July 03, 2008

Oh! The mob is hip to CHENEY! Comments on the WaPo

Bush Officials Condoned Regional Iraqi Oil Deal

Contract Contradicted State Dept.'s Public Stance

Ray Hunt of Hunt Oil was a member of Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Ray Hunt of Hunt Oil was a member of Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. (Natalie Caudill - Dallas Morning News)

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 3, 2008; Page D01

Bush administration officials told Hunt Oil last summer that they did not object to its efforts to reach an oil deal with the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq, even while the State Department was publicly expressing concern that such contracts could undermine a national Iraqi petroleum law, according to documents obtained by a House committee.

This Story

Last fall, after the deal was announced, the State Department said that it had tried to dissuade Hunt Oil from signing the contract with Kurdish regional authorities but that the company had proceeded "regardless of our advice." Although Hunt Oil's chief executive has been a major fundraiser for President Bush, the president said he knew nothing about the deal.

Yesterday, however, Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released documents and e-mails showing that for nearly four months, State and Commerce department officials knew about Hunt Oil's negotiations and had told company officials that there were no objections. In one note, a Commerce Department official even wished them "a fruitful visit to Kurdistan" and invited them to contact him "in case you need any support."

That guidance contradicted the administration's public posture. The Bush administration made an Iraqi national petroleum law, which has still not been adopted, a top priority last year in the hope it would more tightly bind the country's regions together and open the way for international oil companies to invest in much larger oil fields south of Iraq's Kurdish region. The State Department said, and continues to assert, that it opposes any contract with a regional Iraqi authority in the absence of a national petroleum law.

The Hunt Oil deal was seen by Kurdish officials as a key victory because the company's chief executive, Ray L. Hunt, was not only a major backer of Bush but also a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. After the deal was completed, a dozen other foreign firms signed oil contracts with Kurdish authorities.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said yesterday that "we continue to stand by our previous statements that the U.S. government made its objections to this arrangement known both to the company as well as to the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government]."

But in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Waxman said documents his committee had obtained "tell a different story about the role of Administration officials."

The documents show that as early as June 12, 2007, Hunt Oil officials met with members of the State Department's Regional Reconstruction Team for the Kurdistan region in Erbil and on June 15 specifically asked whether there was a policy about companies entering contracts with Kurdish authorities. According to notes taken by Hunt Oil officials, they were told that the "U.S. has no policy, for nor against."

The documents also include an e-mail from Hunt Oil's general manager for the region stating, "There was no communication to me or in my presence made by any of the 9 state department officials with whom I met . . . that Hunt should not pursue our course of action leading to a contract. In fact, there was ample opportunity to do so, but it did not happen."

The State Department officials in Erbil sent summaries of Hunt Oil activities to the embassy in Baghdad and to Laird Treiber, the economic coordinator in the State Department's office of Iraq affairs in Washington.

Separately, Ray Hunt on July 12 and again on Aug. 30 wrote letters to Stefanie R. Osburn, the executive director of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, describing his contacts with Kurdish officials.

On Sept. 5, three days before the Hunt Oil contract was signed, the State Department's regional coordinator and deputy team leader in Erbil informed Treiber in Washington that the deal was imminent. The note recounts a conversation with Hunt Oil's regional manager, David McDonald. "Asked about concerns over potential conflicts between the recently passed KRG hydrocarbon law and an [sic] national law, he said the 'significant opportunity' outweighs the legal ambiguity," the note said.

Treiber replied, "Thanks for the heads up; getting an American company to sign a deal with the KRG will make big news back here. Please keep us posted."

It did make big news, and Bush himself was asked about it. On Sept. 20, he said, "Our embassy also expressed concern about it. I knew nothing about the deal." He continued, "I need to know exactly how it happened. To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with a oil revenue-sharing plan that unifies the country, obviously I'm -- if it undermines that, I'm concerned."

Later, at a State Department briefing, Casey said, "We certainly are discouraging individuals and companies, as well as the government of Kurdistan, the regional government of the Kurdish region, to engage in these kinds of contracts." Referring specifically to Hunt Oil, he added that the "company decided to sign a contract regardless of our advice, but that is their decision."

Some of my favorite comments !!

1. Maybe he's just implimenting the Benjamin Franklin doctrine: Oily to bed, and oily ro rise..,

2. W=Wide Cut Gas
M=Motor Fuels

U=United Refining Company
S=Saudi Arabian Oil Company
H=Hunt Oil

N=Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
E=ENSCO International
Y=Yukos Oil Company

It is that simple.

3. speedyo wrote: "Is Ray Hunt the same Hunt who tried to corner the Silver market in the 1970's during Carter's administration?"
Same crooked family, but I think Ray is the son of porky Bunker and/or his brother, Not-Bunkie. But it was in the Reagan Administration that they got their True Justice as Republicans - A government-guaranteed bailout!

Yes,folks, when one of Reagan's buddies got caught trying to screw the entire world by cornering silver, then lost his a$ doing it, YOU paid to bail him out, Mister Sucker Taxpayer. Just like YOU paid the $850,000,000,000 that was stolen by Neil Bush, Jebby Bush, Charles Keating, and their cronies in the Savings and Loan swindles.

But don't worry, it'll be a new Morning in America any time now.

4. What is so disgustng is that these guys are so rich they could solve world hunger and poverty in 10 minutes. But they had to go and start a war and let thousands of people die so they can get bigger yachts.

Congress - do your job and IMPEACH this administration NOW.

5. To be a true patriot today you have to follow. You have to believe every word your leaders say. You have to set aside the evidence before your eyes and deny the facts you hear and believe with all your heart that your leaders know better than you do what is good for you, what is right, what is just, and what is real. If your leaders tell you that the law is wrong, you have to get rid of the law. If your leaders tell you to live with fear, then you have to surrender to fear. Being an American now means being a follower. It means being obedient.

This is liberty: the liberty to have no liberty.

This is freedom: the freedom to give up freedom.

This is patriotism: the strength to be weak and compliant.

Thinking for yourself is subversive. Questioning your leaders is unpatriotic. The truest patriots today are the ones with their hands over their eyes and their ears stopped up. It is better to be fooled for the good of the nation than to question and dissent.

You angry leftist socialists aren’t Americans anymore. We are building a new reality while your old angry one gets left behind. In the new America, people will understand their place. The press will support the leaders and the people will be happy.

Gott mit uns.

6. OOOOH, . . a real Patriot! Are you writing form Iraq, where you are "defending our freedom'?

Well, starsandstripes, the decent Americans are tired of you scaredy-cats giving away MY Constitutional rights just because your fools in office couldn't protect us on 9/11 despite repeated warnings. This is the land for which I enlisted and fought, Mr. Patriot, and I'm not going to be bullied around by anyone.

Do you like what you have done to America? How do you like our economy? How about the nice little job the Republicans have done on our Armed Forces? Yessirree, that's the way to "support" our troops, . . just send them to kill sons and daughters of folk in other countries.

Like the Justice Department? I was on a federal criminal grand jury when Gonzales perverted that department, watching as the slow rot corrupted its mission and its abilities to perform.

How about our international reputation? How do you like being voted "The Biggest Threat to Woprld Peace" repeatedly in international polls? Do you think everyone on Earth is wrong but you and Dubya and Cheney?

No, you are not going to question my patriotism, and you are not going to intimidate me. We've had enough of the phony macho put out by Republican wannabe soldiers/militia/gun nuts. It's time for the grownups to take over.

7. Now Im really getting scared.....
WaPo hasn't put Obama in today....
It' all about OIL...

McCain is trying to move away from Bush...
Obama is moving closer to Bush......

Since we all count on the media (all the media), to get our information, it's hard to tell what the truth really is......

But it IS easy to tell which candidate the media prefers......
What will they do when they HAVE to tell us what the heck Obama is up to??????

From where I sit, his magnificant* team keeps him away from orating about the issues he's been running on, sort of.....

Looks like HE chooses subjects that gets free airtime, and he doesn't talk about the REAL issues like he used to do.....

Since he keeps changing and his followers don't seem to mind, it appears that they would follow him to hell and back.....

So it MUST be the MAN rather than the issues that seem to matter......
If he keeps up the 'change', sooner or later, the people will realize that he's just another politition , but one who gets to choose what issues he will talk about......

Count on HIM for late breaking news very soon....

He would never let a long week-end pass by without something controvercial that will keep him the TOP news story for days.....
And don't think he'll be the one to do it, it will likely be a 'source' from his campaign.....as, that way, his hands will stay clean and allow him to make another sermon.....

I've always been a democrat since the 1960 election and we really do need a democrat in the WH, but it's getting harder every day to keep him an ORIGINAL...

He's lost the 'freshness' that we hungered for....

Delegates are allowed to change their minds......
If he keeps moving too close to the middle.....it just may hurt him in the general election......
Right now, I feel he is a 'shoe in'....without even talking about foreign OIL.......
OIL is like a 4 letter word.....and we NEED it, we WANT it, we HAVE it, but won't help ourselves drill for it....

Have a very nice July 4th week-end and keep safe.....
God bless our troops and God bless America........

8. Finally, Mission Accomplished!!!!

WHAT?! The Bush administration lied about Iraq and Oil, killing thousands and bankrupting the economy?

WAIT!...look over here--Obama got a sub-prime loan for his house! OMG!!! What a sleazeball!

10. Douglas J. Feith has a piece in the Wall Street Journal op-ed today called:

Why We Went to War in Iraq

God! What does that say when six years into a war they are STILL trying to explain why?

11. And the beat goes on.
I'm not even going to bother reading the comments here because I just don't want to be even further disgusted by the twenty-five percenter's talk of "Nothing to see hear, liberal media, but Clinton got a ...."
It boggles the mind that there are still Americans who presumably can read, who think the invasion of Iraq was about "our freedoms". (This had the highest rankings of all )

12. Exactly why did Ms. Pelosi take impeachment off the table so qjuickly? If you can do it for a president's personal life, surely it can be done for violation of national interest, massive fraud, corruption of the Justice Department and so forth.

Obama can't do it alone -- the Democratic Party must rebuild itself and reconsider its leadership.

13. as an ex-president I wonder what kind of "speaking fees" he will get from the oil industry... Bet it will start at $1 million for him to show up and speak for 5 minutes with that dumb smirk of his.

14. Unfortunately, they will probably get away with everything because while many of the American people know they were duped, but they also know they were willing accomplices.

They were frightened after 9/11, their government exploited that fear to frighten them more, and lie to them so they could push forward their pre-9/11 agenda.

Hitting SOMEONE with American military might made people feel powerful again, and if it was the wrong country, they didn’t really want to know about it!

The Media loved it because it brought in viewers. Remember, the mood was almost festive, lacking only the foam finger, and chants of "USA! USA!"

Now the people know the truth, and they are ashamed, and just want to look away.

To indict the Whitehouse would mean indicting the congress, the media, AND ourselves:
Better to just see what Brittany’s doing, instead.

15. Texas+Oil+Admin=Record Gas Prices+Unbriddled profiteering by the chosen few + Gullible, suffering, foolish populace = 2+2 = 4.

Mathematical Expectancy.

16. I can't even find words anymore to describe how I feel about this morally bankrupt administration so I won't even try.

What I will say is that all of us should be watching to see if the media, print & TV, actually followup on this story. Will we see the president asked repeatedly about this until we get a truthful answer or will the media ignore this and let this adminstration lie about the original lie they told the public? Will we have media covering up for them yet again?

Every time this administration has been caught lying, whether about torture, illegal wiretapping, starting a war, etc., etc., etc., they spin another lie about why they are not guilty and the media let them get away with it every single time.

Everyone in the media has known for a long time that it wasn't just a few bad apples that tortured our prisoners yet when Maj. Gen. Taguba came out and accused the administration of war crimes, something that should have been on the front page of every newspaper and on every TV channel, there was a collective yawn in the media. We must demand that the media coverup stops right here, right now.


17. Unreal.

The Bush Jr Administration took us into a totally unnecessary "war" and disastrous, self-defeating occupation all for the sake of rewarding powerful campaign contributors, of which this one was a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Geez, what are the odds Ray Hunt also sat in on those still-classified energy task force meetings with Cheney before the Iraq invasion?

Just when you think our vile, warmongering chickenhawk of a President & Vice President can't possibly sink any lower than they already are.....



MAYBE NANCY FANCY PANTIES PELOSI WHO HAS FOR />> 2 YEARS << style="font-weight: bold;">19. What is amazing is that this comes as a shock to the usually uninformed americans.
Here in Europe everyone following the situation in Kurdistan have known about this link.

As usual no american media has bothered to get the Kurdish point of view,either official or unofficional.
Imperial hubris.

Kurdistan is more secure than any big city in the US.
30 000 Kurdish Peshmerga is controling the borders.
Unlike the US,Kurdistan is booming.
Hospitals,schools and other infrastructure is constructed and tempo is increasing.
Several international airports are running and the kurdish diaspora are vacationing at home and investing in their areas.
All income from oil exports from kurdistan goes to Baghdad for redistribution,and all new exports must be approved from Baghdad.
Kurdistan will get about 18 % of the oil export income as negotiated,whether it is exported from Kirkuk to Ceyhan or from Basra to tankers.
Iraq will export oil for 100 Billion USD this year,too much for Iraq to spend safely because of lacking security in areas outside of Kurdistan.

Meanwhile in the US:
1) The country is going broke.
2) The military is out of control.
3) Standards of living are falling.
4) Criminal facists are ruling the land.

Buy gold.

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