Sunday, May 30, 2004

Report: Cheney involved in Haliburton contract

According to AFP article, Time magazine has obtained a March 5, 2003 Pentagon email which describes the Haliburton contract as having been coordinated through Vice President Dick Cheney's office.

Haliburton Iraq war contracts have been controversial, because the Vice President is the immediate past CEO of Haliburton, and still has substancial stock holdings in the company. Haliburton was also accused of substancially overcharging the U.S. government, and was eventually ordered to repay some of the overcharges after a media uproar.

The war in Iraq likely significantly appreciated the Vice President's wealth via his Haliburton shares, further fueling the controversy. According to the recent Bob Woodward book, the Vice President was a leading proponent of the Iraq war, described by some Administration insiders as having "war fever."

As Time reports, Vice President Cheney has previously denied being involved in the Haliburton contracting process, which involve no-compete bids.

Haliburton justifies its no-compete bids by claiming it is the only company capable of supporting the U.S. military, which may well be true.

The U.S. military has over the years become smaller by outsourcing a number of capabilities to private contractors such as Haliburton.