Shock and Awe in Fort Worth - First Hard Evidence of Political Cronyism and Procurement Fraud in Award of Iraq Oil Field Work to Halliburton

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After the Pentagon revealed the secret award of billions of dollars of Iraq oil field work to Halliburton, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District was supposed to give other contractors a chance to bid on the work. The irony is the competition for the two replacement contracts turned out to be far more corrupt than the original sole-source award, but that was never revealed until now. "Shock and Awe in Fort Worth," published this month, identifies missing links between Vice President Cheney and the Halliburton contracts. It shows how these Corps personnel lied and cheated Halliburton’s competitors and violated federal law, but it is far more than an exposé. It presents a constructive, nonpartisan examination of the Iraq contracting debacle and a path forward out of the quagmire of financial waste and potential abuse that the government’s large cost-reimbursable contracts have become.

In March 2003, the Pentagon was finally forced to reveal that it had secretly awarded billions of dollars’ worth of Iraq oil field work to Halliburton Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). As the Pentagon’s executive agent, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District was supposed to conduct a 'free and open competition' immediately, in order to give other contractors a chance to bid on the work. The irony is the competition for the two replacement contracts turned out to be far more corrupt than the original sole-source award. The competition appeased Bush administration critics because the bidders who realized it was a sham have been afraid to speak out, and so the fraud was never revealed — until now. "Shock and Awe in Fort Worth," published this month, identifies missing links between Vice President Cheney and the Halliburton contracts awarded by the Corps. It shows how individuals at the Corps lied and cheated Halliburton’s competitors and how they violated federal law.

Vice President Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, has been accused of giving the Iraq oil field work to his cronies at KBR based on circumstantial evidence, not proof. His critics have never identified the bureaucratic pathway by which the payback could have been achieved, or even a single link in the chain, perhaps because they did not understand the complex federal procurement process, and so they did not know where to look for hard evidence and the names of individuals involved. The author of this daring new book, Sheryl Elam Tappan, led Bechtel’s proposal team in the Corps’ competition until she discovered it was a sham and Bechtel withdrew. Earlier last year, she was responsible for the proposal that won Bechtel the Iraq civil infrastructure reconstruction contract from USAID. As an independent consultant, she is not bound by the unofficial code of silence to which federal contractors adhere.

"Shock and Awe in Fort Worth" explains why Halliburton’s highly publicized overcharging for fuel delivery in Iraq is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of federal contracting waste and abuse, why the problems are only going to get worse, and why the government’s solutions are just ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Bestsellers have been attacking the Bush administration from the left, and others have been defending it from the right. "Shock and Awe in Fort Worth" is the first book to present a constructive, nonpartisan examination of the Iraq contracting debacle and to identify a path forward out of the quagmire of financial waste and potential abuse that the government’s large, cost-reimbursable contracts have become. Sheryl Tappan’s tough three-point plan to achieve the level of transparency and accountability required on mega-contracts will be controversial.

The Book:

"Shock and Awe in Fort Worth, How the U.S. Army Rigged the 'Free and Open Competition' to Replace Halliburton’s Sole-Source Oil Field Contract in Iraq" (April 2004, ISBN 0-9749947-8-2, $19.95), can be purchased now at http://www.bookregime.com and soon from other booksellers nationwide.

Media Kit:

An author photo, bio, higher-resolution book cover image, and other material can be downloaded at http://www.bookregime.com

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Sheryl Tappan

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