As Bush Hunts For Answers to Kurd Oil Deal, Congressional Investigation Necessary
Washington, Sep 20 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) cautioned skepticism about President Bush’s stated concern about the Hunt Oil deal.
“This Administration has a poor record of investigating its own waste, fraud and abuse. Congress needs to conduct the investigation,” Kucinich said.
“In this case, skepticism is particularly warranted: if the President really wanted to know what was going on, all he would have to do is ask his close friend, Ray Hunt. President Bush and Ray Hunt, CEO of Hunt Oil Company, have many extensive and deep ties. Hunt is a longtime supporter of the Bush family and recently donated a whopping $35 million toward the Bush library, ” Kucinich said.
In a news conference today, President Bush stated he knew of embassy concerns with the U.S.-based Hunt Oil Company deal with Kurdistan. The deal undercuts the goal of oil revenue sharing but is predictably consistent with the Administration’s attempt to privatize Iraqi oil assets. Both Hunt Oil Company and Kurdistan are strong allies with the Bush Administration.
“President Bush’s admittance that the embassy expressed concern with the oil deal means the State Department is fully aware of the implications,” Kucinich said.
“The President could have and should have asked Secretary Rice to intervene immediately to nullify the deal. Since he did not do that one can only assume that the President is playing both ends against the middle,” Kucinich said.
“To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with an oil-revenue sharing plan that unifies the country, obviously…I’m concerned,” Bush said today.
“The President cannot be expected to conduct an investigation involving a billion-dollar oil deal which benefits his good friend. This is why the House must investigate the Hunt oil deal,” Kucinich said.
Earlier this week, Kucinich sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), requesting a full committee investigation to explore Hunt Oil’s production sharing agreement and what role the Administration may have played to help Hunt Oil get the agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Kucinich previously exposed the intent behind the benchmarks and pressure upon the Iraqi Parliament to pass the hydrocarbon act. He challenged Members of Congress and took the issue to the floor of the House of Representatives to shed light on the attempted privatization of Iraqi oil.
“The war in Iraq is a stain on American history. Let us not further besmirch our nation by participating in an outrageous exploitation of a nation, which is in shambles due to the U.S. intervention,” Kucinich said in an hour-long speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 23, 2007.
Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com