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Halliburton investigated by Congress over UN oil-for-food scandal
5 Oct. 2004

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- A national security subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to expand its investigation of the United Nations' oil-for-food scandal to include the Bush administration and Halliburton.

The subcommittee, chaired by Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays, will subpoena documents on the management of oil revenues by the now-disbanded U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority, which governed Iraq from May 2003 through June 2004.

Rep. Shays' subcommittee will also subpoena Pentagon audits on Iraqi reconstruction contracts, including the audits on Halliburton's no-bid oil contracts that were financed through revenues obtained by the UN's oil-for-food program during the period when Saddam Hussein governed Iraq.

Some of the funds obtained by Saddam Hussein via the UN's oil-for-food program were used to finance Halliburton's no-bid contracts after the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Iraqi government in March 2003.

Former Halliburton employees have described multiple abuses of U.S. taxpayers' money in Iraq, but a congressional investigation of Iraqi oil funds paid to U.S. contractors had not been proposed until today.

The subcommittee intends to subpoena the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for information on the management of Iraq's oil revenues and to request that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld provide audits on noncompetitive contracts.

So far, the Bush administration has admitted that U.S. companies bribed Saddam Hussein's government in order to win business from the dictator. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, told Congress last April that U.S. companies had bribed Saddam Hussein's government in exchange for government contracts during the 1990s. Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joseph Biden (D-DE) urged Negroponte to disclose the names of U.S. companies involved in the bribes, but he refused.

The congressional General Accounting Office estimated that Saddam's regime acquired $10.1 billion illegally through the sale of $5.7 billion in oil smuggled to Syria, Turkey and Jordan, and $4.4 billion through kickbacks paid by firms selling food, medicine and other goods to Iraq. The illegal sales occurred between 1997 and 2002. Ironically, some of that money ultimately was paid to Halliburton to finance Iraq's reconstruction after Saddam's downfall.

More Information

Under Cheney, Halliburton Helped Saddam Hussein Siphon Billions from UN Oil-for-Food Program

AP: Panel to Probe Use of Iraq Oil Revenues

U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority Audit Reports

Global Policy Forum: Development Fund for Iraq

HalliburtonWatch: Halliburton won 60 percent of Iraq's reconstruction funds

Christian Aid report on Iraq oil revenues

Iraq Revenue Watch

Foreign Policy In Focus: Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil