$500 Million to Keep Cheney Out of Jail?

Apparently, Halliburton is in negotiations with the Nigerian government to craft a plea deal that would keep Dick Cheney out of jail. (h/t scribe)

Halliburton is planning to make a plea bargain in former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s corruption case, Nigerian officials told GlobalPost.


Halliburton is in talks with Nigerian officials to make a plea bargain in the case, said Femi Babafemi, spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the agency which has pressed the charges against Cheney.

“The companies are asking for a plea bargain, we are reviewing their request, we are talking with them, but we have not gone far with the talks yet,” Babafemi told GlobalPost.

Although Babafemi did not give further details, other sources within the agency said the plea bargain might involve a $500 million settlement.


Cheney and three other top executives could face sentences of three years in a Nigerian prison if convicted of the charges in the 16-count indictment, said Babafemi.

$500 million or three years in Nigerian prison. I wonder how much he or his former employers woul’d pay to avoid imprisonment on torture charges?

69 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    I wonder how much the Internet could raise to PUT Cheney in Jail.

    I wonder how much has already been spent, by ObamaLLP or BushCo, to keep him out of jail up to this point. At least they aren’t asking the taxpayers to put up this $500M. Currently.

    Boxturtle (I wonder why Halliburton is worried, Obama would never honor a Nigerian warrant)

    • Peterr says:

      “Bribe” is such an ugly term. We prefer to call it “a corporate donation that expresses our appreciation for the fine work of the government of Nigeria.”


    • Rayne says:

      They’ll probably draw down on an E&O insurance policy (Executives and Officers). Most large corporations take out policies to protect themselves against acts by their leadership. What I can’t recall (having read these kinds of policies more than a decade ago) is whether they can provide coverage against acts which are illegal.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        They CAN. But most insurers don’t. However, if you agree to a large enough permium, it’s not illegal.

        Dunno if Halliburton’s policy covers this. But if I had Dick Cheney on staff, you can be sure I’d pay the extra.

        Boxturtle (You never know who’s emails wikileaks has)

    • dustbunny44 says:

      Publicly traded doesn’t mean publicly accountable.
      Paying $500M to excuse the illegal actions of an employee makes as much sense as paying executive employees dozens of millions in salary and bonus and perks – as if you couldn’t find a collection of competent managers to do the work for *lots* less. But they all do that, and we have an executive class in this country of tens of thousands.
      Still can’t escape the Pythonesque irony of bribing a country to excuse a bribery charge.

    • Acharn says:

      I think Halliburton is publicly traded, but I’m too lazy to go look it up. On the other hand the idea that the shareholders have any right to any of the company’s money is ludicrous. Haven’t you been paying attention over the last eighty years? The corporation exists for the benefit of the management team, not the shareholders. The shareholders are sufficiently rewarded by basking in the glory of their magnificent management team, who must be protected at all costs. Besides, the U.S. Government will reimburse them.

  2. DeadLast says:

    I am sure a $500 million payment to keep someone from facing charges would never be construed as a “bribe”. Wouldn’t a disgorgement of profits be a more appropriate “fine”?

  3. TarheelDem says:

    So Halliburton is putting together a bribe as a plea bargain for Dick Cheney in a bribery case. And then they are going to take it off on their taxes.

  4. manys says:

    So Dick Cheney is too corrupt for Nigeria, but perhaps Nigeria is still just corrupt enough for Dick Cheney!

  5. Mary says:

    Oh my – I’m so shocked. You think this might all come down to money??

    Surely not. ;)

    The Nigerians need a good tough negotiator on this one. There’s not one frickin reason they should walk away with less than the US. After all, the DOJ has been taking payoffs to keep people out of Nigerian jails for a deal that involved … Nigeria … to the tune of:

    Chodan forfeiture $ 726,885
    KBR criminal fine $402 million
    KBR Parent Halliburton disgorgement $177 million

    OK – so at a minimu, they should get a direct match for the guy the US snatched during their pending request for him and the KBR & Halliburton “keep me out of Nigerian jails and keep Stanley out free while he’s *cooperating* payments” So at 500 mill, they’re in the neighborhood of 80 short. Then there’s the other payoffs that the DOJ collected to keep people out of jail – I’m thinking they should probably be looking at matching funding if nothing else there –

    Snamprogetti/ENI paid $ 365 mill and Technip paid $240 million in crim fines and $98 million in disgorgement.

    So the Dutch, Italian and French may be looking at some matching funding for their execs that have been rounded up too, but nothing is going to get attention like the Cheney charges.

    Poor Tesler – if Halliburton crams throught their deal fast and dirty, his holdout isn’t going to get him much – the DOJ is going to be happy to put him into jail – after all, he doesn’t own them like the US criminals from the Exec branch do.

    Anyone interested should be going and following some of the articles at the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) blog. It’s had some really interesting pieces on the Senate hearings that were going on the end of Nov . I found this one interesting – esp as it slices an dices through Lanny Breuer’s “stats”


    … we asked whether FCPA-related mega settlements are replacing individual prosecutions.

    That subject popped up at Tuesday’s hearing about FCPA enforcement, when Senator Specter asked Mike Koehler about the DOJ’s tally of individual prosecutions.

    With Mike’s permission, we reprint below some of his comments

    Worth a read.

    Side not – the brave Senate is set to take up impeachment. Of a US Judge charged with taking bribes.

    Nothing like a US DOJ keeping High Dollar criminals out of jail by making shareholders pay for the bribe fine.

  6. Mary says:

    YEAH – the House rejection of Obama’s plan to give out tax cuts to the most wealthy (alhtough I’m sure it will be shortlived, mishandled, and end up a mess and morass) has given us all the opportunity to once again be enlightened by Larry Summers.


    Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, told reporters that if the measure isn’t passed soon, it will “materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip” recession. That put the White House in the unusual position of warning its own party’s lawmakers they could be to blame for calamitous consequences if they go against the president.

    Good job Bama! Obviously it’s not like there’ve been any “calamtous consequences” of following your boy Larry.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Yeah, well, Larry neglects to point out that the same thing will happen if we PASS that bill.

      Boxturtle (Minor oversight, I’m sure)

      • Mary says:

        I guess when it suits his political and cya interests, Summers can read Roubini and Krugman and Stiglitz after all. ;)

        • jerryy says:

          “…Summers can read Roubini and Krugman and Stiglitz after all.”

          Too bad he forgot to read Adam Smith who so long ago tossed out these remarkably apt chestnuts:

          “No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.”

          “It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.”

          “With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.”

          I guess capitalism is now like the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution; quaint old stuff.

  7. MadDog says:

    OT – The DOJ released AG Holder’s letter about the legislation to block transfer of Guantanamo Detainees:

    Attorney General Expresses Opposition to Legislation Blocking Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees

    Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today in opposition to language in the proposed 2011 Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act that would prohibit the transfer of detainees from the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States for any purpose, including to stand trial…


    …It would therefore be unwise, and would set a dangerous precedent with serious implications for the impartial administration of justice, for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Executive branch to prosecute terrorists in these venues. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion has always been and must remain an Executive branch function.

    We have been unable to identify any parallel to Section 1116 in the history of our nation in which Congress has intervened to prohibit the prosecution of particular persons or crimes. It would be a mistake to tie the hands of the President and his national security advisers now…

    While I agree that the Attorney General should object to this legislation and I appreciate his courage in saying so, I must fault him for not doing so more potently.

    While IANAL, it seems to me that this legislation is even more egregious than AG Holder seems to understand.

    In my understanding, this legislation is an explicit attempt to obstruct justice! That is, a criminal offense!

    First, as a legal statement, I would strongly urge the AG to send a wee followup note to Congress stating that any and all who vote for this legislation will be swiftly arrested by the FBI and charged in Federal court with obstruction of justice.

    And I’m willing to bet that the encroached-upon Federal judiciary would call “Bullshit” on any defense of “Congressional Immunity” and back the Executive Branch to the hilt.

    Second, as a political statement of “Fuck me? No, fuck you!” to those who would obstruct justice, I would strongly urge both Obama and Holder to immediately transfer Guantanamo detainees whose prosecution cases are ready for Federal trial into the custody of US Marshals for the appropriate detention in US federal facilities to await their trials.

    And lastly, Obama himself should come out publicly and strongly reiterate that any, fookin’ any attempt by any fookin’ one to interfere with the administration of justice will be arrested, charged and quite likely convicted and imprisoned for attempting to obstruct the justice of the United States!

    Grow a pair Obama and Holder! You hold the highest positions of power in the strongest branch of government in the entire world. Start using it the way it was designed to be used!

  8. fatster says:

    Whew! Quite forcefully said, Maddog.

    In other news from Nigeria and Big Pharma,

    WikiLeaks cables: Pfizer used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout
    Cables say drug giant hired investigators to find evidence of corruption on Nigerian attorney general to persuade him to drop legal action


    • MadDog says:

      Whew! Quite forcefully said, Maddog…

      Been a long day! *g*

      I don’t mind if folks disagree with my position on this (and I’m not suggesting you do or don’t), but I’m awfully tired of the Obama Administration’s and the Democratic Party’s “We surrender! Can we negotiate now?” mindset and overall cowardice when bullied by the increasingly batshit crazy Repugs.

      The only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.

      • fatster says:

        It’s been a long day–shoot! It’s been a long ten years, and we’re further than ever from where we were in 2000 in terms of the safety and security of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, government institutions (I won’t even bother further escalating blood pressure by mentioning our politicians), the economy, systemic corruption, unprecedented consolidation of wealth, etc.

        As you said, “The only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.” If only that concept would take hold and grow among “our” politicians.

    • piehole says:

      Fatster, the January issue of Vanity Fair has an investigative report that may be of interest to you. Deadly Medicine:

      Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves? The authors investigate the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Government’s failure to rein in a lethal profit machine.
      By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele.

  9. fraudguy says:

    Remember, the disbursement by Halliburton can be taken as a tax deduction as a business expense; likely by an American subsidiary so that they can get a refund while the main corp in Dubai still makes a profit.

  10. Paddy999 says:

    Hey Nigeria! Make him pay for USA Unemployed and add the 99ers and make it permanent! UK unemployment does not expire to play political hostage games. Cheney is a criminal and make his daughther get off the talking head shows. That’s a start.

    If the GOP/McConnell tax cut plan wins and it hurts American’s, You can be sure all working American’s will be telling all Republican’s to go **ck themselves for good.

  11. bigbrother says:

    Great post, makes me wonder if the Hague is taking nites on all the international law and treaty violations by Cheney/Bush. Can the Hague, Permanent Court of International justice,be bought through their arbitration section?
    At some point don’t we as a civilization hae to look bakward and address these crimes against humanity?

  12. Shoto says:

    For Halliburton to already be in negotiations and floating around numbers of that magnitude, one might conclude that the stakes are much higher than we know. Some very ugly stuff buried out there, I’m guessing. Can a US citizen be legally extradited to Nigeria? I know it won’t happen in this case, but I have to admit that it would make for some PPV-level entertainment. Definitely must-see TV.

        • mzchief says:

          Hmmm … Isn’t former Ambassador Joseph Wilson considered an expert on Nigeria? Now recall the public statements about “Nigerian yellow cake” as a run up to war in Iraq followed by Plame’s outing.

          • prostratedragon says:

            Amb. Wilson has experience in Niger, the landlocked country to the north of Nigeria. (They share the basin of the Niger River.)

            Nice clickable map here.

              • mzchief says:

                What I’m trying to say is that the Ambassador would also be well served by having an excellent command of regional issues relative to the focus of his assignment. It seems it would be tough to do his job otherwise as no single political entity is an island until itself (unless it really, really is an island nation state). :P

      • Mary says:

        It is kind of nice for Shell that Cheney’s indictment is diverting a bit from the info that Shell pretty much had infiltrated and owned all the ministries in Nigeria.

  13. mzchief says:

    The word for ‘negative synergy’ in my opinion is collusion. Collusion is pre-meditated price fixing and market manipulation. Synergy means ‘happy accidents’ and ‘the whole being worth more than the sum of its parts.’ Collusion is corrosive and it feeds on itself in the face of weak governing institutions that have allowed themselves to be deluded by collusion’s siren song of ‘economies of scale,’ ‘productivity,’ and ‘market efficiency.’ Synergy is essentially anarchistic like Linux, P2P, Creative Commons, PirateBay, and Flash Mobs. Collusion was warned against by Adam Smith in “Wealth of Nations.” Synergy was predicted by philosophers and poets who heard America singing. Collusion is choking the life out of our grand experiment of democracy. Synergy, like seeds scattered by the wind, needs the fertile soil of a few imaginations to spontaneously erupt into a spiritually satisfying burst of color, light, and cognition. Synergy is love. Collusion is hate.

    – Max Keiser (link: http://www.maxkeiser.com )

  14. afblac says:

    Halliburton is a publically traded company. I doubt the shareholders would approve this kind of expenditure. What is Halliburton trying hide that they would even entertain such a scheme. Cheney’s health is so bad it is unlikely that he will be here much longer. As for the other three, what did they do that would warrant this. All they have to do is stay out of the country.

    • Elliott says:

      you make a nice point, but I wonder how much Halliburton income the shareholders figure they got via Cheney. I bet it’s more than 500 mill.

      EDIT: I bet it’s more than 500 mill to them.

  15. openhope says:

    I apologize for doing a drive-by with a question, a burning in my brain question.
    If there’s an Interpol warrant on Richard Cheney; his security guard is lawfully required to present him to the authorities. Right? So failure to do that would be in violation of our U.S. law. Right?
    Doesn’t that mean they’re aiding and abetting? Or whatever the term is. Criminal behavior.

  16. quanto says:

    As far as Cheney is concerned Halliburton would feed him to the wolves if it would increase their profit share. Just a quick search of Nigeria came up with this: http://www.winne.com/dncompany.php?id=464

    “Halliburton in Nigeria – History

    Halliburton established its presence in Nigeria in 1959 with the original Halliburton objective to help service Nigeria’s promising new oil and gas industry. Since then, Halliburton’s service offerings have grown from primarily cementing to a full array of other oil field products and services.

    Today in Nigeria, Halliburton comprises four major business groups — Halliburton Energy Services Nigeria Ltd., Halliburton Operations Nigeria Ltd., Baroid of Nigeria Ltd., and Landmark Graphics Nigeria, Ltd. Together, these groups have a work force of over seven hundred employees”

    They might just be trying to sooth feelings so they don’t get kicked out of the country, it appears they have been there for quite awhile and maybe they know Nigeria will be the next “war on terror” stop with all those no bid contracts.

  17. StevieGee says:

    The Nigerian govt. must be leaning on Haliburton to even get $500 mil. They must be telling Haliburton that if they’re gonna do business here you had better hand him over. Otherwise Haliburton and Cheney would just tell them to f**k off.

  18. Mary says:

    And sticking with the Nigerian theme – apparently Pfizer appears in the wikileaks docs

    According to a US cable released by WikiLeaks, Pfizer wanted to “put pressure” on Michael Aondoakaa.

    He was heading a lawsuit against the company over a 1996 drug trial during a meningitis epidemic.

    The trial allegedly led to the deaths of 11 children – charges Pfizer denies.

    Good thing having Pfizer experiment on African children, kill and disable them, then try to blackmail the Nigerian prosecutor to drop the case – with US embassy knowledge – isn’t anything Scherer or “real journalists” would find exceeds any ethical bounds.

    BTW – Aondoakaa has been removed from office.

  19. Mary says:

    Meanwhile, Khalid el-Masri just lost his appeal in Germany seeking to have the German prosecutors file charges against his kidnappers and torturers.


    He had to use transparent filings in the court to ask for the prosecutions – it’s only Obamaco and Buscho that journalists feel are entitled to use covert means to corruptly influence prosecution decisions.

  20. Mary says:

    I guess I missed this part – that the leaks are expected to include the files for 800 GITMO detainees

    After a Reuters article reported that WikiLeaks has the files of every Guantánamo detainee, a government official told The Times that the government believed the claim was correct and that it referred to a set of nearly 800 detainee “threat assessment” files compiled by the Pentagon during the Bush administration.

    In 2009, national-security officials re-assessed the 240 remaining detainees, vetting the military’s files against information collected by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. The newer assessments, however, were not put into the computer system from which the leaked documents are believed to have been downloaded.

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