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Kerry Camp Seizes on Probe of Halliburton (be sure to read the last paragraph of article)
AP ^ | 10/29

Posted on 10/29/2004 2:10:11 AM PDT by ambrose

Kerry Camp Seizes on Probe of Halliburton

Friday October 29, 2004 9:16 AM

AP Photo OHLR108


Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) - After days of making hay over lost Iraqi explosives, John Kerry's campaign is seizing on an expanding FBI probe of Halliburton Co. as evidence the administration gives ``special favors'' to special interests. President Bush received affirmation of his wartime leadership in a very public salute from his former war commander.

Fresh off a World Series win with Kerry's hometown Red Sox, Boston pitcher and Bush fan Curt Schilling was stumping for the president Friday in New Hampshire, with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the wings for an appearance with Bush later in Ohio.

But the stars that counted for Bush on Thursday were those earned by a lineup of retired military officers who joined him before a crowd of more than 10,000 in suburban Cleveland. Chief among the brass, retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who oversaw the combat in the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns, saluted Bush on the stage and said Kerry ``disrespects our troops.''

``God bless you, Tommy,'' Bush said as he took the microphone from him.

Kerry bolted the Midwest for Florida, his campaign sorting through a series of unwelcome developments for the other side.

This late in the game, any miscue is ripe for exploitation, and the Republicans committed a few - in one instance watching former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani explain himself after seeming to blame troops in Iraq for the missing explosives.

Kerry's running mate quickly went on the offensive when word came out that the FBI has begun investigating whether the Pentagon improperly awarded no-bid Iraq reconstruction contracts to Halliburton Co., the Houston-based company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

``At every turn for the past four years, George Bush and Dick Cheney gave out special favors and looked out for their special interest friends,'' Sen. John Edwards said.

He told 3,000 people at a Davenport, Iowa, rally, ``You cannot stand with Halliburton, big oil companies and the Saudi royal family and still stand up for the American people.''

The Bush campaign, seeing an unusual opportunity to make gains in exotic Democratic turf, said Thursday that Cheney would go to Hawaii for a rally Sunday night, a striking investment of time and travel for a state Republicans rarely think they can win.

``We are competitive in the state; this is a very close race,'' spokeswoman Anne Womack said, attributing growing GOP support to fears of terrorism in the tourist haven.

Democrats long have accused the Bush administration of showing favoritism to Halliburton, but had trouble making the charges stick after congressional investigators found the company got no-bid contracts in part because no other firms could do the work.

Still, the matter is far from closed. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show FBI agents sought permission this week to interview Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting officer who went public with allegations that her agency unfairly awarded contracts worth billions of dollars to Halliburton subsidiary KBR.

Almost everywhere that counted, polls found the race exceptionally close. Internal campaign polls found it closer still.

New battleground surveys suggested Kerry was leading in Ohio and Michigan, Bush was ahead in Florida and the two were tied in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Oregon. Kerry was sending his daughter Alex to campaign in Hawaii, which Democrat Al Gore won by nearly 20 points in 2000.

Bush told USA Today he hasn't spent any time worrying that the campaign could end with no clear winner, as the 2000 race notoriously did.

``It's important that everybody vote, it's important that the elections be fair, and it's important that the election end on election night,'' he said in an interview published Friday.

Kerry, also speaking with USA Today on Thursday, said he believes the outcome will be known Tuesday night, ``just like I believed the Red Sox would win the World Series.''

Bush launched a stinging character assault on Kerry, telling thousands in Saginaw, Mich., ``a president cannot blow in the wind, a president must make tough decisions and stand by them.''

Bush advisers said their candidate was making gains in internal polls until Kerry's relentless attack on the disappearance of nearly 400 tons of explosives from an Iraqi weapons dump - an occurrence dating from the fall of Baghdad last year that both sides acknowledge is not fully understood.

Franks counterpunched, saying troops have destroyed 240,000 tons of Iraqi munitions, control an additional 162,000 tons and have cleared 10,000 ammunition and weapons sites. He said Kerry has no standing to label Bush as negligent on the missing cache.

``He cannot lead troops to victory in a war when he has made it perfectly clear that he does not support the cause,'' Franks said of Kerry.

The Democrat voted to authorize the president to go to war with Iraq but, through a series of labored explanations, said he did so based on flawed intelligence and Bush's assurances that he would build a true coalition and use his warmaking power as a last resort.

In an interview Thursday with ``NBC Nightly News,'' Kerry said that if he'd been president then, ``we might have gone to war,'' but he would have done so in a way that ensured ``the American people weren't carrying the burden and the entire world understood.''

Of Saddam Hussein's fate, Kerry said: ``It's absolutely impossible and irresponsible to suggest that if I were president, he wouldn't necessarily be gone. He might be gone. Because if he hadn't complied (with U.N. demands), we might have had to go to war.''


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: halliburton; kerry; kerryiraq
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To: Congressman Billybob

Moussaui. Good observations about Gorelick. Another member of the Party of the Criminally Insane.

41 posted on 10/29/2004 10:44:23 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (It's an honor to recognize those who've served in the United States military. We are grateful.)
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To: Beckwith

I believe Halliburton got into this sole-source relationship with the government for a specified period of time, and through a bidding process. The thing is, like you said, the Pentagon doesn't have time to go through a bidding process everytime they need something. So they go through a renewal every five years or so.

And Halliburton admitted they paid more than low bid for the fuel oil. It was from a source that made it safer to deliver, I forget the details. But they were paying for a premium on safety. Something the democrat and bureaucrat pinheads will never understand.

42 posted on 10/29/2004 10:55:56 AM PDT by johnb838 (Give Our President A Mandate! Get Out The Vote!)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican

Cheney sold all his retirement investments in the company to try to satisfy the rats. Did it help? Heck no.

43 posted on 10/29/2004 10:58:12 AM PDT by johnb838 (Give Our President A Mandate! Get Out The Vote!)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Well, her sitting on the commission that investigated the results of her glorious "wall" was rather spectacular hubris.

44 posted on 10/29/2004 11:00:12 AM PDT by johnb838 (Give Our President A Mandate! Get Out The Vote!)
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To: Howlin
Halliburton 2004 Contributions to John Kerry campaign: $4,999

Individual Halliburton employees who have contributed to Kerry.

Gorelick serves on several boards, including the Fannie Mae Foundation, United Technologies Corporation, Schlumberger, Limited, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Harvard College Board of Overseers, America's Promise, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and The National Park Foundation.

45 posted on 10/29/2004 11:18:36 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: Beckwith

Didn't Halliburton's original no-bid contracts come from the Clinton administration?

46 posted on 10/29/2004 12:50:57 PM PDT by Otta B Sleepin ("The only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act." G. W. Bush)
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To: Otta B Sleepin
Didn't Halliburton's original no-bid contracts come from the Clinton administration? That's what I read as no other firm was as capable.
47 posted on 10/29/2004 2:30:32 PM PDT by StarFan
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To: Howlin

My military brother says that Halliburton really is the only company with this sort of capability, and that they also took care of all the bases in Kosovo during the Clinton administration. FWIW.

48 posted on 10/29/2004 2:34:08 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: xuberalles
But I think it will backfire. And when it does, they will have lost even more credibility.

The problem is that it takes days to sink in...and there are issues that are still up in the air and not settled. We're so close to the election that things will not be finished sinking in until after the election - quite aside from early voters.

49 posted on 10/29/2004 8:33:28 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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