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May 31, 2004

Cheney Fixed Halliburton Deal

Pretty close to a smoking gun.

Time Magazine found this memo showing that the VP coordinated Halliburton getting the multi-billion dollar contract for Iraq:

The e-mail -- dated March 5, 2003 -- says Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, approved the arrangement to award the contract to the oil-services company, the administration official said.

According to an e-mail excerpt in Time, the contract was "contingent on informing WH [White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w[ith] VP's office."

The Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton the contract three days later without seeking other bids, Time reports.

Now, the Cheney folks say that the "coordinated" action was just a heads up of potential controversy, but think about it.

Why was the VP's office informed of potential PR problems before the White House itself? Why is the Army Corps of Engineers even dealing directly with PR issues on the taxpayer dime in that case?

If the White House was officially informed of the potential contract, and someone in the political office then called the VP office to worry about PR issues, that would be normal politics.

But this looks like the VP was involved directly in coordinating the politics -- and probably the substance -- of the Halliburton deal.

It's disgusting even in the most favorable light.

Posted by Nathan at May 31, 2004 02:43 PM