I am so, a friend of David Brooks. See?
I will never, ever, delete this email. It’s like I’ve been touched by God, except in this case God is a reflexive defender of a multi-national conglomerate that rips off American taxpayers and gets their former employees to start wars so that they can profit from the death and bloodshed and destruction that follows and….
I’m sorry. You’re probably wondering what I’m going on about.
Well I was reading David “Bobo in the Newsroom” Brooks latest where he come to the defense of poor (in spirit) Halliburton that is getting all picked on and stuff by people who just don’t understand.
The fact is that unlike the Congressional pork barrel machine, the federal procurement system is a highly structured process, which is largely insulated from crass political pressures. The idea that a Bush political appointee can parachute down and persuade a large group of civil servants to risk their careers by steering business to a big donor is the stuff of fantasy novels, not reality.
The real story is that the Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, won an open competition to provide the service support for overseas troops. This contract is called the Logcap, and is awarded every few years. KBR won the competition in 1992. It lost to DynCorp in 1997, and won it again in 2001.
Under the deal, KBR builds bases, supplies water, operates laundries and performs thousands of other tasks. Though the G.A.O. has found that KBR sometimes overcharges, in general the company has an outstanding reputation among the panoply of auditing agencies that monitor these contracts.
You see, although KBR sometimes comes home drunk and smacks America around, it really has a good heart…
Be that as it may, and since we’re all into disclosure here, I thought I would write Dave (can I call you Dave?) and ask a a simple question. My email:
RE: Halliburton column
In the interest of full disclosure, would you be willing to state for the record that you have no financial interest in Halliburton?
I think that’s a fair question.
His almost immediate reply:
Thanks very much for sending a response to my column, positive or negative.
I’m afraid I can’t respond to each message. My editors would wonder why I have
no time to write for the paper.
But I do read every e-mail, and I frequently learn from them.
So, again, thanks,
David Brooks….My friend…..and Halliburton’s too.