The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Sunday, February 15


The New Yorker has an article Contract Sport by Jane Mayer on Halliburton, Cheney, money, and oil.
Scott Saunders, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, confirmed the authenticity of the letter, and acknowledged that Halliburton had picked Altanmia. “Halliburton told us that only Altanmia could meet our requirements,” he said.

Experts in the Persian Gulf oil business say that the Altanmia deal looks suspicious. “There is not a reason on earth to sell gasoline at the price they did,” Youssef Ibrahim, the managing director of the Strategic Energy Investment Group, a consulting firm in Dubai, said. “Halliburton and their Kuwaiti partners made out like bandits.” A well-informed Kuwaiti source called the prices charged by Altanmia “absurd,” and said that Halliburton’s arrangement to buy Kuwaiti oil through a middleman, rather than directly from the government, was “highly irregular.” He added, “There is no way that this could have transpired without the knowledge and direction” of Kuwait’s oil minister, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Two sources told me that the oil minister’s brother, Talal Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, may have secret financial ties to Altanmia. (The brothers are also nephews of the Emir and the Prime Minister of Kuwait.) “There are calls in parliament to open an investigation,” the Kuwaiti source said. “It could shake the government.”
Our favorite excerpt:
Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught at the National War College, told me that so many of the contracts in Iraq are going to companies with personal connections with the Bush Administration that the procurement process has essentially become a “patronage system.”
Go read the article.


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