These documents are significant because during the 1990s, U.S. policy- makers were alarmed about oil deals potentially worth billions of dollars being signed between the Iraqi government and foreign competitors of the United States including France's Total and Russia's LukOil.
The New York Times reported the LukOil contracts alone could amount to more than 70 billion barrels of oil, more than half of Iraq's reserves. One oil executive said the volume of these deals was huge -- a "colossal amount."
As early as April 17, 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. petroleum giants realized that "Iraq is the biggie" in terms of future oil production, that the U.S. oil companies were "worried about being left out" of Iraq's oil dealings due to the antagonism between Washington and Baghdad, and that they feared that "the companies that win the rights to develop Iraqi fields could be on the road to becoming the most powerful multinationals of the next century."
U.N. sanctions against Iraq, maintained at the insistence of the United States and Britain, prevented these deals from being consummated.
Saddam Hussein's removal in 2003 has left the deals in a state of limbo, but the Bush administration's insistence that only countries supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for postwar reconstruction does not bode well for French and Russian concerns.
An April 2001 report by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and the Baker Institute for Public Policy -- commissioned by Cheney to help shape the new energy policy -- also devoted serious attention to Iraq.
The report, "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," complained about Hussein's oil leverage:
"Tight markets have increased U.S. and global vulnerability to disruption and provided adversaries undue potential influence over the price of oil. Iraq has become a key 'swing' producer, posing a difficult situation for the U.S. government. ... Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to ... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East.
"Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets."
Significantly, the report concluded that the United States should immediately review its Iraq policy, including its military options.
There are many other indications that, despite the Bush administration's repeated and insistent denials, petroleum politics may have played a crucial role in the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
For instance, both the State Department and the Pentagon had pre-war planning groups that included a focus on Iraq's oil industry; protecting the industry was an early U.S. objective in the war.
Halliburton Made $73 Million from Saddam Under Cheney Watch - Counter Punch - Article - 2004-03-18
''...when he (Cheney) left that post (in the Bush Sr. Administration) he became chairman and chief executive officer of Halliburton, a company that like the Russian engineers, was helping Saddam Hussein. Mr. Cheney quickly forgot his goal of putting in place an economic embargo and instead started personally profiting from trading with Iraq. Under his stewardship Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries which entered a joint venture agreement with Ingersoll-Rand Co. Two subsidiaries of those companies sold water and sewage treatment pumps, spare parts for oil facilities and pipeline equipment to Baghdad using French affiliates. What Halliburton did was completely legal because it did it through joint ventures and subsidiaries and within the orbit of the "oil for food" program run by the United Nations
While Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, the number of Halliburton subsidiaries registered in tax-friendly locations went from 9 in 1995 to 44 in 1999. And guess what? Halliburton’s federal taxes plummeted from $302 million in 1998 to less than zero, an $85 million rebate in 1999. – Source – Tallahassee Democrat, August 6, 2002
Illegal Business Practices - Corporate Corruption
Remember that Cheney was CEO in the LATE 90’s. Although, the AP forgot to mention that in this article - ''A jury has awarded $70 million to a Houston man who claimed that Halliburton and another oil company cheated him out of the chance to develop an oil field in Kazakhstan in the late 1990s.'' – Source – Associated Press, October 25, 2003
In a letter to Donald Rumsfeld, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif) said, "Halliburton Co. subsidiaries and joint ventures had done business in Iran, Iraq and Libya, in spite of U.S. sanctions against those countries." – Source - San Francisco Chronicle, May 1, 2003
Illegal Arms Trade – Selling Warheads
“An attorney for the head of a New Mexico anti-terrorism training firm is asking why prosecutors have zealously pursued his client for allegedly stockpiling warheads but ignored the company from they purchased the weapons. The attorney for High Energy Access Tool's president David Hudak, says Halliburton Corporation solicited Hudak to purchase about 2,400 warheads. Bob Gorence says the company offered the warheads as demolition charges and not as the government-owned military items that are illegal to posses.” – Source - Associated Press, April 28, 2003
Bribing Officials, Part I
According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission report filed by Halliburton, one of Halliburton’s subsidiaries paid a Nigerian official $2.4 million dollars in return for tax breaks. – Source - The Guardian, May 9,2003
Bribing Officials, Part II
The Halliburton subsidiary of Kellogg, Brown, and Root, and a French engineering firm, are being investigated by the French financial crimes squad for the payment of up to $200,000,000 in under the counter “commissions” (read: kick back, or bribe) for a contract in Nigeria. – Source - The Guardian, in London, Oct. 11, 2003
Illegally Price Gouging the Government, Part I
Under Cheney's watch, Halliburton was fined $2 million for consistently over billing the Pentagon. - Source – Tallahassee Democrat, August 6, 2002