Thanks for the Tip

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Since Dick Cheney instructed us to go visit FactCheck.org (contrary to what he actually said), what can we find there? "Cheney & Edward Mangle Facts." What's more:

In fact, we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.

NEXT: Burning the Broadcast Flag

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  1. 60 Minutes did a story months ago about how Halliburton, GE, and a couple other companies used Cayman Island-style companies to do business with Iran. They went to Halliburton’s “foreign” business, and found it was basically a shell being controlled by Halliburton’s U.S. hdqtrs. That’s one of the things that Edwards kinda mentioned, but he didn’t drive the point home or mention the 60 Minutes report.

  2. This ‘has not profitted personally’ argument is such a canard.

    The standard that needs to be applied is the same as when the government goes after people on the theory of conspiracy.

    Dick Cheney may not have profited personally but he is part of a ruling clique that exchange favors back and forth like so many poker chips. . .

    That anyone can seriously think that his position as VP has not benefited Halliburton, it’s officers and directors (and the interconnecting boards of directors they all serve on)is a seriously delusional individual.

  3. Well, accuracy counts, and it makes a difference whether Cheney profits directly and personally, or whether his friends do.

    ChrisA basically proposes a standard that I would think any libertarian would be leery of because it would exclude anyone who succeeds in the private sector.

    Anyone who succeeds in business builds a network, which will likely include the folks who serve on boards and senior management.

    ChrisA seems to be saying that anyone who has such a network must be excluded from public office because their holding such an office could indirectly benefit their network of friends and associates.

    Note that ChrisA admits it doesn’t matter if Cheney profits personally, and adduces no evidence whatsoever that Cheney has attempted to influence the contracting process. When you back out personal profit and undue influence, about all you are left with is the bare fact that Cheney is part of a network of private individuals.

    There is no conspiracy on this set of facts, because a conspiracy requires some showing of active collusion toward an illegal end.

  4. ChrisA,

    R.C. Dean is mostly right. Though if he is claiming (and that’s ambiguous) that direct evidence is needed to demonstrate criminal conspiracy, then he is wrong. Indeed, in criminal conspiracy cases, most of the evidence is circumstantial.

    Please consult Federal Rules of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E) and Bourjailly v. United States, 483 U.S. 171 (1987) with regard to particular issues of admissability in this regard.

  5. This isn’t about “criminal conspiracy,” just good old fashioned envellope-pushing graft. Or, at a minimum, conflict of interest.

    Dick Cheney took part of his comensation package when he left Halliburton to become VP in stock options. He has the right to buy those options at the price they were at when he left, and he can turn around and sell them at the contemporty market price when he exercises the options. If Halliburton’s stock goes up, he makes money. If it doesn’t go up, he doesn’t make money.

    Any action he takes that benefits or harms Halliburton rebounds on his personal finances. The laws behind conflict of interest don’t say, “When your personal business and your official responsibilities come into contact, be a good boy and don’t let it affect your actions.” They say, “When your personal business and your official responsibilities come into contact, step aside and let somebody else carry out those actions.”

    Conflict of interest laws protect innocent government employees from unjust charges, just as they protect the public from corrupt decisions. Cheney should have followed them, and either cashed out his options so Halliburton’s performance made no difference to his wealth, or stayed the hell away from any decisions that could remotely be related to Halliburton. He chose to do neither. If it starts snowing in Hell and Dick Cheney hasn’t done anything to benefit Halliburton, he still has no one to blame but himself for the crap he’s taken over it.

  6. Joe,

    Please apply your 3:03 comment to Tom Daschle/ Linda Daschle/ American Airlines.

    Thank you.

  7. Bendover wrote:

    Joe,

    Please apply your 3:03 comment to Tom Daschle/Linda Daschle/American Airlines.

    Thank you.

    Okay, suppose Joe does. So what? His claim is not that Cheney is the only one who might be suspected of having a conflict of interest. No matter what shenanigans Daschle tries to pull, Cheney’s actions may still be questioned.

  8. The actual article Cheney referred to… and by the way the FactCheck characterization in the new piece is a bit of an exaggeration.

  9. Quippl,

    You’ll get no argument from me that those in positions of power need to be questioned. However, even a small sampling of Joe’s comments on this board reveal him as nothing but a shrill partisan. Nothing wrong with that. Also nothing wrong in poking a needle in his balloon of partisanship |; )

  10. Where’s Dan? This kind of thing is what I’m talking about when I fear that America is already pretty fascist (economically, the intertwining of business and politics).

    And no, I don’t want to move anywhere else (except maybe own a summer home in Spain), I want to fix the good ol’ USA!

  11. Looking at the sorts of comments that H&R attracts shouws clearly what REASON has become since the departure of Postrel — “The Nation” for leftists who have a 401K.

    I guess that’s probably the more “successful” market to go after — since there’s probably 100 times as many of that customer to go after versus the libertarians the magazine once courted.

  12. The 60 Minutes report I was referring to is “Doing Business with the Enemy”. See the Iran section at factcheck.org

  13. ChrisA,

    Jim Lindsey, the biggest real estate developer here in NW Arkansas, contracted with the University to upgrade their stadium “at cost.” Of course, that gave him the power to dispose of lots and lots of lucrative subcontracts to his cronies, and win endless goodwill for the future.

    Lindsey, BTW, got his start in real estate after being a college football player–Frank Broyles, the UA athletic director, steered him to all sorts of inside deals. Recently the Fayetteville school board has started closing down neighborhood schools in the older part of town and replacing them with new ones out by the freeway on the western edge of town, where Lindsey’s new developments are going in.

    God, Arkansas politics is great.

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