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Operation Oil Immunity

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Operation Oil Immunity

Steve Kretzmann and Jim Vallette are analysts with the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network of the Institute for Policy Studies.

During the initial assault on Baghdad, soldiers set up forward bases named Camp Shell and Camp Exxon. Those soldiers knew the score, even if the Pentagon's talking points dismissed any ties between Iraqi oil and their blood.

The Bush/Cheney administration has moved quickly to ensure U.S. corporate control over Iraqi resources, at least through the year 2007. The first part of the plan, created by the United Nations under U.S. pressure, is the Development Fund for Iraq, which is being controlled by the United States and advised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The second is a recent Bush executive order that provides absolute legal protection for U.S. interests in Iraqi oil.

In May, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1483, which ended sanctions and endorsed the creation of Development Fund for Iraq, to be controlled by Paul Bremer and overseen by a board of accountants, including U.N., World Bank and IMF representatives. It endorsed the transfer of over $1 billion (of Iraqi oil money) from the Oil-for-Food program into the Development Fund. All proceeds from the sale of Iraqi oil and natural gas are also to be placed into the fund.

In the creation and expected implementation of this Development Fund for Iraq, one finds the fingerprints of the global economic structural adjustment that has attracted so much protest in recent years. World Bank and IMF programs, backed by the rigged rules of the World Trade Organization, have imposed dramatic financial restructuring upon much of the world. Developing countries have amassed huge debts in exchange for selling out their natural resources to powerful Northern corporations. This paradigm cloaks corporate welfare and neocolonialism in terms of "poverty alleviation," and now in Iraq as "humanitarian assistance."

New debt for Iraq will accrue through the very program that President Bush pledged would "benefit the people of Iraq." The Development Fund, derived from actual and expected Iraqi oil and gas sales, will apparently be used to leverage U.S. government-backed loans, credit and direct financing for U.S. corporate forays into Iraq. Besides financing reconstruction projects, some of the funds will also be used as collateral for projects approved by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (ExIm), whose mission is not development or poverty alleviation, but rather the creation of U.S. jobs and the promotion of American business abroad.

ExIm recently announced that it was open for business in Iraq and would begin considering applications by subcontractors (that is, companies hired by Bechtel and Halliburton) in Iraq. Corporations have found it next to impossible to obtain private bank credit for work in Iraq, due to the ongoing insecure environment. But ExIm has stepped in to take a lead role in facilitating U.S. business in Iraq.

"The primary source of repayment," explained an ExIm release, "is the Development Fund for Iraq, or another entity established under the auspices of the Coalition Provisional Authority with access to foreign exchange and protection from claims of creditors of the former regime." In other words, the U.S. government is happy to provide credit to any U.S. business wishing to do business in Iraq -- especially because the money comes from Iraq.

But for the Bush/Cheney administration and their allies in the oil industry, this was not enough. Hours after the United Nations endorsed U.S. control of the "Development Fund" for Iraq, Bush signed an executive order that was spun as implementing Resolution 1483, but in reality went much further towards attracting investment and minimizing risk for U.S. corporations in Iraq.

Executive Order 13303 decrees that "any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void," with respect to the Development Fund for Iraq and "all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein."

In other words, if ExxonMobil or ChevronTexaco touch Iraqi oil, it will be immune from legal proceedings in the United States. Anything that could go, and elsewhere has gone, awry with U.S. corporate oil operations will be immune to judgment: a massive tanker accident; an explosion at an oil refinery; the employment of slave labor to build a pipeline; murder of locals by corporate security; the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The president, with a stroke of the pen, signed away the rights of Saddam's victims, creditors and of the next true Iraqi government to be compensated through legal action. Bush's order unilaterally declares Iraqi oil to be the unassailable province of U.S. corporations.

In the short term, through the Development Fund and the Export-Import Bank programs, the Iraqi people's oil will finance U.S. corporate entrees into Iraq. In the long term, Executive Order 13303 protects anything those corporations do to seize control of Iraq's oil, from the point of production to the gas pump -- and places oil companies above the rule of law.

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[Federal Register: May 28, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 102)]

[Presidential Documents]

[Page 31929-31932]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr28my03-98]

[[Page 31929]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Part VIII

The President

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Executive Order 13303--Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and

Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest

Presidential Documents

__________________________________________________________________

Title 3--

The President

[[Page 31931]]

Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003

Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and

Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest

By the authority vested in me as President by the

Constitution and the laws of the United States of

America, including the International Emergency Economic

Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)

(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601

et seq.), section 5 of the United Nations Participation

Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), and section

301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of

America, find that the threat of attachment or other

judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq,

Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests

therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial

instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or

related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests

therein, obstructs the orderly reconstruction of Iraq,

the restoration and maintenance of peace and security

in the country, and the development of political,

administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq. This

situation constitutes an unusual and extraordinary

threat to the national security and foreign policy of

the United States and I hereby declare a national

emergency to deal with that threat.

I hereby order:

Section 1. Unless licensed or otherwise authorized

pursuant to this order, any attachment, judgment,

decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial

process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and

void, with respect to the following:

(a) the Development Fund for Iraq, and

(B) all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and

interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any

financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising

from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and

interests therein, in which any foreign country or a

national thereof has any interest, that are in the

United States, that hereafter come within the United

States, or that are or hereafter come within the

possession or control of United States persons.

Sec. 2. (a) As of the effective date of this order,

Executive Order 12722 of August 2, 1990, Executive

Order 12724 of August 9, 1990, and Executive Order

13290 of March 20, 2003, shall not apply to the

property and interests in property described in section

1 of this order.

(B) Nothing in this order is intended to affect the

continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations,

orders, licenses or other forms of administrative

action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore

or hereafter under Executive Orders 12722, 12724, or

13290, or under the authority of IEEPA or the UNPA,

except as hereafter terminated, modified, or suspended

by the issuing Federal agency and except as provided in

section 2(a) of this order.

Sec. 3. For the purposes of this order:

(a) The term ``person'' means an individual or

entity;

(B) The term ``entity'' means a partnership,

association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group,

subgroup, or other organization;

© The term ``United States person'' means any

United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity

organized under the laws of the United

[[Page 31932]]

States or any jurisdiction within the United States

(including foreign branches), or any person in the

United States;

(d) The term ``Iraqi petroleum and petroleum

products'' means any petroleum, petroleum products, or

natural gas originating in Iraq, including any Iraqi-

origin oil inventories, wherever located; and

(e) The term ``Development Fund for Iraq'' means

the fund established on or about May 22, 2003, on the

books of the Central Bank of Iraq, by the Administrator

of the Coalition Provisional Authority responsible for

the temporary governance of Iraq and all accounts held

for the fund or for the Central Bank of Iraq in the

name of the fund.

Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, in

consultation with the Secretary of State and the

Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such

actions, including the promulgation of rules and

regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the

President by IEEPA and the UNPA as may be necessary to

carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of

the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to

other officers and agencies of the United States

Government. All agencies of the United States

Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate

measures within their statutory authority to carry out

the provisions of this order.

(B) Nothing contained in this order shall relieve a

person from any requirement to obtain a license or

other authorization in compliance with applicable laws

and regulations.

Sec. 5. This order is not intended to, and does not,

create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or

procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party

against the United States, its departments, agencies,

entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other

person.

Sec. 6. This order shall be transmitted to the Congress

and published in the Federal Register.

(Presidential Sig.)B

THE WHITE HOUSE,

May 22, 2003.

[FR Doc. 03-13412

Filed 5-23-03; 11:28 am]

Billing code 3195-01-P

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-13412.htm

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/pdf/03-13412.pdf

^^Straight from the Government National Archives and Records people!!

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Well Igloo, matas, skince, mrmas and the rest of the nationalistic morons....

What do you have to say to this?

Can you fathom this as fact that this proves this war is for oil or are you too busy playing with your barbies and legos and reading your dr seuss books and getting brainwashed by fox news?

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Originally posted by normalnoises

Well??????????? Are you gonna play??? Or be the chickenshit conformist idiots, retreating from the truth??

Didn't read any of the shit you posted, nor do I ever read anything you post longer than 1 sentence.

Chickenshit.......us???? lol.....thats funny. For a second there I almost forgot that you were the one who was stupid enough to get caught posting as a closet conservative. And what happened when you got caught??? You didn't post here for several weeks. You were actually shamed from a message board. Thats pretty pathetic. Talk about a chicken shit. It took you weeks to grow some balls to come back and post here again after your little stunt. I can't understand why it took so long considering THIS IS ONLY A MESSAGE BOARD!!!!!!!

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Originally posted by skince55

Didn't read any of the shit you posted, nor do I ever read anything you post longer than 1 sentence.

Chickenshit.......us???? lol.....thats funny. For a second there I almost forgot that you were the one who was stupid enough to get caught posting as a closet conservative. And what happened when you got caught??? You didn't post here for several weeks. You were actually shamed from a message board. Thats pretty pathetic. Talk about a chicken shit. It took you weeks to grow some balls to come back and post here again after your little stunt. I can't understand why it took so long considering THIS IS ONLY A MESSAGE BOARD!!!!!!!

so, besides the usual bs insulting, anything else you have to say, perhaps, about the ARTICLES?

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Originally posted by sassa

so, besides the usual bs insulting, anything else you have to say, perhaps, about the ARTICLES?

I like how in the usual insulting you chose to quote my post which was the third one in a line of insults, but I'm sure you meant to include the following:

Originally posted by normalnoises

Well Igloo, matas, skince, mrmas and the rest of the nationalistic morons....

are you too busy playing with your barbies and legos and reading your dr seuss books and getting brainwashed by fox news?

Or be the chickenshit conformist idiots, retreating from the truth??

But we provoked the innocent normalnoises....right sassa?

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Originally posted by skince55

I like how in the usual insulting you chose to quote my post which was the third one in a line of insults, but I'm sure you meant to include the following:

But we provoked the innocent normalnoises....right sassa?

avoiding the topic again. i asked you YOUR OPINION about the article. not if normalnoises was innocent or not. i don't give a damn about your little tiff with him. that's your business, not mine.

just answer my question, what are you going to say to counterargue the articles?

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Originally posted by sassa

avoiding the topic again. i asked you YOUR OPINION about the article. not if normalnoises was innocent or not. i don't give a damn about your little tiff with him. that's your business, not mine.

just answer my question, what are you going to say to counterargue the articles?

On Topic:

I havent read the article yet, eventually I will and I will respond.

Off Topic:

why do you have to only point out my insults which were in response to his, and completely ignore his. It's not because your views are the same as his and you don't mind when he spews the shit he does....is it?

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Originally posted by skince55

On Topic:

I havent read the article yet, eventually I will and I will respond.

Off Topic:

why do you have to only point out my insults which were in response to his, and completely ignore his. It's not because your views are the same as his and you don't mind when he spews the shit he does....is it?

Jesus Christ. Will this ever end? :rolleyes: Just stick to the topic. I only care about your opinion, nothing more. end this juvenile bullshit. He is wrong for using insults and so are you. happy now? :blank:

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Originally posted by sassa

Jesus Christ. Will this ever end? :rolleyes: Just stick to the topic. I only care about your opinion, nothing more. end this juvenile bullshit. He is wrong for using insults and so are you. happy now? :blank:

i'm a little happier now...a nicer tone would have been appreciated but this will do.

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i really dont believe this war was strickly about oil. Might have been a weighing in factor but definately not the sole reason. Truthfully now im kinda gettin tired of even talking about the war in Iraq period it's over we're there. Aside from the partisan bullshit hopefully the plans for iraq are successfull i got some friends in Iraq i'd rather be wrong then see one of them die plus it would be alot better for this country.....

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