Listen: Part 1: Examining Halliburton's 'Sweetheart' Deal in Iraq
Vice President Dick Cheney served as chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. He's pictured in his office at the company's Houston headquarters in this 1996 photo.
U.S. oil services giant Halliburton won a contract to restore Iraq's oil sector — one of the richest military logistics contracts in history — without a competitive bid. Critics believe Vice President Dick Cheney steered the work to the company, where he served as chief executive officer from 1995 to 2000.
But defense-contracting experts say the company — while an ultimate insider — likely won the deal for other reasons. In the second of three reports, NPR's John Burnett examines Cheney's role in Halliburton's government work.
Cheney arrived at Halliburton after having served as secretary of defense from March 1989 to January 1993. During his five-year tenure, the company nearly doubled its federal contracts. Chuck Dominy, vice president for government affairs at Halliburton, says Cheney did not play a role in winning those deals.
"Mr. Cheney made it very clear to me when he arrived that he would not be engaged in our government side of business," Dominy says. "He said, 'You're on your own.'"
But Bill Allison, of the Center for Public Integrity, questions that assertion.
"When he took over Halliburton's helm, [Cheney] still had his rolodex and all of those kinds of contacts," Allison notes. "And all of those kinds of relationships he'd developed with the government still held when he was out of government."