Halliburton Tries to Get Half Off Its Bribe for Cheney’s Freedom

As I noted last week, Halliburton is in negotiations to reach a plea deal with Nigeria to drop its bribery charges against Dick Cheney. At that point, Nigeria was demanding $500 million for such a deal, which led Gregg to quip, “So, Cheney Halliburton is bribing Nigeria to drop bribery charges?”

As Reuters reports, Halliburton and Nigeria are getting closer to a deal. Over the course of negotiations, though, it appears Halliburton has asked for half off of Nigeria’s original demand, or a total fine of $250 million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it met with officials representing Cheney and Halliburton in London last week after filing 16-count charges at a federal high court in Abuja in a case dating back to the mid-1990s.

Halliburton, which has said the Nigerian charges have no legal basis, could not immediately be reached to comment on the outcome of the meeting. But EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said an offer had been made to pay fines totalling up to $250 million.

“They have made offers of fines to be paid in penalties. They offered to pay $120 million in addition to the repatriation of $130 million trapped in Switzerland,” Babafemi said.

“It will need to be ratified by the government and we expect a decision by the end of the week,” he said.

It seems like the value of Cheney’s freedom, like all other goods, declines the closer you get to Christmas. Cheney better hope that Nigeria ratifies this deal soon though, because you never know what happens to goods left on the shelf after the holidays.

36 replies
  1. Mauimom says:

    Fear not: Halliburton will just take a deduction for this as a “cost of doing business,” which will reduce the amount of their income subject to US tax.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      I wasn’t aware that we had any income subject to US taxes. I’ll have to speak to the accountants.

      R. Cheney (And I thought we had those guys on the payroll. As contractors, so no FICA)

  2. Jason Leopold says:

    From the African Press Association

    The U.S. government has called on Nigeria to carefully review the 16-count corruption allegations made against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney…


    The U.S. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Johnnie Carson (!!), made the plea in Washington while fielding questions from some African journalists including Nigeria during a conference call.

    Carson said in the statement that review was necessary to ensure that the allegations were not politically motivated as opposed to a legitimate legal matter.

    Asked if Cheney would be allowed to stand trial in Nigeria, Carson said charges laid should be carefully and deeply substantiated as they were “very serious.’’

    He said that the U.S. authorities had been following the case closely and had spoken to the Nigerian authorities about it.

    • Sebastos says:

      Given the reputation of Nigeria’s government, I wonder if the real plan was merely to shake down Halliburton.

      At the same time, there is a world-historic irony in the contrast between our government’s cautions about the need for ironclad evidence in the case of Dick Cheney, and their indecent haste to extradite Julian Assange.

      • eCAHNomics says:

        My guess is ya try to shakedown HAL aka USG at your peril. If all else fails, there’s always the drones.

        On edit: Your comment is just one more stone in the graveyard of irony when it comes to the U.S.

  3. Mary says:

    Half off and then some, since the 130 came from the whole consortium.

    Interesting, though, isn’t it – how Halliburton is negotiating with the account that their personal lackeys, the DOJ, has frozen.

  4. eCAHNomics says:

    Nigeria better sign off soon, as after the holiday giving spirit, HAL will be feeling much meaner & will be willing to settle for much less. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they didn’t have blackmail ammunition on Nigerian officials & end up getting off without paying a cent.

  5. papau says:

    Halliburton court ordered payments – fines – are not deductible for US tax purposes – but I guarantee the IRS will agree these were effectively an Income tax” to be deducted dollar for dollar for taxes owed the US – should Halliburton ever make an accounting mistake in the future and find that it actually owes the US taxes.

    And if the GOP – and those Dems that want to “modernize” the US corporate tax system get their way (as in the catfood commission/Obama ideas), we will change to a territorial corporate tax system were profits made outside the US (via accounting one makes all profits outside the Us and runs the US operation at a loss) are never to be taxes by the US. So being able to claim the fines as effectively a tax will no longer matter – indeed when you have everything – pay nothing to the US – our corporations will be able to be a little more truthful on classification of fines and penalties – but they will still lie about where the profits are made.

  6. TarheelDem says:

    So we’re at the “We both know what we are; we are just haggling over the price” stage of negotiation?

  7. Revroe says:

    Cheney deserves to sit in prison at least for this. He should be in prison here in the US for all of his crimes but with Obama’s tacit support, he walks. Go figure.

  8. Ymhotep says:

    Halliburton is a bit distracted with the 1,000-mile natural gas pipeline Karzai proposed building last Saturday right through the heartland of the Taliban insurgency to be bothered by what Nigeria wants to do with Cheney. So the war in Afghanistan and the 100,000 American troops to defend it is all about building a natural gas pipeline to supply India and Pakistan with natural gas after all. Peace

    • papau says:

      LOL –

      and we said that an Afghanistan gas pipeline was the goal 10 years ago!

      And the only thing we got wrong was who in big oil would get the Iraq well contracts – turns out the Chinese got into the game somehow and got the southern wells. Guess those 2001-2002 CIA retirements were costly for our corporations.

  9. SueDe says:

    I’m 64 years old, born immediately after WWII, so I grew up with black and white TV with three news channels. Huntley and Brinkley, Cronkite and Rather were the main information sources. We heard about what the government, foreign governments, the news editors at the network and the anchors wanted us to hear. We had no idea how politcally corrupt our officials were and and how dastardly our foreign policy was.

    We had to wait for historians to write books before we learned the truth of things. It took the assassinations in the ’60s, the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights movement, Women’s Liberation and Watergate, which all happened during the decades of my growing up and becoming an activist, for the public to start realizing the levels of perfidy that our politicians were capable of. It took many years and many lives for us to learn how our government worked.

    Believe me, this information technology – the internet, cable TV, e-zines and blogs – is just a godsend for us old activists. And so is social networking, as we all learned a long time ago that the only power we the people can exercise over our own government is through the ballot box. All the power and the money lie with with the “Masters of the Universe” both inside and outside our government. The only thing we have is numbers – and the vote – which if organized can overcome the fondest wishes of the Powers that Be. Thirty and fourty years ago, we marched in the streets, stole incriminating information from the government and published it, organized activists to hold sit-ins, teach-ins, salons in order to educate ourselves about the lies and corruption and call attention to it through demonstrations.

    The information technology makes organizing easy, but the young people have to do the organizing and demonstrating now. It took years of marching against the Viet Nam war when I was in college and afterward before we saw the older generations in the streets with us. We made a difference, and sometimes we got extreme, but the tide turned on the nefarious actions of our government back then only when our numbers reached a critical mass of people who were engaged enough to vote.

    So get busy, you younger folk. Make your voices heard and organize your butts off. We made things better for a while, but the Powers that Be need constant watching and continuous opposition. You start, and we oldsters will show up.

    • RevBev says:

      What a nice review and important warning….it has been an eye opener to see the struggle to wind back so much progress…Who woulda thought?

  10. TheOracle says:

    Bribing foreign governments and officials seems to be an essential business strategy of Halliburton.

    Our government gives foreign aid to countries. That’s okay.

    But isn’t there a U.S. law making it a crime when businesses bribe foreign officials?

    • Stephen says:

      Yeah, lets make a deal. If you Israelis play nice for just a little while and don’t go kicking anymore of those pesky Arabs off their land to expand settlements we’ll give you a brand new set of F-35’s. We may even change our mind and let you continue on with the expansion once the media is looking the other way. What the hell, we’re all one big happy family anyway.

  11. tanbark says:

    “charges…have no legal basis…”

    As opposed to the witchhunt on Julian Assange, which is the very essence of judicial accuracy and fairness…

  12. MarkH says:

    What was it Dr. Evil said, “I’m demanding ONE MILLION DOLLARS or I’ll blow something up. What’s that, a million isn’t so much any more? Okay, make it ONE BILLION DOLLARS.” The amount probably isn’t really tied to anything except how deep the pockets are and how greedy some people are. In this case the question of how frozen the Swiss assets are determines how deep the pockets.

    Cheney could probably echo G. H. W. Bush and say (paraphrasing), “If the public knew what all we had done they’d string us up and run us out of town.”

  13. Mary says:

    The way Halliburton is playing so fast and loose with the 130 mill Swiss account – which is Tesler’s account after all and Tesler hasn’t been convicted in the US or even extradited yet – Holder’s World Cup trip (which I still have to laugh at, when Qatar got the nod) looks more and more like a trip to tell the Swiss that the DOJ is a whollly owned subsidiary of Halliburton and that Halliburton can do whatever it wants with that account the US DOJ got the Swiss to freeze.

    I guess if I was Tesler I’d be weighing as one option cutting a deal with the Nigerians for a fast plea that acknowledges awards them all his right, title and interest in and to the Swiss account as disgorgement and sidetracks any time servied. Typically that would wrap up some of the legailities – so Halliburton has less to put on th table bc Nigeria already has the Swiss account and Tesler can argue in his extradition that he’s a UK/Israeli citizen (not US) and that his company wasn’t US and the activities weren’t US and that the real party in interest – the Nigerian government – has convicted him and set his penalty. Maybe top it off with the info that the US is really just trying to prevent him from testifying against US based wrongdoers who they have chosen not to charge and that the extradition request is solely politically motivated to protect those persons, as it serves no other purpose than to interfere with the convictions and investigations of the real party damaged, Nigeria, which IS actively pursuing the case.

    And there is, also, the defense that they would be extraditing him to a nation that unabashedly practices torture on its detainees and extraditing him to protect one of the unabashed torture architects in the US government.

    None of it will happen, though. Holder and Halliburton are going to bully Nigeria left and right. I guess if I was in Russian intel, though, and the US had my arms dealer (even though they had used him themselves) I might be trying to find a way to nudge Nigeria.

    BTW – several sources out there tell you that the Guardian is trying to get access to the US Tesler extradition documents, but any time I try to pull links to those stories up, I get errors messages that the DNS server is experiencing difficulty. I had this problem before getting Guardian links on this story. I’m wondering if it has to do with this story or, more likely, attacks on the Guardian sites in general for its hosting of wikileaks?

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