Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal


Pentagon denounces Halliburton's 'overwhelmingly negative' performance in Iraq

28 March 2006

WASHINGTON, March 28 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- A new report released today reveals that Pentagon officials and investigators have harshly criticized Halliburton’s oil reconstruction work in Iraq, citing “profound systemic problems,” “exorbitant indirect costs,” “misleading” and “distorted” cost reports, a “lack of cost control,” an “overwhelmingly negative” evaluation, and an “obstructive” corporate attitude toward oversight.

The findings were released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and pertain to Halliburton's Restore Iraqi Oil 2 (or, RIO 2) contract, awarded to the company in 2003.

To evaluate Halliburton’s performance under RIO 2, Waxman's report analyzed hundreds of pages of previously undisclosed correspondence, evaluations, and audits. The documents reviewed in preparation of the report include correspondence from the Project and Contracting Office (PCO), the Defense Department agency charged with overseeing RIO 2; evaluations by a private contractor, Foster-Wheeler, hired to help the PCO oversee the contract; documentation related to award-fee determinations; and audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).

Pentagon investigators made the following conclusions:

• Intentional Overcharging: The PCO board evaluating Halliburton’s request for award fees found that Halliburton repeatedly overcharged the taxpayer, apparently intentionally. In one case, “[c]ost estimates had hidden rate factors to increase cost of project without informing the Government.” In another instance, Halliburton “tried to inflate cost estimate by $26M.” In yet a third example, Halliburton claimed costs for laying concrete pads and footings that the Iraqi Oil Ministry had “already put in place.”

• Exorbitant Costs: The PCO reported that Halliburton was “accruing exorbitant indirect costs at a rapid rate” and that Halliburton’s “lack of cost containment and funds management is the single biggest detriment to this program.” The oversight contractor found a “lack of cost control … in Houston, Kuwait, and Iraq.” In a partial review of the RIO 2 contract, DCAA auditors challenged $45 million in costs as unreasonable or unsupported.

• Inadequate Cost Reporting: The PCO found that Halliburton “universally failed to provide adequate cost information,” had “profound systemic problems,” provided “substandard” cost reports that did “not meet minimum standards,” and submitted reports that had been “vetted of any information that would allow tracking of details.” The oversight contractor complained about “unacceptable unchecked cost reports.”

• Schedule Delays: Halliburton’s work under RIO 2 was continually plagued by delays. According to the PCO, Halliburton had a “50% late completion” rate for RIO 2 projects. Evaluations by the award fee board noted “untimely work” and “schedule slippage.”

• Refusal to Cooperate: PCO evaluations described Halliburton as “obstructive” with oversight officials. Despite the billions in taxpayer funds Halliburton has been paid, the company’s “leadership demonstrated minimal cooperative attitude resolving problems.”

The decision to award Halliburton the RIO 2 contract was controversial. Before the award of the contract, DCAA auditors warned the Defense Department not to enter into additional contracts with Halliburton because of “significant deficiencies” in the company’s cost estimating system, but the Department ignored this advice. It now appears that problems that led to the unusual DCAA warning have been realized in RIO 2, with serious implications for the reconstruction effort in Iraq and federal taxpayers.

Halliburton is the largest private contractor in Iraq. The company has operated there under three mega-contracts: the “LOGCAP” contract to provide support to U.S. troops; the original “Restore Iraqi Oil” (RIO) contract, which Halliburton received in secret without competitive bidding in March 2003; and the RIO 2 contract, which was awarded to Halliburton in January 2004.

Previous reports by government auditors and congressional investigators have evaluated the LOGCAP and RIO contracts. The report released today, however, is the first to examine the RIO 2 contract.

According to the report, "The RIO 2 contract is critically important to the successful reconstruction of Iraq. The mammoth $1.2 billion contract gave Halliburton the responsibility for restoring the oil fields in southern Iraq, which historically have been Iraq’s largest and most productive. Three years ago, Bush Administration officials promised that Iraq would be able to fund its own reconstruction out of its oil revenues. The successful restoration of the southern oil fields, which the Administration entrusted to Halliburton under RIO 2, was supposed to pay for the rebuilding of much of the rest of Iraq’s infrastructure. But these promises have not been fulfilled."



Rove said cooperating in CIA leak inquiry

Raw Story
03/27/2006 @ 10:52 am
Filed by Larisa Alexandrovna

Karl Rove, Deputy White House Chief of Staff and special adviser to President George W. Bush, has recently been providing information to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the ongoing CIA leak investigation, sources close to the investigation say.

According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rove has been in the crosshairs of Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson for what some believe to be retaliation against her husband, former U.S. Ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson. Wilson had been an ardent critic of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

While these sources did not provide any details regarding what type of arrangements Rove's attorney Robert Luskin may have made with the special prosecutor's office, if any, they were able to provide some information regarding what Rove imparted to Fitzgerald's team. The individuals declined to go on the record out of concern for their jobs.

According to one source close to the case, Rove is providing information on deleted emails, erased hard drives and other types of obstruction by staff and other officials in the Vice President's office. Pentagon sources close to Rove confirmed this account.

None would name the staffers and/or officials whom Rove is providing information about. They did, however, explain that the White House computer system has "real time backup" servers and that while emails were deleted from computers, they were still retrievable from the backup system. By providing the dates and recipient information of the deleted emails, sources say, Rove was able to chart a path for Fitzgerald directly into the office of the Vice President.

In a comment to RAW STORY late Sunday evening, Robert Luskin denied any deal between Rove and Fitzgerald's office.

"Mr. Rove has cooperated fully with Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation," Rove's attorney said. "We have not and will not comment on the nature or substance of any communications with the office of the special counsel."

"That said, there is no basis whatsoever to the matters you allege that Mr. Rove has related," Luskin added.

One senior White House official is already under indictment in the leak case. Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction and false statements to investigators in October of last year.

Rove eluded indictment late last fall after his lawyer said he recalled a conversation with Time reporter Viveca Novak that he alleged would vindicate his client. Sources say that while the defense was able to parlay Luskin's revelation into postponing Rove's indictment, ultimately a deal would likely have to be cut.

The sources did not say a deal had been reached, but did assert that Rove pointed Fitzgerald to Cheney's office for the missing emails.

Asked about allegations that Rove is providing Fitzgerald's office with key information and if his status had changed as a result, Luskin provided a vehement denial.

"Your story is false and utterly without foundation," he said. "There has never been any discussion of any deal of any kind involving Mr. Rove. His cooperation has at all times been voluntary and unconditional."

One of the sources close to the investigation said he was not surprised by Luskin's response.

"That would be difficult for Rove to admit," the source said. "I think Rove is now considered a special cooperating witness."

The White House was ordered to turn over all emails by then-White House Counsel and current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2003, after the Administration received word the Justice Department had launched an investigation into the CIA outing. According to newspaper reports, Gonzales waited twelve hours to inform White House staff after he had received an order from the Justice Department to surrender materials relating to the case.

In a January letter to Libby's defense team, Fitzgerald expressed concern that some emails might be missing.

"Some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed," he said.

Sources say that the missing emails, which surfaced only a month later were not really "missing." Rather, they had been deleted by White House staff. Fitzgerald may have been aware of this at the time of his January letter when he cited the missing emails.

Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, was unavailable for comment Monday.

A White House divided

Sources say the rift between Rove and the Vice President's office crystallized when Rove quietly attempted to gauge the temperature for replacing Cheney on the 2004 Presidential ballot last year.

"Rove was the source of 'feelers' put out before the last presidential election in which he was suggesting that Cheney could be replaced on the ticket with someone who had better poll ratings," said one of the former experts approached who wished to remain anonymous.

"White House polls were showing that Cheney was a drag on the reelection ticket and that the Iraq war issue might be responsible for about a three percent drop, with Cheney the principal object of voter hostility in this percentage of anti-war sentiment among the general public," the source added.

Cheney, the source said, got wind of "Rove's political soundings" and the already tense relationship between the Bush and Cheney camps became almost impossible.

Whether or not Rove's recent cooperation will spare him an indictment and a Fitzgerald probe remains unclear. But according to last week's New York Times, associates say Rove is "increasingly certain" he will not be indicted in the case.


Chris Matthews Points Out That Bush and Cheney Are Liars

Transcript of Chris Matthews on Imus in the Morning:

Matthews: "Well I am just going to stick to this point that the president led us in there with the background music of American culture. Everybody was led to believe that we were getting payback, we were avenging what happened on 9/11 and that we are going to get them. Vice President Cheney said we are going to attack terrorism at its base. Over and over the language was, this is where it came from, in fact most recently the President suggested that it was always the hot pursuit, like a new York police chase, we chased them back into their country. We pursued the terrorists back to Iraq and it's all nonsense. The reason there are terrorists in Iraq today like Zarqawi is we created the opening by blowing the country apart.

From the beginning it's been not true. Now you can't prove motive and you can't prove somebody lies, but from the beginning everything about how they've got WMD's, they are a threat to us, they are going to bomb us with a nuclear weapon, this country is going to be an easy liberate, it's going to be a cake walk. As Cheney said as recently as ten months ago the insurgents are in their last throws. Everything that is said is not true. And right to the end here, here we are now and it's not a civil war and when Allawi the prime Minster is saying it is a civil war and here is the president quoting his own people that it's not a civil war. I mean the denial has been continuous. So you really can't count on the administration to tell you what is going on. That is just the fact. You've got to check it out.

By the way, the president said this week that he wants the whole truth about what is going on in Iraq, the whole truth and that the media isn't telling the whole story. I'll tell you what we are not telling. We are not showing pictures of the twenty five hundred bodies coming back because they won't let us show the pictures. They don't want the whole truth out and that's the fact."


Whistleblower to tell story in B.C.

Stephanie Antonian Rutherford
The Enquirer

Bunnatine Greenhouse made international headlines as the high-ranking government employee who testified against Halliburton. This week, she will be in Battle Creek to share her story.

Greenhouse is a former chief contracting officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On June 27, 2005, she testified in front of a Democratic Party public committee, alleging specific instances of fraud, waste and other irregularities by Halliburton, in regard to its operations in Iraq since the Iraq War.

The South Central Michigan AFL-CIO, PheNix Concepts, a local Concerned Citizens group and Families Against Murder/For Equal Justice (F.A.M.E.) are sponsoring Greenhouse's visit.

"I think that people will be blown away when they hear her story," said Richard Frantz, president of the South Central Michigan AFL-CIO. "She has been through so much and still stands her ground."

Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of oil and gas services. Vice president Dick Cheney was the former chief executive for the Texas-based company.

During the June 27 testimony, Greenhouse described one of Halliburton's no-bid contracts awarded to Kellogg, Brown and Root — a subsidiary of Halliburton — as "the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career."

Greenhouse was hired to her post by Lt. Gov. Joe Ballard in 1997 to oversee contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers.

Greenhouse's lawyer, Michael Kohn, alleges that after Ballard retired in 2000, Greenhouse's performance reviews, which had been exemplary during her entire public career, became negative. In August 2005, she was demoted in what Kohn called an "obvious reprisal" for her revelations about the Halliburton contracts. Greenhouse will be joined by Kohn in Battle Creek, where they will stay from Wednesday through Saturday. While in Battle Creek, Greenhouse will meet with local groups, Blacks in

Government and the Civil Rights Group, over dinner at 17 West. Greenhouse will also visit two city landmarks — the statues honoring Sojourner Truth and the Underground Railroad. Frantz worked with Reba Harrington, a federal attorney at the Federal Center in Battle Creek, to organize Greenhouse's visit. Frantz said that bringing Greenhouse to Battle Creek in March is ideal because March is "Women's History Month." "I compare her to Rosa Parks, because she said 'I won't stand for this!' " Frantz said. "Even though she suffered because of it, she didn't back down."

Aside from her stops in Battle Creek, Greenhouse will meet with students at Western Michigan University, Olivet College and make a broadcast on radio station WFPM.

The highlight of Greenhouse's visit, Frantz said, will be a "Community Heroes Mixer," held at McCamly Plaza at 5 p.m. on Friday. The invitation-only event will honor Greenhouse, along with local community heroes.

"Mrs. Greenhouse has so much courage and character," Frantz said "While many people are willing to turn a blind eye when they see something done wrong, she stood up against it. She's a hero."

Stephanie Antonian Rutherford is a general assignment reporter. She can be reached at 966-0665 or srutherford@battlecr.gannett.com.


Poll: Cheney Less Popular Than OJ

Thursday, Mar. 09, 2006 at 5:39 PM

“How low is 18 percent?” This was a headline in the Washington Post on March 5. The 18 percent is the support rate of vice president Dick Cheney from a public opinion survey conducted by CBS.

The Washington Post included the support rates of notoriously famous people to prove how low 18% is.

Michael Jackson, who was alleged of sexually harassing an underage boy, and American football player O.J. Simpson, who caused a huge clamor for being suspected of murdering his wife in 1994, each maintained 25 percent and 29 percent favorable impression rates, respectively.

The paper pointed out that even vice president Spiro Agnew during the Nixon presidency who resigned due to tax evasion allegations still maintained a 45 percent support rate right until he resigned in 1973.

The only person less popular than Vice President Cheney is Paris Hilton, the female actress. Hilton, who is the heiress of the global hotel chain Hilton Group, and who has a “blonde party girl” image, only got a 15 percent approval rating.

The paper wrote, “A consolation factor is that 35 percent of those polled refused to answer the question,” and added, “these people may be the past supporters of the vice president, and could help to reverse his popularity rating.”


Justice Department e-mail on wiretapping
program released through FOIA

Former official describes legal defenses as "weak" and "slightly after-the-fact,"
Guesses they reflected "VP's philosophy… best defense is a good offense."

For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton or Kristin Adair

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2006 - The Justice Department official who oversaw national security matters from 2000 to 2003 e-mailed his former colleagues after revelation of the controversial warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005 that the Department's justifications for the program were "weak" and had a "slightly after-the-fact quality" to them, and surmised that this reflected "the VP's philosophy that the best defense is a good offense," according to documents released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and joined by the ACLU and the National Security Archive.

David Kris, the former associate deputy attorney general who now serves as chief ethics and compliance officer at Time Warner, e-mailed Justice Department official Courtney Elwood on 20 December 2005 his own analysis of the controversy, writing that "claims that FISA [the wiretapping statute] simply requires too much paperwork or the bothersome marshaling of arguments seem relatively weak justifications for resorting to Article II power in violation of the statute." The subject line of the e-mail was "If you can't show me yours."

On 22 December, after reading the Department's talking points as forwarded by Elwood, Kris commented that the Department's approach "maybe… reflects the VP's [Vice President Cheney] philosophy that the best defense is a good offense (I don't expect you to comment on that :-))."

On 19 January 2006, Kris wrote Elwood that the Department's white paper was "professional and thorough and well written" but that "I kind of doubt it's going to bring me around on the statutory arguments."

The Kris e-mails were the only substantive new documents released by the Justice Department yesterday in response to the March 8 deadline ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy in the FOIA lawsuit brought by EPIC together with the ACLU and the Archive, seeking the internal legal justifications used by the government to carry out the wiretapping program. In three separate letters to the plaintiffs, Justice claimed it had fully searched the records of the Office of the Attorney General and had made a "full grant" of the FOIA requests, yet most of the released material consisted of the previously released white paper and transcripts of public appearances by the Attorney General. Justice produced not a single record relating to any of the 30-odd reauthorizations of the wiretapping program that President Bush has publicly stated took place in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) admitted in its response that in the two-and-a-half months since the FOIA requests were filed, OLC had only completed its search of its unclassified files. "The unclassified files are exactly the place where the wiretapping memos are least likely to exist," commented Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive. "This is a case of looking for your car keys under the street lamp even if that's a block away from where you lost them."


Cheney: Against Iranian Sanctions Before He Was For Them


The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is....
An example that comes immediately to mind has to do with...the Caspian Sea area. It is a region rich in oil and gas. Unfortunately, Iran is sitting right in the middle of the area and the United States has declared unilateral economic sanctions against that country. As a result, American firms are prohibited from dealing with Iran and find themselves cut out of the action....

-Halliburton CEO Cheney, decrying "sanctions happy" U.S. policy in a CATO address from June of 1998.

Iranians desire and deserve to be free from tyranny and oppression in their own homeland. Freedom in the Middle East requires freedom for the Iranian people -- and America looks forward to the day when our Nation can be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

-Vice President Cheney, threatening sanctions and more, yesterday.


KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M

(HAL) By Katherine Hunt

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co. (HAL) , said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency.

The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005. The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said.