Campaign 2010

Jun 14, 2004

Waxman: Halliburton Stalker

Looks like it’s working:

As the government prepared for war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, a senior political appointee in the Defense Department chose oil services giant Halliburton Co. to secretly plan how to repair Iraqi oil fields, and then briefed Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff and other White House officials about the sole-source contract before it was granted.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) said the new details about the $1.8 million contract, disclosed last week in a Pentagon briefing for congressional staff members, raise new questions about whether the vice president or his office played any role in decisions to give what became billions of dollars worth of government business to Halliburton, where Cheney was chief executive from 1995 to 2000.

Cheney has said neither he nor his office influenced decisions to give contracts to Halliburton.

In a letter to Cheney yesterday, Waxman said the circumstances “appear to contradict your assertions that you were not informed about the Halliburton contracts.”

“They also seem to contradict the Administration’s repeated assertions that political appointees were not involved in the award of contracts to Halliburton,” wrote Waxman, senior Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee and one of the sharpest critics of the government’s ties to Halliburton.



The letter describes a briefing at which Michael H. Mobbs, a political appointee who works closely with undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith, acknowledged that he selected Halliburton for Iraq reconstruction work. Mobbs that he believed Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary was most qualified, in part because it was familiar with plans under development by U.S. Central Command, the letter said.

Before making a final decision, Mobbs briefed top officials from several executive agencies, in a group known as the Deputies Committee, to ensure they had no objections. Among those at the meeting were Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s top aide, and White House staff members. After that meeting, Waxman’s letter says, a White House official told Feith the group did not object.

A career lawyer from the Army Materiel Command, responsible for another contract with Halliburton for meals and laundry services, said that arrangement should not be expanded to include contingency planning for Iraq’s oil infrastructure. “These legal reservations were overruled, however,” in part because a Defense Department attorney working with Mobbs intervened, according to Waxman’s letter.

Who is this Mobbs character?  Some low level lackey?


The sealed and unsealed submissions to which the judge referred were the so-called Mobbs Declaration, which was authored by Michael H. Mobbs, a special adviser in the U.S. Department of Defense. The declaration lays out the president’s authority to designate enemy combatants and the reasons why Padilla was so designated.

Or try this:

...Michael H. Mobbs, 54, a Pentagon lawyer who will act as Garner’s right hand in administering civilian affairs in post-Saddam Iraq. That will give Mobbs complete control over 11 of Iraq’s 23 existing ministries and power to set the law enforcement standards applicable to already beaten-down Iraqi civilians.

Or this:


...Michael H. Mobbs, who has broad responsibility over the new Iraqi government. Some reports have described Mobbs as a sort of temporary prime minister.

Mobbs?  Never heard of him.  Waxman letter here (pdf).

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