For weeks, newspapers in France, Britain and Australia have been writing about the possibility that Vice President Cheney will come under criminal investigation for his role in the massive coverup of the bribery scandal that took place when he headed Haliburton.
Associated Press ran the story in December, and The Dallas Morning News (subscription required) broke the story on Jan 10, but so far the other 11 of America’s 12 highest-circulation daily papers haven’t covered Cheney’s inclusion in the investigation at all according to MoveOn.org
MoveOn is urging its members who are part of its volunteer media corps to write letters to the editors of the errant papers — a move that has resulted in a flood of letters over past issues.
The investigation involves allegations that Halliburton, subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, and a French company together paid $180 million in illegal commissions to government officials during the construction of a natural gas complex in Nigeria.
This comes after Halliburton’s admission in May that, under Cheney’s leadership, the oil-field services company “paid a Nigerian tax official $2.4 million in bribes to get favorable tax treatment,” according to the Associated Press. An investigation on the matter by the Securities and Exchange Commission continues. Halliburton has also come under fire for inflating gasoline prices in Iraq and receiving noncompetitive contracts to rebuild Iraqi oil facilities.
Initiated by French law enforcement authorities, the case would be prosecuted under an international treaty making bribery of foreign public officials a criminal offense. The treaty has been signed by the United States, France, and over 30 other countries.