WASHINGTON, DC—With last week's announcement that it will award Halliburton a lucrative contract to put out Iraqi oil-well fires after the war, the U.S. government has officially stopped trying to hide its favoritism toward the Houston-based company. "When we first started cutting Halliburton sweetheart deals, we'd worry about how it would look, with Dick Cheney being their former CEO and all," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. "Somewhere along the line, though, we just kind of said, 'Ah, fuck it.'" Fleischer added that Halliburton has something "real juicy" coming its way when the U.S. invades Iran in July 2004.