Wednesday :: Oct 6, 2004

Halliburton Smokescreen


by Mary

Tonight in the debates, Dick Cheney told the American public that Edwards was wrong about Halliburton. He told us to just go look at the report put out by Annenberg's FactCheck.org.

Sorry, Dick, you're wrong. That website does not discuss the point Edwards was making and he scored a direct hit.

Checking the transcript (part 1 & part 2), we find Edwards talked about Halliburton three times (and Gwen Ifill mentioned it once).

When discussing the Senate vote on $87 billion:

On the $87 billion, it was clear at the time of that vote that they had no plan to win the peace. We're seeing the consequences of that everyday on the ground right now.

We stood up and said: For our troops, we must have a plan to win the peace.

We also thought it was wrong to have a $20 billion fund out of which $7.5 billion was going to go to a no-bid contract for Halliburton, the vice president's former company.

It was wrong then. It's wrong now.

Cheney did not address this remark directly but attacked their votes in the Senate on that bill.

Then after Gwen Ifill asked Cheney about why when he was CEO of Halliburton, he did not support sanctions on Iraq, in Edward's rebuttal he again brought up Halliburton:

I mentioned Halliburton a few minute ago in connection with the $87 billion, and you raised it in this question. This is relevant, because he was pushing for lifting sanctions when he was CEO of Halliburton. Here's why we didn't think Halliburton should have a no-bid contract.

While he was CEO of Halliburton, they paid millions of dollars in fines for providing false information on their company, just like Enron and Ken Lay.

They did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States.

They're now under investigation for having bribed foreign officials during that period of time.

Not only that, they've gotten a $7.5 billion no-bid contract in Iraq, and instead of part of their money being withheld, which is the way it's normally done, because they're under investigation, they've continued to get their money.

Cheney responded to this charge directly:

Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false.

They know that if you go, for example, to factcheck.com (sic), an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton.

It's an effort that they've made repeatedly to try to confuse the voters and to raise questions, but there's no substance to the charges.

Finally, John Edwards brought up Halliburton in regards to taxes:

When the vice president was CEO of Halliburton, they took advantage of every offshore loophole available. They had multiple offshore companies that were avoiding taxes.

So what does FactCheck.org say about Halliburton and Dick Cheney? It says: "Cheney doesn't gain financially from the contracts given to the company he once headed."

Edwards did not bring up the matter of Cheney's compensation. Thus Cheney's response missed the mark.

The truth is Halliburton is under investigation and they are getting all their money which according to the US procurement rules should not happen. Perhaps the next question is to ask why Halliburton gets special handling.

Halliburton under active investigation:
Halliburton to Pay $7.5 Million to Settle Probe, Aug 3, 2004
Justice Broadens Halliburton Inquiry, Aug 4, 2004
Bribery Considered, Halliburton Notes Suggest, Sept 2, 2004

More on Halliburton and the problems with its contracts:
Contracts With America, May 2004
CONTRACT SPORT: What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?, Feb 16, 2004

Mary :: 12:20 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!