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Report: Pentagon ‘coordinated’ Halliburton deal

A Pentagon e-mail said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office “coordinated” a multibillion-dollar Iraq reconstruction contract awarded to his former employer Halliburton, a magazine reported Sunday.
/ Source: Reuters

A Pentagon e-mail said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office “coordinated” a multibillion-dollar Iraq reconstruction contract awarded to his former employer Halliburton, Time magazine reported on Sunday.

The e-mail, sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official on March 5, 2003, said Douglas Feith, a senior Pentagon official, provided arrangements for the RIO contract, or Restore Iraqi Oil, between Halliburton and the U.S. government, Time said.

The e-mail said Feith, who reports to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, 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.”

A spokesman for Cheney said his office had no role in the contract process.

“Vice President Cheney and his office have had no involvement whatsoever in government contracting matters since he left private business to run for vice president,” said Kevin Kellems, a spokesman for Cheney.

An administration official familiar with the e-mail, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the memo merely mentions the fact that the White House had been given a standard courtesy call notifying that a contract decision that had already been made and was being publicly announced soon.

Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO from 1995 until he joined President George W. Bush’s presidential ticket in 2000.

The Texas oil services firm has been accused by some Democrats of war profiteering after winning billions of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military in Iraq.

The company has strongly denied it obtained favorable treatment.

A spokesperson for Halliburton was not immediately available for comment.

Time said the Pentagon e-mail was located among documents provided by Judicial Watch, a watchdog group.