For months the Bush administration has insisted it has given Halliburton, Vice President Cheney’s former company, "no special treatment." Now, the top civilian contracting official for the Army Corps of Engineers, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, says "the Army granted the Halliburton Company large contracts for work in Iraq and the Balkans without following rules designed to ensure competition and fair prices to the government." According to Greenhouse, "Army officials inappropriately allowed representatives of Halliburton to sit in as they discussed the terms of a contract the company was set to receive." In retaliation for raising questions about the Halliburton contracts, Greenhouse "was excluded from major decisions to award money and…her job status was threatened." Greenhouse is calling "for a high-level investigation of what she described as threats to the ‘integrity of the federal contracting program.’"
HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED: Months before the invasion of Iraq, Halliburton was awarded "a secret contract ? to draw up plans for fixing oil facilities." Once the invasion began, the administration deemed Halliburton the only company capable of carrying out the plans. Greenhouse "argued strenuously that a noncompetitive contract should not be given for more than one year." Nevertheless, the administration granted "a five-year contract worth up to $7 billion." A March 2003 e-mail, previously reported by Time Magazine, reveals that the multibillion dollar no-bid contract for Halliburton was "coordinated" with Cheney’s office.