February 25, 2004

Even "The Economist" Thinks Cheney Could Go:

US Vice President Dick Cheney "is seen less as the sober pragmatist and more as the dangerously revolutionary zealot. Look at economic management, where he supposedly told Paul O'Neill, his former friend and the former treasury secretary, that "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Or look at Iraq, where the vice-president went further than anybody else in exaggerating Saddam's "reconstituted" nuclear-weapons programme and the idea that he provided a "geographic base" for terrorism against America.

"Another reason to ditch Mr Cheney is that he has come to epitomise the administration's darker side. Take corporate cronyism. The vice-president made $44m during his time as head of Halliburton, a company that has snaffled up a large number of lucrative contracts in Iraq and has been accused of overcharging the Pentagon into the bargain. He also stuffed his energy task-force with friends from the energy industry. Or take bureaucratic secrecy: he has created a semi-official parallel administration within the White House and has fought like a tiger to keep his doings private. His recent decision (just after the Supreme Court had said it would review whether he could continue to keep secret the deliberations of his energy task-force) to use a government jet to take Justice Antonin Scalia and a bunch of Mr Cheney's oil-business buddies duck-shooting only reinforces the impression that he has a tin ear for politics."

The Economist also has a good article on Cheney's old company, Halliburton:

"The list of allegations, and not just relating to Iraq, is growing fast. There was a bribery scandal in Kuwait, and a flap over the price of petrol imported into Iraq from Kuwait. Then it surfaced that the firm may have charged American taxpayers for millions of meals that were never actually served to soldiers in the Middle East. Though denying wrongdoing, Halliburton has just decided to delay billing for $140m. American and French officials are now investigating whether a consortium including Halliburton made questionable payments of $180m in Nigeria, relating to a natural-gas project. America's Treasury Department is now sniffing around the firm's involvement in Iran to see if it has violated the sanctions imposed by America.


Blog Archive