Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

FBI widens probe of Halliburton
War contract under scrutiny

By Robert O'Harrow Jr
The Washington Post
Published October 29, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The FBI has expanded an investigation into allegations of contract irregularities by Halliburton Co. subsidiary KBR in Iraq and Kuwait.

The agency requested an interview with a Pentagon official who complained recently that the Army gave KBR preferential treatment when granting it a $7 billion classified contract to restore Iraq's oilfields just before the war began in March 2003, her lawyers said Thursday.

The request comes at a sensitive time because Vice President Dick Cheney once was Halliburton's chief executive, and Democrats have accused the Bush administration of favoring the oil-services company.

The FBI wants to discuss allegations by Bunnatine Greenhouse, a senior Army Corps of Engineers civilian responsible for ensuring contracting competition. She said Army officials did not justify the award or show that KBR, formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root, had "unique attributes," as required by procurement law, according to a letter her lawyers wrote to acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee and provided to lawmakers in Congress.

The letter said Army officials ignored her repeated complaint that the contract was granted without following normal procedures. It also said the Army allowed KBR representatives to participate in meetings "outside the scope of information KBR should be privy to," before the contract was awarded.

Government auditors said nine months later that KBR may have overcharged the government $61 million for fuel, which Halliburton has denied. Halliburton also is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding work it did in Nigeria, Iran and Iraq.

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall dismissed Greenhouse's charges as politically motivated. Hall said "the old allegations by Bunny Greenhouse have once again been recycled, this time one week before the election." Hall said the Government Accountability Office concluded that the oilfield-restoration contract was properly awarded. The Army later put the contract up for bids and KBR was one of two contractors to win.

The company has disclosed in public filings that the Justice Department is investigating what it charged for fuel.

"We continue to work with all of the investigating bodies to resolve issues related to fuel delivery in Iraq," Hall said.

Greenhouse was not available for comment Thursday. In a telephone interview, her lawyer, Stephen Kohn, said federal investigators also are interested in discussing with his client earlier contracts KBR had with the Army to provide logistical support in the Balkans.

"Our concern is that Ms. Greenhouse not be retaliated against, which is what happens to most whistle-blowers," said Kohn, who specializes in whistle-blower cases. "It has not been easy for her."

The FBI investigation appears to be related to one that has been going on for several months involving the collection of records from various Pentagon agencies and private individuals.

Carol Sanders, a spokeswoman for the Corps of Engineers, said the FBI has sought records in recent months relating to Halliburton contracts. "We've cooperated with everybody who has the right to be looking, including the FBI," she said. "Our role is to cooperate."

Sanders said she could not say whether Greenhouse's case is related.

The FBI agent seeking to interview Greenhouse is Jeffrey Jackson, who works at a field office in Illinois. Earlier this year, he interviewed former KBR employees about their allegations of mismanagement of government money in Iraq.

Among the former employees was Henry Bunting, a KBR field buyer who said in July that he told Jackson and another federal agent about improper spending of money and lack of accountability by KBR operations in Kuwait during the war.

Beyond the Call of Duty

A whistle-blower objected to the government's Halliburton deals—and says now she's paying for it

Courtesy TIME MagazineBunnatine (Bunny) Greenhouse

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004In February 2003, less than a month before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bunnatine (Bunny) Greenhouse walked into a Pentagon meeting and with a quiet comment started what could be the end of her career. On the agenda was the awarding of an up to $7 billion deal to a subsidiary of Houston-based conglomerate Halliburton to restore Iraq's oil facilities. On hand were senior officials from the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aides to retired Lieut. General Jay Garner, who would soon become the first U.S. administrator in Iraq.

Then several representatives from Halliburton entered. Greenhouse, a top contracting specialist for the Army Corps of Engineers, grew increasingly concerned that they were privy to internal discussions of the contract's terms, so she whispered to the presiding general, insisting that he ask the Halliburton employees to leave the room.

Once they had gone, Greenhouse raised other concerns. She argued that the five-year term for the contract, which had not been put out for competitive bid, was not justified, that it should be for one year only and then be opened to competition. But when the contract-approval document arrived the next day for Greenhouse's signature, the term was five years. With war imminent, she had little choice but to sign. But she added a handwritten reservation that extending a no-bid contract beyond one year could send a message that "there is not strong intent for a limited competition."

Greenhouse's objections, which had not been made public until now, will probably fuel criticism of the government's allegedly cozy relationship with Halliburton and could be greeted with calls for further investigation. Halliburton's Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) subsidiary has been mired in allegations of overcharging and mismanagement in Iraq, and the government in January replaced the noncompetitive oil-field contract that Greenhouse had objected to and made two competitively bid awards instead. (Halliburton won the larger contract, worth up to $1.2 billion, for repairing oil installations in southern Iraq, while Parsons Corp. got one for the north, worth up to $800 million.) Halliburton's Iraq business, which includes another government contract as well, has been under particular scrutiny because Vice President Dick Cheney was once its CEO. The Pentagon, concerned about potential controversy when it signed the original oil-work contract, gave Cheney's staff a heads-up beforehand. (TIME disclosed that alert in June.)

Greenhouse seems to have got nothing but trouble for questioning the deal. Warned to stop interfering and threatened with a demotion, the career Corps employee decided to act on her conscience, according to her lawyer, Michael Kohn. Kohn, who has represented other federal whistle-blowers, last week sent a letter—obtained by TIME from congressional sources—on her behalf to the acting Secretary of the Army. In it Kohn recounts Greenhouse's Pentagon meeting and demands an investigation of alleged violations of Army regulations in the contract's awarding. (The Pentagon justified the contract procedures as necessary in a time of war, saying KBR was the only choice because of security clearances that it had received earlier.) Kohn charges that Greenhouse's superiors have tried to silence her; he says she has agreed to be interviewed, pending approval from her employer, but the Army failed to make her available despite repeated requests from TIME.

"These charges undercut months of assertions by Administration officials that the Halliburton contract was on the level," says Democratic Representative Henry Waxman. As the Corps's top contract specialist, the letter says, Greenhouse had noted reservations on dozens of procurement documents over seven years. But it was only after she took exception to the Halliburton deal that she was warned not to do so anymore. The letter states that the major general who admonished her, Robert Griffin, later admitted in a sworn statement that her comments on contracts had "caused trouble" for the Army and that, given the controversy surrounding the contract, it was "intolerable" and "had to stop." The letter says he threatened to downgrade her. (As with Greenhouse, the Army did not make Griffin available.) When the Pentagon's auditors accused KBR of overcharging the government $61 million for fuel, the letter says, the Army bypassed Greenhouse. Her deputy waived a requirement that KBR provide pricing data—a move that looked "politically motivated," the letter says.

The Pentagon maintains that it awarded Halliburton's Iraq contracts appropriately, as does a Halliburton spokeswoman. A senior military official says the Army "has referred the matter to the inspector general of the Department of Defense." As for Halliburton, it has faced alleged cost overruns, lost profits and seen at least 54 company contractors killed in Iraq. Greenhouse, meanwhile, has requested protection from retaliation. But her career—and reputation—are on the line.

From the Nov. 01, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

Cheney's Lamest Excuse Yet

by John Nichols

What do you do when the excuses you used to "justify" an unwise and unnecessary war are completely discredited.

If you're Vice President Dick Cheney, you make up a new one.

Cheney's favorite excuse, the claim that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had significant ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, was never credible. But the vice president's attempts to peddle the theory became absurd after it was rejected by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States. Cheney kept trying to spin the fantasy for weeks after 9 11 Commission reported that there was no working relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda. But he finally had to acknowledge during last Tuesday night's debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards that he has no evidence to sustain the claim.

Cheney's second favorite excuse, the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that might threaten its neighbors and the United States, was never any more credible than the al Qaeda fantasy. But Cheney knew as he debated Edwards Tuesday night that it would be completely obliterated by a report scheduled for release the following day. That report, compiled by Charles A. Duelfer, chief arms inspector for the Central Intelligence Agency, confirmed what honest observers had known for years: that Iraq had under pressure from the United Nations eliminated its capacity to develop illicit weapons by the mid 1990s.

In a bind, Cheney grabbed during the debate for one of his most ridiculous "justifications": the claim that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was harboring Abu Nidal, a Palestinian charged with masterminding acts of terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s. The problem with this claim is that Nidal died in August, 2002, two months before the Bush administration sought and received permission from the U.S. Congress to use force against Iraq.

Stuck for an excuse, Cheney hit the campaign trail the day after the debate with a new claim: The war has been necessary because Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders were abusing the United Nations "Oil-for-Food" program. Dismissing the Duelfer report's confirmation that Iraq had no stockpiles of WMDs, Cheney seized on the reports mention of "Oil-for-Food" program abuses to declare, "The suggestion is clearly there by Mr. Duelfer that Saddam had used the program in such a way that he had bought off foreign governments and was building support among them to take the sanctions down." Then the vice president made the leap for a new justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq: "As soon as the sanctions were lifted, he had every intention of going back" to his weapons program, the mind-reading vice president declared. Thus, said Cheney, "delay, defer, wait, wasn't an option."

There is little doubt that Hussein diverted money from the program, which was set up in 1996 to ease the burden on Iraqis who were suffering from hunger and lack of medical care as a result of the U.N. sanctions against the country. But as an excuse for invading and occupying a country, it is Cheney's lamest excuse yet.

After all, "Oil-for-Food" program abuses did not merely benefit Saddam Hussein and his cronies. They also, according to the report produced by CIA chief arms inspector Duelfer, benefitted a number of U.S. corporations that rushed into Iraq to siphon off money funds for themselves.

Duelfer found that Chevron, Mobil, Texaco and Bay Oil had received lucrative vouchers that allowed them to buy Iraqi oil and sell it abroad for big profits.

Additionally, Cheney's old company, Halliburton, the top oil services corporation in the U.S., filled its coffers with Iraqi money during the heyday of the Oil for Food program. When Cheney's was Halliburton's CEO, the company did not collect vouchers; rather, its subsidiaries took advantage of the opening created by the "Oil-for-Food" program to cut deals with Saddam Hussein's government that allowed it to take money directly from Iraq. During 1998 and 1999, Halliburton's Dresser Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump subsidiaries signed contracts to provide roughtly $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq.

The services provided by Halliburton's subsidiaries during the period when Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company helped rebuild Iraq's oil production and distribution infrastructure. That work, which got Iraqi oil flowing, was, of course, necessary for the implementation of the "Oil-for-Food" program -- and, presumably for the abuses about which Cheney is now so concerned.

Under Cheney's leadership, the contracts obtained by Halliburton subsidiaries were among the most substantial awarded any U.S. firm doing business with Saddam Hussein. But they were not as ambitious as the company would have liked. A scheme to have Halliburton subsidiaries repair an Iraqi oil terminal that had been destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War was blocked by the U.S. government because it was determined to violate the sanctions regime.

Might Cheney have been unaware of the Halliburton Iraq tie -- as he tried to claim in one 2000 interview? Not likely. James Perrella, former chairman of Ingersoll Rand told the Washington Post that based on his knowledge of how Halliburton and its subsidiaries worked, Cheney had to have known. "Oh, definitely," Perrella said of Cheney, "he was aware of the business."

Only on the eve of the 2000 presidential election campaign, in which Cheney would secure a position on the Republican ticket by manipulating the vice presidential selection process in his favor, did Halliburton cut the business ties with Iraq that had been made so lucrative by the "Oil-for-Food" program.

But, now, as he searches for a new excuse to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Cheney is suddenly concerned about abuses of the "Oil-for-Food" program.

What excuse is next? Perhaps Cheney will suggest that the occupation must be maintained in order to prevent war profiteering by companies such as, er, well, Halliburton.

John Nichols' book on Cheney, Dick: The Man Who Is President, has just been released by The New Press.
© 2004 The Nation

Cheney hasn't always liked sanctions on Iran

Vice President Dick Cheney now supports trade sanctions against Iran, but he didn't in the 1990s as chairman of Halliburton Co.

BY MATT KELLEYAssociated Press

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has called Iran ''the world's leading exporter of terror,'' pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton Co. in the 1990s.

And his company's offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran.

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards criticized Cheney in Tuesday night's debate for his position on Iran during the 1990s, and Edwards said he supports expanding the sanctions against Iran.

Cheney countered that he now supports sanctions against Iran but sidestepped the issue of Halliburton's involvement, saying it was being raised by Democrats ``to try to confuse the voters.''


Halliburton's foreign subsidiaries did about $65 million in business with Iran last year, company documents say.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Halliburton or its executives deliberately violated the U.S. ban on trade with Iran.

Foreign subsidiaries of American companies can do business with Iran as long as no Americans participate in that business.

Halliburton says it did not break that law.

While he headed the Houston-based oil services and construction company, Cheney strongly criticized sanctions against countries like Iran and Libya.

President Clinton cut off all U.S. trade with Iran in 1995 because of Tehran's support for terrorism.


Cheney argued then that sanctions did not work and punished American companies.
The former defense secretary complained in a 1998 speech that U.S. companies were ''cut out of the action'' in Iran because of the sanctions.

Although Cheney maintained his opposition to unilateral U.S. sanctions during his first months as vice president, the Bush administration renewed the trade ban with Iran in March 2001.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush grouped Iran with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea as members of an ''axis of evil'' -- nations with ties to both terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

Cheney now sounds a harder line. ''The government of Iran is the world's leading exporter of terror,'' Cheney he said less than a month after Bush's January 2002 ''axis of evil'' speech.
While campaigning, Cheney has often boasted of how the Bush administration helped shut down an underground network supplying nuclear technology to Iran, which he has called one of ``the world's most dangerous regimes.''

Halliburton, meanwhile, has defended the business deals with Iran that intensified under Cheney.

''It is neither prudent nor appropriate for our company to establish our own country-by-country foreign policy,'' Halliburton said in a January statement amid criticism of its Iran deals.

Much of Halliburton's business with Iran comes through Halliburton Products & Services Ltd., a subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands and based in the United Arab Emirates. Halliburton Products & Services opened a Tehran office in early 2000, before Cheney left Halliburton to became Bush's running mate.

Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts
Getting it wrong about combat pay, Halliburton, and FactCheck.org

October 6, 2004

Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals.

Edwards falsely claimed the administration "lobbied the Congress" to cut the combat pay of troops in Iraq, something the White House never supported, and he used misleading numbers about jobs.


Cheney: 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.

Cheney Plugs FactCheck

Cheney got our domain name wrong -- calling us "FactCheck.com" -- and wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton.

In fact, we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.

Edwards on Halliburton: Partial Credit

We can only give Edwards partial credit for his Halliburton attack, however. He implied that Cheney was in charge of the company when it did business with Libya in violation of US sanctions, but that happened long before Cheney joined the company.


Edwards: While he (Cheney) 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.

Edwards was also slightly off when he said Halliburton paid millions in fines "while he (Cheney) was CEO." What he meant was that it paid fines for matters that took place while Cheney was in charge. And in fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Aug. 3 that Halliburton will pay $7.5 million to settle a matter that dates back to 1998, when Cheney was CEO.

Halliburton failed to disclose a change in its accounting procedures that resulted in making its earnings look better. Cheney himself was not charged with any wrongdoing, however. The SEC said Cheney "provided sworn testimony and cooperated willingly and fully in the investigation."
On other matters, Edwards said Halliburton "did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States" and is now "under investigation for having bribed foreign officials" while Cheney was CEO.

Iran: Indeed, Halliburton has said it does about $30 million to $40 million in oilfield service business in Iran annually through a subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd. The company says that the subsidiary fully complies with US sanctions laws, but the matter currently is under investigation by a federal grand jury in Houston.

Bribery Investigation: U.S. and French authorities currently are investigating whether a joint venture whose partners included a Halliburton subsidiary paid bribes or kickbacks to win a $12 billion construction project in Nigeria.

Libya: Edwards was wrong to include Libya, however. In 1995, before Cheney joined the company, Halliburton pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya and said it would pay $3.81 million in fines. Those violations dated back to 1987 and 1990.

The Facts on Halliburton


From the Democratic National Committee:

Cheney: "Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false." [Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

Edwards: Halliburton Used Enron Style Accounting Practices. "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." [Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

Halliburton Agreed to Pay $7.5 Million to Settle SEC Probe into Cheney-Era Accounting Practices. Halliburton agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a SEC probe of the company's accounting during the tenure of Dick Cheney. Halliburton failed in 1998 to disclose a change in the way it accounted for revenue from some construction work, the SEC said in a statement. The SEC said "the company misled investors and violated federal securities laws." [Bloomberg News, 8/3/04; Complaint of SEC vs Halliburton Company and Robert Charles Muchmore Jr. 8/3/04]

Edwards: Under Cheney, Halliburton Did Business With Iran and Libya. "They did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States."[Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

Justice Dept. Issued Subpoena Seeking Information of Halliburton’s Role In Iran Under Cheney. Halliburton received an inquiry in 2001 from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department inquiring about operations in Iran by a Halliburton subsidiary. In July 2004, OFAC transferred the case to the Justice Department and a federal grand jury issued a subpoena to Halliburton seeking information about its work in Iran. Government officials told the Washington Post such cases are referred to the Justice Department only when there is evidence "intentional or willful" violations have occurred. [Houston Chronicle, 12/15/03; Halliburton Co. 10-Q, 5/7/04; Reuters, 7/19/04; Washington Post, 7/21/04]

Cheney Admitted Doing Business in Iran and Libya. When asked whether Halliburton did business with Iraq, Cheney said in 2000, "What we do with respect to Iran and Libya is done through foreign subsidiaries, totally in compliance with U.S. law." [ABC, This Week, 7/30/00]

Edwards: Halliburton is Being Investigated For Charges of Bribery Under Cheney. "They're now under investigation for having bribed foreign officials during that period of time." [Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

SEC And Justice Department Investigating Halliburton Bribery Charges During Cheney’s Tenure. A French judge is looking at whether Vice President Dick Cheney may have been responsible under French law for at least one of four bribery payments exchanged between a Halliburton subsidiary and Nigerian officials to obtain contracts for liquefied natural projects. Under French law, "the head of a company can be charged with ‘misuse of corporate assets’ for bribes paid by any employee - even if the executive didn't know about the improper payments." Furthermore, the SEC, the Justice Department and the Nigerian government are also investigating the bribery charges against Halliburton. [Dallas Morning News, 1/25/04, 2/10/04; Associated Press, 2/4/04, 2/5/04, 2/6/04; Houston Chronicle, 2/7/04]

Edwards: Halliburton Got No-Bid Contracts in Iraq. "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." [Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

Halliburton’s Got No-Bid Contract in Iraq. In March 2003, the Pentagon awarded a subsidiary of Halliburton a no-bid contract worth $7 billion to help rebuild Iraqi oil fields. According to Time, an internal Pentagon e-mail said "action" on the contract was "coordinated" with the Vice President’s office. A senior political appointee in the Defense Department, Michael H. Mobbs, who works for undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith, acknowledged that he selected Halliburton for Iraq reconstruction work. Before awarding the contract, Mobbs briefed top officials, including Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's top aide, and White House staff members. [Time, 5/30/04; Los Angeles Times, 5/7/03; Washington Post, 2/10/04, 6/14/04]

Halliburton Has Gotten Three Extensions To Avoid Payments Being Withheld. Under government rules, contractors cannot be paid more than 85 percent of their invoices until they fully account for their costs. It had appeared that the Army was going to withhold payments to Halliburton because the contractor cannot account for nearly half of its work in Iraq and Kuwait. But for the third time this year, the Army gave Halliburton an extension and will continue to pay them in full. This happened despite the fact that Pentagon auditors "strongly" urged the U.S. Army to start withholding millions of dollars in payments to Halliburton Co. until the company justified its bills. [Washington Post, 8/18/04; New York Times, 8/17/04; Associated Press, 8/24/04; Reuters, 8/24/04; Houston Chronicle, 8/25/04]

Edwards: Halliburton Used Off Shore Tax Shelters. "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." [Vice President Debate, 10/5/04]

Halliburton Maintained "A Slew of Entities" in Offshore Tax Havens. In 2001, Halliburton maintained, what the Wall Street Journal described as, "a slew of entities" in offshore tax havens. According to the Journal, "Halliburton, according to its latest annual report to shareholders filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has units in St. Lucia, Liechtenstein, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, the Netherlands Antilles and the British Virgin Islands. All are well-known tax havens with few natural resources." According the Security and Exchange Commission, while Cheney was in charge, Halliburton set up over 20 affiliates in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying US taxes. [Washington Post, 8/1/02; Wall Street Journal, 8/5/02]

Halliburton spent $770,000 lobbying Washington in first half of 2004, a 400% increase from 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton dramatically increased lobbying activity for 2004, government records show. According to filings with the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records, Halliburton spent $150,000 lobbying Washington during the first six months of last year, but spent $770,000 during the first six months of 2004, a 413 percent increase.

Halliburton's in-house lobbyists spent $250,000 during the first half of 2004, a 67 percent increase from last year when it spent $150,000.

The in-house lobbyists include retired Army Lt. Gen. Charles E. Dominy, vice president for government affairs; Donald A. Deline, a former counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee; Barbara Jones; and George P. Sigalos, director of government relations for KBR and a former press aide to Rep. Philip M. Crane (R-IL). These people pushed for favorable legislation on asbestos, tort reform, the WTO, energy policy, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corp., government procurement, military contracting, immigration and homeland security.

Earlier this year, Halliburton hired an outside lobbying firm, Covington & Burling, to lobby Washington on behalf of its KBR Government Operations division, the same division being pummeled by the media, the Pentagon and Congress for its handling of Iraq contracts. Covington & Burling was paid $520,000 to handle "inquiries concerning company's construction and service contracts in Iraq," the firm said in a filing.

According to the filing, Covington & Burling listed the following people as lobbyists for Halliburton/KBR: Roderick A. DeArment, who was chief of staff to now-retired Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS); Martin B. Gold, former counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN); Stuart E. Eizenstat, U.S. ambassador to the European Union during the Clinton administration; Alan A. Pemberton, coordinator of the firm's government contracts practice; David M. Marchick, who served in various posts in the Clinton administration; Jack L. Schenendorf; Peter Flanagan; Jennifer Plitsch; Benjamin J. Razi; and Allegra Lane.

How Cheney's Firm Routed $132m to Nigeria via Tottenham Lawyer

by Solomon Hughes and Jason Nisse

A lawyer, based in offices in a run-down part of north London, worked with three British executives from the US construc- tion 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.

In court documents submitted to a French corruption investigation, Halliburton has admitted it paid $132m to Jeffrey Tesler, a UK lawyer. Mr Tesler's firm, Kaye Tesler, is based on a run down high street in Tottenham, north London.

Mr Tesler would not return calls but his French solicitor admits Mr Tesler received the money, which he said was for advisory and other legitimate fees.

The construction of the Nigerian plant was carried out by a consortium called TSKJ, made up of Technip of France, Snamprogetti of Italy, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root and the Japan Gas Corporation. After an internal investigation, Halliburton submitted notes of meetings to the French judge showing that Mr Tesler was reappointed by the consortium in 1999 at Halliburton's insistence.

Richard Northmore, a sales manager for MW Kellogg, a Halliburton subsidiary based in Greenford, Middlesex, signed contracts with Mr Tesler for the consortium, according to testimony seen by The Independent on Sunday. Syed Nasser, MW Kellogg's legal director, also acted as counsel to the TSKJ consortium, approving Mr Tesler's role. Bhaskar Patel, a sales and marketing vice-president who works in the Leatherhead office of Kellogg Brown & Root, also worked with Mr Tesler. Mr Northmore and Mr Nasser referred inquiries to Halliburton in the US. Mr Patel, who is understood to be an Africa expert, did not return calls.

A Halliburton spokesman confirmed that staff at Kellogg had been in contact with Mr Tesler. "The members from TSKJ unanimously approved of Tesler," she said. "The appointment could have been blocked by one of the members refusing to sign the minutes, and clearly this did not happen."

Evidence given by Halliburton to the French inquiry reveals that between 1996 and the present day, it paid $132.3m to Mr Tesler, more than half of which came after 1999. A letter from French investigators to the Nigerian authorities, asking for co-operation in the case, says that Mr Tesler's commissions "appear completely unjustified".

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.

Revelations about the central role of Halliburton in the deal may force the UK's Export Credit Guarantee Department to withdraw its support from a £133m loan made last year to MW Kellogg. ECGD said it supported the loan on the basis that it was a "subcontractor to the consortium and financial arrangements were not their responsibility", but it was main- taining a "watching brief" on the French investigation.

Susan Hawley of the Corner House, a development watchdog critical of the ECGD's attitude to corruption, said: "If the ECGD was serious about stopping corruption, it would by now have demanded a full explanation from MW Kellogg as to its involvement in this case, and conducted an audit of its books."

Edwards v. Halliburton

By Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t Perspective

Monday 04 October 2004

The Bush campaign has its game face on in the aftermath of the first debate between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush, but there has to be some low level panic setting in based on Mr. Bush's performance. Not winning a debate can be a problem for a presidential candidate, but it's nothing compared with looking incapable of doing the job. Last Thursday night George W. Bush did, and his handlers can't feel comfortable with that.

Dick Cheney is not George W. Bush. He's smarter, faster and tougher. Flat-out a more formidable debating opponent than Mr. Bush. Cheney has been the tough assignment guy -- the stopper -- for Bush & Co. They are likely to turn to him Tuesday night to restore order. The Bush campaign likes the War on Terra; it is nothing less than their raison d'être. Look for Cheney to come out firing and attempt to win, in overtime, the argument Mr. Bush lost in the first debate.

For John Edwards this amounts to the challenge of a lifetime. Edwards is sharp, articulate and good looking but still remarkably down to earth for a U.S. Senator. He will need all of that against Cheney. Cheney is a master of innuendo. Never before has one man created so much confusion or disseminated so much misinformation with so few words. Cheney seems to understand precisely what his supporters want to believe, and he gives them just enough to believe it, without ever saying it. It's often said that ignorance is bliss; for Dick Cheney it's been money in the bank, literally.

Poor John Edwards will be stuck with the facts. To say that Dick Cheney has a personal conflict of interest in advocating US military action against Iraq is like saying there is an elephant on the debate lectern. Dick Cheney, since his "retirement" from Halliburton, has steadfastly maintained that, despite the multi-million dollar "retirement package" he received, Halliburton's no-bid windfall multi-BILLION dollar contracts resulting from the invasion of Iraq -- which Cheney sold to the American people -- are a mere coincidence. It is as brazen and enormous a lie as this nation has ever seen. The fact is painfully, brutally obvious.

Mr. Edwards' job will be to compel a higher standard than innuendo from Mr. Cheney. It won't be easy. There is something seductively simple about, 'vote for us . . . or die.' It gives those who hate to think permission not to. Nonetheless many Americans are quite capable of analytical thinking. They tend to be a rather independent breed, the independent voters, if you will. That is the group most likely to carefully consider a fact-based argument by Mr. Edwards. If Mr. Cheney writes them off, he will hold his base but not his job.

Cheney's Cronies

The Nation Editorial

As he prepares to debate Halliburton CEO turned Vice President Dick Cheney, Senator John Edwards would do well to study up on his Harry Truman. The buck-stops-here President had a word for war profiteering: "treason." He had another word for those political and business leaders who condone "waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and profiteering" during a time of war: "unpatriotic." If John Kerry's running mate wants to have a greater impact in his debate with the Vice President--which follows hard on the first presidential debate--than did the woefully inept Joe Lieberman when he faced Cheney in 2000, Edwards has to drop the faux friendliness of the Washington elites whom Truman so disdained in favor of blunt talk about Cheney, starting with his Halliburton connections.

Halliburton has been experiencing a growth spurt ever since Cheney passed through the revolving door of Washington politics to set up the Administration he manages for George W. Bush. The Texas-based corporation moved to number one on the Army's list of top contractors in 2003, pocketing 4.2 billion taxpayer dollars last year alone. It got one no-bid contract after discussions in which Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was involved. (Despite soaring revenues, however, the Halliburton unit doing work in Iraq is plagued by so many problems, from mismanagement to allegations of corruption, that it may be spun off to try to salvage what's left of the parent company's reputation.)

If Edwards brings Halliburton up during his Tuesday night face-off with Cheney in Cleveland, the Vice President will undoubtedly claim--as he has whenever he's been challenged--that he no longer has any connection with Halliburton. Edwards can counter with another of those blunt Trumanisms: "liar." The Vice President continues to receive money from Halliburton--$178,437 in 2003 alone--and a Congressional Research Service study has described the sort of deferred-salary payments he receives and the millions in stock options he retains as "among those benefits described by the Office of Government Ethics as 'retained ties' or 'linkages' to one's former employer." In other words, Cheney has a great big conflict of interest, and pounding away on it will go a long way toward exposing the crony capitalism that has been a hallmark of the Bush Administration.

Edwards should talk about all the other troubling aspects of Cheney's tenure, too. As Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols explains in his new book, Dick: The Man Who Is President (New Press), most of the pathologies of the Bush Administration can be traced back to Cheney, who chaired the corrupt Energy Task Force and pressed Bush to make a second round of tax cuts for the rich, which then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill worried were unwise and unsound.

This is the armchair warrior who as a college student collected five draft deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam but who entered the White House campaigning for war on Iraq and never let up. Since the September 11 attacks, and with increasing ferocity during the current campaign, Cheney has served as Bush's scaremonger in chief--evoking images of thousands of Americans killed by terrorists with nuclear weapons and seeking to justify the invasion of Iraq by repeating thoroughly discredited claims that Saddam Hussein's regime was working with Al Qaeda.
By making a link in the minds of voters between the excesses of Halliburton and the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Edwards can help refocus the campaign on the questions that matter. Among them: Which presidential team can be trusted to put the needs of Americans before their own interests and those of their friends? Cheney has made it clear where his loyalties lie.