CALLER: In terrorist-related countries like Iran, and dealing specifically with those countries, and I don’t think when the vice president had the chance he replied to that answer, and I went to FactCheck.org, and because I’m still trying to decide how I’m going to vote, but it’s still — I mean, they definitely dealt with these different countries like Iran.
RUSH: Let me tell you a few things about Halliburton, Joe. The vice president, I don’t think, is going to take on a specific defense of this. That’s why he mentioned FactCheck.org because he doesn’t want to elevate it beyond where it is. It currently is at kook status. Halliburton has been the only company that does much of what they do. They have been given no-bid contracts by Bill Clinton during his term. They have been doing oil services work, they’ve got a number of subsidiaries. They do a number of things as a private sector company that the Pentagon, the defense department can’t do as cheaply and as well and as efficiently. Cheney has made it clear he gave up his stock. People have forgotten, but during the campaign of 2000 the Democrats made a big deal out of this. Cheney gave up everything. He resigned from Halliburton. He gave up every tie to it in order to get rid of any appearance of impropriety.
Cheney made one mistake last night. He misquoted the web address. He said, “Go to FactCheck.com.” When you go to FactCheck.com you end up at a George Soros site which is a total distortion of the Halliburton truth. I cringed when I heard it. It’s FactCheck.ORG. FactCheck.org is the site from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Center, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and our old buddy Adam Clymer, ex of the New York Times. And they have found that every one of these charges about Cheney and Halliburton are untrue. Now, this is why I say, Joe, that the mainstream press has become a transcript service. Anybody can go to FactCheck.org and find that every allegation being made about Cheney profiting personally from Halliburton, Halliburton getting gigs when Cheney is in the White House as vice president, all of this is BS. All of this is untrue.
They’ve looked at it, and they cite the sources. They don’t hold themselves up as the source; they’re just the fact checkers, they went out and they checked it out. Yet it keeps repeating and it keeps echoing out there because it is in the arsenal of ammo that the left is using. Even though it can be totally disproved, it keeps being used. All John Kerry and Edwards have to do is say it and the mainstream press dutifully, as a transcript service, reports it. You know, I would say if you’re an undecided voter, and you’re really going to decide this election on whether or not Halliburton made profits before 9/11, Joe, what is that? I don’t understand that kind of thinking. I don’t see what in the world it has to do with anything. I don’t know why somebody making a profit bothers you. It’s the nature of the U.S. capitalist system. But as an undecided voter, certainly there have to be far more things that are relevant and important than whether or not a company made a profit before 9/11 vis-?-vis Iran.
<B>The Left’s Halliburton Lies & Distortions…</B>
<a target=new href=”http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10C15FB355D0C728DDDA80994DB404482″>(New York Times: Cynics Without a Cause — Clinton’s Halliburton Contracts)</a>
Headline: The Halliburton Smear
Subheadline: Nothing Quite So Angers Democrats About the Current Situation in Iraq Than that Halliburton is Making Money There.
Byline: Rich Lowry
Dateline: September 18, 2003
The Democrats have discovered the enemy in the ongoing Iraq war. And it is Halliburton.
Nothing quite so angers Democrats about the current situation in Iraq than that Halliburton is making money there. Dennis Kucinich, the out-to-lunch leftist who sounds ever more mainstream given the leftward drift of the rest of the Democratic field, wants the United Nations in Iraq so there will be “no more Halliburton sweetheart deals.” Bob Graham huffs, “I will not support a dime to protect the profits of Halliburton in Iraq.” John Edwards vows “to stop this president from giving billions of dollars in American taxpayer money to companies like Halliburton in unbid contracts.”
The Texas oil-services giant formerly headed by Dick Cheney, who still gets deferred compensation from the firm, has achieved iconic status. Halliburton is the equivalent of Dow, the maker of a key ingredient to napalm, during the Vietnam War — the focus of supposed corporate evil during wartime. It is the equivalent of Mena Airport, the Arkansas site that obsessed anti-Clinton conspiracy theorists during the 1990s — the focus of dark speculation about the mercenary scheming of a U.S. president.
Behind the Democratic outrage is the implicit, and sometimes explicit, charge that Bush waged war in Iraq to fatten the bottom line of one corporation. As The New York Times has put it, Halliburton’s Iraq contract “undermines the Bush administration’s portrayal of the war as a campaign for disarmament and democracy, not lucre.” But to have risked his presidency — not mention American lives — on the war in order to benefit Halliburton, Bush would have to be a psychopath. That the Halliburton charge has become a chief Democratic critique of the war is another sign of the party’s descent into unhinged ravings.
As journalist Byron York has reported, it’s not really true that the company got its work without competitive bidding. In the 1990s, the military looked for ways to get outside help handling the logistics associated with foreign interventions. It came up with the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP. The program is a multiyear contract for a corporation to be on call to provide whatever services might be needed quickly.
Halliburton won a competitive bidding process for LOGCAP in 2001. So it was natural to turn to it (actually, to its wholly owned subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root) for prewar planning about handling oil fires in Iraq. “To invite other contractors to compete to perform a highly classified requirement that Kellogg Brown & Root was already under a competitively awarded contract to perform would have been a wasteful duplication of effort,” the Army Corps of Engineers commander has written.
Then, in February 2003, the Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton a temporary no-bid contract to implement its classified oil-fire plan. The thinking was it would be absurd to undertake the drawn-out contracting process on the verge of war. If the administration had done that and there had been catastrophic fires, it would now be considered evidence of insufficient postwar planning. And Halliburton was an obvious choice, since it put out 350 oil-well fires in Kuwait after the first Gulf War.
The Clinton administration made the same calculation in its own dealings with Halliburton. The company had won the LOGCAP in 1992, then lost it in 1997. The Clinton administration nonetheless awarded a no-bid contract to Halliburton to continue its work in the Balkans supporting the U.S. peacekeeping mission there because it made little sense to change midstream. According to Byron York, Al Gore’s reinventing-government panel even singled out Halliburton for praise for its military logistics work.
So, did Clinton and Gore involve the United States in the Balkans to benefit Halliburton? That charge makes as much sense as the one that Democrats are hurling at Bush now. Would that they directed more of their outrage at the people in Iraq who want to sabotage the country’s oil infrastructure, rather than at the U.S. corporation charged with helping repair it.