The Cheney - Halliburton Circle of Corruption
See also: Bush the Profiteer
The Cheney-Halliburton Circle of Corruption
Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense in 1991 when he created a contract vehicle for and gave contracts to Halliburton that resulted in millions of dollars of revenue. After leaving the administration Cheney served as CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. Then he became Vice President and Halliburton was awarded hundreds of millions of dollars of non-competitive contracts as part of the Gulf War in 2003.
NEWS on Cheney and Halliburton
The Incredible Cheney Scandals
Halliburton Today *
is currently being investigated by the US Federal Bureau of
Investigations and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additionally,
the US Department of Justice is investigating Halliburton's work in
Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, and the Balkans.
Cheney's Halliburton's $80M from Iran*
Halliburton Co. will pull out of Iran after its current contracts there are wound down, its chief executive said Friday. "The business environment currently in Iran is not conducive to our overall strategy and objectives," Chief Executive Dave Lesar said in a conference call. . .Halliburton said in July that it had received a subpoena seeking information about operations in Iran of its Cayman Islands subsidiary, Halliburton Products & Services Ltd. The company has argued that using a Cayman Islands subsidiary exempts it from a U.S.-imposed trade embargo against Iran, which is accused of seeking nuclear arms and funding terrorist networks. Halliburton provided no details on when its current contracts in Iran would be completed or on the value of the work. The company generated about $80 million in revenue in Iran in 2003. Reuters, 1/29/05 MORE
Halliburton and the "Merchant of Death* *
In an effort to crack down on one of the world's most notorious international criminals, President George W. Bush last summer signed an order barring U.S. citizens from doing business with Russian arms trafficker Victor Bout. But not long afterward, U.S. officials discovered Bout's tentacles were wider than anticipated: for much of this year, NEWSWEEK has learned, a Texas charter firm allegedly controlled by Bout was making repeated flights to Iraq—courtesy of a Pentagon contract allowing it to refuel at U.S. military bases. One reason for the flights, sources say, was that the firm was flying on behalf of Kellogg Brown & Root, the division of Halliburton hired to rebuild Iraq's oilfields. U.S. officials say Bout—once dubbed a "merchant of death" by a British foreign minister—built an empire in the 1990s flying weapons to the Taliban and African dictators Michael Isikoff, Newsweek 12/20/04 Issue MORE
$10 Billion for Halliburton*
Halliburton Co. has passed the $10 billion mark in work orders from the Army for services supporting U.S. troops in Iraq. The Army Materiel Command has ordered $8.3 billion in work from Halliburton under a contract to support troops with meals, laundry, housing and other services. The Army Corps of Engineers awarded an additional $2.5 billion to Halliburton under a no-bid contract to fight oil fires and help restore Iraq's crumbling oil industry infrastructure. Allegations of financial misdeeds, including corruption and overcharging, have led to criminal, congressional and Pentagon investigations of Halliburton's work in Iraq. Congressional critics say the Bush administration is going easy on the oil services company, which Vice President Dick Cheney ran from 1995 to 2000. Cheney and Halliburton deny any preferential treatment. AP, 12/10/04 MORE
Current Halliburton Investigations
investigations of Halliburton's work in Iraq include:
3 Halliburton Grand Juries*
The legal hurdles which has attended Halliburton's over work in Nigeria, Iraq and Iran continues to mount following the company's latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission which disclosed that a federal grand jury is probing possible criminal wrongdoing regarding payments to secure construction work in Nigeria. Halliburton reported for the first time that "payments may have been made to Nigerian officials" by an agent representing Halliburton and three other construction firms who are building the liquefied natural gas plant. Another grand jury is hearing evidence in Houston about the company's dealings in Iran, and a third is meeting in Illinois to look at Halliburton's contracts with the Pentagon for work in Iraq. Hector Igbikiowubo, Agency, 11/16/04 MORE
KBR: Worth Investigating*
"Let's say a major corporation with ties to the second-highest official in the U.S. government gets a no-bid, multibillion-dollar contract. Then the company bungles the deal, and perhaps gouges taxpayers in the process. Isn't this arrangement worth scrutinizing?. . The FBI then began a probe into suspicions that Halliburton and its subsidiaries overcharged for goods and services. Now that probe has been expanded to include the process used to award the no-bid contracts in the first place. . . Greenhouse, the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting officer, admitted her agency may not have followed rules in awarding no-bid contracts to KBR." South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board 11/6/04 MORE
FBI Investigates Cheney's Halliburton*
Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether the Army's handling
of a large Iraq contract with the Halliburton Company violated
procurement rules, according to lawyers for an Army official who made
the charges of improprieties.
Halliburton's Crooked Contracts*
The top civilian contracting official for the Army Corps of Engineers, charging that the Army granted the Halliburton Company large contracts for work in Iraq and the Balkans without following rules designed to ensure competition and fair prices to the government, has called for a high-level investigation of what she described as threats to the "integrity of the federal contracting program.". .In an Oct. 21 letter to the acting Army secretary, Ms. Greenhouse said that after her repeated questions about the Halliburton contracts, she was excluded from major decisions to award money and that her job status was threatened. . .The contracts to Halliburton, a Houston-based conglomerate headed by Dick Cheney before he became vice president, . . .involving work for more than $10 billion, have also been dogged by charges of overbilling and waste ERIK ECKHOLM, NY Times, 10/25/04
10 Issues for Cheney*
is a list of ten questions that ought to be directed to Dick Cheney:
Cheney and the $132m Bribe*
A lawyer, based in offices in a run-down part of north London, worked with three British executives from the US construction group Halliburton to pay at least $132m (£73m) in "unjustified" fees to contacts in Nigeria. These payments, many of which occurred when Halliburton was being run by Dick Cheney, now the American Vice-President, helped a consortium including the US group to win a $12bn contract to build a gas terminal at Bonny Island in Nigeria. . .Richard Northmore, a sales manager for MW Kellogg, a Halliburton subsidiary based. . ., signed contracts with Mr. Tesler for the consortium, according to testimony seen by The Independent on Sunday. . . . For its part, Halliburton has fired one senior executive, Jack Stanley, who it said received improper payments from Mr. Tesler. Mr. Stanley had been appointed to his senior role at Halliburton by Mr. Cheney when he was chief executive between 1995 and 2000. Solomon Hughes and Jason Nisse, The Independent (UK) 1/3/04 MORE
Cheney's Halliburton, Corrupt & Inept*
No corporation has gained more from the invasion of Iraq than Halliburton. Since the war began, it has moved from No. 19 on the U.S. Army's list of top contractors to No. 1. Last year, the company pocketed $4.2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. And that's merely the take so far; the company's Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) subsidiary has collected what the Washington Post describes as "one of the contracting plums of the war: a classified no-bid deal worth up to $7 billion to do the restoration work." Yet, by any measure, Halliburton and KBR have done a horrible job of managing the occupation and the reconstruction. The company has been investigated and fined for wrongdoing on the ground, and few days go by without new evidence surfacing to suggest that Halliburton is either massively corrupt or massively inept - or, and this is the most likely explanation, a messy combination of the two. John Nichols, Capital Times, 9/28/04 MORE
NeoCons: On Which Side?*
FBI counterintelligence investigators have in recent weeks questioned current and former U.S. officials about whether a small group of Iran specialists at the Pentagon and in Vice President Cheney's office may have been involved in passing classified information to an Iraqi politician or a U.S. lobbying group allied with Israel. . .The investigators have asked questions about personnel in the office of Pentagon . . .Douglas J. Feith as well as members of the influential Defense Policy Board, . . .Investigators have specifically asked about a group of neoconservatives involved in defense issues,. . .Iran has been a particularly controversial issue within the Bush administration, which still does not have a formal policy more than 3 1/2 years after taking office. . . Rep. John Conyers Jr. . .said the role of U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty in the case has "obvious political implications" Wash. Post, 9/4/04 MORE
Cheney's Nigerian Bribe*
Halliburton Co. has acknowledged officials at M.W. Kellogg Co. discussed a scheme with their business partners to bribe Nigerian leaders to win a contract to build a huge natural gas plant. An internal Halliburton probe has uncovered notes written between 1993 and 1998 that indicate Kellogg and its three partners in the TSKJ consortium considered a plan to make illegal payments in the hopes of landing the Bonny Island project, a huge, $5.5 billion natural gas liquefaction plant. . . .the notes suggest the discussions continued until December 1998, two months after Halliburton took over. Vice President Dick Cheney was serving as Halliburton's chief executive officer at that time. . . Nigeria's parliament, meanwhile, has also weighed in, recommending Halliburton receive no further contracts. . . the Los Angeles Times reported. DAVID IVANOVICH, 9/2/04 MORE
Cheney Fools Halliburton Investors*
Cheney’s Halliburton used accounting sleight of hand to fool investors . . . The commission says the undisclosed accounting change caused Halliburton’s public statements regarding its income in 1998 and 1999 to be materially misleading, boosting Halliburton’s profits on paper by $120 million. . .[Halliburton CEO David] Lesar says “Cheney knew that the firm was counting projected cost-overrun payments as revenues, “The vice president was aware of who owed us money, and he helped us collect it,” Lesar told Newsweek. . . In a separate but equally corrupt act of corporate malfeasance, a French judge is pouring over evidence to determine whether Cheney may have been responsible . . . for at least one of four bribery payments exchanged between a Halliburton subsidiary and Nigerian officials to obtain contracts for liquefied natural projects. Jason Leopold, Bellaciao,8/19/04
Bush Calls for Accountability, but not from Cheney's Halliburton*
When it comes to logistical help for U.S. troops in Iraq, Halliburton is the biggest game in town. Under a wartime contract that's $7 billion and growing, it's serving the needs of 200,000 troops. But the Houston-based conglomerate once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney is neck-deep in allegations of waste and fraud . . ."It costs $110 to house one KBR employee per day at the Kempinski, while it costs the Army $1.39 per day to bunk a soldier in a leased tent," DeYoung said . . .At one site, taxpayers reportedly paid $100 for each 15-pound load of wash - $1 million a month in overcharges. . . overcharging is the subject of one federal investigation and there are separate probes for alleged bribery and kickbacks. CBS, 8/17/04
Gross Goss Nomination Helps Cheney*
Senate to go along with the Administration's provocative nomination of
Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) for CIA Director, it would mark a cowardly
capitulation to the stonewalling of any investigation of the crimes of
Vice President Dick Cheney and his cronies in the Bush Administration.
The Administration's obstruction has been aided greatly by the
Republican leadership of key Congressional oversight committees, and
in this, no one has exceeded the role played by Porter Goss, as
chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Why Was Valerie Plame Outed?*
The possibility that VP Cheney was hoping to derail a sting operation involving Valerie Plame . . . does explain why VP Cheney would condone the breaking of the federal law, and risk the most serious scandal that this administration faces. Further research by an ad hoc DU "think tank" has identified possible connections between businesses connected to VP Cheney that may be associated with the sale of WMD components to countries in the Middle East. It is our belief that this theory and the evidence that supports it needs a more in-depth investigation, The Waterman Paper, Democratic Underground, 7/24/04
Bush Keeps Halliburton Secrets*
The Bush administration is refusing to release information about Iraq-related contracts worth more than $1 billion, awarded to Halliburton without a bidding process. Auditors working for the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), a UN-sanctioned panel charged with overseeing the management of Iraqi’s oil revenues, have repeatedly asked the US for internal audit information related to a "no-compete" Halliburton contract worth $1.4 billion. But the Bush administration has refused all such requests. An official with the IAMB says the US has also refused to turn over a list of other companies awarded no-compete contracts by the Coalition authority in Iraq. The money for the contracts is being drawn from the Development Fund for Iraq, an account holding proceeds from the sale of Iraqi oil, Chris Shumway, The NewStandard, 7/20/04
The leaders of the [9/11] commission . . .disputed Vice President Dick Cheney's suggestion that he probably had access to more intelligence than the commission did about possible ties between the Qaeda terrorist network and Iraq. In a one-sentence statement, the panel's chairman and vice chairman said that "after examining available transcripts of the vice president's public remarks, the 9/11 commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraq prior to the 9/11 attacks." . . .The commission chairman, Thomas H. Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, and the vice chairman, Lee H. Hamilton,. . . called on Mr. Cheney to turn over any reports that would support the White House's insistence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. PHILIP SHENON, NY Times, 7/7/04
Iraqi Money Funds Halliburton* The occupation authorities "came here and spent a lot of our money but very little of theirs," said a senior Iraqi official,. . .The CPA appears to have earmarked more than $6 billion of the Iraqi funds over the past two months alone, as it prepared to hand over political authority -- and control over the development fund -- to the interim Iraqi government . . . One of the principal beneficiaries of the development fund money was Halliburton Co., which was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to truck gasoline and other fuels into Iraq . . .Two former CPA officials involved in contracting issues said the CPA spent money from the development fund faster because it was not governed by the same rules requiring competitive bidding as the money from Congress was. . . .efforts to audit the process were stymied by the CPA, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post, 7/4/04
Cheney: NeoCon Godfather*
It was Cheney who said to United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix as he embarked on his mission to Iraq, "We will not hesitate to discredit you"; Cheney who personally tried to force the CIA to give credence to Ahmed Chalabi's fabricated and false evidence on WMD; Cheney who, along with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (to whom he was deputy in the Nixon White House), undermined Secretary of State Colin Powell at every turn; and Cheney who is the neoconservatives' godfather. . .Even before his outburst in the Senate, Cheney had come to stand for special interests, secrecy and political coercion. Under the stress of Bush's falling polls, Cheney cracked. Sidney Blumenthal, Salon, 7/1/04
What Halliburton Whistle Blowers Say*
submitted to members of Congress, one [Halliburton] truck driver
explained in detail how taxpayers were billed for empty trucks driven
up and down Iraq and how $85,000 vehicles were abandoned for lack of
spare tires. A labor foreman said dozens of workers were told to "look
busy" while doing virtually no work for salaries of $80,000 a year. An
auditor related how the company was spending an average of $100 for
every single bag of laundry and $10,000 a month for company employees
to stay in five-star hotels. "We saw very little concern for
cost considerations," David Walker, head of the General Accounting
Office, the investigative arm of the Congress, told members of the
Congress who attended a hearing at the Government Reform Committee in
the House of Representatives. "There are serious problems, they still
exist, and they are exacerbated in a wartime climate."
Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch
June 16th, 2004
Leahy and other
Democrats have called for congressional hearings into whether the vice
president helped the firm win lucrative contracts in Iraq after the
U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Cheney/Halliburton Corruption2 *
officials have acknowledged that a political appointee was behind the
controversial decision to have Halliburton Inc. plan for the postwar
recovery of Iraq's oil sector and had informed Vice President Dick
Cheney's chief of staff before finalizing the deal, a Democratic
lawmaker said Sunday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a formal investigation of the company for possible violation of antibribery laws. The probe focuses on payments made years ago [while Cheney was Chairman] in Nigeria by Kellogg Brown & Root, Melissa Davis, TheStreet.com, 6/14/04
For the second day running,
Democrats demanded more answers to questions raised by a newly
unearthed Army e-mail that said Cheney's office "coordinated" action
on a contract to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure that was awarded to
Halliburton. . .But Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, chair of the
Senate Governmental Affairs committee, says the panel will not be
taking any action because Halliburton's contracts in Iraq already face
probes by the General Accounting Office, defense auditors and the
Pentagon inspector general.
Cheney "Coordinated" Halliburton Contracts*
Russert asked, "Were you involved in any way in the awarding of those contracts?" Cheney's reply: "Of course not, Tim ... And as Vice President, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government." . . .The e-mail says Feith approved arrangements for the contract "contingent on informing WH [White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP's [Vice President's] office." Three days later, the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton the contract, without seeking other bids. TIMOTHY J. BURGER AND ADAM ZAGORIN, Time, 5/30/04
Mr. Cheney's Day in Court
The Supreme Court hears arguments today on Vice President Dick Cheney's attempt to keep the public from knowing who met with him behind closed doors three years ago to draft the administration's energy policy. The case is best known for the controversy over Justice Antonin Scalia's decision to go duck hunting with Mr. Cheney while it was pending. But it raises important issues in its own right. The court should affirm the decisions of the lower courts and order Mr. Cheney to disclose the names of the participants. It should also be mindful of the role Justice Scalia plays. There is a real danger that his participation will damage the court's reputation. NY Times Editorial, 4/27/04
Cheney's War *
Cheney had gotten the war he wanted. One year later, it's costing us a
staggering $4.7 billion a month, or about $157 million per day.
Charge against Cheney*
John Dean on Cheney *
Dick Cheney is a political disaster awaiting recognition. In the book, I set forth a relatively long list of inchoate scandals, not to mention problems worse than scandals. They all involve Cheney in varying degrees. Bush can't dump Cheney, for it is Cheney, not Rove, who is Bush's backroom brain. He is actually a co-president. Bush doesn't enjoy studying and devising policy. Cheney does. While Cheney has tutored Bush for almost four years, and Bush is better prepared today than when he entered the job, Cheney is quietly guiding this administration. . . Bush can't function without a script, or without Cheney. Bush is head of state; Cheney is head of government.. . .I quote Cheney from his time in the Ford White House when he said, "Principle is okay up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose." David Talbot, Salon interview of John Dean, 3/31/04
Fox and Halliburton Can't Get it Right*
O'Reilly, host of the most popular Fox News show, "The O'Reilly
Factor," took to the airwaves on March 4, 2003 . . . [and] stated
definitively that "a load of weapons-grade plutonium has disappeared
from Nigeria" and that the theft "should send a signal to all
Americans that a nuclear device could be planted here." . . .
Beyond the Duck Blind
As late-night comedians have embarrassingly noted, again and again, Justice Scalia went duck hunting with Mr. Cheney, and accepted free rides on Air Force Two for himself and his daughter, shortly after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the task-force case. Mr. Cheney had appealed a lower-court's order to reveal the names of some of the people who helped formulate President Bush's energy policies in 2001. Extended private socializing between a litigant and a judge poised to hear his case triggers serious concerns, not least because it gives one side a chance to talk about the case without the opposite side present. . . The Los Angeles Times recently reported that he delivered a speech to a $150-a-plate dinner of an anti-gay advocacy group in Philadelphia even as the Supreme Court was deliberating in the Texas sodomy case last year. NY Times Editorial 3/15/04
Cheney's Halliburton Punishes Honesty*
A U.S. food
subcontractor that runs 10% of the dining facilities in Iraq says it
hasn't been paid by a Halliburton Co. (HAL, news) subsidiary for
months . . .The company, Event Source, said it's owed $87 million by
Halliburton. . . .Halliburton was accused recently of overcharging the
government for feeding troops and agreed to forego further payments
until the issue is resolved. . . .Morrell said he believes Halliburton
and its other food service contractors did overcharge, billing the
government not for meals actually served, but for meals a facility
could have served, NBC reported.
Cheney, Halliburton and Nigeria*
In essence, an international consortium of four companies, including Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary, is suspected of having paid a $180 million bribe to the former government of Nigeria in order to build a liquefied-natural-gas plant in that country valued at $4 billion to $6 billion. . . .The alleged bribe has been under investigation since last year by Renaud van Ruymbeke, a French judge . . . Recently, the Nigerian government, the US Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission opened their own inquiries into the Nigerian matter. And Halliburton has retained a lawyer with close ties to the Bush administration to conduct an internal investigation. DAN KENNEDY, Boston Phoenix, 2/27 - 3/4/04
Scalia and Cheney*
Justice Antonin Scalia went duck hunting with Vice President Dick Cheney in January, just weeks after the Supreme Court accepted an important case involving Mr. Cheney. There were widespread calls on Justice Scalia to recuse himself, which he refused. Now it turns out that Justice Scalia accepted free air travel from Mr. Cheney, making the case for recusal far stronger. And there are reports of questionable contacts between Justice Scalia and another person with a case before him. In the interest of justice, and of the court's reputation, Justice Scalia should step aside in Mr. Cheney's case. . . .The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that two years ago, Justice Scalia. . . NY Times Editorial, 2/28/04
Halliburton: Criminal Investigation
. . . opened a criminal investigation of fraud allegations against a
unit of Vice President Cheney's former firm Halliburton Co., including
possible overpricing of fuel delivered to Iraq. . .
Dick Cheney is a good example of the way things go when business and government get too close. He's been a serious power broker within the Republican Party since he acted as Gerald Ford's de facto chief of staff. He became CEO of Halliburton in 1995 after George Bush Sr. was run out of office after a single term. . . .Cheney still collects a cheque from Halliburton. I sometimes refer to him as Dick "Spiro Agnew" Cheney, but the truth is that Spiro couldn't hold a candle to Dick. . . . George W. Bush's Vice President made millions, may have bribed governments, seems to have a financial connection to every major corporate scandal in the US in recent memory, is being accused by French officials of crimes that may include the deaths of protestors, and the North American press has largely ignored the issue. Reverend Blair, Vive Le Canada, 2/17/04
Halliburton & Iran Trade Embargo*
services company [Halliburton] said it had received a letter from the
US treasury department, informing it that an inquiry into allegations
that Halliburton might have broken trade embargoes had been reopened.
Hard Evidence on Cheney's Office*
Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.
According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. . . . The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said. RICHARD SALE, UPI, 2/6/04
Cheney the Scornful*
the vice president has continued to offer his gloomy world view. No one has appeared more scornful of the United Nations or other multilateral organizations than Cheney, so it seemed like a peace offering to the globalists when Cheney agreed to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month. But Cheney seemed unrepentant and intransigent and once more linked terrorists to the Saddam regime, despite the doubts of the intel community. The Democrats will continue to bang away at Cheney's ties to Halliburton, the giant conglomerate he once ran, and they hope (though so far without evidence) that an ongoing leaks investigation over an outed CIA agent leads into the veep's office. Tamara Lipper and Evan Thomas, Newsweek, 2/16/04 Issue
Cheney Tilts Justice*
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia traveled as
an official guest of Vice
President Dick Cheney on a small government jet
that served as Air Force Two when the pair came here
month to hunt ducks.
Halliburton & Cheney, Again*
A subsidiary of Halliburton Co. is under scrutiny by the Justice Department over allegations that it was involved in payment of $180 million in bribes to win a natural gas project contract in Nigeria. Vice President Dick Cheney was head of Halliburton at the time.
Two senior Justice Department officials,
speaking Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the
department had asked that Halliburton
voluntarily provide documents related to the allegations.
Those records, they said, could determine whether a full investigation
Cheney, Scalia & Justice*
This month . . . was still a bad time for Justice Antonin Scalia to hunt ducks with Vice President Dick Cheney. Their trip came shortly after the Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Cheney's appeal of an order requiring him to disclose members of his secret energy task force. By going, Justice Scalia raised serious questions about his ability to judge the case impartially, and needlessly sullied his court's reputation. . . . He compared his situation to justices' dining at the White House when a suit involving a president is pending. But vacationing with a litigant in a small group, outside the public eye, raises a far greater appearance of impropriety than attending a White House dinner. And Mr. Cheney's case involves not just any action, but one calling his integrity into question. NY Times Editorial 1/25/04
Cheney and Bribery?*
A French judge is investigating $180 million in payments connected with a huge Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant project won in the 1990s by a joint venture that included a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. . . .The payments were made during the 1990s, when Vice President Dick Cheney headed Halliburton, . . . France joined the United States and more than 30 other countries in outlawing bribery of foreign public officials in 2000 under the auspices of a convention negotiated through the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It makes the payment of such bribes a criminal offense and outlaws a tax break that was once claimed by several European companies. Such bribes have been illegal in the United States since the mid-1970s under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. RICHARD WHITTLE and JIM LANDERS, The Dallas Morning News, 1/9/04
Will the French Indict Cheney?
Yet another sordid chapter in the murky annals of Halliburton might well lead to the indictment of Dick Cheney by a French court on charges of bribery, money-laundering, and misuse of corporate assets. . . three days before Christmas, the Paris daily Le Figaro front-paged the news that Judge van Ruymbeke had notified the Ministry of Justice that Cheney might be among those eventually indicted as a result of his investigation. . . .The suspected bribe money was mostly ladled out between 1995 and 2000, when Cheney was Halliburton's CEO. The Journal du Dimanche reported on December 21 that "it is probable that some of the 'retrocomissions' found their way back to the United States" and asked, did this money go "to Halliburton's officials? To officials of the Republican Party?" Doug Ireland, The Nation, 12/29/03
Patriots and Profits
The story about Halliburton's strangely expensive gasoline imports into Iraq gets curiouser and curiouser. High-priced gasoline was purchased from a supplier whose name is unfamiliar to industry experts, but that appears to be run by a prominent Kuwaiti family (no doubt still grateful for the 1991 liberation). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents seen by The Wall Street Journal refer to "political pressures" from Kuwait's government and the U.S. embassy in Kuwait to deal only with that firm. I wonder where that trail leads. . . .They should learn the story of Harry Truman, a congressman who rose to prominence during World War II by leading a campaign against profiteering. Truman believed, correctly, that he was serving his country. Krugman, NY Times, 12/16/03
Cheney's Halliburton Scandal*
Pentagon investigation has found evidence of overcharging and other
violations in billions of dollars worth of reconstruction contracts for
Iraq that were awarded to Vice President Dick Cheney's former company,
military officials said today.
Holiday Gift to Bush Friends*
The United States government is paying the Halliburton Company an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline and other fuel to Iraq from Kuwait, more than twice what others are paying to truck in Kuwaiti fuel, government documents show.
Halliburton, which has the exclusive United States contract to import fuel into Iraq, subcontracts the work to a Kuwaiti firm. . .. But Halliburton gets 26 cents a gallon for its overhead and fee, according to documents from the Army Corps of Engineers. . . .A company's profits on the transport and sale of gasoline are usually razor-thin. . . Independent experts who reviewed Halliburton's percentage of its gas importation contract said the company's 26-cent charge per gallon of gas from Kuwait appeared to be extremely high. DON VAN NATTA Jr., NY Times, 12/10/03
In Alabama, where the technique [hydraulic fracturing] is widely used, the owners of a water well believed their water had been poisoned by the practice (a "black jelled substance" started coming out of the tap, according to one of lawyers involved). They filed a lawsuit and won, forcing the EPA to regulate the practice more strictly in that state, and opening up the possibility of regulation elsewhere. EPA launched a study of the issue, resulting in a draft report which recommends, among other things, that the industry stop pumping diesel fuel into the ground.
Cheney Firm Protected *
For several years the Environmental Protection Agency has been studying whether an increasingly popular -- but environmentally controversial -- drilling technique used by Halliburton Co. and other big oil and gas operators pollutes underground drinking water supplies.
Halliburton, which pioneered hydraulic fracturing more than 50 years ago and is a leading provider of the service, acknowledged in a statement that representatives "spent time educating many members of Congress and many staffers on the process and the issue." Dan Morgan Washington Post, 10/12/03
Here is an excerpt from the 8/28/03 Washington Post article by Michael Dobbs:
The practice of delegating a vast array of logistics operations to a single contractor dates to the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a study commissioned by Cheney, then defense secretary, on military outsourcing. The Pentagon chose Brown and Root to carry out the study, and subsequently selected the company to implement its own plan. Cheney served as chief executive officer of Brown and Root's parent company, Halliburton, from 1995 to 2000, when he resigned to run for the vice presidency. . . .Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion out of Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to newly available documents. Michael Dobbs, Washington Post 8/28/03
Excerpt from NY Times Magazine on Halliburton business with Saddam Hussein
By July 2000, Cheney claimed on ABC's ''This Week'' that neither Halliburton nor its subsidiaries dealt with Iraq at all. ''Iraq's different,'' Cheney said at the time. ''I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal.'' But in fact from 1997 to 2000, when Cheney was running Halliburton, two of its subsidiaries sold Saddam Hussein's government a total of $73 million in oil-field supplies. The deal didn't violate U.S. sanctions because the subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Company, were foreign. By Dan Baum, NY Times Magazine or for a more complete free quote click HERE.
What merits such generosity? Perhaps it has nothing to do with the fact that Dick Cheney used to be the Halliburton CEO. (Although Cheney sold his Halliburton stock when he left the company to run for vice president, he still receives annual deferred compensation payments until 2005.24) Perhaps it's irrelevant that Joe Lopez, a military aide to Cheney when he was defense secretary in the early 1990s and who was subsequently hired by Halliburton at Cheney's suggestion, is in charge of KBR's Pentagon contracts.25 After all, the vice president's office and Halliburton spokespeople strenuously deny that any favoritism is involved in the awarding of these contracts.
Halliburton may be qualified for the job, but its performance has not exactly been free of blemish. The December 2001 contract was awarded even though KBR had been sued for overbilling the Army between 1995 and 1997, allegedly to the tune of $6 million. The company paid $2 million to settle but did not admit any wrongdoing.26 There have been other irregularities as well. Among them are allegations that the company overcharged the Army for support operations for troops deployed in Bosnia, a deal worth $3 billion so far.27 And in 2002, Halliburton was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged accounting improprieties during Cheney’s tenure.28 MORE. from "The Other Looting" Michael Renner, Senior Researcher, Worldwatch Institute at Foreign Policy in Focus
The Cheney/Halliburton Scandals
See the American Progress Fact Sheet:
Learn about another and (perhaps bigger) area of conflict of Interest with directly with Bush, Sr. See the documentary at
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3995.htm NOTE: First 47 seconds are in Dutch but the rest of the documentary is in English.