orleans to massive bribery operations in Nigeria and offshore tax sheltering in the Cayman Islands.

Through its powerful political connections, Halliburton has been gorging at the public trough for a century, exploiting government contracts to rebuild infrastructure that never got rebuilt and to provide services that were at best substandard and at worst fatal, and in general profiting from the death and devastation of war and natural disasters.

Halliburton is also neck deep in the oil exploration industry, which seems to have such a stranglehold on the American government. And the international giant’s trademark disregard for efficiency and safety is apparent here, too.

Halliburton is currently accused of performing a poor cement job that caused a major blowout in the Timor Sea off Australia last August. And it’s looking more and more as if it was Halliburton’s negligence in carrying out a similar safety measure that triggered the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Giant oil-services provider Halliburton may be a primary suspect in the investigation into the oil rig explosion that has devastated the Gulf Coast. Though the investigation into the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its early stages, drilling experts agree that blame probably lies with flaws in the cementing’ process – that is, plugging holes in the pipeline seal by pumping cement into it from the rig. Halliburton was in charge of cementing for Deepwater Horizon.

And it looks as if Halliburton might not get away with it this time.

California Congressman Henry A. Waxman and Michigan Representative Bart Stupak have called on Halliburton to provide all documents relating to “the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing work” by May 7.

This time the calamity might be too great for the American government to gloss over.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com