During Tuesday’s Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney defended his tenure as Halliburton’s CEO when Sen. John Edwards rightfully called into question Halliburton’s dealings with rogue nations, such as Iran, while Cheney was CEO and the fact that Halliburton paid a fine for an accounting scandal that took place under Cheney’s watch. Cheney responded to Edwards’ criticism by saying “the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false.”

Cheney then directed the public to (he got the domain name wrong. It’s to get the truth about Halliburton.  

Well, this morning wants you to know that Cheney stuck his foot in his mouth. It seems that the vice president is the one that doesn’t have his facts straight. Once again, as Edwards pointed out, Cheney is not being straight with the American people with regard to his dealings with Halliburton.  

All of these issues took place while Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, according to  

Cheney… wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton.  

In fact, we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.  

Edwards was also slightly off when he said Halliburton paid millions in fines "while he (Cheney) was CEO." What he meant was that it paid fines for matters that took place while Cheney was in charge. And in fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Aug. 3 that Halliburton will pay $7.5 million to settle a matter that dates back to 1998, when Cheney was CEO.  

On other matters, Edwards said Halliburton "did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States" and is now "under investigation for having bribed foreign officials" while Cheney was CEO.

Iran: Indeed, Halliburton has said it does about $30 million to $40 million in oilfield service business in Iran annually through a subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd. The company says that the subsidiary fully complies with US sanctions laws, but the matter currently is under investigation by a federal grand jury in Houston.

Bribery Investigation: U.S. and French authorities currently are investigating whether a joint venture whose partners included a Halliburton subsidiary paid bribes or kickbacks to win a $12 billion construction project in Nigeria.

  Libya: Edwards was wrong to include Libya, however.  In 1995, before Cheney joined the company, Halliburton pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya and said it would pay $3.81 million in fines. Those violations dated back to 1987 and 1990.