Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Cheney's energy task force and the war on Iraq

I've never given too much credence to the view that the US invasion of Iraq was all about oil. Not to say that oil never had anything to do with it, but I've never taken seriously any charge that oil was the primary motivation — or even one of the important motivations — for the war. Until today.

I'm still not saying it's true, but for the first time this article in the Toronto Star gives me pause [thanks to Dave Farber].

... There's something almost obscene about a map that was studied by senior Bush administration officials and a select group of oil company executives meeting in secret in the spring of 2001. It doesn't show the kind of detail normally shown on maps � cities, towns, regions. Rather its detail is all about Iraq's oil....

The map might seem crass, but it was never meant for public consumption. It was one of the documents studied by the ultra-secretive task force on energy, headed by U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, and it was only released under court order after a long legal battle waged by the public interest group Judicial Watch.

Another interesting task force document, also released under court order over the opposition of the Bush administration, was a two-page chart titled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfields." It identifies 63 oil companies from 30 countries and specifies which Iraqi oil fields each company is interested in and the status of the company's negotiations with Saddam Hussein's regime....

The documents have attracted surprisingly little attention, despite their possible relevance to the question of Washington's motives for its invasion of Iraq � in many ways the defining event of the post-9/11 world but one whose purpose remains shrouded in mystery. Even after the supposed motives for the invasion � weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda � have been thoroughly discredited, talk of oil as a motive is still greeted with derision. Certainly any suggestion that private oil interests were in any way involved is hooted down with charges of conspiracy theory.

Yet the documents suggest that those who took part in the Cheney task force � including senior oil company executives � were very interested in Iraq's oil and specifically in the danger of it falling into the hands of eager foreign oil companies, rather than into the rightful hands of eager U.S. oil companies....

Blog home
Blog archives