At the time, we did not know that while Cheney headed the company, Halliburton had done business with the notorious Yadana pipeline project in Burma - an environmentally damaging project on behalf of which, according to a U.S. federal court, egregious human rights abuses were committed, including murder, torture, rape, forced labor and forced relocation.
Knowing that Halliburton
had been active in USA-Engage
, we decided to study them next, and shortly afterwards, Dick Cheney became a candidate for Vice President of the United States.
candidacy, others have focused on his
mixed financial record as CEO of Halliburton
, and his
enormous retirement package.We were interested more in Halliburton
as a player in geopolitics.What we found is that Dick Cheney and Halliburton
have been stirring a toxic mixture of oil, politics and business.
That Dick Cheney built up Halliburton
and got rich cashing in on connections from a long political career is obvious.
As did Halliburton
.Their involvement with the Yadana pipeline, though not as intimate as Unocal's
, is clear.At a time when the Burmese government routinely and brutally violated basic human rights, Halliburton
worked for them in an unnecessary but profitable boondoggle that will help support the dictatorship for years, and profited from the misery of villagers targeted by the military.
This is the real face of "engagement" with Burma.And while it is an especially ugly case, it is not an isolated instance.Halliburton
does business in many other controversial places, asserting that engagement helps bring American values and democracy.
, "not thinking very much" about political instability, human rights or environmental protection has been a financially successful strategy.
provided services to two controversial gas pipelines in Burma, the Yadana and the Yetagun.
Dresser was purchased by Halliburton
that same year.
also had an office in Rangoon in 1990.
...Halliburton has been an active member of USA-Engage and its campaigns against almost all forms of sanctions.
is the world's largest diversified energy services, engineering, construction and maintenance company, with some $15 billion in revenue annually, 100,000 employees, and 7,000 customers in over 120 countries.
overseas operations included controversial projects in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria.
has extensive investments and contracts in Indonesia.One of its contracts was cancelled by the government during a purge of corruptly awarded contracts.
Even with the Act in place, Halliburton
has continued to operate in Iran.
Libya: Before Cheney's arrival, Halliburton
was deeply involved in Libya, earning $44.7 million there in 1993.After sanctions on Libya were imposed, earnings dropped to $12.4 million in 1994.Halliburton
continued doing business in Libya throughout Cheney's tenure.One U.S.Congressman accused the company "of undermining American foreign policy to the full extent allowed by law."Nigeria: Halliburton has been accused of complicity in the shooting of a protestor by Nigeria's Mobile Police Unit, playing a similar role to Shell and Chevron in the mobilization of this 'kill and go" unit to protect company property.
Dick Cheney has been a strong voice in preventing or eliminating federal laws that place limits on Halliburton's
ability to do business in these countries.
is a major beneficiary of bilateral and multilateral government aid toward fossil fuel industry projects in developing countries and the former countries of the Soviet Union.The company is a contractor on projects that have been financed by $6 billion in government aid packages since 1992.These packages include loans, credit, guarantees, and insurance for fossil fuel projects for which Halliburton
has supplied services and equipment.
These figures are low, as they do not include loan packages to at least 13 countries which received Ex-Im Bank loans, and with which Halliburton
public policy on Burma is that they "don't do business in Burma."But while the company may have no current direct investments in Burma, our research shows that Halliburton
has had a number of business involvements in Burma, including participation in the notorious Yadana and Yetagun pipelines.
, part of Halliburton's Energy Services Group
, is a 50-50 joint venture between Halliburton
and Saipem of Italy.From July 1997 to October 1997, EMC
installed the 36-inch diameter line using its pipelaying barges, Semac 1 (offshore) and Castoro 5 (onshore approach). The route followed by Halliburton and Saipem was chosen by the Burmese government to minimize costs, even though it would bring the pipeline through politically sensitive areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Tenasserim region of Burma.
Given the Burmese military's well-documented history of human rights violations and brutality, the western companies knew or should have known that human rights crimes would accompany Burmese troops into the pipeline region.In fact, there was ample evidence in the public domain that such violations were already occurring when Halliburton
chose to lay a pipe for the project.
In 1998, the same year it was bought by Halliburton
, a subsidiary of Dresser Industries called Bredero-Price (now known as Bredero-Shaw) manufactured coatings for the Yetagun pipeline, which parallels the Yadana pipeline.The manufacture of the coating took place in Malaysia sometime before October 1998.Halliburton
started the process of buying Dresser in early 1998, and completed it in September of that year.Bredero-Shaw is a 50-50 joint venture of Halliburton
and Shaw Industries (Canada).
These simple facts do not do justice to the enormity of the violent abuses suffered by villagers in the Yadana pipeline region. (For detailed documentation of the horrors of the Yadana pipeline, see "Total Denial Continues," available from ERI.) For the purposes of this report, it is enough to say the likelihood that these abuses would occur, were occurring and would continue to occur were well known to observers of and companies operating in the region, and should have been obvious to Halliburton
Providing revenue the generals desperately need to stay in power and to finance their massive military buildup is the very essence of "engagement" with Burma, and Dick Cheney's Halliburton
has been ready to engage.
For example, the involvement of Unocal and Halliburton
in the Yadana project did nothing to stop massive abuses on those projects themselves, let alone to reduce abuses or improve democracy in Burma generally.
Finally, as the Congressional Budget Office has reported, USA-Engage
has exaggerated the economic impacts, while moral considerations are given no attention at all.
As discussed in the following chapter, Halliburton
has done business in Iraq.
...One theory had it that USA-Engage started as a front for Unocal, a company with even more than Halliburton at stake in the Burma sanctions debate.
was active early on as well.
and its corporate allies have served on several government advisory panels that have pushed the Clinton Administration to back off on the use of sanctions.For example, in 1997, Halliburton
and other corporate officials placed USA-Engage anti-sanctions rhetoric on President Clinton's desk through a quasi-governmental body called the President's Export Council
Much of his
talk was manna for Halliburton
and other members of USA-Engage
opposed a pending Senate bill that would impose sanctions on China for weapons proliferation.
...But Halliburton and the other members of USA-Engage do not agree even with Eizenstat's argument for moral leadership.
...Halliburton was founded by Earl Halliburton in 1919, who cemented oil wells in Texas.
It now provides a wide range of engineering services, technology, and equipment for oil and gas fields, platforms, pipelines, refineries, highways, and military operations.In Cheney's tenure, Halliburton
's revenues rose from $5.7 billion in 1994 to $14.9 billion in 1999, fueled primarily by growth outside the United States.According to the company's 1999 annual report, it has more than 7,000 customers in over 120 countries.These customers include the world's largest oil producing companies and countries.Halliburton
employs over 100,000 people.It calls itself "the world's largest diversified energy services, engineering, construction and maintenance company."
Most of Halliburton
's operations fall under one of three core divisions.The Energy Services Group, the Dresser Equipment Group, and the Engineering
and Construction Group.The Energy Services Group