Has a Friend in Dick Cheney: No Bid Contracts in Iraq and Getting Off
the Hook on Asbestos
are those infamous "no-bid" contracts for Halliburton
in Iraq [LINK]), but that's just one example of why the White House
will probably end up renaming the Lincoln bedroom the Halliburton bedroom.
As Joe Conason predicted in June of 2002:
explanation for Cheney's carefree attitude about asbestos is that
he and other corporate leaders expected their lobbyists to
convince Congress to take care of the multibillion-dollar problem,
perhaps with a bailout or a cap on damages. Halliburton's lobbying
expenses and campaign contributions approximately doubled during Cheney's
Time has proven Joe correct (6/07/03):
the oil company once headed by US vice-president Dick Cheney,
expects to delay the bankruptcies of two units until the third
quarter, which could enable the company to pay less than expected
settle asbestos cases under a proposed law.
Of course, Halliburton benefits on Wall Street as a result (7/09/03):
shares surge on Senate asbestos plan
A congressional effort that may limit the cost of asbestos litigation
gave shares of Halliburton Co. a boost on Wednesday, since such a plan
could cut the oil field service firm's current $4.25 billion liability
by more than 75 percent, according to a Reuters report.
Shares of the Houston-based company formerly led by Vice President
Dick Cheney rose as much as 4.7 percent in morning trade before losing
some steam to close up 2.7 percent, or 62 cents, at $23.45 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
also reported that Halliburton got an extra boost from J.P. Morgan
analysts, who upgraded the shares to "overweight" from "neutral."
the plan is approved by Congress, the company, which has agreed to
pay $4.25 billion to settle claims, would pay no more than $675
million to a proposed trust fund for victims, New York law firm Caplin & Drysdale
said in a report to the Senate Judiciary committee, Reuters said, quoting
a Financial Times report.
committee, led by Republican Orrin Hatch, wants to overhaul the country's
asbestos liability system by moving class-action lawsuits
out of the courts. Victims instead would submit claims to a $108 billion
trust fund set up by businesses and their insurers, supported by a
$45 billion "backstop." [LINK]
But what about the victims of asbestos and the American taxpayer? This
is the way it works under the rule of the Bush Cartel. We get screwed:
"USAction" Says Victims Ignored in Hatch Asbestos Proposal (6/20/03)
"Senator Hatch's bill lets companies like Halliburton, Honeywell
and GE will walk away from multi billion dollar asbestos liabilities.
They'll only have to pay a fraction of what they owe. Halliburton --
Vice President Cheney's former company -- agreed to a $4.2 billion
settlement last December. Yet under this proposal Halliburton would
only pay a maximum of $675 million. That would be a $3.5 billion gift
to Halliburton from US Senators. Sick and dying asbestos workers and
their families are truly missing from this proposal. Victims exposed
after 1982 don't get any compensation at all, yet every day workers
are still being exposed," Blum said.
course, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg about Halliburton.
Read Joe Conason's, 2002 column closely (above):
Actually, Cheney's reign at Halliburton marked a series of notable
achievements beyond that lousy Dresser deal: the company avoided
paying federal taxes almost every year, while gorging on federal
contracts. Citizen Works (a nonpartisan Washington group founded
by Ralph Nader) released an analysis today of Halliburton's use of
offshore tax havens. In five of the six years while Cheney was CEO,
the company received millions in federal tax reimbursements; the
peak year was 1998, when it got back $302 million. During the same
period, the number of its subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax
havens rose from 9 to 42. Remember the televised debate when Cheney
told hapless, grinning Joe Lieberman that he'd made his millions
without any help from government? Dick must have meant only a little
help -- not a dime more than $2.3 billion, anyway (although that
doesn't include financing assistance and loan guarantees of $1.5
for Cheney, he still receives up to a million dollars a year
from Halliburton. [LINK]
a racket they got going on there in OUR White House.
the Lincoln Bedroom. Maybe they should just rename 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, "The Halliburton House."