Halliburton, the oil industry giant, which Dick Cheney turned into a military logistics goldmine, before selling off its subsidiaries who were being revealed to be up to their necks in overcharges to the Federal government and off the books bribes from selected (frequently inept) sub-contractors for services in the Cheney-driven wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has admitted destroying evidence of its culpability in the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. 11 oil workers were killed in an explosion, caused, at least in part by Halliburton-supplied cement.
In the immediate aftermath, Halliburton tried to deflect blame onto the oil rig’s owner BP, by saying that the cement was not the problem, rather; it was an insufficiency of “constrictors” to stabilize the concrete that caused the disaster. There were only 6 constrictors, Halliburton said, when there should have been 21. Then, Halliburton executives commissioned studies to prove their point.
Well, guess what, Halliburton’s tests showed the opposite. That the number of constrictors was irrelevant, the problem was the cement. Then Halliburton deep-sixed the studies, instructed the people who had done the study to destroy their notes, and tip-toed away, hopefully leaving BP on the hook.
Now, they’ve been found out, and have settled with the Federal government for the maximum fine of $200,000 and a $55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the promise of no further Federal prosecution for their Deepwater Horizon-related crimes.
This leaves me with just one question: who the hell is Halliburton?
Answer: it is nobody. Oh yeah, I remember Mitt Romney saying that corporations were people, but I guess in this case, the Halliburton people who ordered the study, and who ordered its destruction and who lied in depositions about who should pay what for the incredible losses of lives and livelihoods and environment caused by their malfeasance, “self-deported.”
If the Feds know their names, they’re not saying. And if the NY Times and Washington Post, who have written about these crimes know, they are also keeping it from us their readers, Uncle Sam’s taxpayers.
Once again, the Obama Administration provides impunity for the rich and powerful. But all the 1% are not alike. Halliburton’s mystery men and women may not go to jail, but they’re not getting and Federal handouts to help them cover the costs of their crimes. That kind of impunity is apparently reserved for Tim Geithner’s friends (and Barack Obama’s financial supporters) at the banks and investment houses.
And jail, it is apparently reserved for lesser or less-connected crooks and thieves.
May I suggest a new patriotic holiday Jailliburton.