May 31, 2004

Today's administration scandal.

It concerns US VP Dick Cheney, and comes to us via a March 2003 email sent by an official in the Army Corps of Engineers. A copy of the email was found by Time magazine in a group of documents it received from the public-interest group, Judicial Watch.

According to that message, 'action' on a multibillion-dollar contract given to Haliburton (Cheney's former employer) was 'coordinated' with the VP's office. This connection is especially interesting given Cheney's repeated denials of any connection to the Haliburton deal.

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....

Cheney spokesman Kevin Kellems says the Vice President "has played no role whatsoever in government-contract decisions involving Halliburton" since 2000. A Pentagon spokesman says the e-mail means merely that "in anticipation of controversy over the award of a sole-source contract to Halliburton, we wanted to give the Vice President's staff a heads-up."

It's going to be very interesting to see what sort of legs this story will have. A documented instance of Cheney greasing the way for war profiteering will not help Dubya's re-election campaign one bit.

Posted by Magpie at May 31, 2004 02:37 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Oh. My. God. I can't tell you how surprised I am to hear this ;P

I also can't tell you how irritated I am that this just sounds like run-of-the-mill, mormal news.

Posted by: natasha at May 31, 2004 05:43 AM

I am shicked, shicked I say to hear that the Vice President is a war profiteer.

shick, of course being an old vulcan word meaning, i was shocked many many years ago, but now I am SO FUCKING FAR from being shocked that I just puked on myself.

Posted by: Hubris Sonic at May 31, 2004 11:33 AM

It's all just a game to them.No consequences,no punishments.

Posted by: Palolo lolo at May 31, 2004 02:20 PM

Sadly, typical.

Posted by: R. Combs at May 31, 2004 03:36 PM