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:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.