Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff was told in 2002 that Mr. Cheney’s former company would get no-bid work to plan, in secret, the restoration of Iraq’s oil facilities, but the information wasn’t given to the vice president, a White House official said yesterday.
Kevin Kellems, Mr. Cheney’s spokesman, told the Associated Press that he confirmed the decision not to tell Mr. Cheney with the vice president’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
“The vice president was not informed” that Halliburton would get the Defense Department contract, Mr. Kellems said.
Mr. Libby told participants at the October 2002 briefing that “the vice president’s office would not be involved and would have nothing to do with the matter,” Mr. Kellems said.
Mr. Kellems said National Security Council aide Frank Miller, who attended the 2002 briefing, confirmed Mr. Libby’s words. The secret contract was part of contingency planning in the event of war with Saddam Hussein.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, revealed Mr. Libby’s involvement at the meeting, in a letter to the vice president last weekend. Mr. Cheney has said repeatedly he was not involved in any matters relating to Halliburton.