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View Diary: Oil execs lie to Congress (81 comments)

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  •  Cheney's Energy Task Force and Iraq (4.00)
    Cheney invokes executive privilege to keep the Task Force minutes classified not because they would reveal the dictation of our energy policy by energy corp execs-- that would hardly be surprising, and just a small passing embarassment for the Administration-- but because it was in the Task Force meetings, months BEFORE Sept. 11, that the decision to invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam was taken. Declassification of these records would show the Task Force involved discussions not only with oil execs but with Perle, Wolfowitz, Bolton, and Feith, and on oil politics in a broader strategic context.
       The Task Force found three reasons why Saddam's regime, while already disarmed and contained, was no longer tolerable:
      1) It was recognized that the peaking and decline of Saudi oil production was already immanent. But this could be partly compensated for: a US occupation of Iraq could place the regions second largest oil source under a new government handpicked by the US, entirely biddable to the US, and therefore able to break step from OPEC;
      2) Breaking up OPEC control over oil pricing would greatly enhance Israel's ability to solve its Palestinian problem on its own terms, as OPEC would be less able to use oil politics to pressure the US to rein in Israel (The Wolfowitz-Perle circle had reached this conclusion a few years before, in a paper commissioned by Netanyahu);
      3)US occupation of Iraq would have the added advantage of safeguarding yet another stretch of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.
      These were the real motives for our war on Iraq. They could not be publicly acknowledged, though; some pretext for unprovoked attack had to be found. The idea that Saddam was again accumulating WMD was not sufficient pretext by itself: it could be justified to demand more intrusive UN inspections, but not abandonment of inspections for immediate US invasion and occupation. The missing element was finally provided on 9/11 (as Bush said at the time, "We hit the trifecta.") Cheney immediately launched a campaign to associate 9/11 with Saddam in the popular imagination. It worked quite while: hardly a voice in the media or Democratic wanted to appear soft on defense now. WMD had to be assumed for the sake of prudence, and it had to be further assumed Saddam was pursuing WMD for offensive rather than deterrent purposes and was preparing to place them in the hands of terrorists. Cheney has stubbornly kept on this message ever since.
      It should be noted that achieving the three goals set by the Task Force does not require the establishment of a stable democracy in Iraq with full control over all Iraqi territory. It does, however, require permanent US bases in Iraq, near the oil fields and along the pipeline route to Syria. In a year or so the Administration will draw down forces in Iraq to start moving the war off the front pages, but some 50,000 US troops will remain permanently in Iraq.    
    •  Other rationale for Task Force (4.00)
      I keeping thinking that another rationale for Cheney to get all of the oil companies together was to "protect" the US economy. If the PNAC hawks knew an oil war was impending they would at least be smart enought o avoid going to war with a shortage of oil.

      I think one of the purposes of the Task Force was to see to it that the oil companies had their reserves topped off prior to the US invasion. This topping off process would coincide with US goverment efforts to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

      With insider knowledge that oil prices ought to be going higher in the event of a war the oil majors could go into the futures market and secure future production on the cheap. That partially explains the obscene profits they demonstrated during the recent quarterly earnings releases.  

      •  Which brings me to another question (none)
        Why the f*ck was Enron in the picture?  They're not a producer, they're a trader.

        [I know the answer already.  Would like to see what stocks the signatories to the PNAC were holding on 1999, 2000, 2001...would also love to see the entire holding company structure of Enron, including all those nasty offshore vehicles they created.  I have a suspicion one or two vehicles were involved in the Oil-for-Food program.]

    •  Excellent points (none)
      This need to get out to mainstream Americans. I heard last night on the news that while we might draw down troop numbers we were going to be in Iraq at least 10 more years. Now why in the world would we need to be there 10 years???   Because we have to protect our oil(formerly Iraq's oil). That doesn't seem to come up in the discussions about withdrawing from Iraq and it is THE REASON there won't be a withdrawl.  

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