New documents suggest Pentagon lied about Cheney's role in awarding no-bid contract to Halliburton in 2003
15 June, 2006
WASHINGTON, June 15 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Newly-released government documents indicate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) may have publicly lied about Vice President Dick Cheney's role in awarding a $7 billion no-bid Iraqi oil reconstruction contract to Halliburton in the weeks preceding the March 2003 invasion, the conservative activist group Judicial Watch disclosed today. ###
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Judicial Watch found an internal USACE email from April 2003 explaining that USACE Chief Counsel, Robert Andersen, told the 60 Minutes television program that, "There was no contact whatsoever (with the VP office)" in awarding the oil contract to Halliburton.
But this information contradicts another email uncovered by Judicial Watch in 2004. The email, dated March 5, 2003, sent by an official of the Army Corps of Engineers whose name was redacted, stated, “We anticipate no issue [with the Halliburton deal] since the action has been coordinated w VP’s office.”
“These new documents raise questions about the involvement of the Vice President’s office in the controversial KBR deal," Tom Fenton, Judicial Watch President, said. "One has to wonder whether the Army was being forthright about the issue.”
Judicial Watch was forced to obtain a court order to release the documents because USACE improperly claimed exemptions from the FOIA. One document USACE attempted to exempt from release includes a frank admission by an official who said, “I am copying you on this crap since I honestly believe the competitive procurement will never happen.”
"It took the intervention of a federal district judge to force the Army to release the document," a Judicial Watch press release states.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently investigating possible criminal behavior in the way the Pentagon has awarded contracts to Halliburton. USACE demoted its highest-ranking civilian employee for blowing the whistle on improper and potentially illegal contracting practices committed by Halliburton and the Pentagon.
Judicial Watch press release
Newly disclosed USACE documents