F.B.I. Investigating Contracts With Halliburton
By ERIK ECKHOLM
By ERIK ECKHOLM
I think this is the same article....
|Army staffer: Halliburton case 'worst abuse' FBI widens investigation, company sees election ploy in allegations|
NBC, MSNBC and news services Updated: 10:58 a.m. ET Oct. 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - An Army contracting officer who led the FBI to widen its investigation of Pentagon contracts to Halliburton told NBC News that she had never seen a worse case of contracting abuse.
Halliburton dismissed the allegations as election politics. Sen. John Kerry's campaign has seized on the allegations to charge the Bush administration of playing favorites. Vice President Dick Cheney headed Halliburton before taking office.
FBI agents this week sought permission to interview Greenhouse after she alleged that her agency unfairly awarded KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars for work in Iraq.
The line of inquiry expands an earlier FBI investigation into whether Halliburton overcharged taxpayers for fuel in Iraq, and it elevates to a criminal matter the election-year question of whether the Bush administration showed favoritism to Vice President Dick Cheney?s former company.
Whistle-blower protection sought
?I think it (the FBI interview request) underscores the seriousness of the misconduct, and it also demonstrates how courageous Ms. Greenhouse was for stepping forward,? said Stephen Kohn, one of her attorneys.
?The initiation of an FBI investigation into criminal misconduct will help restore public confidence,? Kohn said. ?The Army must aggressively protect Ms. Greenhouse from the retaliation she will encounter as a result of blowing the whistle on this misconduct.?
FBI agents also recently began collecting documents from Army offices in Texas and elsewhere to examine how and why Halliburton, a Houston-based oil services conglomerate, got the no-bid work.
?The Corps is absolutely cooperating with the FBI, and it has been an ongoing effort,? said Army Corps spokeswoman Carol Sanders. ?Our role is to cooperate. It?s a public contract and public funds. We?ve been providing them information for quite a while.?
The FBI declined to comment Thursday, but a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the investigation does not involve anyone in the White House ? including Cheney?s office.
?The old allegations have once again been recycled, this time one week before the election,? Hall said. ?The GAO said earlier this year that the contract was properly awarded because Halliburton was the only contractor that could do the work.
Cheney spokesman Kevin Kellems, asked if investigators had contacted the vice president or his office about the contracts, said they had not.
Democrats have tried to make Halliburton an election-year issue, and vice presidential candidate John Edwards quickly seized upon the latest development.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee who has been investigating Halliburton?s contracts, said his office was told the FBI recently sought documents from various government offices. The requests focused on how and why Halliburton got the Iraq contracts.
?This multibillion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton was suspicious from day one, and now our worst suspicions are confirmed,? Lautenberg said. ?The FBI doesn?t get involved unless there are possible criminal violations.?
E-mail ties Cheney office to contractIn a formal whistle-blower complaint filed last week, Greenhouse alleged the award of contracts without competition to KBR puts at risk ?the integrity of the federal contracting program as it relates to a major defense contractor.? The contracts were to restore Iraq?s oil industry.
Among the evidence cited in the complaint was an internal 2003 Pentagon e-mail that says the Iraq contract ?has been coordinated? with Cheney?s White House office.
The vice president, who continues to receive deferred compensation from when he was Halliburton?s chief executive in the late 1990s, has steadfastly maintained he has played no role in the selection of his former company for federal business.
The Army last week referred Greenhouse?s allegations to the Defense Department?s inspector general. Documents show FBI agents from Quad Cities, Ill., asked Tuesday to interview Greenhouse.
Greenhouse alleged in her complaint that after her superiors signed off on the Iraq business in February 2003, a month before the war began, and returned it for her necessary approval, she specifically asked why the work was being extended for several years.
Beside her signature, Greenhouse wrote: ?I caution that extending this sole-source effort beyond a one-year period could convey an invalid perception that there is not strong intent for a limited competition,? the complaint said.
The oil restoration work was given to KBR without competitive bidding through 10 separate work assignments called ?task orders.? The orders were issued under an existing contract between Halliburton and the U.S. military that was awarded competitively in December 2001.
While the Corps was authorized to spend up to $7 billion for the oil restoration work, the actual cost so far has been $2.5 billion. Halliburton is still working on the oil facilities, but it is now operating under a new, competitively awarded contract. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Oh no! Not at all! The US government is squeaky clean!
They would neeeeeever to any thing like THAT!
Is it possible that the pope is catholic? Is it possible that water is wet?
ALL GOVERMENTS ARE CORUPT! It's easy to see that all of them are corrupt thats why its so easy for the watchtower to point to gods kingdom as some sort of idiot cure for this stuff...
well i personally was shocked at the possibility that this fountain of democracy and justice in this world might be corruped after all.
Realist.... take the timber from your own eye.... (I mean that as a joke)
Of course politics are corrupt. Especially at the top. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Cheney doesn't care if Bush wins or not... (IMHO) ... he already has millions and will retire very comfortably. Some administrations are just less corrupt than others.
What gets me is the worst that Clinton did - the $5,000 haircut and the Monica affair is peanuts compared to this administration.
Personally, I'd like to be able to afford a $5,000 haircut. I don't want the haircut, I just want to be able to AFFORD it.
Sure it is possible, even probable. However, all is not as it appears. When a company like Halliburton gets a "no bid" contract like this, it is cost plus fixed percentage fee. The only consideration is whether or not they have or can get the resources to do the job. Their costs are subject to audit "after the fact" and are frequently disallowed. The Engineers that I know who are returning from active duty military tours in Irag with the Corp of Engineers tell me that KBR is doing an excellent job working in a very dangerous environment. I didn't notice too many companies falling over themselves trying to get that work for themselves. These charges seem to be "old stuff" and appear to be politically motivated.
umm no clinton did a lot worse... how about the time he bombed an asprin factory in Iraq to try to get public attention away from the lewenski scandal? How about the fraud that Hillary commited to make money off drug companies. How about their illegal real estate scams. I'm not saying that he's alone in his corruption by a LONG dang shot but don't play like he was practicaly an innocent....
Touche' MKR and thx for the corrections. But bombing an asprin factory vs invasion of a country on falsified intelligence to divert our attention away from his attempts at drilling for oil in Alaska that would be gobbled in 6 days, relaxing pollution controls, etc., etc., etc. when he should have been concentrating on our buddie Osama and cleaning up Afghanistan first.
In his invasion, a weapons depoe was not adequately guarded and now we have 300+ tons of high-grade explosives missing. The museum in Bagdad was not guarded and now thousands of years of historic, priceless antiquities have been looted and sold on the underground. And so on.
Clinton may have been lax in "pushing the button". And the bombing of the asprin factory was (if I remember right) in response to the bombing of the USS Cole, done so on bad intelligence. But IMO Bush has had the Iraq agenda on his plate since before attaining Presidential office. A means to rectify "daddy's mistake", and make a great name for himself as a winning wartime president. It may also be part of his making up for not serving during the VietNam war. "Fortunate Son" that he is.
No, Bill and Hillary aren't blame-free. I think many right hearted people who enter politics and achieve high levels of political power can't help but be overtaken by the corruption. (I'm not even saying Bill and Hillary are right-hearted). Like I quoted "Absolute power corrupts absolutely". It's just how much corruption at the top are "we" willing to gulp down. I guess we'll see by Wednesday Nov-3rd.
I don't disagree that the Haliburton investigation is politically motivated. And there are very few companies in the US and in the world that have the resources to do the things Haliburton has done for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I gotta say that I appreciate George Sr. for staying out of the politicing (sp) for his son. I had/have great respect for him as a president. None for his son.
PS I'd still like to be able to afford that $5,000 haircut... Take the money and cut my own hair in the bathroom!