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re: Dick Cheney's black helicopter ties to Halliburton

Dear John,

Frankly, John, I am aghast that you would resort to flagrant misrepresentation to fuel your negative attitude towards Vice President Dick Cheney.

In your attempts to mislead your readers about the Iraq War, you imply by the picture above that Dick Cheney owns $40 million dollars in Halliburton Stock. You wish to convey the illusion that Cheney is using his office as Vice President to enrich his Hallburton portfolio.

Only trouble is, the facts don't support your assertion. If you had bothered to do any research on the subject before engaging in flagrant slander, you would have discovered the following facts:

1. Dick Cheney sold much of his Halliburton stock in 2000. BEFORE HE BECAME VICE PRESIDENT. What options he does continue to hold have been unexercised and will expire beginning in 2007 while he is still in office. In addition, at the time of assuming office, Cheney he was ready to "forfeit any options that have not vested by the time he assumes office."

2. According to WikiPedia:

Cheney's deferred compensation from Halliburton, which appeared on his 2001 financial disclosure statement, generated an income between $50,000 to $100,000. Cheney also retains 433,000 share-equivalent unexercised stock options at Halliburton.

On the question of Cheney's deferred compensation from Halliburton, officials of the Bush-Cheney campaign said that before entering office in 2001, Cheney bought an insurance policy that guaranteed a fixed amount of deferred payments from Halliburton each year for five years so that the payments would not depend on the company's fortunes. The officials also said he had promised to donate to charity any after-tax profits he made from exercising his stock options. These steps are not unusual for corporate executives who enter government.

That means that no matter how much Halliburton's profits rise as a result of their activities in Iraq, Cheney only gets a fixed amount as indicated by the policy. So to use his office to help his former company nets him NOTHING.

If you have an issue with Halliburton's profiteering of the war, you are well within your journalist mandate to INVESTIGATE and report on it. But to end up encouraging unfounded allegations to support your own partisan agenda?

Honestly, John, you're a much better journalist than this.

Better to stick with what you're good at ...

ps - we'll see if you have the nuggas to post my critique in the comments section of your blog.

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