Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Waxing The Right Stuff

Don't miss Henry Waxman, Ranking Minority Member of the U.S. Senate's Committee On Government Reform, point out some compelling pieces of information, and ask some disturbing questions, in a letter to Donald Rumsfeld.

Specifically, he is wondering why Marc Rich, the man Clinton pardoned, and who was so villified by Republicans and the Bush Administration for his dealings with Iran, "whether technically legal or not", should be held to a different and more demanding standard than corporate person Halliburton, who through foreign subsidiaries continued to deal with Iran and Iraq while Vice President Dick Cheney was at the helm. Cheney, in fact, has defended Halliburton's dealings with Iran as, for wont of a better phrase, technically legal. Even more interesting...
Halliburton Co., the oil company that was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, signed contracts with Iraq worth $73 million through two subsidiaries while he was at its helm, the Washington Post reported.

During last year's presidential campaign, Cheney said Halliburton did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries, but maintained he had imposed a "firm policy" against trading with Iraq.

"Iraq's different," the Post quoted him as saying.

Oil industry executives and confidential U.N. records showed, however, that Halliburton held stakes in two companies that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer, the Post reported.

Two former senior executives of the Halliburton subsidiaries said they knew of no policy against dealing with Iraq. One of them said he was certain Cheney knew about the deals, though he had never spoken about them to the vice president directly.

In a July 30, 2000, interview on ABC-TV's "This Week," Cheney denied that Halliburton or its subsidiaries traded with Baghdad. Three weeks later, on the same program, he modified his response after being informed that a Halliburton spokesman had said that Dresser Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump traded with Iraq.

Cheney has long criticized...unilateral U.S. sanctions, which he says penalize American companies. He has pushed for a review of policy toward Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Sure makes the French, accused of selling their souls to defend their deals and contracts with Iraq, seem a little less naughty now, doesn't it?

Cheney left Halliburton with a $34 million retirement package last July when he became the GOP's vice-presidential candidate.

Also, don't miss this neat little wrap up of all of this seeming shadiness by Citizen Works.