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Whenever I see or hear a reference to "Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton" rebuilding Iraq, I expect the reporter to add that Cheney still draws a massive check from Halliburton every year. Alas, this almost never happens. But here's the scoop from Derrick Z. Jackson:
On "Meet the Press" recently, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now, for over three years."
That is the latest White House lie.
Within 48 hours, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey pointed reporters toward Cheney's public financial disclosure sheets filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The sheets show that in 2002, Cheney received $162,392 in deferred salary from Halliburton, the oil and military contracting company he ran before running for vice president. In 2001, Cheney received $205,298 in deferred salary from Halliburton.
The 2001 salary was more than Cheney's vice presidential salary of $198,600. Cheney also is still holding 433,333 stock options.
Flushed into the open, Cheney spokeswoman Catherine Martin said the vice president will continue to receive about $150,000 a year from Halliburton in 2003, 2004, and 2005. If President Bush wins a second term, that means Cheney will make at least $800,000 from the company while sitting in office.
[Halliburton] is by far the largest beneficiary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. With no-bid, no-ceiling contracts, the company has already amassed $2 billion in work. It is doing everything from restoring oil facilities to providing toilets for troops. A year ago Halliburton was staring at nearly a half-billion dollars in losses. In the second quarter of 2003 it posted a profit of $26 million.
Just keep that in mind the next time you hear about Cheney's "former" company -- he makes more money from Halliburton than he does as Vice President. During the buildup to the war with Iraq, he lied about Saddam having nuclear weapons to build popular and Congressional support for a war whose aftermath would boost his bank balance. Thousands of people have died -- including hundreds of our own soldiers -- and the value of Cheney's 433,333 stocks keeps rising.
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