President Dick Cheney has repeatedly assured Americans
that he has positively no involvement in directing
billions of taxpayer dollars in no-bid contracts
to Halliburton, his former employer. In September
of 2003, he told NBC's Meet the Press that his
office has "absolutely no influence of, involvement
of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of
contracts." In January of 2004, he told Fox
News Radio, "I don't have anything to do with
the contracting process, and I wouldn't know
how to manipulate the process if I wanted to."
But, according to new evidence, Cheney's office
"coordinated" the Halliburton contracts and
had the Pentagon specifically seek its input in
constructing what ultimately became a multi-billion-dollar
to the New York Times, the Pentagon discussed
a $1.9 million planning contract with "senior
Bush administration officials, including the Vice
President's Chief of Staff" before inking the
deal. According to the Los Angeles Times, three
companies were vying for the lucrative contract
which was seen as the precursor to a much larger,
$7 billion contract. But instead of following
the normal competitive civil service contracting
process, the Times reports that Bush administration
political appointees overruled the advice of Army
lawyers and simply gave Halliburton the contract.
That decision was then brought to Cheney's Chief
of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who reviewed the
contract and raised no objections to the non-competitive
has denied having any financial stake in Halliburton
receiving massive government contracts, claiming,
"I severed my ties nearly four years ago when
I ran for Vice President." But Cheney still
receives about $150,000 a year in deferred compensation
from Halliburton and still owns about 433,000
company stock options; options which could
become more valuable as the company's revenues
rise. That fact was enough to lead the nonpartisan
Congressional Research Service to bill Cheney's
continued financial ties a "potential conflict
yet despite all these questions, the Bush administration's
allies today formally blocked any testimony from
Halliburton employees about the matter. Specifically,
when Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) presented
a slate of witnesses to the House Government Reform
Committee, they were prevented from appearing
by Republicans. That move led Senator Frank Lautenberg
(D-NJ) to demand the appointment of a special
counsel to independently investigate the situation.
1. "Cheney denies role in Iraq deal", The Boston
Globe, 9/15/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40365.
2. "Cheney faults 'desperate' attacks on Halliburton",
CNN.com, 1/23/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40366.
3. "Cheney Coordinated Halliburton Iraq Contract:
Report", Common Dreams News Center, 5/31/2004,
4. "White House Officials and Cheney Aide Approved
Halliburton Contract in Iraq, Pentagon Says",
The New York Times, 6/14/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40368.
5. "Appointee's Role in Halliburton Pact Told",
Los Angeles Times, 6/14/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40369.
6. "VP Interview with Wolf Blitzer, CNN", WhiteHouse.gov,
7. "Contract Sport", The New Yorker, 2/9/2004,
8. "Halliburton asks employees to help defend
company", CNN.com, 10/25/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40372.
9. "Cheney may still have Halliburton ties", CNNmoney.com,
10. "Whistle-blowers say Halliburton rife with
waste", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/15/2004,
11. "Senator Seeks Halliburton Special Counsel",
Reuters, 6/14/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=40375.
Posted: June 21, 2004