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Nigerian government to charge Dick Cheney in massive bribery case over natural gas pipeline

By Climate Guest Contributor on December 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

"Nigerian government to charge Dick Cheney in massive bribery case over natural gas pipeline"

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cheney.jpgBeyond the question “has anyone in U.S. history made more Americans less safe than Dick Cheney?” lies “is Dick Cheney simply the worst vice president ever?”

Today we learned the Nigerian government will charge former Vice President Dick Cheney in a massive bribery case involving $180 million in kickbacks paid to Nigerian lawmakers, who awarded a $6 billion natural gas pipeline contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR when Cheney was running the company.  ThinkProgress has the story in this cross-post.

Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said indictments will be lodged in a Nigerian court “in the next three days,” and an arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol.”

KBR already plead guilty in the U.S. last year in relation to the bribery scheme, and along with Halliburton agreed to pay a $579 million settlement. “This bribery scheme involved both senior foreign government officials and KBR corporate executives who took actions to insulate themselves from the reach of U.S. law enforcement,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division at the time. Cheney was indeed a “KBR corporate executive” at the time, but was not specifically charged. The case revolves largely around the actions of London lawyer Jeffrey Tesler, who maintained strong connections with the Nigerian government and was hired by Halliburton subsidiaries to funnel money to them in order to obtain lucrative contracts. Halliburton Watch explains the Cheney connection:

[In June 2004], Halliburton fires Albert Jack Stanley after investigators say he received $5 million in “improper” payments from Mr. Tesler”¦. Halliburton spokesperson, Wendy Hall, said that during the years he ran KBR, Mr. Stanley reported to David Lesar, Halliburton’s president and chief operating officer at the time and CEO today. Mr. Lesar reported to Mr. Cheney when Cheney was chief executive”¦. According to the Dallas Morning News, “Mr. Cheney ran Halliburton when one of four suspicious payments occurred.” [...]

The Wall Street Journal reports on newly disclosed evidence by Halliburton, including notes written by M.W. Kellogg employees during the mid-1990s in which they discussed bribing Nigerian officials. The Financial Times of London said the evidence “raises questions over what Mr Cheney knew – or should have known – about one of the largest contracts awarded to a Halliburton subsidiary.”

A Cheney spokesperson told Reuters he had no comment, but would later today. It is important to note that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “” of which Halliburton is a member “” recently lobbied to weaken an important U.S. law that “stops American-based multinational firms from bribing foreign governments in order to win special business advantages,” as ThinkProgress detailed in October.

– George Zornick, in a TP post.

JR: One could write an entire book on Cheney’s single-handed efforts to destroy a livable climate for your children, grandchildren, and the next 50 generations of Americans.  I suspect someone will.  The Washington Post has already written a long story about his role promoting pollution: “The vice president has intervened in many cases to undercut long-standing environmental rules for the benefit of business.”

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12 Responses to Nigerian government to charge Dick Cheney in massive bribery case over natural gas pipeline

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    Surprise!

    BBC Breaking – Russian Permafrost Melt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKyRHDFKEXQ

    Brought to you by people like Cheney.

  2. Bob Doublin says:

    Please tell me that if he’s found guilty on all charges he can be hanged?

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    Cheney is so hated everywhere that he rarely travels these days. Kissinger won’t go to Europe because Spain would haul him in to be tried for crimes against humanity. The US will never allow extradition of either one of them.

    They face no legal danger in our courts, nor is there any hazard for top execs from Xe, Chevron, and Massey Coal. All are clearly guilty of fraud, theft, and homicide through negligence.

    The courts, mainstream media, and political opponents give them all a pass. We will know that we have a functioning democracy if they are held to account in a court of law, and given prison time instead of the occasional fines. So far there have not even been indictments, beyond the occasional small fry.

    The Right is furious at us, but for what? Taxing the wealthy, and regulating polluting power plants? It’s time to stand up not just for justice, but for what is necessary.

  4. tc says:

    Mike, you are right that Cheney is in no legal danger so long as he doesn’t travel because the US will never allow extradition, but we shouldn’t forget that Cheney himself was a proponent of “extraordinary rendition” and could now perhaps be subject to it, based on the (illegal) standard which he helped set. If the US can do it, why not Nigeria?

  5. MarkF says:

    amazing that this story, draws five comments.

    I guess it shows just how low the USA has fallen.

    Interesting to relate it to the fact that halliburton moved its head office to Dubai a few years ago.

    That as well was a yawner for people, even though the company does big business in North America, and with the government of the United States.

    Strange days.

  6. Dougles says:

    Interesting that the newstory says that Mr. Lesar once reported to Mr. Cheney when Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton. Mr. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton between 1995 and 2000. This alleged incident happended in 2004.

  7. spiritkas says:

    Dubai is the new Delaware in the lawless multinational universe of tax evasion, corruption of governments and their regulations, and in endless profits achieved by turning the blood they squeeze out of unprotected and in their eyes expendable workers of the LDCs and the limited resources they can extract from the earth into money. A multinational inherently knows no country and has no loyalty to anything except profit, it has no allegiance to democracy or freedom and in many ways by nature of their identity and existence are opposed to democracy, equality, freedom, and nearly any other value you or I might hold dear.

    A free market and a free people cannot exist in one nation.

    We don’t exist in that universe. Truly to learn of their greed and hatred/disinterest in the poor (99% of the people in the world), one must only see what they do or listen to what they say amongst themselves.

    Cheers,

    spiritkas

  8. MarkF says:

    “So far there have not even been indictments, beyond the occasional small fry.”

    I wonder how long the government can stall the investigation of the gulf oil disaster? The Coal mine disaster with Massey energy?

    nothing will come of those things.

    “shock and awe” of corruption. rendering the populace angry, but ineffectual, indifferent.

  9. It is time for the IRS to go after Halliburton. U.S. corporations that move abroad to avoid taxes are still subject to U.S. taxes. The same goes for U.S. citizens, and now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporate entities can be treated as individuals, then Halliburton is doubly damned. Or did some of our corrupt legislators put in an exemption in the tax code just for Halliburton. People, have you ever caught a glimpse of the handy exemptions written into the Code? They look like the begats with names conveniently left blank.

  10. espiritwater says:

    Yes, I read about the Niger Delta, and the awful, dispicable things which happened there– to the indigenous people and to the watershed, which was one of the largest, most prolific watersheds in the world– until the oil companies came and turned it into a pit from hell! The book, “Blessed Unrest” gives a detailed, heartbreaking description.

  11. Prokaryotes says:

    Dick Cheney to be charged in $180-million Halliburton bribery case
    Dick Cheney, former US vice president, will be charged Thursday by Nigerian anti-corruption police in a case against Halliburton.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2010/1203/Dick-Cheney-to-be-charged-in-180-million-Halliburton-bribery-case