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US Army Clears Halliburton of Wrongdoing in Iraq Fuel Shipments - 2004-01-06

The U.S. Army has apparently cleared a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney of wrongdoing in connection with fuel deliveries to Iraq.

Pentagon auditors say the Army Corps of Engineers has concluded a subsidiary of the Halliburton company charged what are considered fair and reasonable prices for fuel deliveries it made to Iraq.

The auditors say that as soon as they receive a formal certification to this effect, their probe into alleged overcharges by the firm will be concluded.

Pentagon officials last month indicated Halliburton's Kellogg Brown and Root subsidiary may have overcharged the U.S. government $61 million for fuel.

But the firm denied any wrongdoing. It said it delivered fuel to Iraq at the best possible price from Kuwait. It also noted it had recommended purchasing cheaper fuel from Turkey but asserted the Army Corps of Engineers insisted on a fuel source in Kuwait.

Halliburton has won billions of dollars in contracts in connection with the U.S. intervention in Iraq.

But these deals have been criticized by some Democratic Party officials and others who have questioned whether they were a political reward to a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Bush administration and Halliburton have denied politics played a role in the awarding of the contracts.