THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND IRAQI OIL
By Florian Roetzer
[This article published in the German-English cyber-journal Telepolis, 7/19/2003 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.telepolis.de/r4/artikel/15/15253/1.html.]
The super-giant oil fields in Iraq were central at the beginning of 2001 according to documents of the Energy Task Force led by Vice-President Cheney. These documents were made known because of a court decision.
A long time elapsed until a court finally ordered the release of the documents of the so-called Cheney Energy Task Force according to the Freedom of Information law. From the beginning, the mumblings of Vice-President Cheney with energy corporations encouraged the suspicion that US politics was carried out in the service of the republican donors (1). While the "Energy Plan" was published in May 2001, the government tried at first to withhold details (2) about the "advisors" from the public.
The National Energy policy (3) that may also underlie American policy in the Middle East could not be published despite demands from the Congress. The government-friendly General Accounting Office (GAO) of the US Congress did not protest after the court decision at the end of 2002. The Energy report shows that energy policy, oil supply and Iraq had great priority in US governmental policy along with the assumption that the US will be dependent on growing oil imports in the future. Oil consumption could increase over 30 percent and consumption of gas 50 percent in the near future. Demand for electricity will climb 45 percent. With oil, the dependence on imports will increase. The Middle East will be central for the oil supply in the future. For a long time Saudi Arabia was very dependable. Up to 2020, 67 percent of world oil will come from the Middle East, the report says. (4)
The United States remains a prisoner of its energy crisis... Iraq remains a destabilizing factor that hinders the oil flow from the Middle East to the international markets... Saddam Hussein already demonstrated his will to apply the weapon oil as a threat and to use his own export program to manipulate international markets. Therefore the United States should immediately adopt a policy toward Iraq that includes military, energy-policy, economic and political-diplomatic measures.
Some details (5) about the "advisors", first and foremost the mammoth energy conglomerates, reached the public through complaints on the basis of the Freedom of Information law from the National Resources Defense Council and Judicial Watch. Employees of the energy corporation Enron were among the advisors. Only with effort and thanks to 9/11 could the Bush administration avoid being identified with the fraudulent corporate managers. (6)
Through a complaint filed by the Sierra Club, Judicial Watch (7) has obtained more documents (8) of the task force that may contain explosive information and show why the US government tried to prevent their release. Among the documents of March 2001 were detailed maps of the super-giant oil fields, refineries and pipelines in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates and also lists of foreign businesses involved or interested in negotiations with these countries over oil field contracts.
The documents about Iraq are very interesting. Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, points out that the documents prove that the US government had an interest in Iraq already in 2001. He could not say why the task force wanted the information. Still it was important to find out what was discussed in the task force. These documents actually only said that the oil fields in the Middle East had great importance and that oil from the beginning was a central theme of the Bush administration closely connected with the oil industry [Bush-Cheney Inc. (9)]. That members of the Bush government had Iraq in their sights for a long time emerges from other sources. The Iraq war was planned long beforehand. (10).