the problem that I have with many critics on the left (and I'm basically left leaning on many things myself) is that they seem fundementally clueless about most complicated matters.
Business. Science. To a large extent world politics.
In this article Jow Conason manages to make it read as if Halliburton (and other businesses) were looking to drill for oil on Mars.
First, on a fundemental level, that's pretty unlikely, if there were oil, there would also be evidence of life and all sorts of other major items.
Second, as I read this, NASA is acting in a very reasonable way in approaching the firms with the deepest expertise in complicated drilling (oil companies) and asking them for advice and knowledge for the highly complicated task of designing tools for research on other planets, in this case the possiblity of extracting information from deep into the surface of another planet.