LONDON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Oil companies working in Iraq complained of a "mafia" type atmosphere that drove the price of security up considerably, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables reveal.
Officials at oil services company Halliburton complained the price of security in Iraq was "unwarranted" during a modestly secure environment in 2008, confidential U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks and published by London's Guardian newspaper reveal.
"Halliburton Iraq country manager decried a 'mafia' of these companies and their 'outrageous' prices, and said that they also exaggerate the security threat," wrote U.S. provincial reconstruction leader John Naland in a January cable.
An unnamed Halliburton executive complained of "questionable" reports on the vulnerability of its employees working in Iraq.
The Iraqi government and oil companies were also encouraged to get rid of most of the Westerners working as private security contractors in the country.
"According to XXXXXXXXXX, the government of Iraq is anxious to 'get rid of all the white faces carrying guns' in their streets," the cable reads.