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White House Press Corps Reporter Unprepared To Ask Questions About Halliburton Contract (VIDEO)


First Posted: 05/18/10 12:07 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:30 PM ET

Halliburton! Remember those guys? With their tendency to win no-bid contracts, they were a really hot topic during the Iraq War and its aftermath. And they're so hot right now, with their involvement in the Deepwater Horizon Charlie Foxtrot of 2010.

And they're still winning those no-bids... at least, that's what one enterprising member of the White House Press Corps heard somewhere, anyway. I mean, he wasn't clear on the details, I guess because he forgot to do any actual reporting. But that doesn't stop a Human Events' John Gizzi from asking White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about it in a one-act play I shall entitle, "You Will Give Me An Answer When I Find What It Was Exactly?"

WATCH:

Q Thank you, Robert. During the campaign the President was highly critical of Halliburton and the process of no-bid contracts. His exact quotes were --


MR. GIBBS: I know the quotes.

Q What?

MR. GIBBS: I know the quotes.

Q You know the quotes?

MR. GIBBS: Yes.

Q All right. What's the administration's reaction to the news that Halliburton has just been given a $568 million no-bid contract by the administration?

MR. GIBBS: On what issue?

Q Not sure yet what that was.

MR. GIBBS: Well, how about we reconnoiter on both and we'll figure that out. Do you have another?

Q No. Well, yes. (Laughter.) You will give me an answer on that when I find the reports on what it was exactly? (Laughter.)

MR. GIBBS: Like I said, we'll meet somewhere in the middle on that one. Yes, I will find that one out.

Here's a hint: if you want to come to a press briefing armed with specifics about this contract, with which to confront Robert Gibbs, here's Bloomberg's May 6 story on it, or you can read our own Dan Froomkin, who mentioned this last week in a larger piece on Halliburton's re-emergence:

Just last month, the Justice Department brought a civil fraud suit against KBR, alleging that it charged the government for unauthorized security services in Iraq. "In 2007 and 2008, the Defense Department disapproved $103.4 million paid to KBR under LOGCAP III for unauthorized security services," Reuters reported.


"Separately, the Justice Department said on Wednesday it had joined a lawsuit against KBR that alleges employees of two freight forwarders provided unlawful kickbacks to KBR transportation department employees."

And yet despite all that, the Army suddenly reversed itself last week and said it will stick with KBR to supply "up to another $568 million of food, laundry and other essential support to U.S. troops in Iraq until their scheduled withdrawal at the end of next year."

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