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Monday, July 19, 2004

Halliburton, Cheney & Iran

Found this at Citizen Works:

When Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, he inquired about an ILSA waiver to pursue oil field developments in Iran. In 1997, Halliburton subsidiary Halliburton Energy Services paid $15,000 to settle Department of Commerce allegations that the company had broken anti-boycott provisions of the U.S. Export Administration Act for an Iran-related transaction. Halliburton recently agreed to evaluate its operations in Iran, after the Securities and Exchange Commission rebuffed the company's request to dismiss a New York City police and fire pension funds shareholder proposal for the company to examine its role in Iran.

Also forgotten is that story about how Cheney's Halliburton did business with Saddam. According to the Washington Post, "Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer."

Halliburton has also done business in Azerbaijan, Burma, Indonesia, Libya and Nigeria. As Dick Cheney once said, "The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States."

With regard to the ILSA waiver noted above, I came across this WaPo reprint over at the Global Policy Forum [update 7.20.04 : link to original]. The article is from April 2001, which lands the actions discussed post-CEO period for Cheney, pre-9/11 for America, but during Cheney's tenure as VP:

An influential energy task force headed by Vice President Cheney has broached the possibility of lifting some economic sanctions against Iran, Libya and Iraq as part of a plan to increase America's oil supply. According to a draft of the task force report, the United States should review the sanctions against the three countries because of the importance of their oil production to meeting domestic and global energy needs.

The April 10 draft acknowledges that sanctions can "advance" important national security and diplomatic goals. But it adds that United Nations sanctions on Iraq and U.S. restrictions on energy investments in Libya and Iran "affect some of the most important existing and prospective petroleum producing countries in the world." "The administration will initiate a comprehensive sanctions review and seek to engage the Congress in a partnership for sanctions reform," the draft said. The nation's energy security should be one of the priorities of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, according to a portion of the draft read to The Washington Post and confirmed by the White House.

And then this Robert Bryce story from Maxim, of all places. The article is well worth a read.

Cheney made sure the money got to the right people. He doubled Halliburton’s political giving to over $1.2 million in soft and hard money—mostly to Republicans—according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He also doubled Halliburton’s lobbying budget, to about $600,000. One of his main objectives: ease sanctions in the Middle East.

“The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States,” he said in a 1998 speech at the Cato Institute. The U.S. had “become sanctions-happy,” he said. That same year, he personally lobbied U.S. Senator Phil Gramm for a waiver from the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

Then there were the deals with Saddam’s regime. While Cheney was CEO, Halliburton sold Iraq $73 million in oil equipment and spare parts through its European subsidiaries, and did some $23.8 million worth of oil field work in Iraq the late 1990s, even though Cheney insisted that he had imposed a “firm policy” against trading with Saddam.

So. We know that Cheney was looking, in Halliburton's interests, to find some way to finagle around the ILSA, and was actively circumventing sanctions against Iraq. I'm off to dig up more around the subpoenas, but consider this from the Reuters report:

Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has been cooperating since 2001 with the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in an inquiry into its operations in Iran.

By my quick calculations, that means the investigation, on since at least 2001, would almost have to cover Cheney's time at the helm of the ship. We'll see.

[Update 7.21.2004] There's still more here, here, and here.

5 comments: to “ Halliburton, Cheney & Iran

  • Anonymous
    July 20, 2004 12:19 AM  

    Is it treason if a Republican does it?

  • Anonymous
    July 20, 2004 6:22 AM  

    Is what treason? Breaking the law? No. Why? Did he call it treason? I don't think he did.

    Besides, treason is treason, and knows no party affiliation.

  • Meteor Blades
    July 20, 2004 1:18 PM  

    Just more proof that these guys couldn't care less whether Middle East nations are democracies. The lifting of the sanctions regquired Qadafi to hold zero elections, free zero political prisoners, end zero amount of torturing. But he did have to open the country to British and American oil contractors.

  • praktike
    July 20, 2004 5:47 PM  

    Aha!

    I knew it. Cheney doesn't give a flying cheney about democracy.

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2006 11:48 AM  

    OK, so it's politically disastrous to impeach Bush.

    Let's build a case for impeaching Cheney. Politically, it's a no-brainer, if you will (to use a favorite Cheney-ism), and it's a decapitation -- he's the brains behind a lot of the worst of Bush's policies, I believe.

    (I've just confused myself, I don't know if it's a no-brainer or not.)


    Posted by Greg Walz-Chojnacki

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