What sort of sweetheart deal does Halliburton have with the Kuwaitis, anyway? Late in 2003 it turned out Halliburton had been paying a Kuwaiti company $2.65 per gallon to import gasoline into the country with the planet's second-largest proven reserves. Furthermore, gas is subsidized in Iraq, so we got to pay even more to sell it to the Iraqis -- who, as you may or may not have heard, have some pretty sizable oil reserves -- for 5¢ per gallon (scroll down near the bottom of the link -- that is not a typo. Five cents.).
It may be helpful to recall the obnoxious pre-invasion sentiments expressed by pro-war acolytes, that this thing would pay for itself quite handily. "In case you haven't heard, they've got some oil", was a frequent snotty rejoinder employed by many a trooper from the Fightin' Keyboarders Battalion.
Yeah. How's that been workin' for us, smartass?
No, Mr. Spock, it is entirely logical that this would occur, once you stop and remind yourself that you're talking about war profiteers. It's not like Halliburton hasn't already been fined several times for this sort of thing.
Okay, then. Suppose you provide us rubes with more specific "context" for a 33,500% markup, than just the obvious. We know Iraq is "fraught with danger", even though we turn a corner every couple months. So share with us which firms jacked up the prices the most. Humor us, Wendy. We're customers looking at receipts, and we've already caught you burning us several times, so you could say we're a tad curious.
If Halliburton really believes that this is some sort of ringing endorsement, they're either stupid or huffing some industrial-grade solvents. Twelve percent is an unacceptable error rate for any organization. We wouldn't accept a 12% error rate from the IRS, or the SSA, or any other government body. Considering the endless gospel of the efficiencies of the free marketplace, it is maybe even less acceptable here.
Tell ya what, guys. Take 12% off Cheney's annual deferred bonus, just for shits and giggles, and see if that don't raise a high stink.