It IS about the oil
Posted by unbrand on 17 January 2007 | 2 Comments
I happened to be watching (you may need to look for the title of the video: "Sec. of State Rice at Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on New Iraq Strategy") Condoleeza Rice's testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee and the senators were mostly slamming the Bush administration for lying and evading their queries. Even the Republican senators expressed their unhappiness with the Bush administration. Secretary of State Rice was towing the party line, as to be expected. But what was really interesting was how she handled the topic of the Iraq Oil Law. There was a senator from New Hampshire who asked about the distribution rights for Iraqi oil. He said that he had spoken to senior administration officials who should have been able to provide answers to his questions, but they could not tell him what the distribution portion of the law was about. The only time I saw Rice try to interrupt any senator during this difficult questioning of her was during these questions about the Iraqi Oil Law. She very clearly wanted to stop this line of questioning. Nobody knows for sure exactly what's in the Iraqi Oil Law, but we know some things about it. We know that in the Iraqi constitution (which the Americans "gave" to the Iraqis during Bremer's handover), there's a part that says the Oil Law must be ratified by end of 2006. Not done yet, but close, we're told. We also know that the gist of the Oil Law is to allow foreign investement and access rights to Iraqi oil fields. For 30 years. Her response to questions about distribution rights and the fact that nobody from the administration could give a straight answer to direct questions about the Irai Oil law? "I'll send you a response." Which is a very thinly veiled "I can't say that stuff in public, because, well, you know, so I'll have my people send your people an equally vague response." When you couple this stuff with former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's written accounts of maps of Iraqi oil fields pored over in early 2001 by Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al., certain dots get connected that you really wish weren't.