Cheney's Iraqi Ties Under Scrutiny

The oilfield services company Dick Cheney headed before he became U.S. vice president had far more extensive financial dealings with Iraq than Cheney has acknowledged, The Washington Post has learned.

Citing United Nations (U.N.) records and oil industry executives, the newspaper said two subsidiaries of Halliburton Co. had contracts to sell $73 million dollars in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and CEO of the Dallas-based company.

According to U.N. records, the subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co., sold material to Baghdad through French affiliates from the first half of 1997 to the summer of 2000. Cheney resigned as chairman of Halliburton in August, the report said.

Halliburton's dealings with Iraq were first reported last year. But the Post said U.N. records it recently obtained show the business was more extensive than originally reported or acknowledged by the vice president.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Juleanna Glover Weiss, said the two companies were joint ventures operated by Dresser at the time it was taken over by Halliburton, and that Halliburton sold the units "as soon as it was legally feasible. The vice president never wanted any companies under his control to do business with Iraq, even if that business were allowed under the oil-for-food program," Weiss told Reuters.

During the presidential campaign, Cheney said he had imposed a "firm policy" at Halliburton against trading with Iraq. The Post said Cheney has offered contradictory accounts of how much he knew about Halliburton's dealings with Iraq.

Former executives at the Halliburton subsidiaries told The Post they had never heard objections to trading with Baghdad. "Halliburton and Ingersoll-Rand, as far as I know, had no official policy about that, other than we would be in compliance with applicable U.S. and international laws," said former Ingersoll executive Cleive Dumas, who oversaw Dresser Pump's business in the Middle East.
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