It looks bad. Even if the e-mail cited by Time doesn’t mean what it appears to mean, it looks bad.
I know a little bit about the oil and gas industry. Not much, but a little. Enough to know that there aren’t many companies in the world capable of the kind of work it’s going to require to bring the Iraqi oilfields up to full capacity. It just so happens that Halliburton is one of them. (Nearly all of the rest are foreign corporations.)
It also happens that Vice President Cheney is the former CEO of Halliburton. And it happens that there were no bidders against Halliburton for the multibillion dollar deal it was just awarded to rebuild Iraq’s oilfields.
The e-mail Time references in an article coming out next week seems to indicate that the no-bid contract was coordinated through the vice president’s office.
If this had happened during the Clinton administration, conservatives would be screaming bloody murder. Rightly so.
It may be that there was no impropriety about the handling of this contract. But it sure looks bad.