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Documenting Halliburton/Cheney, Part II

Andrew Limburg

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Back in November of 2003, while following the news reports, my frustration on how the television news media was ignoring all the controversies surrounding Cheney and Halliburton, exploded into an article.
All Dick?s friends are hoping that Dick?s shady dealings can be kept from the public until after the elections.
Having listed a barrage of charges and facts that included; tax evasion, fraud, lying, bribes, no-bid contracts, price gouging the government, etc? Ahhh?I figured I had gotten it out of my system, but that didn’t last very long. I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams that in just 3 months time, Cheney, his staff, and Halliburton, would be currently under separate investigations from The U.S. Justice Department, The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Pentagon, Securities and Exchange Commission, the French Government, and the Nigerian Government. All this escaping the headlines of the print media, and the top stories of the television media.

Within days of my last article, reports of Halliburton price gouging the U.S. Government for oil, a second time were revealed. An investigation is under way by the Pentagon, but Halliburton says they were (significantly) overcharged by a Kuwaiti firm and they simply passed that charge on to the American taxpayers.

Then a report came out that two senior Halliburton officials got a reported $6 million in kickbacks from an unnamed Kuwaiti firm that was providing support to U.S. troops in Iraq. Apparently the Kuwaiti firm overcharged Halliburton by $6 million (who then overcharged the government) and then officials of the Kuwaiti firm passed the $6 million back to the now fired Halliburton officials.

Does that sound amazing? It shouldn?t. Because the Boston Globe reported on February 10th that ‘’The Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, French prosecutors, and the Nigerian government are all investigating allegations that a Halliburton subsidiary paid millions of dollars in bribes to Nigerian officials during the 1990s, when Vice President Dick Cheney was the Halliburton CEO.’?

The Nation reported that “According to accounts in the French press, Judge van Ruymbeke believes that some or all of $180 million in so-called secret ?retrocomissions? paid by Halliburton and Technip were, in fact, bribes given to Nigerian officials and others to grease the wheels for the refinery’s construction.”

Current and former Nigerian officials have already been charged, and both The Nation and The Associated Press have reported a French judge?s warning that Cheney could be charged in the case as well.
I want you to listen to me. I?m going to say this again. I did not have sharp business dealings with that company.
If that isn?t enough proof of shady dealings at Halliburton, I might remind you that on a separate occasion, Halliburton has already admitted that they paid $2.4 million in bribes to Nigerian officials (under Cheney?s watch) in order to receive tax breaks for some oil business they were doing there.

Halliburton, while under Cheney?s watch, had already been found to have consistently overcharged the government and was fined $2 million for it. This fine was issued prior to the Iraq war, and prior to the no-bid contracts.

Halliburton recently came under fire for overcharging again, this time on meal service for the troops. Apparently Halliburton was charging the government for the anticipated number of meals served to troops, not the ?actual? number of meals served. Halliburton has since stated that it will pay back the $27.4 million overcharge.

Wait! Don?t turn that dial yet. There is more. The United States Treasury Department is currently investigating Halliburton?s business practices with their possible violation of a federal law barring business with Iran. The New Jersey Star Ledger reported that, “In a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Halliburton disclosed that Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control last month reopened a 2001 inquiry that centered on the legality of the business dealings between Iran and a Halliburton subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands.”

Not only has Halliburton been shown to have done business, through subsidiaries of course, with Iran, but also with Iraq and Libya. It doesn?t take a brain surgeon to notice that the normal business practices of Halliburton are price gouging, kickbacks, bribes, and illegal trading.

Remarkably, that didn?t stop them from getting a new 5-year contract in mid January, 2004 with the government to do work in Iraq.

Blazing a new trail that has nothing to do with shady business practices, there currently is a court case in front of The Supreme Court of the United States of America in reference to Cheney and his secret energy task force. Judicial Watch is suing Cheney for access to records, under the Freedom of Information Act, of his energy task force that met in Washington. This task force was brought together to formulate energy policy. Attendees included Ken Lay (of Enron Fame, and former co-chairman of Bush Sr. re-election campaign), and other oil industry leaders.

The results of these meetings went into the Energy Bill that the President is pushing “..an energy bill that included $72.5 billion in spending and $23.5 billion in tax breaks, mainly for big energy corporations”, according to Knight Ridder a very prominent syndicated news organization.

George Bush would do anything for self-glorification. Dick Cheney would serve anyone for more power and wealth.

George Bush would do anything for self-glorification. Dick Cheney would serve anyone for more power and wealth.

Now back to the court case in front of the Supreme Court. It turns out that Justice Anthony Scalia of the Supreme Court flew as Cheney?s guest, on a small government jet that served as Air Force Two last month. Along with 7 other guests they went on a 3 day duck hunting trip. This was just “weeks after the high court agreed to take up Cheney’s bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy task force.’’, as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

There have been calls for Scalia to recuse himself since he and Cheney are friends. Scalia has refused to recuse himself. This comes as no surprise as Scalia did not recuse himself from the vote that put Bush and Cheney in the Whitehouse, despite Scalia having family members with ties to the Bush 2000 Campaign.

Last but not least, UPI reported recently that, ‘’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.”

The case centers on Valerie Plame, a CIA operative then working for the weapons of mass destruction division, and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson was sent over to Nigeria to find out if Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Nigeria. Wilson came back and reported to Cheney?s office, that it was ?very doubtful? that the intelligence was correct. The United Nations investigators came to the conclusion that the intelligence was based on forged documents, and it was not relevant intelligence.

Months later, in the State of the Union of 2003, Bush made the statement as a matter of fact, in his famous 16 words.

Wilson upon hearing the State of the Union speech wrote articles, and appeared on weekend political shows saying that Bush?s claim was not based on fact. Days later his wife was outed as a CIA agent by ?senior officials in the White House?. As stated previously, the Justice Department is now investigating two employees of Dick Cheney?s office in relation to this leak.

This obviously is the reason why some Republicans are predicting that Cheney will step out of the 2004 race, claiming health related issues.

It is mind boggling to me how the majority of this can come to light over the last 3 months, and not be all over the television every single night. I realize knowing everything about Scott Peterson?s hairstyles, Janet?s right breast, Michael?s money, and Kobe?s life are of grave importance to the future of our country. I guess I just figured that maybe the television media could sneak in a couple seconds of our Vice President?s small issues every now and then.

The questions you need to ask yourself are; Why would the television media, for the most part, ignore all of this? Why was Clinton?s scandal all over the news for months and months? Why are there no impeachment hearings underway for the Vice President?

Why?


Published Saturday, February 14th, 2004 - 12:56pm GMT

Article courtesy of Independent Media TV

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