Thursday, July 3, 2008

Operation Iraqi Oil

It's official, Bush cronies have swapped oil deals for international cred, despite the Iraqi government, according to a Congressional panel. Bush's friendly friends at Hunt Oil contracted under the semiautonomous government of Kurdistan (a region in Iraq's north); this without the consent of Iraq's central government in Baghdad.

In the NYTimes:
The company, Hunt Oil of Dallas, signed the deal with Kurdistan’s semiautonomous government last September. Its chief executive, Ray L. Hunt, a close political ally of President Bush, briefed an advisory board to Mr. Bush on his contacts with Kurdish officials before the deal was signed.

In an e-mail message released by the Congressional committee, a State Department official in Washington, briefed by a colleague about the impending deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government, wrote: “Many thanks for the heads up; getting an American company to sign a deal with the K.R.G. will make big news back here. Please keep us posted.”

...The encouragement by State Department officials did not end with the signing of the contract on Sept. 8, the documents suggest. Five days later, a State Department official in the southern city of Basra wrote to Ms. Phillips, “I read and heard about with interest your deal with the regional Kurdish government.”

“I don’t know if you are aware of another opportunity,” the official wrote, mentioning an enormous port project and a natural gas project in the south. After a few more lines, the official concluded, “This seems like it would be a good opportunity for Hunt.”
Glad we went to Iraq to build democracy and help our brothers and sisters in the Iraq government, by allowing that central government to be undercut by private American interests allied with the president.

This also may pose a problem as Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish Iraqis have tensions between them. A thorny issue is reception of revenue of rich oil deposits in the northern city of Kirkuk.

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