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WikiLeaks cables: Shell's grip on Nigerian state revealed

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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 01:23 AM
Original message
WikiLeaks cables: Shell's grip on Nigerian state revealed
Edited on Mon Dec-13-10 01:43 AM by sabrina 1
From Cablegate: Nigeria has been in the news this week as the influence of major Oil Companies over the Nigerian Government are revealed through diplomatic cables causing embarrassment to Oil Giant, Shell among others, and maybe finally, some legal accountability.

Earlier this month, Nigeria announced it would be issuing an arrest warrant for Vice President Dick Cheney:



Nigeria to Charge Dick Cheney in Pipeline Bribery Case

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies including Halliburton Co. over a $180 million bribery scandal, a prosecutor at the anti-graft agency said.

Indictments will be lodged in a Nigerian court in the next three days, Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in an interview today at his office in Abuja, the capital. An arrest warrant for Cheney will be issued and transmitted through Interpol, the worlds biggest international police organization, he said.

Peter Long, Cheneys spokesman, said he couldnt immediately comment when contacted today and said he would respond later to an e-mailed request for comment.




With the new Nigerian President determined to root out the corruption that has plagued the country for so long, these revelations can only add to the outrage over the greed and corruption in that country as a majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line and do not benefit from their own resources. If true, they confirm the claims by Nigerian prosecutors, that central to the corruption has been the influence of Global, Multi-National Petroleum Corporations.

WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION

Nigeria's government, police, civil services, and businesses are plagued by extortion, bribery, and other forms of corruption. While many point to a failure of leadership, corruption is largely a byproduct of an economy fueled almost exclusively by petroleum exports. With no vested interest in developing Nigeria's infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, the wealthy simply profit from oil while the nation falls ever deeper into economic chaos. Recently elected President Obasanjo has vowed to crack down on corruption and bribery.




Despite billions of dollars in oil revenue, 70% of people in Nigeria live below the poverty line. Photograph: George Osodi/AP

WikiLeaks cables: Shell's grip on Nigerian state revealed

The oil giant Shell claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians' every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.

The company's top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew "everything that was being done in those ministries". She boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.

> snip

The WikiLeaks disclosure was today seized on by campaigners as evidence of Shell's vice-like grip on the country's oil wealth. "Shell and the government of Nigeria are two sides of the same coin," said Celestine AkpoBari, of Social Action Nigeria. "Shell is everywhere. They have an eye and an ear in every ministry of Nigeria. They have people on the payroll in every community, which is why they get away with everything. They are more powerful than the Nigerian government."

The criticism was echoed by Ben Amunwa of the London-based oil watchdog Platform. "Shell claims to have nothing to do with Nigerian politics," he said. "In reality, Shell works deep inside the system, and has long exploited political channels in Nigeria to its own advantage."


Cables show how Ann Pickard, then Shell's vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa tells how the Nigerian Government was seeking bids from China and Russia. Nigeria is the biggest African exporter of oil, and the U.S. receives 8% of its oil from that country.

From the cables, it seems that Pickard was receiving and providing 'intelligence' for the U.S. and Britain. She claims that Russia was spying on Shell.

Speaking of leaks, ironically Pickard worried about talking to U.S. officials:

The cable concludes with the observation that the oil executive had tended to be guarded in discussion with US officials. "Pickard has repeatedly told us she does not like to talk to USG officials because the USG is 'leaky'." She may be concerned that ... bad news about Shell's Nigerian operations will leak out."


The U.S. is 'leaky'!! Maybe instead of going after Wikileaks, the U.S. Congress should be asking why this is the case? This was back in 2008, before Wikileaks. So, clearly there is a problem somewhere.

Shell refused to comment on the cables, issuing the following statement:

"You are seeking our views on a leaked cable allegedly containing information about a private conversation involving a Shell representative, but have declined to share this cable or to permit us sufficient time to obtain information from the person you say took part in the conversation on the part of Shell. In view of this, we cannot comment on the alleged contents of the cable, including the correctness or incorrectness of any statements you say it contains."


Dick Cheney's spokesperson had no comment either.

Is the greed and corruption finally catching up with them? They are everywhere, as the Nigerian official stated.

I hope the new Nigerian President is successful in fighting the corruption in his country and recovering some of the money that belongs to the Nigerian people in the process.

The poster below depicts the widespread corruption in the smaller pictures surrounding what is meant to be President Obasanjo, lassooing corruption which is depicted as the bull. It can be found in the first link above:



For so long, the West has depicted African leaders as 'lazy, ineffective etc.' in terms of not being able to properly run their countries. But now we are seeing the real reasons for the failure of many of these countries. It was the greed of Multi National Corporations and the corruption they encouraged through bribery and the elevation of the worst kind of people to positions of power.

Julian Assange remains in jail as the news he chose to publish continues to be reported.

He has not been charged with a crime.

He has said that no matter what happens to him, the information will continue to be released.

Early next year he has promised that Wikileaks will release information on major Financial Institutions which will show the inner workings of at least one major bank.

I am sure there will be frenzied efforts to stop that information from reaching the public.




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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yes! Hopefully, we'll see the information on the banks sooner rather than later. nt
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Assange "...in Wandsworth Prison in England for his own safety."
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yeah. Ellsberg faced the same types of threats. They didn't manage to kill him. Hope we can say the
same for Assange in 40 years.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes, I read that. Very smart of him to point fingers at her
He is an International hero at this point. She would not want to be responsible for his death. But she cannot stand up for him, even offer any kind of protection without angering her rabid handlers in the U.S.

I hope she realizes now that selling your soul for power has its downside.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. He spoke about it in a Forbes interview about two weeks ago.
It seems that it was after that that things began to escalate as far as getting him into custody. Not that that should stop the release of the cables. However, it all depends on what he is threatened with, or his family. Too bad he did not get out of Europe and go to one of the S. American countries where he would have been protected.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think he's pretty committed to getting the information out.
He has said it will be released with or without him. I have thought he probably has some information set up on dead man switches.

I know I had a low tech version of that years ago when my life was in danger. I had turned over all the information I had on a group that was threatening my life to an attorney with instructions that should anything ever happen to me, he was to go to the press and law enforcement with all of it. I then let the parties know this I had this arrangement. They were then in the position of not being able to hurt me without being exposed and, as an added bonus, had to hope no one else hurt me or I didn't die of some other cause. I have to think there are more high tech ways to accomplish this nowadays.
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Wow. You've been put through the fire and came out strong, still a laughing liberal.
I salute you. And I trust that Assange has taken all the necessary steps to further our common cause in the event he gets snuffed out.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. Is that the dickster in the first pic ?
He's looking rather peaked, but he still doesn't have an orange jumpsuit.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. He doesn't look great
does he? It looks like they're going to pay to drop the charges against him. 'No man is above the law'. Except for a few, like Cheney.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. He's always been ugly. The problem is he looks alive.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's the same shite everywhere
these corporations turn up. Finally the world will see who is really corrupt - corporations backed by their governments.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Reading the Wikileaks cables, a few things become clearer than
ever before. One, the U.S. has its tentacles in every country in the world, manipulating elections, creating 'friendly' atmospheres for Multi National Corps all over the world.

And if they are doing it elsewhere, it must become obvious that they are doing it right here in the U.S. All the suspicions we've had that our government is run by Corporations, and not even American corps, like BP, are confirmed as you read through these cables.

One part of the world where they are losing their grip however, is South America. After decades of the same, corrupt influences, that region of the world is emerging from the oppression, electing democratic governments and in many cases, going after those who backed their brutal dictators along with those dictators themselves.

Europe, Africa, Australia and North America are now being turned into third world nations, if we allow it to continue. Puppet governments, see Australia eg, Multi National Corps buying elected officials, all Social Programs everywhere, under attack by them.

Thank YOU Julian Assange for providing the information that makes it all so clear. What we do with it, is up to us.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
Thanks for posting this. Good stuff
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
Nice work pulling this together
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
12. Adding a link from a thread I started last night
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Thanks for the link. It is ironic, isn't it? He's charged
with bribery, and then Halliburton bribes the Government to drop the charges. I hope they refuse. If the president of Nigeria is sincere about the War on Corruption, he will not accept yet another bribe.
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