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 *

* Halliburton 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.
* Former Halliburton accountants filed a class action lawsuit in August 2004 alleging "systemic" accounting fraud from 1998 to 2001. They are among dozens of "whistleblowers". .
*Allegations of overcharging in Iraq persist: Early in 2004, Halliburton returned $6.3 million to the U.S. military, admitting that two of the company's employees took kickbacks from a Kuwaiti company. The company still hasn't repaid the $212.3 million the Defense Contract Audit Agency says Halliburton overcharged for fuel transportation in Iraq,
 War Profiteers, 5/16/05 MORE

 

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

The investigations of Halliburton's work in Iraq include:
-- A criminal investigation into whether kickbacks were involved in Halliburton's use of a Kuwaiti subcontractor to provide gasoline for Iraq's civilian market. Halliburton says it notified federal authorities after an internal probe found two of its former employees may have been involved in corruption worth $6.3 million.
-- A review of that fuel contract by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, which concluded Halliburton overcharged the Army by $61 million.
-- An investigation by the former Coalition Provisional Authority's internal watchdog which found Halliburton could not account for scores of items in Iraq worth millions of dollars.
-- A report by Congress' Government Accountability Office, which found a "pattern of contractor management problems" by the Army on Halliburton's largest Iraq contract. The nonpartisan GAO said the problems including taking more than a year to finalize the documentation on work orders worth billions of dollars.
-- A Pentagon audit, which found that Halliburton charged the Army for meals it never served to troops. Halliburton said the problem was caused by the widely fluctuating levels of troops in and around Iraq. Halliburton has repaid $36 million and set aside more than $140 million for a possible settlement as it negotiates with the Army on that issue.
Separately, a federal grand jury in Houston is hearing evidence to decide whether to indict Halliburton or current or former executives for violating the U.S. trade embargo on Iran. Foreign subsidiaries of Halliburton dramatically expanded their trade with Iran while Cheney headed the company
AP 10/4/04  MORE
 

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*

The Federal 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.
F.B.I. agents have requested an interview with the official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, the chief of contracting with the Army Corps of Engineers, on her allegations regarding a 2003 contract with Halliburton to repair Iraqi oil fields, her lawyer, Michael D. Kohn, said in an interview yesterday. Ms. Greenhouse, in an Oct. 21 letter to the acting Army secretary, charged that officials had shown favoritism toward Halliburton, the Houston-based conglomerate formerly led by Vice President Dick Cheney, in the awarding and oversight of the oil contract
.
. ERIK ECKHOLM, NY Times, 10/29/04  MORE

 

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*

[H]ere is a list of ten questions that ought to be directed to Dick Cheney:
1. "We will be greeted as liberators."
2.  Iraqi oil fields . . reviewed by the administration's energy task force
3.  Saddam Hussein had "resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons."
4.  America will be more vulnerable to attack if John Kerry and John Edwards are elected
5.  revealing the identity of Valerie Plame
6.  billions of U.S. tax dollars to Halliburton
7.  you continue to hold unexercised options for 233,000 shares
8.   you received five draft deferments during the 1960s,
9.  you did vote against ..unconditional release of Mandela
10.  it is you, rather than George W. Bush, who is running the country
  John Nichols, The Nation, 10/3/04  MORE

 

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*

Were the 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. 
Goss has blocked any investigation of three critical subject-areas clearly falling within his jurisdiction:
* The fabrication of intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs,
* The illegal disclosure by White House officials, of the identity of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame
* The abuse and torture of prisoners in Afghanistan
.
 Edward Spannaus
Executive Intelligence Review, 8/20/04

 

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

 

Cheney Checked*

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*

In testimony 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

Cheney, "f--- off"

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.
During their exchange, Leahy noted that Republicans had accused Democrats of being anti-Catholic because they are opposed to some of President Bush’s anti-abortion judges, the aides said.
Cheney then responded, “f--- off” or “f--- you,” two aides said, both speaking on condition of anonymity. . .According to Senate rules, profanity is not permitted in the chamber. But when the exchange occurred between Leahy and Cheney, the Senate was not in session, so there was technically no foul.
 MSNBC, June 24, 2004

 

Cheney/Halliburton Corruption2 *

Pentagon 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 decision, overruling the advice of an Army lawyer, eventually resulted in the awarding of a $7-billion, no-bid contract to Halliburton, which Cheney ran for five years before he was nominated for vice president.
Christian Miller. LA Times, 6/14/04

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

Cheney CHalliburton

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.
U.S. officials have estimated the Texas company's Iraq deals, for everything from oil repairs to meals for the troops, could eventually total some $18 billion
Susan Cornwell, Reuters, 6/2/04

 

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 *

Dick 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. 
A hefty chunk of that is being spent on support services provided in Iraq by Halliburton, the Texas company that Cheney ran before joining the Bush ticket in 2000.
Cheney says he has severed his ties to Halliburton and had nothing to do with the lucrative no-bid contracts awarded to the firm. Not everyone is persuaded that the connection is merely coincidental.
In any event, the money being spent in Iraq is secondary to the heartbreaking cost in casualties. The most well-trained and sophisticated fighting force in the world is once again involved in a maddening guerrilla war
. .  CARL HIAASEN, The Miami Herald, 4/25/04

 

Criminal Charge against Cheney*
This has been a very good war for Halliburton, which at last count had been awarded Pentagon contracts with the potential value of $11 billion. . . [U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin,] has asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to appoint a special counsel to investigate reports that Halliburton and other U.S. companies are conducting business with governments that stand accused of sponsoring terrorism. . . "Because these allegations involve a company that the vice president of the United States ran during the time of the alleged violations, we formally request that you appoint an outside counsel to investigate ...," Baldwin wrote. "The questions these allegations raise about the actions of a company run by Vice President Cheney are serious and disturbing. Corporate criminal penalties  Editorial, The Capital Times, 4/20/04

 

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*

Bill 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." . . .
O'Reilly was referring to a story that week about radioactive material missing in Nigeria. But it was not plutonium, as he claimed, or anything nearly as lethal as plutonium. It was a compound called Americium 241, wholly unsuitable for the creation of the imaginary "atomic device" . . . The compound, in fact, was misplaced by Vice President Cheney's old oil firm, Halliburton.
David J. Sirota, Salon, 3/30/04

 

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.
. . .we just thought that was just unethical and decided not to go down that path," NBC quoted Morrell as saying
.
 Dow Jones, 3/8/04

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

The Pentagon . . . 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. . .
Halliburton . . .has more than $8 billion in deals in Iraq, covering everything from doing laundry, building bases and providing meals to helping rebuild the oil industry. The contracts have drawn sharp comment from Democrats because of the company's ties with Cheney, who was chief executive officer from 1995 to 2000. . .  the U.S. Treasury, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into a range of issues, from whether the company paid kickbacks in Nigeria to whether it broke U.S. laws by dealing with Iran
  Reuters in The Washington  Post, 2/24/04

 

Cheney Ignored*

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*

The oil 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.
The investigation relates to when Mr. Cheney was running the company. He was chief executive between 1995 and 2000 before quitting to run for office with George Bush, taking with him a $36m (£19m) severance package.
Halliburton said the investigation, originally begun in 2001, had been reopened but gave no other detail. Reuters quoted treasury sources saying that new information had come to light which prompted a fresh investigation.
  David Teather, The Guardian, 2/12/04

 

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 last month to hunt ducks.
The revelation cast further doubts about whether Scalia can be an impartial judge in Cheney's upcoming case before the Supreme Court, legal ethics experts said. The hunting trip took place just weeks after the high court agreed to take up Cheney's bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy task force.
The Times previously reported that the two men hunted ducks together while the case was pending, but it wasn't clear then that they had traveled together or that Scalia had accompanied Cheney on Air Force Two.
  David G. Savage and Richard A. Serrano, LA Times, 2/5/04

 

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.

The $4 billion Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Plant was built in the 1990s by a consortium that included Kellogg, Brown & Root, a unit of Houston-based Halliburton.

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 is launched.
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press, posted at Miami Herald 2/5/04

 

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*

A 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.
The violations by a Halliburton Company subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root, could involve "potentially tens of millions of dollars" in overcharging for fuel that the company is trucking into Iraq under one of two contracts, said Michael Thibault, deputy director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency. In a draft report, Mr. Thibault said, the agency has recommended that the Army Corps of Engineers seek reimbursement from the company.
 
DOUGLAS JEHL, NY Times, 12/11/03

 

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

 

Halliburton Again

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.

The agency might have saved itself the effort. A clause contained in the House version of a currently pending energy bill and slated to appear in the final legislation will simply lift the issue out of the reach of federal regulators altogether. That will end the debate, at least for a while. It will also help out a small group of powerful oil and gas companies, among them Halliburton, the former employer of Vice President Cheney and the company that invented hydraulic fracturing. Washington Post Editorial 10/19/03

 

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.

. . . the House-Senate compromise on the energy bill exempts the technique, known as "hydraulic fracturing," from some of the controls of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act.

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.

 

Cheney Connections: 

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  MOREfrom "The Other Looting" Michael Renner, Senior Researcher, Worldwatch Institute at Foreign Policy in Focus

The Cheney/Halliburton Scandals

  1. Cheney's Office may have Passed Classified Information to Israel:  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.  Wash. Post, 9/4/04 MORE

  2. VP Cheney "Coordinates" Halliburton Contracts:  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.  Time Magazine

  3. Halliburton in Nigeria #1: French Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke recently threatened to subpoena U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney over a massive corruption scandal involving Halliburton's operations in Nigeria in the 1990s.  Charlie Cray, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1/22/04

  4. Halliburton in Nigeria #2:Halliburton is already facing a separate investigation in Nigeria and the United States after disclosing that some employees in Nigeria paid $2.4 million in bribes to a Nigerian who claimed to be a tax consultant and turned out to be a tax official. JIM LANDERS and RICHARD WHITTLE, Dallas Morning News, 1/24/04

  5. Confirming Identity of a CIA Operative:  By validating the [classified] article and the letter's contents, Cheney has confirmed the accuracy of classified information – a possible violation of federal law  Progress Report, 1/26/04  Update: Prosecutors investigating whether someone in the Bush administration improperly disclosed the identity of a C.I.A. officer have expanded their inquiry to examine whether White House officials lied to investigators or mishandled classified information related to the case, lawyers involved in the case and government officials say.  DAVID JOHNSTON and RICHARD W. STEVENSON, NY Times, 4/1/04  Now, we have another cancer on the presidency. It began in July when it was learned that "two senior White House officials" -- many have pointed fingers at Karl Rove, some at Dick Cheney -- had leaked to journalists the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame (a felony, perhaps treason).  Alan Bisbort, The Hartford Advocate, 1/8/04.    UPDATE: 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.  RICHARD SALE, UPI, 2/6/04

  6. Scandalizing the Supreme Court.  This month may have been duck hunting season in Louisiana, but it 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. NY Times Editorial, 1/24/04

  7. Commerce with U.S. Enemies. Halliburton is the company that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run. He was CEO in 1995 to 2000, during which time Halliburton Products and Services set up shop in Iran. Today, it sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government. 60 Minutes, 1/25/04.    UPDATE: The oil 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.
    The investigation relates to when Mr. Cheney was running the company. He was chief executive between 1995 and 2000 before quitting to run for office with George Bush, taking with him a $36m (£19m) severance package.
    Halliburton said the investigation, originally begun in 2001, had been reopened but gave no other detail. Reuters quoted treasury sources saying that new information had come to light which prompted a fresh investigation.
      David Teather, The Guardian, 2/12/04  A grand jury issued a subpoena to oil field services company Halliburton Co. seeking information about its Cayman Islands unit's work in Iran, where it is illegal for U.S. companies to operate, Halliburton said on Monday.  The company [was] formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. . . Halliburton's engineering and construction unit KBR, formerly called Kellogg Brown & Root, is also the subject of U.S. Justice Department and SEC investigations for possible overcharges for fuel and food service contracts in Iraq, .  . . In a report issued in October 2003. . . Halliburton said it was not illegal for U.S. companies' independent foreign subsidiaries to conduct business in Iran, and that it had taken steps to isolate its U.S. operations and managers from its work there.  Matt Daily, Reuters, 7/19/04

  8. Kickbacks from Kuwait. Halliburton Co workers may have taken kickbacks from a Kuwaiti subcontractor supplying US troops in Iraq, causing a potential US$6 million overcharge to US taxpayers, the company said on Friday.  Reuters, 1/25/04

  9. Overcharging U.S. for Oil the Halliburton Company, overcharged by roughly a dollar a gallon on gasoline trucked in from neighboring Kuwait. Its total skim: $61 million. And now Halliburton officials acknowledge that two of its managers have pocketed a total $6 million in kickbacks for subcontracts.  Lionel Van Deerlin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/28/04

  10. Cost-Plus Scam.  Referring to Halliburton's "cost-plus" contract, which allows the company to charge the U.S. a fixed percentage fee on top of whatever price it pays for goods, the former employees told Waxman that supervisors ignored prices when making purchases. 
    As a result, the company paid too much for everything from rented jeeps to cellular phones to specially embroidered towels that cost three times what an ordinary towel would, they said.
      Christian Miller, LA Times, 2/13/04

  11. Accounting Scam.  In the Fall of 2001, both Halliburton and Enron lost value on the stock market, both availed themselves of Arthur Andersen's special skills, and both seemed poised for trouble. Andersen, it turned out, helped Halliburton boost its books by postponing losses and counting uncollected money as revenue.
    So called "unbilled receivables" allowed Halliburton to carry $234 million in disputed claims in 2001 (twice the amount from the previous year). Halliburton and Andersen changed the rules on "unbilled receivables" when Cheney was its CEO. When Cheney moved to Bush's side, his second-in-command, David Lesar, took over the firm. Before Lesar joined Halliburton, he was a senior partner in Andersen.
    VIJAY PRASHAD, Outlook India, 2/19/04

See the American Progress Fact Sheet:
"Cheney, Halliburton & the Government"

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.