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Monday, June 14, 2004

DICK CAUGHT RED-HANDED 

In today's NY Times: White House Officials and Cheney Aide Approved Halliburton Contract in Iraq, Pentagon Says

EXCERPT: In the fall of 2002, in the preparations for possible war with Iraq, the Pentagon sought and received the assent of senior Bush administration officials, including the vice president's chief of staff, before hiring the Halliburton Company to develop secret plans for restoring Iraq's oil facilities, Pentagon officials have told Congressional investigators. The newly disclosed details about Pentagon contracting do not suggest improper political pressures to direct business to Halliburton, the Houston-based company that Vice President Dick Cheney once led. But they raise questions about assertions by Mr. Cheney and other administration officials that he knew nothing in advance of the Halliburton contracts and that the decisions were made by career procurement specialists, without involvement by senior political appointees. Kevin Kellems, a spokesman for the vice president, would not comment on the disclosure, except to say, "We stand by our earlier statements on this matter."

Hmm... What were Cheney's earlier statements? From the same story:

Appearing on the NBC News program "Meet the Press" on Sept. 14, 2003, Mr. Cheney said, "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 Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government." He referred to the Army Corps of Engineers, which has managed oil infrastructure contracts. Asked if he had been aware of Halliburton's noncompetitive awards, Mr. Cheney said, "I don't know any of the details of the contract because I deliberately stayed away from any information on that."

Sure thing, Dick. Whatever you say.

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