Skip to comments.Halliburton to Build New Cells at Guantanamo Base
Posted on 07/28/2002 4:56:14 PM PDT by Suzie_Cue
By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Halliburton Co. has been awarded a $9.7 million contract to build an additional 204-cell detention camp at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to hold additional suspected al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners, the Pentagon ( news - web sites) said on Friday.
The move will expand the high-security prison on the base, where hundreds of such "detainees" from Afghanistan ( news - web sites) are already being held in 612 small cells.
The prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station has played a major part in the U.S. war on terrorism declared after September's attacks on America in which more than 3,000 people died. No prisoners have been charged, but some could eventually face military trials.
Brown and Root Services, an engineering division of Halliburton, will build the additional 6-by-8-foot cells on the windward side of the remote U.S. base at the southeastern tip of Cuba, the Pentagon said.
The work is expected to be completed by October. But the Pentagon suggested on Friday that the facility could grow even more and that the contract could eventually total as much as $300 million if additional options were exercised over the next four years.
Vice President Dick Cheney ( news - web sites) is the former chief executive officer of Halliburton, whose main business is providing oilfield services. The company has come under heavy pressure this year because of concerns about its liabilities and a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission ( news - web sites) into its accounting for cost overruns on construction projects.
ADDITIONAL CELLS SOUGHT BY RUMSFELD
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld earlier this month asked Congress to approve expanding the prison facility, which currently has 612 cells, by 204 cells.
Army Lt. Col. Joe Hoey, a spokesman for the task force running the prisoner operation at the naval base in Cuba, said earlier that the United States was holding and interrogating 564 suspected Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners.
The prisoners were captured in the U.S.-led war against the al Qaeda group blamed for the September attacks and against the Taliban government that sheltered them in Afghanistan.
The captives were moved in April to Camp Delta, a permanent facility built to replace Camp X-Ray, a series of makeshift chain-link cells hastily erected when the U.S. military first brought prisoners from Afghanistan to Guantanamo in January.
The United States drew fire from human rights groups after photographs were distributed of the prisoners squatting in their cells in the blazing Cuban sun. Human rights activists have criticized that U.S. stance that the captives are not prisoners of war under the Geneva conventions.
The fate of the prisoners being held at Guantanamo is still uncertain. The United States government has set guidelines to try some of them before military tribunals but has not said when that might happen.
Camp Delta is made up of solid cells in rows that look like long mobile homes. Unlike Camp X-Ray, they have wash basins with running water and floor-style toilets that flush.
Like X-Ray, Camp Delta is surrounded by fences topped with razor wire and ringed by wooden guard towers manned by sharpshooters. But the new camp is enclosed inside a green mesh curtain, which prevents visitors from seeing in and keeps the prisoners from seeing the tightly guarded shoreline a few hundred yards away.
In other words, a significant improvement over the housing available to the vast majority of the Afghani people. If liberals were really serious, they would quit worrying about the conditions of Al Queda prisoners and instead donate to private aid groups that are trying to improve sanitary conditions in Afghanistan.
The original Pentagon press release (near the bottom) did not mention Halliburton at all:
Brown & Root Services, A Division of Kellogg Brown & Root, Arlington, Va., is being awarded $9,700,000 for Task Order 0019 under a cost-reimbursement, indefinite-delivery and indefinite-quantity construction contract for construction of a 204 unit Detention Camp, Phase III, located on the windward side of the Naval Station, at the Radio Range area of U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Units will be of modular steel construction. Each unit measures approximately 6 feet 8 inches by 8 feet and includes a bed, a toilet, and a hand basin with running water. Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay and is to be completed by October 2002. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The basic contract was competitively procured with 44 proposals solicited, three offers received and award made on June 29, 2000. The total contract amount is not to exceed $300,000,000, which includes the base period and four option years. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic Division, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-00-D-0005).
By connecting Brown & Root to Halliburton, I want if the reporter is trying to imply some sort of wrongdoing where there is none.
No, reporters are totally unbiased so they would never try to do that < /sarcasm>
Halliburton Co., was harshly criticized in the early 1990s for selling oil-drilling equipment to, of all places, Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In 1995, the same year the company pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. ban on exports to Libya, having peddled to strongman Moammar Gadhafi six pulse nuclear generators that could be used to detonate nuclear weapons. Halliburton continued to do business with countries the U.S. has described as "rogue nations," including Libya, Iran and Iraq.
And it overbilled the Pentagon on contracts over a four-year period ending in 1998 charging $750,000 (U.S.) for electrical repairs at Fort Ord in California that actually cost about $125,000, for example and ultimately reached a settlement with the Army in which it paid a $2 million fine.
Also in 1998, Halliburton, with the assistance of its auditor, Arthur Andersen, altered the company's accounting methods in a way that postponed losses from deadbeat clients, a device that artificially inflated Halliburton's profits by about $100 million and is now the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Halliburton, despite its reputation for padding expenses, recently winning a post-Sept. 11 contract as exclusive logistics supplier for the U.S. Army and Navy. It will do work such as running canteens and carting fuel that the armed forces claim they could do themselves for 10 per cent to 20 per cent less than Halliburton will be paid.
Last Wednesday, Halliburton reported a $498 million loss for the second quarter. It also said that a consultant's study has estimated it faces liability of $2.2 billion between now and 2017 for existing and potential asbestos claims, and that Halliburton has insurance coverage of just $602 million.
WHO SAID CRIME DOESN"T PAY? IT PAYS PRETTY WELL AS FAR AS I CAN SEE!
What is significant is the size of the contract compared with the tasks to be performed.
The cells described are less accomodating than some kennels recently built for working dogs at about $80K per pooch for 4 dogs. A brand new barracks for NCOs would run in the neighborhood of $5-20mil. Brown & Root Services isn't tooled up as an engineering design firm, although they do have enough corporate knowledge to probably assemble a team from elsewhere within Brown and Root/corporate knowledge circles.
The high cost contract is easily 5 times to 100 times larger per year than most of their contracts. Occasionally, Brown and Root Services has targeted establishing a repoire with military decision makers on lessor projects as an investment to win a future "Cameron Bay" glut of easy work.
They had personnel on standby in a 4 star hotel in Africa during Somalia, contracts for crude service work in the Balkans, probably 15-50 some odd $1-15million contracts throughtout the DOD at any one time as their target market with 1 yr contracts and perhaps 1-3 year options prior to another competitive bidding on the contracts.
I guess the only reason DOD is doing this is to avoid bringing the prisoners into the US proper.
I'd think that the number of civilian contracted prisons built in the 80's/90s would provide a glut of existing incarceration facilities without building another Alcatraz.
The real issues which I'm not cognizant about regard the clear expression of Who, Where, How, Why, and When to incarcerating the prisoners.
I'm not suggesting they be released, but it seems like the situation is conveniently ignored leaving pregnant political fodder for enemies of the US. Are these life-long sentances in effect or do US leaders simply ignore habeous corpus when inconvenient? If considered prisoners of war, then what group are they associated with to discern as an enemy of war to vanquish? How is such a war ever won and if not identifiable, wouldn't the holding of such prisoners over a general timeframe with still indefinite release date be considered an act of war in an of itself? Such questions seem intuitively poignant although the solution probably doesn't entail their immediate release.
I suspect there is more than sufficient organization within the federal law enforcement community to handle the situation professionally and consistently, but there might be a lack of corporate knowledge within the institutions of how the situation is best handled. Seems to me that the longer indecision reigns, the more likely it will foster more foundational justification for similar 'terrorists' to act train, organize, and act against US interests.
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