Anyone Remember the Why We Went to War Thread...Was It Really For the Oil???

  1. From MSNBC........

    Halliburton has wider Iraq role

    Army letter says oil driller unit got distribution rights in noncompetitive oil well fire contract.
    May 7, 2003: 10:44 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Army Corps of Engineers has said a contract awarded without competition to a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. basically gives the company the power to run all phases of Iraq's oil industry.

    U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who asked for more details on the Halliburton contract, said, "It now appears ... that the contract with Halliburton -- a company with close ties to the administration -- can include 'operation' of Iraqi oil fields and 'distribution' of Iraqi oil."

    Officials previously had said the multimillion-dollar contract only dealt with putting out oil well fires and performing emergency repairs as needed.

    But responding to Waxman, Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers of the U.S. Army Chief of Engineers said the company would: put out oil well fires and assess the facilities; clean up oil spills or other environmental dangers at the sites; repair or reconstruct damaged infrastructure; operate facilities; and distribute products.

    The awarding of the contract in March prompted some lawmakers, including Waxman, to question whether the administration's deep ties with Halliburton helped secure the contract -- charges the White House has denied.

    And the Army has promised it will eventually issue a new contract, subject to an open bidding process, for longer-term work in Iraq. That may be why Halliburton's competitors haven't joined the chorus of criticism about the contract; they're likely hoping for a piece of the action.

    Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995-2000. Cheney sold all his shares of Halliburton during the presidential election of 2000, and he has promised to give to charity any profit from Halliburton stock options he still owns. He is still paid a set amount by Halliburton every year, but he's guaranteed that money even if Halliburton goes bankrupt.

    "[Cheney] has nothing at all to do with awarding these contracts, the bidding process or the current work orders," a Cheney spokeswoman said.

    Waxman had written Flowers seeking answers as to why the contract has "no set time limit and no dollar limit and is apparently structured in such a way as to encourage the contractor to increase its costs and, consequently, the costs to the taxpayer." Waxman has said the contract to Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) could be worth up to $7 billion over two years.

    In his response, Flowers said that sum was based on the "worst scenario" that a large proportion of Iraq's 1,500 wells would be set ablaze, and that there would be "massive intentional oil spills and pollution resulting from the fires." It turned out only a few oil wells were set ablaze during the war.

    Flowers said "task orders are placed only for work that is required in the near term."

    "For each order, the government establishes the scope of work and estimated cost. The scope of work is presented to the contractor, who prepares its technical and cost proposal for accomplishing the work," wrote Flowers.

    He did not give an overall dollar amount on the contract.

    Halliburton has said accusations that it received preferential treatment were off-base. It has said KBR is the only contractor that could implement the complex contingency plan.

    In a March press release, Halliburton said once the oil well fires were put out, it would "provide for the continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure."

  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Brownms46 what do you know about that! Thanks for the post Gomer!
  4. by   Disablednurse
    Ever since I heard about Halliburton getting this contract, I thought it smelled highly of conflict of interest. Cheney is still getting money from them, then he is connected to them, I don't care how you cut that apple. If you receive proceeds from a company and you are in his position, the company should never have even been in the running for the job. This is just another scam this office is pushing on us.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
  6. by   Mkue
    Halliburton/Vice Pres. Cheney Post #1

    I thought this was interesting.

    Halliburton's Unfair Burden

    Tuesday, April 29, 2003

    By Hilary Kramer

    DOHA, Qatar-Let's give ourselves a break here. Operation Iraqi Freedom got off to a great start. Then, instead of applauding the American armed forces for sound planning and courageous efforts, some critics second-guessed them because they believed it was taking too long to secure Baghdad.

    Compared to the Gulf War, this conflict had a much tougher objective, more constraints on the military's options and greater international scrutiny, but it still came to a timely conclusion.

    Now that we've successfully liberated Iraq, some are griping about rebuilding efforts and how American companies that may participate in that process are somehow absolutely the wrong choices for the job. Engineering firms Bechtel Group and Fluor Corporation have both taken some flak, being accused of using political ties to make the short list on bids.

    But these "ties" are feeble at best, limited to a decade-removed former secretary of state sitting on the board of Bechtel and a retired former CEO of Fluor being considered as a possible postwar Iraqi energy official. All of which means that of the potential American contractors, energy services company Halliburton was the perfect choice to be condemned.

    After all, Vice President Dick Cheney worked as CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, as conspiracy theorists are quick to point out. They are equally eager to highlight that Halliburton's contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fight Iraqi oil fires is a multi-year deal, awarded with no bids, and potentially worth $7 billion.

    What the critics choose to ignore is that Cheney dumped all of his Halliburton shares prior to taking office, so he's clearly not profiting from Halliburton's contract. Nor do they note Halliburton's stellar qualifications -- it's the world's second largest oilfield services company in addition to having built a distinguished history of providing logistical support for the U.S. military.

    And as much as critics love to throw around the enormous $7 billion number, the Army Corps of Engineers explains that this figure was used as a "worst-case scenario," based on the 750 oil wells that burned during the first Gulf War.

    Instead of the worst case, however, the U.S. military quickly controlled all of the Iraqi oilfields in this war, and according to the U.S. Central Command, of the nine oil well fires, all except one has now been extinguished.

    This success is due to the Army and Halliburton's quick reaction (their firefighters were already in place as part of an Army contingency plan dating back to late 2001), which enabled them to put out the fires in less than one month. Public bidding on an emergency situation like this would likely have taken a minimum of 45 days, says the Army Corps of Engineers, and would have led to the fires burning longer and potentially more hazardously.

    What is the bill so far for this expedient work by Halliburton (subcontracted out to two different firms, I might add)? A mere $50.3 million, which is a fraction of the $7 billion we keep hearing about.

    Thanks to the unfounded cries of impropriety over the oil fires contract, however, Halliburton and the Bush administration chose to take the high road, and the company withdrew from the bidding for the much more lucrative U.S. government contract to reconstruct Iraq's infrastructure.

    Bechtel has just been announced as the winner of this 18-month, $680 million contract-the largest Iraq rebuilding contract thus far-covering work ranging from restoring utilities and sanitation systems to repairing buildings and transportation systems. This contract is viewed as merely the first of many Iraq reconstruction contracts that is ultimately expected to reach billions of dollars over several years.

    The immediate consequence of the negative press against Halliburton was the elimination of an exceedingly qualified company from the competitive bidding process for this important contract. The ongoing impact could well be the exclusion of Halliburton and other equally proficient firms from bidding on future contracts to rebuild Iraq.

    And I was under the impression that as Americans we always believed that competition was a good thing for economic efficiency. So why don't we just give these American companies a break? Despite baseless accusations to the contrary, the U.S. government sure didn't give them one.

    Hilary Kramer is a contributing editor to and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.
    This is also an interesting article printed by furball on a thread titled Halliburton/Vice Pres. Cheney, with a different take on it.
  7. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by spacenurse

    Copy of Representatives letter
    And the plot thickens until it stinks..:spin:
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Cheney Task Force Records and GAO Authority

    February 12, 2003

    Last Friday, February 7, the General Accounting Office abandoned its efforts to obtain basic
    records about the operations of the White House task force on energy policy. This action received
    only limited attention, and few people fully understand its profound consequences.

    When we have divided government, the public can expect Congress to conduct needed oversight
    over the Executive Branch. But today we are living in an era of one-party control. This means the
    House and the Senate aren't going to conduct meaningful oversight of the Bush Administration.

    When there is one-party control of both the White House and Congress, there is only one entity
    that can hold the Administration accountable . . . and that is the independent General Accounting

    But now GAO has been forced to surrender this fundamental independence.

    When GAO decided not to appeal the district court decision in Walker v. Cheney, it crossed a
    divide. In the Comptroller General's words, GAO will now require "an affirmative statement of support
    from at least one full committee with jurisdiction over any records access matter prior to any future
    court action by GAO."

    Translated, what this means is that GAO will bring future actions to enforce its rights to documents
    only with the blessing of the majority party in Congress.

    This is a fundamental shift in our systems of check and balances. For all practical purposes, the
    Bush Administration is now immune from effective oversight by any body in Congress.

    Some people say GAO should never have brought legal action to obtain information about the
    energy task force headed by Vice President Cheney. But in reality, GAO had no choice.

    The Bush Administration's penchant for secrecy has been demonstrated time and again. The
    Department of Justice has issued a directive curtailing public access to information under the
    Freedom of Information Act. The White House has restricted access to presidential records. The
    Administration has refused to provide information about the identity of over 1,000 individuals
    detained in the name of homeland security.

    The White House deliberately picked this fight with GAO because it wants to run the government in

    GAO's efforts to obtain information about the Cheney task force began with a routine request. The
    task force was formed in January 2001 to make recommendations about the nation's energy future.
    During the course of the task force's deliberations, the press reported that major campaign
    contributors had special access to the task force while environmental organizations, consumer
    groups, and the public were shut out. Rep. Dingell, the ranking member of the Energy and
    Commerce Committee, and I felt that Congress and the public had the right to know whether and to
    what extent the task force's energy recommendations may have been influenced by well-connected
    outside parties. Accordingly, we asked GAO to obtain some basic information on the energy task
    force's operations, such as who was present at each meeting of the task force, who were the
    professional staff, who did the Vice President and task force staff meet with, and what costs were
    incurred as part of the process. We did not request, and GAO did not seek, information on internal

    From the start, the White House assumed a hostile and uncompromising position, arguing that
    GAO's investigation "would unconstitutionally interfere with the functioning of the Executive Branch."
    Stand-offs between Congress and the White House are not new, of course. Typically, they are
    resolved through hard bargaining and compromise. But the White House made clear that it wasn't
    willing to bargain or to compromise. Even when GAO voluntarily scaled back its request - dropping
    its request for minutes and notes - the Vice President's office was intransigent.

    The White House's contempt for legitimate congressional requests for information was apparent
    even in the one area in which it conceded GAO's authority. The Vice President acknowledged that
    GAO was entitled to review the costs associated with the task force. However, the only information
    he provided to GAO about costs were 77 pages of random documents. Some of the pages
    consisted of simply numbers or dollar amounts without an explanation of what the money was for;
    other pages consisted only of a drawing of cellular or desk phones. Without an explanation - which
    the Administration refused to provide, of course - the information was utterly useless.

    The statutes governing GAO's authority spell out an elaborate process which the agency must
    follow before initiating any litigation against the Executive Branch. The statute even gives the White
    House authority to block litigation by certifying that disclosure "reasonably could be expected to
    impair substantially the operations of the Government."

    In this case, GAO followed the letter and the spirit of that statute, even giving the White House an
    opportunity to file a certification. But the White House position was that GAO had no right even to
    ask for documents. Faced with an Administration that had no interest in reaching an
    accommodation, GAO was left with a stark choice: GAO could drop the matter, effectively
    conceding the White House's position that it was immune from oversight, or it could invoke its
    statutory authority to sue the Executive Branch. Reluctantly, on February 22, 2002, GAO filed its
    first-ever suit against the Executive Branch to obtain access to information.

    It's not hard to figure out why the White House was so eager to pick a fight with GAO. After all,
    GAO provides the muscle for Congress' oversight function. Over the past century, Congress has
    increasingly turned to GAO to monitor and oversee an Executive Branch that has ballooned in size
    and strength. Moreover, because it has earned a reputation for fairness and independence, GAO is
    particularly threatening to an Administration that doesn't want to be challenged on any front.

    GAO's effort failed at the trial level. In December, the district court in the case issued a sweeping
    decision in favor of the Bush Administration, ruling that GAO has no standing to sue the Executive
    Branch. The judge who wrote the decision was a recent Bush appointee who served as a deputy to
    Ken Starr during the independent counsel investigation of the Clinton Administration. The judge's
    reasoning contorted the law, and it ignored both Supreme Court and appellate court precedent
    recognizing GAO's right to use the courts to enforce its statutory rights to information.

    This brings us to last week. Before deciding whether to pursue an appeal, the Comptroller General
    consulted with congressional leaders. He found no support among Republican leaders for an
    appeal. And he decided not to appeal.

    The judge's ruling raised major institutional issues about Congress' power to investigate the
    Executive Branch. But Republican leaders put party ahead of the institution and partisanship ahead
    of principle.

    The hypocrisy about this issue on the Republican side is simply breathtaking. During the 1990s, it
    was Republicans in Congress who embarked on a concerted effort to undermine the authority of the
    President. Congressional committees spent over $15 million investigating the White House. They
    demanded - and received - information on the innermost workings of the White House. They
    subpoenaed top White House officials to testify about the advice they gave the President. They
    forced the White House to disclose internal White House documents - memos, e-mails, phone
    records, even lists of guests at White House movie showings. And they launched countless GAO
    investigations into everything from President Clinton's Health Care Task Force to his working group
    on China Permanent Normal Trade Relations.

    And if the White House resisted, these same leaders insisted that Congress and the public's right
    to know was paramount. Defending his numerous demands for White House records, for example,
    Rep. Dan Burton insisted on the House floor that "public disclosure of the facts is the essence and
    in large part the purpose of congressional oversight. The American people have a right to know the
    facts." And other Republican leaders reiterated this message over and over again on countless
    television talk shows.

    But now that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are in office, suddenly these priorities
    have changed. Oversight is no longer a priority. In fact, it's something to be avoided at all costs,
    including sacrificing the independence of GAO. Even when GAO asks for the most basic
    information - what private interests met with a White House task force - the answer is that GAO is
    not entitled to ask these questions.

    By pressuring GAO to accept a badly flawed court decision, Republican leaders placed expediency
    over principle. In the short term, they will get what they want - a Bush White House that is
    accountable to no one. In the long term, however, they have done lasting damage to the balance of
    powers between Congress and the White House.

    Consider this irony: In their eagerness to undermine the Clinton White House, Republicans in
    Congress tried to tear down the presidency. Now, in their eagerness to protect the Bush White
    House, they are willing to tear down Congress.

    The implications of GAO's decision not to appeal are enormous. Without a realistic threat of legal
    action, GAO loses most of its leverage. In effect, the agency's ability to conduct effective
    independent investigations is emasculated. And in the process, core American values of open
    government and accountable leaders have been sacrificed.

    The Comptroller General has stated that his decision not to appeal will have little impact on the
    day-to-day operations of GAO. There is some truth to this. Much of what GAO does every day are
    routine audits of government programs that virtually everyone supports. GAO will be able to
    continue this routine work. And if a Republican-controlled committee ever urges GAO to pursue a
    controversial investigation of the Bush Administration, GAO may be able to do this. But don't hold
    your breath.

    What has been lost, however, is something very precious: it is GAO's ability to be more than an
    auditor of government books. To truly serve Congress and the American people, GAO needs the
    ability to take on important assignments even if they are not supported by the majority party, and it
    needs the authority to carry them out effectively even if they are controversial. This essential
    independence is now gone.

    For the first time in its history, GAO's shield of nonpartisanship has been pierced. In this new
    world, partisan considerations matter. Congressional Republicans can dictate GAO action;
    congressional Democrats can't. That is a sea change in GAO's mission.

    In the last eight years, some of our most important congressional powers have been misused for
    partisan purposes. We've seen the power to subpoena documents or individuals abused and
    twisted beyond recognition. The power to immunize witnesses was trivialized. The power to hold
    officials in contempt became a cheap political tool. And the power to impeach a President was
    reduced to a campaign strategy.

    Now the General Accounting Office, with its well-deserved reputation for superb work, becomes the
    latest casualty of partisanship. We are losing something very special here, and it is slipping away
    almost without notice.

    I ask unanimous consent to insert three short documents into the record. They are an exchange of
    correspondence with the Comptroller General on this issue and a fact sheet on the Walker v.
    Cheney case that my staff has prepared.

    - Rep. Waxman's Jan. 31 Letter to Comptroller General Walker
    - Comptroller General Walker's Feb. 7 Letter to Rep. Waxman
    - Flaws in the District Court Decision
  9. by   pickledpepperRN

    Please click the link above from the United Stated House of Representatives. The article below is NOT the same at all.
    Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2003 by Agence France Presse
    Contract Much Larger Than Previously Known
    US says Halliburton Deal Includes Operating Iraq Oil Fields

    WASHINGTON - The US Army has revealed for the first time that a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. has a contract
    encompassing the operation of Iraqi oil fields, a senior US lawmaker said.

    Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers had described the contract given to
    Halliburton -- run by US Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000 -- as involving oil
    well firefighting.

    But in a May 2 letter replying to questions from a senior Democratic lawmaker, Henry
    Waxman, the army said the contract also included "operation of facilities and distribution
    of products."

    Waxman, the top-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives' committee on
    government reform, asked for an explanation Tuesday.

    "Your May 2 letter indicates that the contract is considerably broader in scope than
    previously known," Waxman told Army Corps of Engineers military programs chief
    Lieutenant General Robert Flowers.

    "Prior descriptions of the Halliburton contract had indicated that the contract was for
    extinguishing fires at oil wells and for related repair activities," the lawmaker said,
    according to a copy of the letter.

    "These new disclosures are significant and they seem at odds with the administration's
    repeated assurances that the Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people."

    The Army Corps of Engineers said the Halliburton contract was designed as a temporary
    bridge to a contract that would be out to competitive tender. It expected the replacement contract to be advertised by
    early summer and awarded at the end of August.

    The corps had already come under fire Wednesday over its granting of the Iraqi oil contract on March 8 to Halliburton
    subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) without putting it out to tender.

    Representative Henry Waxman also said Halliburton's dealings with countries cited by Washington as state sponsors
    of terrorism, or members of the so-called "axis of evil", date back to the 1980s.

    The dealings "appear to have continued during the period between 1995 and 2000, when Vice President Cheney
    headed the company; and they are apparently ongoing even today," said Waxman, a frequent critic of President
    George W. Bush's administration.

    "Halliburton has recently been awarded a leading -- and lucrative -- role in the US war against terrorism," Waxman

    "Yet there is also evidence from press accounts and other sources that indicates that Halliburton has profited from
    numerous business dealings with state sponsors of terrorism, including two of the three members of President Bush's
    'axis of evil.'"

    The "axis of evil" first cited by Bush in early 2002 included Iraq, prior to the US-led war, Iran and North Korea.

    Waxman stopped short of saying Halliburton's actions violated US laws that prohibit business dealings in certain
    countries, but maintained that Halliburton "appears to have sought to circumvent these restrictions by setting up
    subsidiaries in foreign countries and territories such as the Cayman Islands."

    Waxman said he was concerned that the US government was awarding new contracts to Halliburton despite its ties
    to certain countries.

    He wrote to Rumsfeld, "I would like to know what the Defense Department knows about these ties and whether you
    think this should be a matter of concern to the Congress and the American taxpayer.

    "Rather than being criticized, the company is rewarded with valuable government contracts."

    Some of the involvement of Halliburton is detailed in company documents including its annual reports.

    Halliburton spokesman Wendy Hall did not dispute the Waxman allegations, but said the company operates within
    the law while trying to remain competitive with US and foreign rivals.

    "Putting politics aside, we and our affiliates operate in countries, to the extent it is legally permissible, where our
    customers are active as they expect us to provide oilfield services support to their international operations," Hall said
    in a written statement.

    "Where the United States government has mandated that United States companies refrain from commerce, we
    comply, often to the advantage of our international competitors. We do not always agree with policies or actions of
    governments in every place that we do business and make no excuses for their behaviors."

    As for the actions of Halliburton offshore subsidiaries, Hall said, "The company believes that the operations of its
    subsidiaries are in compliance with US laws. These entities and activities are staffed and managed by non-US

    Waxman has asked the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to probe whether the firm had
    received favorable treatment by the administration.

    Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Cheney, contacted about the letter, gave no immediate response.

    But Citizen Works, a consumer advocacy group founded by onetime presidential candidate Ralph Nader , said
    Halliburton's treatment by the government was questionable.

    "It's extremely troubling that our government is using taxpayer money to deliver lucrative contracts to companies like
    Halliburton that have used offshore subsidiaries to maneuver around restrictions on doing business with state
    sponsors of terrorism," said spokesman Charlie Cray.

    Copyright 2003 AFP

    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 12, '03
  10. by   pickledpepperRN,438798,00.html
    April 16, 2003

    Kellogg Brown & Root, the company chosen last month by the Pentagon to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq, has
    a long
    history of supporting the same terrorist regimes vilified by the Bush administration and on at least one
    defrauded the United States government to the tune of $2 million, according to public documents.

    Halliburton, headed by Dick Cheney before he became vice president, and it's KBR subsidiary did business with
    some of
    the world's most notorious governments and dictators - in countries such as Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
    and Nigeria. The company has routinely skirted U.S. sanctions placed on these countries and lobbied the U.S.
    government to lift sanctions so it could set up new partnerships and create new business opportunities.

    KBR and Halliburton have broken U.S. laws on numerous occasions while Cheney was chief executive and as far
    back as
    1978. Moreover, the company inflated the price of some of its military contracts and defrauded the

    Last year, KBR agreed to pay the U.S. government $2 million to settle allegations it defrauded the military
    Cheney was chief executive of parent company Halliburton. KBR was accused of inflating contract prices for
    maintenance and repairs at Fort Ord, a now-shuttered military installation near Monterey, Calif. The lawsuit,
    filed in
    Sacramento, alleged KBR submitted false claims and made false statements in connection with 224 delivery
    between April 1994 and September 1998.
  11. by   Mkue
    Cheney's Standing Increases as Plans For Election Form

    WASHINGTON, May 7-Vice President Dick Cheney has made explicit his intention to run for re-election with President Bush next year, paving the way for him to take an early role in fund-raising and underscoring his status as a crucial adviser to Mr. Bush.

    This from the nytimes this morning. Despite the controversy over Halliburton, Cheny will be back according to this article.
  12. by   nurs4kids
    I dunno, MKUE..
    to state he'll be running and to win are two different things. I think American's are tired of war and back-handed deals. I predict we'll get a whole new set of crooks in there next election.
  13. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    I dunno, MKUE..
    to state he'll be running and to win are two different things. I think American's are tired of war and back-handed deals. I predict we'll get a whole new set of crooks in there next election.
    I think you are probably right
  14. by   jnette
    Now THAT I can agree with !!! :chuckle