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The Paper Trail
May 31, 2004 3:35 AM   Subscribe

The Paper Trail "But TIME has obtained an internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official—whose name was blacked out by the Pentagon—that raises questions about Cheney's arm's-length policy toward his old employer. Dated March 5, 2003, the e-mail says "action" on a multibillion-dollar Halliburton contract was "coordinated" with Cheney's office. 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"
posted by Postroad (28 comments total)

 
Subtle it ain't.

I can't begin to imagine why anyone not in the top 5% of earners would vote Bush. Except perhaps for religious reasons, or because Kerry reminds them of the horrors of 'Nam. Or maybe because arguing for an untenable position is good mental exercise.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:53 AM on May 31, 2004


Cheney has always been working for Halliburton's benefit more than for ours.

One day, when this administration is long gone, we'll finally see all the internal things showing that, along with the Energy Task Force meetings (which i'm sure Hallliburton execs were at, too). And i hope either Pres. Kerry, the UN, or the new Iraqi government (whatever it will be) cancels every single one of the contracts we "awarded."
posted by amberglow at 6:02 AM on May 31, 2004


I agree Amberglow. It's hard to fathom how some Americans feel that the Cheney-Halliburton-Enron Axis of Evil is on the up and up.

How many smoking guns does it take?
posted by sic at 6:03 AM on May 31, 2004


Not only that, but this weekend, he wouldn't listen to Dennis Quaid's warnings about evacuating the northern states.
posted by machaus at 6:05 AM on May 31, 2004


It is UNAMERICAN to question to vice president. ESPECIALLY on Memorial Day.

Gah, liberals. You all hate America™!

(/sarcasm)
posted by andreaazure at 6:51 AM on May 31, 2004


What !?

You're telling me the Vice President didn't cut all his ties with a company that made 16 U$ Billion[PDF] in revenues (2003) [Disclaimer: I made no check for occourrences of creative Enronite Accounting] and that he may be following a personal interest agenda instead of public interest ?

Hell is freezing finally !
posted by elpapacito at 6:56 AM on May 31, 2004


well, his office denies it if that counts for anything.
posted by dabitch at 7:02 AM on May 31, 2004


Here's a good article on the topic from The New Yorker, "Contract Sport" by Jane Mayer: "Halliburton’s 2002 annual report describes counterterrorism as offering 'growth opportunities.'"
posted by josephtate at 7:24 AM on May 31, 2004


well, his office denies it if that counts for anything.

Of course they deny it. That's all they ever do is lie, lie, lie, deny, deny, deny. They haven't accepted responsibility for a damn thing.
posted by wsg at 7:54 AM on May 31, 2004


Bill Clinton said, with no slight insight, "It's better to be wrong, and strong, than weak and right."

Well, now the Bush Administration IS weak and right.

Their balls are shrivelling under the media onslaught that casts a bright light now on their prolific and nation-damaging lies.
posted by troutfishing at 8:01 AM on May 31, 2004


Troutfishing, just to clarify, Clinton was not advocating "wrong and strong." He was saying that it is unfortunate and unhappy and awful that "wrong and strong" (read: assholes with force, loud arguments, wealth) can usually trump "weak and right" (read: do-gooders with logic, truth, justice, etc.).
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:34 AM on May 31, 2004


Bill Clinton said, with no slight insight,

WhiteWaterGate. TravelOfficeGate. HaircutGate.
those were real scandals, if you ask me.
starting WWIII for Halliburton's glory (and a nice cut of the action) is nothing. nothing!


now the Bush Administration IS weak and right

good story in today's NYTimes:


Though she sometimes deplores the Republicans' rough-and-tumble campaign tactics, she says the Democrats need to adopt them. "With the Democrats you always feel like you're fighting with one hand tied behind your back," she said. "They say, `You can't do that, Donna,' or, `Don't tell us you're doing it.' And I'm, like, `If you're going to level the playing field, you have to hit back just as hard.' "

posted by matteo at 9:11 AM on May 31, 2004


not to mention:

From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity
Scholars Say Campaign Is Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks



It was a typical week in the life of the Bush reelection machine.
(...)
The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading.
(...)
Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.
Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.
The assault on Kerry is multi-tiered: It involves television ads, news releases, Web sites and e-mail, and statements by Bush spokesmen and surrogates -- all coordinated to drive home the message that Kerry has equivocated and "flip-flopped" on Iraq, support for the military, taxes, education and other matters.
"There is more attack now on the Bush side against Kerry than you've historically had in the general-election period against either candidate," said University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an authority on political communication. "This is a very high level of attack, particularly for an incumbent."

posted by matteo at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2004


Let's see how long it takes or the Liberal Media to slam this.

Unless of course, the Liberal Media is a myth....


damn.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2004


I'm just waiting for some ass in the administration to say in public some BS rationalization like "but if every american just bought Halliburton stocks, they'd all be able to enjoy the prosperity such contracts produce!" only to be summarily fired for speaking frankly.

Maybe the press is going to wake up and do its job this year after all. Memorial Day spin-time. It is always amusing to see how they choose to disarm a potentially lethal discovery in their shenanagans.
posted by Busithoth at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2004


I think a lot of people (many people here included) already had pretty strong suspicions about this. There wasn't much question in my mind that this war was about profits for corporate cronies from day 1, going all the way back to papers written by neocons in the middle 90's (wolfy et al) about how to destabilize the middle east and take advantage of it. When they started handing out contracts to old business ties (quite possibly still current ones, at that), it seemed only more apparent.

However, it is nice to see that some of this is coming out with some hard proof. Hopefully the American media, which has been off the mark (generally speaking) since day one of this administration's residence in the white house, will pick up on this and start driving it home. Also, in relation to matteo's earlier link, it would be nice if the Democrats showed up some spine and started to attack these Republicans as the profiteering war criminals that they are. I don't, however, hold out much hope.
posted by The God Complex at 9:48 AM on May 31, 2004


I started out to write: Yes, but why does Time Magazine hate America so much? But then I realized that I just didn't feel like joking about this. However, I would still like to have someone explain why such a huge proportion of Americans just don't seem to care. Here, with a few obvious exceptions we are taking turns preaching to the choir. But how do we - or the Democrats - get the attention of everybody else? Or am I just having a down day?
posted by donfactor at 11:30 AM on May 31, 2004


donfactor - do you really want to know ?

I can suggest some methods, in general terms. That's the easy part.

If you're interested.....I'm in the book.
posted by troutfishing at 11:52 AM on May 31, 2004


Oh how I long for the days of blowjobs and carnal cigars in the oval office as opposed to...well, as opposed to what we have now.
posted by damnitkage at 1:09 PM on May 31, 2004


This is pretty vague stuff. The contract was "coordinated" with the office of the VP. That could mean anything. Hardly a smoking gun.

And I'm sure the "insurance policy to indemnify Cheney for what could be steep legal bills 'arising from his service' at the company" are from asbestos lawsuits and have nothing at all to do with the $180 million Nigerian bribery scandal. What kinds of journalism is this?
posted by euphorb at 1:10 PM on May 31, 2004


However, I would still like to have someone explain why such a huge proportion of Americans just don't seem to care.

About half of all Americans think Sadam was behind 9/11 and a significant portion think WMDs were actually found in Iraq. I light of the above, they likely think a few contracts doled out to political cronies is small time scandal mongering during a war that was so right and so just....
posted by crank at 2:02 PM on May 31, 2004


How is it that Cheney, a 10+ year Texas resident, was even eligible to become VP in 2000 anyway, given that his running mate was also from Texas?

As far as I know Wyoming has rather strong laws against this sort of "convenient residency".
posted by clevershark at 2:06 PM on May 31, 2004


I would still like to have someone explain why such a huge proportion of Americans just don't seem to care.

It's actually quite simple. This country is filled with idiots.

See what happens when you cut educational spending? You get an electorate that will swallow whatever load of bull you shoot at them. Students are not taught to be critical thinkers, and the large media outfits aren't exactly trying to rectify the situation with, say, good journalism.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:23 PM on May 31, 2004


(And to continue the cynical response, it's hardly ever in an individual politician's interest to promote critical thinking. It's easier and more effective to dismiss a critic as being "elitist" than to present a valid counterargument, even if you have a valid counterargument handy.)

clevershark, isn't Bush from New England anyway?
posted by hattifattener at 4:04 PM on May 31, 2004


Actually Dubya's claim to be a Texan is pretty solid. Much more solid than his dad's was back in the day.
posted by clevershark at 5:32 PM on May 31, 2004


As far as I know Wyoming has rather strong laws against this sort of "convenient residency".

As if they would even enforce them when any prosecutor foolish enough to do so would quickly learn the real meaning of enemy combatant.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:55 PM on May 31, 2004


Actually Dubya's claim to be a Texan is pretty solid. Much more solid than his dad's was back in the day.

Although...many Texans still consider him a carpet-bagging pretender to the throne. Unfortunately, most of us are outnumbered by the rest of the carpetbaggers. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 9:18 PM on May 31, 2004


"About half of all Americans think Sadam was behind 9/11 and a significant portion think WMDs were actually found in Iraq."

they weren't? i wonder why anyone might think they were ...

George W. Bush, May 29, 2003:

We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.

why would Cheney lie about Halliburton?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:14 AM on June 1, 2004


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