A Hunt subsidiary, Hunt Oil Co. of the Kurdistan Region, will begin geological survey and seismic work by the end of this year and hopes to drill an exploration well in 2008, the parties said in a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.The deal with Hunt Oil is the first such agreement since the Kurds passed their bill.
But here's what will raise eyebrows: the CEO of the company in question, Ray L. Hunt, is a close associate of both Bush and Cheney.
Hunt now serves as Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.; Chairman of the Board and CEO of Hunt Oil Company; and Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, RRH Corporation. He has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Private Equity Group since its inception in 1990. So a company that is headed by someone who was certainly a member of Cheney's infamous energy task-force, sits on the boards of Halliburton and Dubya's library and is on Dubya's team of foreign advisors gets the very first oil contract out of Kurdistan after they pass a law which makes privatized foreign ownership of Iraq's oil easier.
Tell me again that it wasn't at least partly about oil.
Today, at Times Select, Paul Krugman argued that the Hunt Oil CEO is "effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation,". Via Raw Story:
Hunt raised about $100,000 for Bush during the president's 2000 campaign, and he serves on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which gives him access to some of the most exclusive data collected by US spy agencies.And the regional press are today reporting that the Iraqi government and Kurdish authorities are at loggerheads over this deal and others, which the Iraqi Oil Minister says are all illegal.
Iraq's northern Kurdish administration has demanded Baghdad's oil minister be sacked, following his remarks that oil contracts signed by the regional government are "illegal."So Bush is telling the American nation that Iraq must pass its oil bill - over which negotiations are stalled - to further political reconcilliation. Meanwhile his friend is using his insider knowledge to bet that no such reconcilliation will take place. That's a disconnect of mammoth proportions, and must surely call into question Bush's belief in his own words for all but the most mindlessly loyal of cheerleaders.