"I plan on pulling that curtain back. I plan on getting into the investigation."
That was the surprise announcement than Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) issued from the Senate floor last November, when he declared that his committee would formally investigate the ongoing scandals surrounding the Iraq contracts of Texas-based Halliburton. Ensign chairs the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, part of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
But according to the group Halliburton Watch, the hearings never happened and the crusading Senator is nowhere to be found:
It appears Sen. Ensign's televised pledge to investigate Halliburton was only a cynical political stunt designed to pacify public anger over the Senate's refusal to hold hearings into the $8.8 billion in stolen and missing taxpayer money in Iraq," said Jim Donahue, co-director of HalliburtonWatch. "Since the war began, the Senate has ignored its constitutional duty to conduct oversight hearings into widespread allegations of Iraq contractor abuse of the taxpayers' money," he said.
Perhaps it's not surprising the Senator has reneged on his promise. As Halliburton Watch notes, "Halliburton has given $11,000 in political contributions to Sen. Ensign."
Not a lot of money to buy off an investigation, but maybe enough.
Here's the full text of Sen, Ensign's pledge on the Senate floor:
"I want to inform the Senator from North Dakota that, hopefully, when we come back for a couple days in December, as the chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, I plan on holding hearings on exactly this. I plan on pulling that curtain back. I plan on getting into the investigation in the same way as Harry Truman. If it happens to be it is embarrassing to the administration, we are going to find out the truth on this--just like Harry Truman went after those cost-plus contracts in those days. It is not only the sole-source aspect, it is also the fact they are cost-plus contracts."
My message to the esteemed Senator from Nevada: you still have a chance to be the next Truman. Give 'em hell, John.