The scandal around the activity of the US vice-president as the 1995-2000 head of Halliburton continues. It was on June 10 that reports appeared that Judicial Watch, an independent organization dedicated to fighting corruption, is ready to bring a suit against the vice-president. Richard Cheney is accused of numerous financial violations and the of concealment of his incomes.
However, many observers believe that this suit has no prospects. Judicial Watch is known as a very scandalous organization. It brought several dozens of suits against then-President Bill Clinton, though not one of them was won. This was probably why the White House showed no reaction to reports about the planned suit.
However, this time ,the scandal hardly will be neglected. Today’s head of Halliburton, David Lezar, said in an interview to Newsweek that Cheney had been aware of the bookkeeping practice of the company, which now causes discontent of the financial authorities of the country. According to Lezar, the vice-president knew who owed money to the company and assisted in returning it.
The company incorrectly registered in its bookkeeping accounts the sums received from clients as compensation for the overdrawing of building estimates. Lazer states that these sums were enlisted in incomes immediately; however, they should have been compensated. Being chief industrious director of Halliburton in 1998-199, Cheney signed documents on financial accounting, which could be the reason of the summons to appear before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, SEC, which in its time examined Halliburton, found no reasons for bringing a suit. Now, there are reports that the commission intends to carry another investigation. All the more, SEC leaders have said many times that the commission intends to examine all reports about violations in the financial activity of companies.
There is no guarantee that Richard Cheney will be convicted of abuses. It is enough to remember what the reputation Judicial Watch has. However, it should be noted that this scandal has flared up in an unconvenient time for today’s administration. A series of great exposures of financial machinations among the leaders of big companies has already seriously injured the reputation of US business. How will the White House extirpate these abuses if both the head of the state and the vice-president are accused of some dubious bargains? The White House seems to have grown tired and decided not to react to new “sensations.” However, is this silence beneficial for today’s US leadership?
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/15/44153.html