Friday, November 26, 2004

A Conspiracy of Dunces

A third or more of the government property Halliburton Co. was paid to manage for the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq could not be located by auditors, investigative reports to Congress show.

Halliburton's KBR subsidiary "did not effectively manage government property" and auditors could not locate hundreds of CPA items worth millions of dollars in Iraq and Kuwait this summer and fall, Inspector General Stuart W. Bowen reported to Congress in two reports.

Bowen's findings mark the latest bad news for Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, which is the focus of both a criminal investigation into alleged fuel price gouging and an FBI inquiry into possible favoritism from the Bush administration.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that FBI agents have extensively interviewed an Army contracting officer who last month went public with allegations that the Bush administration was improperly awarding contracts to Halliburton without competitive bidding.

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