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Thursday, March 06, 2008


Capitalist greed knows no bounds

It's an almost unbelievable story:
Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.

More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.

The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies.
In a way, though, there's another aspect of the story which is even more interesting:
In 2002, the firm received a secret [no-bid] contract to draw up plans to restore Iraq's oil production after the US-led invasion of Iraq.
I'm sure I don't need to point out that 2002 was before the invasion, and was at a time when George was denying that there were any plans for war against Iraq "on his desk" (something I have dubbed the "credenza defense", as in "no, he had them on his credenza").

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