For Inmediate Release
September 12, 2003 Contact: Press Office
Contact: (202) 646-5172
PENTAGON STONEWALLS RELEASE OF KELLOGG, BROWN & ROOT DOCUMENTS ON IRAQI OIL CONTRACTS
Halliburton's "KBR" Granted Contract Options for Up to
$7 Billion Over 5 Years
"National Security" Claimed for Withholding Justification, Approval and E-Mails Concerning "Sole Source" Contract to KBR
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, said today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has refused to produce records, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), pertaining to the decision to grant "sole source" contracts to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root ("KBR"). Sole source contracts are awarded to a company without having to go through a competitive bidding process.
Vice President Richard B. Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive and chairman from 1995 to 2000, when he stepped down to be President George W. Bush's running mate. The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating Halliburton's 1998 decision to change the way it accounted for revenue on cost-overrun projects. Last year Halliburton agreed to a $4 billion cash-and-stock deal to settle 200,000 asbestos lawsuits.
In a letter to Judicial Watch, dated September 5, 2003, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Counsel Richard L. Frenette claimed: "Thus far, the documents that have been located include justification and approval documents, which led to the award of a sole source contract to KBR and also a number of e-mail messages, all of which are classified documents." Under Exemption 1 of the FOIA, the government may protect "national security information" from disclosure to the public. Mr. Frenette went on to say that: "The contract is for a period of two years, with three one-year options, and the total amount of the contract cannot exceed $7 billion dollars."
"The Pentagon is acting like it has something to hide. And the news that their Halliburton contract could go up to $7 billion far exceeds any previous numbers put out by the Pentagon," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.