a year. (BEG ITAL)Accounting shenanigans. The charge that nicely associates Cheney with Enron-like thievery is an accounting rule that Halliburton changed during Cheney's tenure. Halliburton had been counting cost overruns on its construction projects as total losses (until payment was negotiated). In 1998, it began counting as revenue the estimated payments that it would likely get. The charge is that this prettied up Halliburton's bottom line. But wait. The new method had become the industry norm. According to Halliburton, 10 of the 15 largest construction companies used it. Moreover, according to Business Week (citing Douglas R. Carmichael, an accounting professor at Baruch College), Halliburton's switch is supported by a 1981 accounting rule because it helps meet accountants' goals of matching revenues with associated costs as they occur. So imagine Cheney's people coming to him in 1998 to propose the accounting method change. ``Boss, the old method is less logical, less used in the industry, less in accord with accepted accounting rules and needlessly understates our profits.'' What was Cheney to say, ``Stick with it''? Moreover, the effect on Halliburton's revenues was trivial. In 1998, the change increased them by $89 million--on total revenues of $17 (BEG ITAL)billion. The critics are right that Halliburton was a year late reporting the change. But it was reported. And it amounted to one-half of 1 percent of revenues. It may turn out that there is damning evidence that we have not yet seen. But until someone produces it--say, that Halliburton's cost overrun revenues were knowingly and crookedly inflated--we are left with the following syllogism: It is open season on CEOs; Cheney was once a CEO; therefore, it is open season on Cheney.