Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Credit to my friend Carl, who called attention to the outrage du jour regarding Halliburton, the Houston-based oil-and-everything-else giant.

Halliburton keeps striding through scandals, almost above noticing the bullets bouncing off its tough Texan hide, serenely incomprehending why it’s provocative to get so many government contracts -- some without competition -- when the company’s ex-CEO is the government’s current second-in-command.

It’s becoming easy to think scandal is just something Halliburton manufactures (on an exclusive, no-bid contract with the U.S. government, but only because it has more experience at it than all the other companies).

Anyway, the latest is that President Bush’s derided mission-to-Mars initiative will probably rely heavily on a certain conglomerate that just happens to have been working toward travel to Mars for several years.

Right: Halliburton.

The Washington Post’s take on it is a little dry, but Salon’s Joe Conason sums up the issue as follows:

NASA would pay Halliburton and other firms billions of dollars to perform research and development on Mars-bound technologies that they would use for profitable exploration on this planet. No doubt those scientific advances would be useful here long before anybody lands on Mars.

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