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WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- War and skyrocketing oil prices have been good to Halliburton's CEO David Lesar, whose stock in the company increased by an estimated $78 million since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, a HalliburtonWatch analysis reveals.
In March 2003, the first month of the Iraq invasion, corporate disclosure records show Lesar owned 1.476 million common shares and share options in Halliburton worth $30 million. At the end of stock trading yesterday, those shares were worth $93 million, for a $63 million gain. Subsequent to the Iraq invasion, Lesar boosted his total holdings in the company from $93 million to $108 million by acquiring a net 243,000 additional shares, thereby increasing his stock holdings by $78 million since March 2003.
BAGHDAD, 21 November 2007 (IRIN) - Nine-year-old Faleh Muhammad was abandoned by his family in April 2006. He was left to fend for himself in the streets of Baghdad, and later he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
“I miss my mother… in the last days before they left me, she was very sad. One day I woke up in the morning to find my father and mother had disappeared,” Faleh said.
“We were living in an abandoned building near Hay Jamia’a District with three other families. I asked them about my parents and they told me they had left. So I had to work to be able to eat because those families couldn’t feed me,” he said.
One economist from America's Yale University predicted rebuilding Iraq could cost up to $1.6 trillion over 10 years.
But the final cost of rebuilding a battered Iraq will depend on how quickly the country manages to get back on its feet -- it does after all have the second largest oil reserves in the world, and a fertile agricultural economy.
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the United States took control of all of the Iraqi government’s bank accounts, including the income from oil sales. The United Nations approved the financial takeover, and President Bush vowed to spend Iraq’s money wisely. But now critics are raising serious questions about how well the United States handled billions of dollars in Iraqi oil funds.
In a series of reports on U.S. management of the oil money, auditors working for the United Nation's Iraq Advisory and Monitoring Board and the Inspector General of the Coalition Provisional Authority found:
* Insufficient controls
* Missing records
* Two sets of books at Iraq's Finance Ministry, which did not match
In one example of insufficient controls, the United States stored hundreds of millions of oil dollars in a vault in a Baghdad palace. Government auditors found that the key to the vault was kept “unsecured” — in a U.S. official’s backpack.
A former Halliburton employee told Senate Democrats in Washington, D.C., on Friday that the firm routinely wastes public money in Iraq. Henry Bunting, who purchased supplies for Halliburton in Kuwait last summer, said the company spent too much on supplies for the reconstruction effort, in part because it wanted to avoid seeking competitive bids from different suppliers.
For a firm with $9 billion in reconstruction contracts, the amounts Bunting discussed weren't much -- including $5.50 for each monogrammed towel when Halliburton could have spent $1.60, leases for cars and SUV's that ran up to $7,500 per month.
DeYoung produced documents detailing alleged waste even on routine services: $50,000 a month for soda, at $45 a case; $1 million a month to clean clothes — or $100 for each 15-pound bag of laundry.
"That money could have been used to take care of soldiers," she said.
DeYoung also claims people were paid to do nothing. Mike West says he was one of them. Paid $82,000 a year to be a labor foreman in Iraq, West claims he never had any laborers to supervise. "They said just log 12 hours a day and walk around and look busy," he said. "OK, so we did."