Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Cheney-Halliburton Myth

One of the most disgusting and ridiculous myths circulated by Bush haters is the idea that the Iraq campaign was launched as a way to enrich the Halliburton Corporation. For one thing, the notion that Halliburton is rolling in the profits in Iraq is ludicrous. As Slate noted in April:

So far, the Iraq war hasn't proved much of a boon for Halliburton's shareholders. Because of incompetence, the chaos of working in the war zone, and a contract that limits profits, KBR's margins on its hazardous work are pretty marginal.

On March 9, the Washington Post reported that Halliburton made $85 million in Iraq in 2003, out of expenditures of $3.6 billion, a profit margin of less than 2.5%. Hardly what most people would consider to be "war profiteering". (go to if you need a name and password for the Post article)

Back in July 2003, Byron York pointed out in National Review that Halliburton is a long established government contractor, and that critics "overlook Halliburton's extensive history of defense work for earlier administrations. Indeed, far from having a 'troubling' past, one could argue that Halliburton was a favorite contractor of the Clinton Pentagon."

The most scurrilous accusation involves Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney, who was Halliburton CEO until September 2000, has frequently been accused of interfering in decision making on the company's behalf, and of personally profiting by doing so. The Kerry/Edwards campaign recently released an ad stating that "(a)s vice president, Dick Cheney received $2 million from Halliburton. Halliburton got billions in no bid contracts in Iraq."

The non-partisan site has looked into these allegations and found them to be utterly baseless. Their detailed factual analysis, supported by newly released Cheney financial documents, concludes that the "implication that Cheney has a financial interest in Halliburton is unfounded and the $2 million figure is flat wrong." Please read the whole thing:

Kerry Ad Falsely Accuses Cheney on Halliburton

The Kerry campaign and DNC really need to stop relying on Michael Moore for their talking points.


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