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
“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
disclosed USACE documents
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