Sunday, May 30, 2004

Cheney has ties to Halliburton, all right. BIG TIME ties 

From Time, via atrios. Why is this story in the BUSINESS section? It belongs, like every other lie and crime from the Bush administration, on the fucking FRONT PAGE. Not enough room, I guess.

The Paper Trail

Did Cheney Okay a Deal?

Vice President Dick Cheney was a guest on NBC's Meet the Press last September when host Tim Russert brought up Halliburton. Citing the company's role in rebuilding Iraq as well as Cheney's prior service as Halliburton's CEO, Russert asked, "Were you involved in any way in the awarding of those contracts?" Cheney's reply: "Of course not, Tim ... And as Vice President, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government."

Cheney's relationship with Halliburton has been nothing but trouble since he left the company in 2000. Both he and the company say they have no ongoing connections. But TIME has obtained an internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official—whose name was blacked out by the Pentagon—that raises questions about Cheney's arm's-length policy toward his old employer. Dated March 5, 2003, the e-mail says "action" on a multibillion-dollar Halliburton contract was "coordinated" with Cheney's office. The e-mail says Douglas Feith, a high-ranking Pentagon hawk, got the "authority to execute RIO," or Restore Iraqi Oil, from his boss, who is Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. RIO is one of several large contracts the U.S. awarded to Halliburton last year.

The e-mail says Feith approved arrangements for the contract "contingent on informing WH [White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP's [Vice President's] office." Three days later, the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton the contract, without seeking other bids. TIME located the e-mail among documents provided by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.

Take them all out now. Frog-march them straight to the nearest U.S. Marshal's office. Cuff them. Print them. Return indictments on them. All of them.

Arraign them, postpone bail, set a trial date, prosecute, and rest the prosecution. Let them plea bargain, if they want. And see what a jury of their peers decides.

Every person in this administration has committed some sort of crime, comfortable in the knowledge of who the Attorney General is, and who holds the majority in Congress.

But they can't get away with this shit forever...unless we let them.


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