The Cheney-Iraq Axis Of Money

By Gollies, Dick Cheney is nothing if not tough on terrorists. In his speeches and regular appearances on the Sunday morning yakity-yak shows, the vice president, formerly of Halliburton, Inc., practically growls when he squints his eyes, curls his upper lip and spits out his contempt for terrorism's "axis of evil," reserving his fiercest scowl for that scalawag Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

But, wait a minute, is it possible that Dick is a Hussein hypocrite, that while he postures politically, he has previously profited from playing corporate footsie with the country that he now brands a terrorist state? Yes. In fact, did Cheney, the former oil equipment executive, help rebuild Saddam's economic machine that now stands accused of sponsoring terrorism? Yes.

"No, no," retorted Cheney during the 2000 election when ABC's Sam Donaldson asked him directly if his Halliburton firm, through subsidiaries, was actually doing business with Hussein's government. "I had a firm policy that I wouldn't do anything in Iraq -- even arrangements that were supposedly legal," protested the v.p.-to-be.

He lied. Indeed, just before election day 2000, the estimable Financial Times of London discovered that two Halliburton-owned subsidiaries sold more oil field technologies and equipment to Ol' Mr. Evil Saddam than any other U.S. corporation, pocketing some $24 million in sales. These deals helped Hussein restore his oil-production capabilities, which are used to finance the militaristic adventures that Cheney now labels "evil."

Technically, Cheney's sales to Saddam were legal, even though they were against official U.S. policy. The trick was that he ran the deals through Halliburton's foreign subsidiaries, thus appearing to be politically clean while raking in dirty money.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... To learn more, check the little Web site that surfaced the Financial Times story: GWBush.com.

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