Iraq Deals: Who Got What -- and Why

Critics were outraged when two top contracts were awarded to companies with ties to the Administration. Here's the rationale

When U.S. government agencies awarded Halliburton (HAL ) and Bechtel Group contracts to help rebuild Iraq, observers cried foul. Lawmakers, media commentators, and even British companies complained that politics was involved: Vice-President Dick Cheney, it was noted, ran Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and Bechtel's Republican ties reach back generations. Moreover, the critics said, deals worth billions of dollars were being handed out in a secretive process that unfairly excluded foreign competitors.

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