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Cheney Crooked Dealings Ho-Hum

FLASHBACK: As Halliburton CEO, Cheney Evaded U.S. Law To Do Business With Iran

chenp.jpgIn an interview with Fortune Magazine’s Nina Easton, Dick Cheney conceded that as Halliburton CEO he opposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, even though he now strongly supports them. Cheney explained that as a private sector official, he didn’t have any responsibility to be concerned about the impact of his company’s dealings with Iran:

Q: You opposed unilateral sanctions on Iran when you were CEO of Halliburton.



That’s a whole set of considerations that a CEO doesn’t have to worry about, that a private company doesn’t have to worry about. But the President of the United States does.

What Cheney conveniently neglects to mention is that Halliburton evaded U.S. law in order to deal with Iran. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act authorizes the president to block transactions and freeze assets to deal with rogue nations. In 1995, President Clinton signed an executive order barring U.S. investment in Iran’s energy sector. To evade U.S. law, Halliburton set up an offshore subsidiary that engaged in dealings with Iran.

In 1996, Cheney blasted the Clinton administration for being “sanction-happy as a government.” “The problem is that the good Lord didn’t see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments,” Cheney explained of his desire to do business with Iran.

ABC’s Sam Donaldson confronted Cheney about this in 2000, only to hear Cheney obfuscate about his dealings with Iran:

DONALDSON: I’m told, and correct me if I’m wrong, that Halliburton through subsidiary companies was actually trying to do business with Iraq.

CHENEY: No. No, I had a firm policy that we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal. What we do with respect to Iran and Libya is done through foreign subsidiaries totally in compliance with U.S. law.

DONALDSON: Make a way around U.S. law?

CHENEY: No, no, it’s provided for us specifically with respect to Iran and Libya. Iraq’s different, but we’ve not done any business in Iraq since the sanctions were imposed, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn’t do that.

Cheney’s evasion of U.S. law to deal with Iran has been well-documented. As the Bush administration now presses for tougher sanctions against Iran, Cheney should concede that Halliburton violated the spirit of the law and encourage other U.S. companies not to follow his lead.

Digg It!

.../...   Senator Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, whose office has provided information on the case to the Treasury Department, said yesterday that Halliburton Products and Services was a ''sham" that existed only to circumvent the sanctions.

''It's unconscionable that an American company would skirt the law to help Iran generate revenues," Lautenberg said during a conference call arranged by the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry.

President Bush's campaign spokesman, Steve Schmidt, called the allegations against Cheney baseless and accused Democrats of trying to use Halliburton as a distraction. Cheney's office and the White House called the latest criticisms of Halliburton political.

Halliburton operates in Iran despite sanctions

How do U.S. contractors legally do business there?

.../...   Still, Halliburton stands out because its operations in Iran are now under a federal criminal investigation. Government sources say the focus is on whether the company set out to illegally evade the sanctions imposed ten years ago.

"I am formally announcing my intention to cut off all trade and investment with Iran," announced President Bill Clinton in 1995.

Sources close to the Halliburton investigation tell NBC News that after that announcement, Halliburton decided that business with Iran, then conducted through at least five companies, would all be done through a subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

"It's gotten around the sanctions and the very spirit and reasons for the sanctions," says Victor Comras, a former State Department expert on sanctions.

several comments

22 Veritas:

“#7 The hypocrisy at hand concerns a sitting administrative official. Are we jumping forward to Hillary’s presidency or backward to Bill’s?? You can’t have it both ways either - stay in the present moment and the topic of this thread, please.”

Richard Weaver must have had you in mind during the 1940s:

“Oswald Garrison Villard, a political journalist of the old school, who spent half a century crusading for standards of probity in public administration, once declared that he had never ceased to marvel at the shortness of the pub-lic’s memory, at the rapidity with which it forgets episodes of scandal and incompetence. It sometimes appeared to him of little use to attack a party for its unethical conduct, for the voters would have no recollection of it. The glee with which the epithet ‘ancient history’ is applied to what is out of sight is of course a part of this barbarous attitude. The man of culture finds the whole past relevant; the bourgeois and the barbarian find relevant only what has some pressing connection with their appetite.” - Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

So are you part of the bourgeois or are you a barbarian?

Comment by Manslagt — November 26, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

78  manslagt, did you conveniently forget that Clinton cut trade ties to Iran?

The POINT here buddy, is that Cheney cheated Americans as a corporate schmuck by ignoring United States law. What about that do you not get?

The POINT here buddy, is the hypocritical money grubbing dishonesty that SHOULD (if you’re a “do the right thing” kind of human) make your skin crawl, is a person who is willing to bend US law as a corporatist, will sure as hell break US law as Co-President.

The issue isn’t Clinton…it’s not Hillary…it’s big dick cheney…get it right.

Comment by JoshDest — November 27, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

79  .oh..and you know, manslagt’s misreading of the intent of this post, is another example of right-wing authoritarians’ low reading comprehension:

Comment by JoshDest — November 27, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

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