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Halliburton Bills Taxpayers For Empty Truck Convoys Across Iraq

A Halliburton Inc. subsidiary sent empty flatbed trucks crisscrossing Iraq more than 100 times this year, putting their drivers and military escorts at risk and handing taxpayers the bill with a little added profit.

The drivers were in peril of insurgent attack while taking empty rigs on the 300-mile resupply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad, said 12 current and former drivers for the company.

The subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), billed the government for hauling what the drivers derisively called "sailboat fuel."
EMPTY RUNS: Truckers call trips in Iraq wasteful

They tell of traveling without carrying cargo
May 22, 2004

BY SETH BORENSTEIN
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

WASHINGTON -- A Halliburton Inc. subsidiary sent empty flatbed trucks crisscrossing Iraq more than 100 times this year, putting their drivers and military escorts at risk and handing taxpayers the bill with a little added profit.

The drivers were in peril of insurgent attack while taking empty rigs on the 300-mile resupply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad, said 12 current and former drivers for the company.

The subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), billed the government for hauling what the drivers derisively called "sailboat fuel."

KBR, the U.S. Army and the truckers gave different reasons for why empty trucks were driven through areas that the drivers nicknamed Rockville and Slaughterhouse for the danger they presented.

KBR described the practice of including empty trucks in convoys as normal, given the large number of trucks it has delivering goods throughout Iraq.

The Army's contract doesn't dictate how many trucks must be in a convoy or whether they must be full, said Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill.

"There was one time we ran 28 trucks; one trailer had one pallet, and the rest of them were empty," said David Wilson, who was the convoy commander on more than 100 runs.

Four other drivers who were with Wilson confirmed his account.

"It was supposed to be critical supplies that the troops had to have to operate," said Wilson, who has been fired by KBR. "It was one thing to risk your life to haul things the military needed. It's another to haul empty trailers."

KBR denied there was any problem with the truck runs. "It is difficult and dangerous work and requires a lot from our employees," said Cathy Gist, a KBR spokeswoman.

KBR truckers say they can earn about $80,000 a year, which is tax free if they remain in Iraq for a year.

Trucking experts estimate that each round trip costs taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The Free Press Washington Bureau interviewed 12 current or former KBR drivers. Seven asked to not be identified by name. Six of the truckers said they were fired by KBR for allegedly running Iraqi drivers off the road when they attempted to break into the convoy. The dismissed drivers disputed that accusation.

The 12 drivers, interviewed separately over the course of more than a month, told similar stories about their trips through hostile territory.

Contact SETH BORENSTEIN at  sborenstein@krwashington.com.

homepage: homepage: http://www.freep.com/news/nw/convoy22_20040522.htm

... 22.May.2004 10:12

this thing here

obviously, if a tractor and trailer are hauling something from point a to point b, then at some point the very same tractor and trailer will not be hauling something from point b back to point a, or from point b to point c, where a new load will be picked up, and hauled back to point b or point a.

and of course, halliburton must pay it's drivers to make that run. that is cost to them that is billed to whoever they have a contract with.

the question then is, should halliburton bill the u.s. government, meaning all of us taxpayers, the same bill for moving empty trailers around as for hauling full trailers around.

obviously the answer is no. i do not know how the freight hauler business works in this country, but i can bet that a guy pulling a empty trailer around is not going to be making the same money/causing the same fee to be billed to a client, as a guy hauling a full trailer around. perhaps i am wrong on this, but it is simply not fair to a client to bill them for work NOT completed.

but iraq is not america. iraq is another world, a fantasy land run by neocons and the u.s. military, where international law is obviously not followed, and corruption in awarding contracts has already been illuminated (indigenous iraqi or middle eastern communication companies being forced out of cell phone contracts by american communication companies with no experiece in cell phones, for instance...).

if there is corruption in awarding contracts, then the environment is ripe for corruption in how those contracts are handled, completed and monitored. hmm, here is what i mean:

>The Army's contract doesn't dictate how many trucks must be in a convoy or whether they must be full, said Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill.<

so, the contract doesn't care if a truck is full or empty. it will still bill the same amount to u.s. taxpayers. ka-ching. halliburton's campaign donations sure do pay dividends don't they...

this is corruption. as much as halliburton is corrput here, the politicians and lawyers sitting around writing up these bogus contracts, gouging taxpayers rather than carefully monitoring costs/performance, are also just as corrupt.

dead head miles are a fact of life 17.Apr.2005 07:08

truck driver hilton1999@earthlink.net

The pratice of running empty is called dead head or empty miles by United States Trucking Companies.This practice is happening all the time in the U.S.A. Iraq is a consumption country,they have no major export,They only import,so if you deliver a load in iraq from a base,what would you haul back if there is no export load.The truck and trailer must go back to load again,and it will more than likely be empty.Thus you have what we call dead head miles.