WASHINGTON - A Pentagon e-mail said Vice President Dick Cheney coordinated a huge Halliburton government contract for Iraq, despite Cheney's denial of interest in the company he ran until 2000.
The March 5, 2003 e-mail, from an Army Corps of Engineers official, said that top Pentagon official Douglas Feith got the job of shepherding the contract, according to the newsweekly Time that hits newsstands Monday.
US Vice President Dick Cheney. A Pentagon e-mail said Cheney coordinated a huge Halliburton government contract for Iraq, despite Cheney's denial of interest in the company he ran until 2000. (AFP/Robert Sullivan)
Feith had approved the multi-billion-dollar deal "contingent on informing WH (the White House) tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w(ith) VP's (vice president's) office," said the e-mail obtained by Time.
The newsweekly said it was three days later that Halliburton won the contract, although no other bids had been submitted.
"As vice president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government," Cheney told NBC's "Meet the Press" in September, Time said.
Cheney had been Halliburton's CEO until 2000, when he accepted the vice presidential spot.
Cheney's spokesman Kevin Kellems told the magazine that since 2000, the vice president "has played no role whatsoever in government-contract decisions involving Halliburton."
The e-mail was sent "in anticipation of controversy over the award of a sole-source contract to Halliburton, we wanted to give the vice president's staff a heads-up," a Pentagon spokesman said.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith was handed the job of coordinating the contract by his boss, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Time said.
Feith, Wolfowitz and Cheney, along with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, form the core of Bush administration "hawks" who pushed for the war in Iraq.
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