comflict of interests ??
"There is a fundamental difference of opinion in Washington, and it starts with folks in Washington forgetting whose money we're spending. All that money is not the government's money; it's the working people's money." George Bush, 3 September 2001
Claim vs. Fact
Cheney, Halliburton & the Government
January 23, 2004
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Vice President Dick Cheney has gone to great lengths to claim that there are very few connections between Halliburton and the U.S. government. He has also claimed that scrutiny of Halliburton only comes from political opponents who are “desperate.” In each of his claims, the facts tell a very different story.
CLAIM: “The government had absolutely nothing to do with [my economic success at Halliburton].”
– Dick Cheney, 10/5/00
FACT: “Cheney's comment left out how closely Dallas-based Halliburton's fortunes are linked to the U.S. government. The world's largest oil services firm is a leading U.S. defense contractor and has benefited from financial guarantees granted by U.S. agencies. During Cheney's five years as chairman and chief executive, Halliburton was identified as a potential participant in 10 loans or loan guarantees valued at a total of $1.8 billion awarded by the U.S. government. Additionally, during Cheney's tenure, the U.S. Defense Department granted Halliburton contracts valued at about $1.8 billion, according to department records.” In 1999 alone, “the Pentagon ranked Halliburton the No. 17 recipient of ''prime contract awards'' with $657.5 million.”
– Bloomberg News, 10/6/00
CLAIM: “I wouldn't know how to manipulate the [government contract] process if I wanted to.”
– Dick Cheney, 1/22/04
FACT: “A report by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity suggested that Halliburton essentially cashed in - doubling the value of its government contracts - on Cheney. The company took in revenue of $ 2.3 billion on government contracts ,” which was “up $1.2 billion from the five-year period before he arrived.”
– LA Times, 10/19/00 ; Chicago Tribune, 8/10/00 ; AFP, 12/14/03
Charges Against Halliburton
CLAIM: “Cheney said, ‘Halliburton gets unfairly maligned simply because of their past association with me.' He said allegations of corruption stem from ‘desperate' political opponents who ‘can't find any legitimate policy differences to debate. He said critics haven't produced any evidence to support their claim, which he said is unfounded.”
– Dow Jones, 1/22/04
FACT: Halliburton itself has acknowledged that it “accepted up to $6 million in kickbacks” in its no-bid contract work in Iraq . Additionally, it is the Bush Administration – not “political opponents” that is looking into allegations that the company overcharged the government by $61 million. And it is the Bush Administration that " repeatedly warned the company that the food it was serving the 110,000 U.S. troops in Iraq was 'dirty'” with an audit finding "blood all over the floor" of its kitchens, "dirty pans," and "rotting meats ... and vegetables."
– Boston Globe, 1/23/04; CBS, 12/12/03;
Cheney's Continued Links to Halliburton
Vice President Dick Cheney continues to say that he has no ties to Halliburton since joining the GOP ticket in 2000. He also promised to clear himself from any conflict of interest should he become Vice President. In each of his claims, the facts tell a very different story.
CLAIM: “But what I'll have to do, assuming we're successful [in the election], is divest myself, that is, sell any remaining shares that I have in the company.”
– Dick Cheney, 7/30/00
FACT: A congressional report found that Cheney still owns “more than 433,000 Halliburton stock options,” including “100,000 shares at $54.50 per share, 33,333 shares at $28.125 and 300,000 shares at $39.50 per share.”
– CNN, 9/25/03
CLAIM: “I severed my ties with Halliburton when I became a candidate for Vice President in August of 2000.”
– Dick Cheney, 1/22/04
FACT: Along with the 433,000 stock options, “ Cheney still receives about $150,000 a year” from Halliburton.
– CNN, 10/25/03
CLAIM: “What happens financially [by joining the GOP ticket], obviously, is I take a bath , in one sense.”
– Dick Cheney, 7/25/00
FACT: Halliburton “has agreed to let Mr. Cheney, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, retire with a package worth an estimated $20 million, according to people who have reviewed the deal.”
– NY Times, 8/12/00
Conflict of Interest
CLAIM: “I'll do whatever I have to do to, Sam, to avoid a conflict of interest. I will eliminate the conflict. I can assure you, I've said repeatedly, I will not tolerate or be party to a conflict of interests while I'm vice president. I'll do whatever I have to do to resolve that conflict.”
– Dick Cheney, 8/27/00
FACT: A congressional report found that “the more than 433,000 stock options he possesses ‘is considered among the 'ties' retained in or 'linkages to former employers' that may 'represent a continuing financial interest' in those employers which makes them potential conflicts of interest.”
– CNN, 9/25/03
Cheney's Tenure at Halliburton
Vice President Dick Cheney has told many stories about his time at Halliburton. And even as criticism mounts over Halliburton's treatment of U.S. troops and taxpayers, he continues to say he is proud of the company.
CLAIM: “I had a firm policy that I wouldn't do anything in Iraq even arrangements that were supposedly legal. We've not done any business in Iraq since the sanctions were imposed and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that.”
– Dick Cheney, 8/27/00
FACT: “According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms 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 of the Dallas-based company. Two former senior executives of the Halliburton subsidiaries say that, as far as they knew, there was no policy against doing business with Iraq . One of the executives also says that although he never spoke directly to Cheney about the Iraqi contracts, he is certain Cheney knew about them. The Halliburton subsidiaries joined dozens of American and foreign oil supply companies that helped Iraq increase its crude exports from $4 billion in 1997 to nearly $18 billion in 2000. Since the program began, Iraq has exported oil worth more than $40 billion.”
– WP, 6/23/01
CLAIM: “Halliburton is a fine company, and I'm pleased that I was associated with the company.”
– Dick Cheney, 8/7/02
FACT: Halliburton has acknowledged that it “accepted up to $6 million in kickbacks” in its contract work in Iraq . It is also under scrutiny over allegations of overcharging the government by $61 million in Iraq – a practice the company was previously fined $2 million for. The company also potentially faces criminal charges in a $180 million international bribery scandal during the time Cheney was CEO of the company. The Pentagon has also " repeatedly warned the company that the food it was serving the 110,000 U.S. troops in Iraq was 'dirty'” with an audit finding "blood all over the floor" of its kitchens, "dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars and rotting meats…and vegetables."
– B. Globe, 1/23/04; CBS, 12/12/03 & 4/12/03; W. Post, 1/21/04; AFP, 12/14/03