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Did Dick Cheney’s secret Energy Task Force plan the Invasion of Iraq?

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:13 PM
Original message
Did Dick Cheney’s secret Energy Task Force plan the Invasion of Iraq?
Edited on Sun Feb-15-04 09:45 PM by Stephanie
Who is the most venal, Machiavellian, downright evil government official in U.S. history? At this point I think Cheney beats out Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover for the title.

This is a must-read article from this week's New Yorker. It's about time Cheney got the attention he deserves. I wonder how things are going in Dick's bunker? I suspect it's getting WARM down there.

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040216fa_fact

CONTRACT SPORT
by JANE MAYER
What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?
Issue of 2004-02-16 and 23
Posted 2004-02-09

<snip>

For months there has been a debate in Washington about when the Bush Administration decided to go to war against Saddam. In Ron Suskind’s recent book “The Price of Loyalty,” former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill charges that Cheney agitated for U.S. intervention well before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Additional evidence that Cheney played an early planning role is contained in a previously undisclosed National Security Council document, dated February 3, 2001. The top-secret document, written by a high-level N.S.C. official, concerned Cheney’s newly formed Energy Task Force. It directed the N.S.C. staff to coöperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the “melding” of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states,” such as Iraq, and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.”

A source who worked at the N.S.C. at the time doubted that there were links between Cheney’s Energy Task Force and the overthrow of Saddam. But Mark Medish, who served as senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs at the N.S.C. during the Clinton Administration, told me that he regards the document as potentially “huge.” He said, “People think Cheney’s Energy Task Force has been secretive about domestic issues,” referring to the fact that the Vice-President has been unwilling to reveal information about private task-force meetings that took place in 2001, when information was being gathered to help develop President Bush’s energy policy. “But if this little group was discussing geostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down with Cheney and laying grand, global plans.”

<snip>

After months spent trying to obtain more information about the classified Halliburton deals, Representative Waxman’s staff discovered that the original oil-well-fire contract entrusted Halliburton with a full restoration of the Iraqi oil industry. “We thought it was supposed to be a short-term, small contract, but now it turns out Halliburton is restoring the entire oil infrastructure in Iraq,” Waxman said. The Defense Department’s only public acknowledgments of this wide-ranging deal had been two press releases announcing that it had asked Halliburton to prepare to help put out oil-well fires. The most recent budget request provided by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq mentions the building of a new oil refinery and the drilling of new wells. “They said originally they were just going to bring it up to prewar levels. Now they’re getting money to dramatically improve it,” Waxman complained. Who is going to own these upgrades, after the United States government has finished paying Halliburton to build them? “Who knows?” Waxman said. “Nobody is saying.”

<snip>

It is not surprising that Cheney, after five years of running Halliburton, a company that considers war as providing “growth opportunities,” regards winning the peace in Iraq as a challenge for private enterprise as well as for government. Yet it is reasonable to ask if Cheney’s faith in companies like Halliburton contributed to his conviction that the occupation of Iraq would be a tidy, easily managed affair. Now that Cheney’s vision has been shown to be overly optimistic, and Iraqis and American soldiers are still getting killed ten months after Saddam’s overthrow, critics are questioning the propriety of a reconstruction effort that is fuelled by the profit motive. “I’m appalled that the war is being used by people close to the Bush Administration to make money for themselves,” Waxman said. “At a time when we’re asking young men and women to make perhaps the ultimate sacrifice, it’s just unseemly.” Many of those involved, however, see themselves as part of a democratic vanguard. Jack Kemp’s spokesman, P. J. Johnson, told me, “We’re doing good by doing well.” Joe Allbaugh, Bush’s former campaign manager, who has established New Bridge Strategies, a firm aimed specifically at setting up for-profit ventures in Iraq, makes no apologies. “We are proud of the leadership the American private sector is taking in the reconstruction of Iraq,” he said.

<more>

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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Halliburton's presence there confirms it
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sally343434 Donating Member (628 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. Didn't you know?
This is pretty much assumed as fact now, since Judicial Watch's release of the documents from Cheney's Energy task Force. These documents include maps of Iraq's oil fields and who wanted them.

Here they are:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/071703.c_.shtml

The press release regarding this is here:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/071703.b_PR.shtml

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well yes, I was aware of those documents
But this article has something new. From the first paragraph posted above:

Additional evidence that Cheney played an early planning role is contained in a previously undisclosed National Security Council document, dated February 3, 2001. The top-secret document, written by a high-level N.S.C. official, concerned Cheney’s newly formed Energy Task Force. It directed the N.S.C. staff to coöperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the “melding” of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states,” such as Iraq, and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.”


This is more than maps of the Iraqi oil fields. That Cheney (presumably) ordered NSC to advance the goals determined by the secret Energy Task Force is a pretty big disclosure. We suspected this, but now there is a document.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yup. I know that. My presumption is that Stephanie knows that.
However, a lot more people are going to be exposed to a New Yorker piece than to J-Watch's website, especially since Klayman (the Golem) is so crackpotty about some things.

WI Public Radio often picks up the authors of New Yorker (& Harpers, etc.) pieces as guests for their talk show interviews, for example, and I imagine that there are many similar secondary exposures around the country for stories like this. So the point isn't so much the content of the story as it is the placement.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yup - this is something new
This could explain why the Senate investigation into the pre-war Iraq intelligence has now expanded their investigation to look at how the intel was used by the WH. I think we're really getting somewhere. I think the admin is about to implode.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oh my gosh, this would make so much sense. This would be why
the Cheney administration is so damn dead-set against the records of his energy panel meetings becoming public. Hell, at the worst I thought it was some kind of chicanery having to do with Ken Lay and plain screwing the American public on energy, maybe even some of the natural gas fields that they are developing in the rain forests in Central America. But this makes absolutely perfect sense. The planning of the takeover of the Iraqi oil fields came out of those meetings. The plan to attack Iraq came out of those meetings. Okay, I have no doubt that a lot of you are grabbing for your tinfoil hats right now, but think about it. You already know that the man has no qualms about how many people have to suffer and die so that Halliburton can make money in Iraq now. You know that he has aided and abetted that company in defrauding the American government for years. So hell, it's not that far a leap to think that he could, and would, press for an attack on Iraq. Especially with good buddies like Chalabi telling everyone what a cakewalk this would be, how the Iraqis would welcome us with open arms. No doubt there was no problem convincing Junior that we would be 'liberating' the Iraqis from and evil dictator, and he's so damn stupid he'd swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Face it, Junior's not big on moral scruples himself and he comes from an oil family.

This, if true, is what could put these guy on trial in the Hague.
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TennesseeWalker Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Peak Oil and the last gasp of the Industrial Interval.
Edited on Sun Feb-15-04 09:33 PM by TennesseeWalker
imho

On edit: one of the FIRST of the last gaspS of cheap oil.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. You don't mind if I give this a kick?
:kick:
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Did you read the article?
What did you think? It's pretty sensational - damning, IMO.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Yes, and I have passed it on to my friends and family.
I have felt that the future Iraqi war, was the main focus of the task force and that was why Cheney has refused to release the information.

Have you sent it on to people like Will Pitt, and other sites? MoveOn may be interested.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. I haven't sent it out - I just assume those types read the New Yorker
Doesn't everyone? LOL! If you don't you really should - some of the best reporting out there on this maladministration. Many of the articles are available online, new issue every Monday. They don't archive much, but a lot of the Iraq articles are archived.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. I was going to give the New Yorker as a gift, but I found my wife
wanted Architectural digest instead.
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berry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. Yes! sensational!
I thought I had followed all the war-for-oil and energy-meeting secrecy issues, and was clear on the corruption and arrogance. BUT I agree with the poster who suggested that PNAC served as a sort of screen (whether intended so or not). I had not actually imagined the oil boys cooking up the war. It's not that PNAC isn't also important, but the congruence of interests here is stunning. And it fits, perfectly. THIS explanation for the secrecy makes sense--even a tiny leak can destroy them all. (And I hope this is it.)

I also wonder if the reason Ken Lay is going to get off (if their plans go as planned) isn't because Lay was right there with the rest of them in the planning. I imagine them telling him that for political reasons they have to make it look as if they've cut him off. But if they really threw him overboard and he talked, well... One wonders what he could tell.

And I haven't even read the article yet! (I have the magazine, so I'm waiting until I go offline.) I wonder if it lists the participants of the energy meetings. I remember that in the spring of 2001 there were a few panels and such on C-Span with a lot of the industry biggies talking about the need for a national energy policy. I think it's a pretty good bet that most of them were on the task force. Does anyone else remember seeing this on C-Span?

Anyway, THANK YOU, Stephanie!! This is so important.
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. Cheney set Halliburton up to profit whenever America goes to 'war'
Edited on Sun Feb-15-04 10:12 PM by cosmicdot
I'm sticking with MIHOP.

Force Provider: The Base in a Box

By Pratap Chatterjee
CorpWatch
May 2, 2002

Scientists and planners for the U.S. Army are designing the one-size-fits-all base-in-a-box in an effort to make military operations more efficient. Another advantage of this off-the-shelf package is that it comes with instructions that can be assembled by anybody, anywhere, eliminating the need for quartermaster battalions and paving the way for private contractors to set the bases up. The Army has been contracting support services out to Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

One of the key elements of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract is support for pre-fabricated military bases, known as Force Provider. Each module is capable of housing 550 soldiers in comfort, with satellite televisions, chapels, showers, laundry rooms, complete kitchens as well as climate-controlled tents. Each $5 million module is designed to work in weather ranging from 15 below zero or 120 above. The 10-acre base camp, which takes about ten days to assemble, needs 50 support staff to set it up and run it.

The kits were designed by the Army's Natick Labs in Massachussetts after G.I.s in Operation Desert Storm complained about living conditions. The Army borrowed the idea of a "base-in-a-box" from the Air Force, which has kits called Harvest Eagle and Harvest Falcon for its soldiers. Today there are 27 of these Force Provider modules, each consisting of a 100 or so containers, at locations around the world, ready for shipment at a moment's notice.

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=2468


HALLIBURTON, THE FILE, updated Sept 2, 2002
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/du...

NYTimes (reqires sign-in)

In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War
By JEFF GERTH and DON VAN NATTA Jr.


ASHINGTON, July 12 — The Halliburton Company, the Dallas oil services company bedeviled lately by an array of accounting and business issues, is benefiting very directly from the United States efforts to combat terrorism.

From building cells for detainees at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba to feeding American troops in Uzbekistan, the Pentagon is increasingly relying on a unit of Halliburton called KBR, sometimes referred to as Kellogg Brown & Root.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/13/business/13HALL.html?...

The War on Terrorism's Gravy Train

Cheney's Former Company Wins Afghanistan War Contracts

By Pratap Chatterjee
Special to CorpWatch
May 2, 2002


Queenstown, Vogaria, West Africa -- On July 16, 2000, United States Army scrambled to deploy troops at the request of the embattled Vogarian government in a top secret mission code named Operation Restore Order.

Political and economic instability, factional fighting outside the capital of Queenstown created large numbers of displaced civilians. Large-scale famine and disease were feared. In five days the U.S. Army teamed up with a private company in Texas to deploy and assemble a military camp out of a pre-fabricated kit known as Force Provider to assist the Vogarians.

Vogaria, of course, is a fictional country but the military exercise -- which took place at Fort McPherson, Georgia and the Diamond Reserve Center in Louisiana -- could not be more real. The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program's War Fighter Exercise 2000 was the first ever Department of Defense simulation of civilian contractors assisting the army in rapid response assembly of military bases in a war situation.

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=2471

Dick Cheney: Soldier of Fortune

By Pratap Chatterjee
CorpWatch
May 2, 2002



Vice-president Dick Cheney has brought new meaning to the term "revolving door" says Bill Hartung, senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York. His easy transition from the army to private industry and then to the White House has earned him millions, Dallas-based Halliburton billions.

Cheney made a fortune in the oil industry when he took over as chief executive of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company in 1995. In 1998 he took home $4.4 million in salary and benefits and in 1999 he was paid $1.92 million, according to the company's own financial reports. In May 2000 he cashed in 100,000 Halliburton shares to net another $5.1 million and then sold the rest of his shares in August 2000 for $18.5 million, adding up to a total of almost $30 million in just two years, a fortune for a man with no previous experience in running a company, let alone an oil multinational.

Well, Cheney comes with even better qualifications; he was Secretary of Defense during the Gulf War and worked in the Washington scene for 25 years before he took the job with Halliburton. He brought with him a trusty Rolodex and his former chief of staff, David Gribbin, whom he appointed as chief lobbyist. In the last two years the pair of them notched up $1.5 billion dollars in federal loans and insurance subsidies compared to the paltry $100 million that the company received in the five years prior to Cheney's arrival.

The federal subsidies supported Halliburton's oil services contracts in Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh and Russia. In addition the company garnered $2.3 billion in U.S. government contracts in that time, or almost double the $1.2 billion it earned from the government in the five years before he arrived.

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=2469

Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) Timeline

CorpWatch
May 2, 2002

Texas-based multinational Halliburton (parent company of Brown & Root) have made millions out of the U.S. wars in the last decade by providing support services to the military. For more on Brown & Root, read Pratap Chatterjee's article, The War on Terrorism's Gravy Train.

Somalia: "Operation Restore Hope" December 1992 -- $62.0 million contract Base camp construction and maintenance; food service and supply; laundry; field showers; latrines; water production, storage, and distribution; sewage/solid waste removal; bulk fuel receipt, storage, and issue; transportation for passengers and cargo; and linguist support.

Rwanda: "Operation Support Hope" August 1994 -- $6.3 million. Water production, storage, and distribution.

Haiti: "Operation Uphold Democracy" September 1994 -- $133.0 million. Base camp construction and maintenance; food service and supply; laundry; bulk fuel receipt, storage, and issue; airport and seaport operations; and transportation services.

Saudi Arabia/Kuwait: "Operation Vigilant Warrior" October 1994 -- $5.1 million. Food service and supply; transportation; Arabia/convoy support; shuttle bus service; Kuwait laundry; and off loading and storing containers from ships.

Italy: "Operation Deny Flight" September 1995 -- $6.3 million. Base camp construction.

Bosnia: "Operation Joint Endeavor" December 1995 -- $2.2 billion. Base camp construction and maintenance; showers; latrines; food service and supply; sewage/solid waste removal; water production, storage, and distribution; shuttle bus service; bulk fuel receipt, storage, and issue; heavy equipment transportation; mail delivery; construction material storage and distribution; railhead operations; and seaport operations.

Central Asia: "Operation Enduring Freedom" October 2001 -- Budget Unknown. Planning, base camp maintenance, facilities maintenance, laundry services, food services, airfield services, property accountability and supply operations.

Source: GAO, U.S. Army

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=2470

Operation Enduring Freedom ?
Operation Iraqi Freedom ?
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. They think of everything, don't they.
Edited on Sun Feb-15-04 11:50 PM by JohnyCanuck
Each module is capable of housing 550 soldiers in comfort, with satellite televisions, chapels, showers, laundry rooms, complete kitchens as well as climate-controlled tents.

Isn't it thoughtful that they provide chapels where the chaplains can explain to the cannon fodder how when the Bible teaches stuff like, "return good for evil, turn the other cheek, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill," it really means for you to invade someone elses country, bomb the hell out of the brown skinned hajjis and help yourself to their oil because you need it more than they do.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. Chaplains in the Army don't do too much of that stuff.
The chaplains I knew didn't try to convert anybody and were nice guys. I think you have an inaccurate perception of the military. Most GIs don't even go to services. It's a voluntary thing.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. I have no doubt
Edited on Mon Feb-16-04 01:20 AM by JohnyCanuck
that the Chaplains are nice guys as are probably most of the GI's also on an individual basis if they are like the Americans I have met and had as friends over the years. It just strikes as so damn incongruous that they provide chapels in these new prefab, erector set army bases while the idea apparently behind this concept is that these new types of prefabricated bases make it easier to insert US troops anywhere in the world they might be needed. This of course goes hand in glove with the administration's current adherence to the PNAC/neo-con agenda of using the military as a tool to ensure continued US economic and military domination over the rest of the world.

Although these plans are couched by the neo-cons in altruistic terms of making the world a safer, better and more democratic place for all, when it comes down to the nuts and bolts, it means using the US military to control other countries resources for the benefit of the USA, as for example we are discussing in this very thread in the GD Forum:Did Dick Cheney’s secret Energy Task Force plan the Invasion of Iraq?.

So US soldiers will be required to kill and be killed in order to protect Americans' thirst for oil to feed their SUV habit and the profits of the humongous multinational oil and defense industries, but the corporate war profiteers behind it all are making sure that any devout GI Joes and GI Janes will have at their disposal a chapel in their desert base where they can presumably pray to Jesus (or Allah if they are Muslim) before venturing out to kill some natives to keep the oil flowing and Halliburton's profit margins up. How very thoughtful and considerate of them. I am sure Jesus is impressed and heartily approves. After all, when the Bible talks about not coveting your neighbors goods or stealing your neighbors property, or for that matter not killing your fellow human beings, it clearly didn't specify that all these prohibition applied if OIL was involved, now did it?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. What did they mean by:
"...actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.”
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. Dick Cheney, the quintessential war profiteer.
I came to that conclusion when the maps were released Stephanie. WMD was only the excuse to start the war. In fact, the longer the UN made progress in not finding WMD, the more the clamor for war was amplified.

Personally, I think the PNAC document was just cover to promote the new Republican business model (create wars to hand out no bid support contracts and make peace to hand out no bid infrastructure rebuild contracts). US Oil control and protection of Israeli ME interests are the other obvious 2 benefits for the coalition (PNAC) of the willing.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. That and the privatization of previously state-owned resources
Edited on Sun Feb-15-04 10:51 PM by Stephanie
It just kills them to see all those oil fields and no way to get a slice of the profits from them.

I followed the Judicial Watch story last summer, (thread here) and I agree with you, but I think this article takes the story a huge leap forward.

The Iraqi oil field maps lead people like us to infer that something was going on, but a document that actually directs the NSC to facilitate the goals of the secret Energy Task force just lays it flat out: War for Oil.

Where is this document? When can we see it?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. From the old DU thread I linked above about the Energy Task Force docs
I just reread it and it's pretty interesting to see that all the stories DU was hot on last July/August are the ones finally breaking in public awareness now. Here is the first post. Any reporter who wants to be six months ahead of the pack should come to DU for thier news tips! It's interesting that in the thread there is discussion about why we are rehashing "old" news! Of course we had the AWOL story in 2000, so I guess we are actually three years ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots, America!
Edited on Wed Aug-06-03 02:09 AM by Stephanie

Where's the outrage!

  • PNAC makes a plan to control the ME, and installs a puppet chief exec who will do their bidding.

  • Dick and his oil pals get together in spring 2001 to divvy up the Iraqi oil fields, way before 9/11, way before the "drumbeat for war."

  • PNAC creates it's own private intel agency to conjure up imminent-threat evidence to justify the Iraq invasion.

  • The Bush* admin receives many, many warnings before 9/11, ignores them all, then does everything it can to prevent an investigation. When Congress does investigate, the WH censors the report.

  • And then the wife of the whistleblower who calls them out on their biggest, most outrageous lie, is outed by someone in the White House as an undercover CIA agent.


This goes way beyond mere scandal.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,92372,00.html
Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Detail Iraqi Oil Industry
Friday, July 18, 2003

WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Judicial Watch (search), a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."

The papers also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries.

The papers were dated early March 2001, about two months before the Cheney energy task force completed and announced its report on the administration's energy needs and future energy agenda.<more>



http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,999737,00.h...
The spies who pushed for war
Julian Borger reports on the shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force
Thursday July 17, 2003
The Guardian

As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small, well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.

It represents the Bush administration's second catastrophic intelligence failure. But the CIA and FBI's inability to prevent the September 11 attacks was largely due to internal institutional weaknesses.

This time the implications are far more damaging for the White House, which stands accused of politicising and contaminating its own source of intelligence.

According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency. <more>



http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,10...
Don't blame September 11 on spy failures, says report
Gary Younge in New York
Thursday July 24, 2003
The Guardian

Nothing could have been done to stop the terrorist attacks on September 11 even though an FBI informant had contact with two of the suicide hijackers a year before they were carried out, according to a congressional report into intelligence lapses preceding the destruction of the twin towers, to be published today.

But despite objections from some senators a crucial 28 pages of the 900-page report, which criticises Saudi Arabia for its lack of interest in clamping down on Islamist extremists, has been removed from the final document.

Saudi Arabia was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers yet remains a close and important ally of America in the region. The omission of criticism of Saudi Arabia was condemned by the Democratic senator and presidential hopeful, Bob Graham, a former chairman of the joint house and Senate intelligence committee.

"I start from the premise that in a democracy, the people should know as much as the government knows unless there is a very compelling case that the information threatens American security interests," he said. <more>



http://www.nynewsday.com/news/ny-uscia0722,0,2289800.st...
Columnist Names CIA Iraq Operative
By Timothy M. Phelps and Knut Royce
Washington Bureau
July 21, 2003, 9:48 PM EDT

Washington -- The identity of an undercover CIA officer whose husband started the Iraq uranium intelligence controversy has been publicly revealed by a conservative Washington columnist citing "two senior administration officials."

Intelligence officials confirmed to Newsday Monday that Valerie Plame, wife of retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, works at the agency on weapons of mass destruction issues in an undercover capacity -- at least she was undercover until last week when she was named by columnist Robert Novak.

Wilson, while refusing to confirm his wife's employment, said the release to the press of her relationship to him and even her maiden name was an attempt to intimidate others like him from talking about Bush administration intelligence failures.

"It's a shot across the bow to these people, that if you talk we'll take your family and drag them through the mud as well," he said in an interview.<more>
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. You are right about the knowledge curve, here.
We definitely are 6-9 months ahead of the general public on understanding the underlining motivations of this administration.

The American people need to put historical context to how our national security and energy policies have involved today into a single entity. Poppy gave us "Morning in America" by getting in bed with the Saudi's to bust OPEC's leverage....lining his pocket and the pocket of the Republican Roilists at the same time. 25 years later, Dimson is bringing us "Evening in America". But still the pockets of the wealthy Republicans are benefitting. Far worse, though, is what they have done to the budget. Taking us from a $300BB surplus to a $500BB deficit in 3 years. What that will effectively do is take away any US options to reinvent our energy policy and revolutionize our infrastructure to address a post-Peak Oil world.

For that, these reasonous bastards should be hung.
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FrankBooth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Fitzgerald
Maybe Fitzgerald will combine two "seemingly unrelated" investigations by squeezing Scooter Libby into coughing up some info about Cheney and the task force in exchange for leniency, as Libby is on the threshold of indictment for his role in the Plame affair.

I acknowledge this is probably just wishful thinking on my part, but I have this fantasy that Fitzgerald will turn out to be the honest representative of law and order that this country has been missing since Ashcroft became Attorney General.

Disclaimer: I don't really know the legality of Fitzgerlad having any such powers, so I could be way off base, but I do remeber Ken Starr and his unchecked "investigations."
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I don't know what his powers are, but I keep hearing that he is a bulldog
as a prosecutor. Those indictments are supposed to be coming very soon, aren't they? Are we going to have another fun and exciting week?

My dearest wish is to see those indictments include Dick himself. You KNOW he had to approve that dirty trick to Plame & Wilson. I don't think those guys did that on their own. At any rate won't he have to testify? At which point it would be the perfect time to ask him about the allegations in this article.
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FrankBooth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. These guys are so dirty...
Cheney has stuck by a statement he made last September on “Meet the Press”: “I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape, or form of contracts led by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government.”

Love that quote.

Cheney is a really evil guy. Nothing the US government could do to him would be enough as far as I'm concerned.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Oh man, did you see this in the article?
....Officials at the C.P.A. say that contracts are awarded on the basis of competitive bidding, but rumors proliferate about political influence. When asked if connections helped, an executive whose firm has received several contracts replied, “Of course.” One businessman with close ties to the Bush Administration told me, “Anything that has to do with Iraq policy, Cheney’s the man to see. He’s running it, the way that L.B.J. ran the space program.”

Cheney’s spokesman confirmed that the Vice-President speaks “on occasion” with officials at the C.P.A., and refers inquiries to the authority from third parties “expressing interest in getting involved in Iraq.” The businessman offered an example of Cheney’s backstage role. He said that Jack Kemp, the former Republican congressman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, got help from Cheney with a venture involving Iraq. Last summer, the businessman said, Kemp had Cheney over for dinner, along with two sons of the President of the United Arab Emirates. In an interview, Kemp confirmed the event, and his business plans, but denied receiving any special assistance from Cheney. “It was just social,” Kemp said. “We’re old friends. We didn’t talk about business.” He acknowledged, however, that Cesar Conda, who until last fall was Cheney’s domestic-policy adviser, was helping him with a study on how to fashion a public-private partnership plan to develop the Iraqi economy.
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FrankBooth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. “It was just social”
Cheney doesn't strike me as the social type unless there are shotguns and caged birds to be slaughtered.

I think the repubs have to do something about Cheney if they want to win the election - even the wingnuts acknowledge that he is corrupt, although in their dissonant and inconsistent worldview, his corruption is a virtue not a vice.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. I don't think he can be gotten rid of
Cheney IS the maladministration and everyone knows it. They can't dump him from the ticket any more than they can dump the Chimp. Nor would he allow it.

I recently heard info that the blasting under Cheney's house after 9/11 was in order to install a fullly equipped operating room. The self-importance! The delusions of immortality! This guy is a walking heart attack and we are all suffering for it.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. This puts the recent "huntung trip" in a whole different light, too.
Watch Antonin work to cover Cheney's interests on keeping the secret energy meetings, secret.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. We need to know what kind of promises were made on that trip
It's well known that Scalia's ambition is to be Chief Justice.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
25. The illustration
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
31. Amazing thread and amazing article
My hatred for these pukes grows by the minute!!

:nuke:
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
32. Best damn thread in a while.
Thanks Stephanie. :kick:
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drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
33. does a bear shit in the woods?
is the pope catholic?

is nascar for rednecks?

is trickle down economics a scam?

is religion enherently evil?


you gotta ask a less obvious question, of course the answer to all is a resounding YES
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catzies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
34. Of the many quoteworthy sections in that article this one's my fave
In the spring of 2000, Cheney’s two worlds—commerce and politics— merged. Halliburton allowed its C.E.O. to serve simultaneously as the head of George W. Bush’s Vice-Presidential search committee. At the time, Bush said that his main criterion for a running mate was “somebody who’s not going to hurt you.” Cheney demanded reams of documents from the candidates he considered. In the end, he picked himself—a move that his longtime friend Stuart Spencer recently described, with admiration, as “the most Machiavellian fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Yeah, the guy's a Prince, ain't he?
And it only went downhill from there.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
37. A WaPo article about the New Yorker article -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27286-20...

The Magazine Reader
The Profitable Connections Of Halliburton
The New Yorker Examines How Cheney's Old Firm Cashed In on War
By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 10, 2004; Page C04

<snip>

The story begins in the early 1990s, when Cheney -- then secretary of defense in George H.W. Bush's administration -- decided to privatize such military services as preparing food and washing clothes for the troops. Under Cheney, the Pentagon paid Halliburton $3.9 million for a study on how to privatize these services. Then it paid Halliburton $5 million more to do a follow-up study. Then it hired Halliburton to provide these services. In Somalia, Halliburton earned $109 million. In the Balkans, it earned $2.2 billion.

<snip>

In 1995, sensing no groundswell of popular support, Cheney decided not to run for president and instead got a real job -- as CEO of Halliburton. The pay was good: In five years, he made $44 million and he still receives about $150,000 a year in deferred pay while serving as vice president.

<snip>

"The United States had concluded that Iraq, Libya and Iran supported terrorism and had imposed strict sanctions on them," Mayer writes. "Yet during Cheney's tenure at Halliburton the company did business in all three countries. In the case of Iraq, Halliburton legally evaded U.S. sanctions by conducting its oil-service business through foreign subsidiaries that had once been owned by Dresser. With Iran and Libya, Halliburton used its own subsidiaries. The use of foreign subsidiaries may have helped the company avoid paying U.S. taxes."

During the 2000 campaign, Cheney told ABC News that "I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal." But, Mayer writes, "under Cheney's watch, two foreign subsidiaries of Dresser sold millions of dollars worth of oil services and parts to Saddam's regime." Halliburton ended its dealings with Iraq in February 2000, according to Mayer.

<more>

That kills me - "...even arrangements that were supposedly legal." That's big of him. He's truly a Prince.
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mike1963 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
38. This sentence is a bit disingenuous:
"Yet it is reasonable to ask if Cheney’s faith in companies like Halliburton contributed to his conviction that the occupation of Iraq would be a tidy, easily managed affair."

It would be a lot better (for them, financially) if it turned out (as it has) to be UNtidy and HARD to manage...

Color me cynical...
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dusty64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-17-04 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
39. Guess this explains
why crashcart and fat tony had to fly away at taxpayer expense to massacre birds. I still can't believe they appear to be getting away with this, is there any hope?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-17-04 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
40. Today's NY Times - Cheney PERSONALLY presented false intel to Congress
Still waiting for the FROG MARCH.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/17/opinion/17TUE1.html

Distorting the Intelligence
Published: February 17, 2004


<snip>

Aerial Attacks Some members of Congress voted for force in Iraq out of fear that Mr. Hussein was prepared to launch a biological attack on the American homeland. A month before the vote, Mr. Tenet and Vice President Dick Cheney went to Capitol Hill to brief House and Senate leaders on the supposedly dire threat posed by Iraq's unpiloted airborne vehicles, which they described as capable of spreading chemical or biological agents. Senator Trent Lott, the Republican who was one of four leaders briefed by Mr. Tenet and Mr. Cheney, said recently that the information "did have an effect on us, no question," and Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, complained at a recent hearing that he had been led to believe that the threat was imminent. What is disturbing in this episode is that the Air Force, the agency most expert on the unpiloted vehicles, dissented from the intelligence consensus and thought that the aircraft were actually designed for reconnaissance. The Senate committee ought to look hard at this case to determine why the National Intelligence Estimate overrode the Air Force experts and what role Mr. Cheney might have played in either shaping or hyping the threat.

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