Macswain

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fuck, It Really Was About The Oil

Here's today's must-read.

Now we already know that $9 billion from the Iraqi oil funds has gone MIA while under the neglectful control of the CPA.

But now we also learn that the Iraqi oil flowing out of the country is completely unmetered.

Why the fuck do we put up with assholes like Norm Coleman who, on the taxpayer's dime, goes on wild-eyed rants against George Galloway but who then misses the elephant sitting on the sofa.

The UN oil-for-food scandal looks like a snatch & dash of a 75 cent Snickers bar compared to this heist of the Iraqi people's most valuable resource.

12 Comments:

  • Wait.... Are you telling me the same year that Exxon/Mobil was the most profitable corporation in the world, a bunch of oil came on to the market with absolutely noone tracking it???

    What a wierd coincidence.

    Are the U.S. Oil Reserves at 100% capacity? Where did they purchase this oil from?

    Not only was Galloway ranting about this a year ago directly too Coleman, but I think Chavez complained to Opec about it just before G.W.'s last visit from the house of Saud.

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 3:13 PM  

  • Remarkably ignorant post, starting with this nonsense:

    Now we already know that $9 billion from the Iraqi oil funds has gone MIA while under the neglectful control of the CPA.

    This is stupid - we know where the money went(the Iraqi Ministries), the CPA just didn't track it once it after it got there. Why not? Because they didn't know how to track it through the byzantine cash-based Iraqi government system.

    And realize that the CPA didn't turn the meters off - Iraq wasn't metering the oil before the war. And responsible sources are more concerned with oil smuggling in support of the insurgents than any malfeasance by the CPA.

    But don't let me spoil your fantasies.

    By Anonymous geoff, at 4:17 PM  

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for pointing out the joys of being an Iraqi minister.

    I also enjoy the Saddam-did-it too defense.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 4:55 PM  

  • Geoff,

    Do you work for the military?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:07 PM  

  • Thanks for pointing out the joys of being an Iraqi minister.

    Note that no one has shown that the money was misspent after it arrived at the ministries (although it's likely that there was the Iraqi-standard amount of graft and embezzlement). But somehow the fact that the CPA didn't track the money within the Iraqi system has turned into accusations that the money simply "disappeared." Which is completely wrong.

    I also enjoy the Saddam-did-it too defense.

    More like the: situation-has-remained-unchanged-since Saddam's-time defense. Which is to say that the CPA and Iraqi Interim Gov't didn't do anything wrong, they just didn't get around to doing something right. Until now.

    Do you work for the military?

    Once as an officer, now as a contractor.

    By Anonymous geoff, at 12:20 AM  

  • Geoff:

    Any way you could link to one of those "responsible sources?"

    I find it hard to believe that the U.S. has not had troops carefully gaurding the flow of oil out of the country from the early days of the war. They may not be experts in the oil shipping business, but should be good enough to be able to report as to whose tankers were being filled.

    If there was any "smuggling" it would have had to have been done with at least some apathy being shown on the part of the U.S. Military.

    The insurgents were using the funds from illegal oil sales to disrupt the pipelines and engage in other sabotage against the flow of Iraqi oil.....

    Sounds like some real responsible sources.

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 6:13 PM  

  • jandrew:

    If you follow the link and then click on the 2nd link in the post, you find this statement:

    The project has been repeatedly delayed amid reports of extensive smuggling, including allegations that Iraqi oil is being diverted from the marketplace to fuel the insurgency crippling the country's reconstruction.

    And understand that we know how much oil is being exported and delivered internally, we don't know how much is being siphoned off before it gets to a point where it's reported. That's another point: nobody really knows if siphoning is happening, or what magnitude of siphoning is occurring, if any.

    Also - the whole ridiculous "they protected the oil wells" argument. I don't know if you recall GWI, but in that war Iraq set fire to Kuwait's oil wells at a tremendous cost to the Kuwaiti economy. If we'd allowed Saddam to do the same to Iraq's oil wells, you'd be perfectly justified in ridiculing the administration. Just can't win, I guess.

    By Anonymous geoff, at 7:04 PM  

  • No it would have been shear idiocy not to station troops around the oil wells, refineries, and other major assets of the Iraqi people at the begining of the war. Bush knew it was going to need done, but becuase we only had a limited number of troops, rather than the amount requested by people who had been planning this invasion for years and years, we fell a little short on covering some of the other important things, such as the munitions bases and armorites.

    Either way, your "reliable sources" reporting on rumors without bothering to explain why we couldn't run a patrol along the pipeline at some point durring the 3 years weve been there makes it ring even a little more hollow.

    There's no way to tell if siphoning is going on? Why is the same not true in Alaska, Texas, or Suadi Arabia. How do we know those pipelines aren't being used to fund the insurgency?

    Nice "responsible source," was it Stars and Stripes?

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 9:50 AM  

  • If you pull the actual research that was done in February of 2005 when this story was news you find evidence of smuggling oil (which I always thought would involve both smuggling and oil) such as this:

    In one example, a sitting member of the Iraqi National Assembly has been indicted in the theft of millions of dollars meant for protecting a critical oil pipeline against attacks and is suspected of funneling some of that money to the insurgency, said Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, the chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity. The indictment has not been made public.

    On Saturday, the director of a major oil storage plant near Kirkuk was arrested with other employees and several local police officials, and charged with helping to orchestrate a mortar attack on the plant on Thursday, a Northern Oil Company employee said. The attack resulted in devastating pipeline fires and a shutdown of all oil operations in the area, said the employee, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

    Senior officials in Iraq's Oil Ministry have been repeatedly cited in the Iraqi press as complaining about what they call an "oil smuggling mafia" that not only siphons profits from the oil industry but also is said to control the allocation of administrative posts in the ministry.

    The "smuggling" for large part is hijacking oil trucks and selling the stolen oil through unofficial means. They siphon of profit, not oil at the point of production.

    The only actual reporting about the insurgency having an in at or prior to the point of delivery was in Baiji and was never verified, but considering there was not shake-up in management at that site, it was likely unfounded.

    The closest anyone has come to real evidence that unmetered oil was being sold to fund the insurgency (rather than stolen oil) was this:

    "When the corruption is large, people incline to terror"

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 10:07 AM  

  • Maybe someday in the future we can put camera's up in outer space and take pictures of such high value assets as oil pipelines to insure that no-one is siphoning off of them.

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 10:44 AM  

  • ithout bothering to explain why we couldn't run a patrol along the pipeline

    ?!? This is moronic - we're constantly patrolling the pipelines.

    There's no way to tell if siphoning is going on? Why is the same not true in Alaska, Texas, or Suadi Arabia.

    Perhaps because they meet the international standards for using meters to measure their output. And perhaps it is going on anyway - why don't you run down and guard the pumps at Huntington Beach? Then we'll know that neither the insurgents nor the US can steal the oil.

    Nice "responsible source," was it Stars and Stripes?

    More like the Director the Iraqi Ministry of Finance, who said half the smuggling proceeds went to the insurgents.

    They siphon of profit, not oil at the point of production.

    Yes, I was using "siphon" figuratively, not literally, although there are accounts of smugglers tapping into pipelines.

    But what's your ultimate point - you seem to be suggesting that the US gov't is stealing Iraqi oil. That's a pretty extreme premise. You might try doubling the aluminum foil to make sure you're covering more of the frequency spectrum.

    By Anonymous geoff, at 11:18 PM  

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