imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Oil Companies Protected from Investigation

by Richard Calland Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 8:52 PM

Bush Orders Oil Companies Protected From Investigation! A Licence To Loot

download PDF (85.9 kibibytes)

Tom Devine is a decent American. A fighter for what he calls "free speech dissent" -- whistle-blowing to you and me -- he conceals the steel of a lifelong professional commitment to whistle-blowers beneath a gentle, soft-spoken exterior. It seems like he could not hurt a fly. But when he talks about Executive Order 13303 a quiet rage gathers about him.



Signed by United States President George W Bush in May, the order attracted only scant media attention when it was finally reported in August. Given that the order is a blank cheque for corporate anarchy in Iraq this is very curious indeed.



A Web search reveals that apart from alternative media such as the Los Angeles Independent Media Centre, by and large the mainstream US media chose not to take the issue on, and with rare exceptions, the international media likewise.



Either the executive order is unworthy of attention and comment or it offers the most abundant proof of what Bush is up to in Iraq. I will let you decide.



The order prohibits the operation of the judicial process in respect of both the Development Fund for Iraq and "all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests". Section 1(b) shields these interests "of any nature whatsoever" if it "arises from" or is "related to" the "sale or marketing of all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons".



Section 3 confirms that "persons" includes entities such as corporations. In other words, it takes the opera- tion of all US corporations involved in the Iraqi oil business, however indirectly, outside of the law.



That means all corporate activities with roots or any connection to Iraqi oil. It includes commerce such as plastics in the petrochemical industry or anything else for which Iraqi oil becomes relevant, thus blending Iraqi oil with domestic supplies or industry.



It is truly astounding. As a lawyer you sometimes interpret a legal document and then decide that you have given it a meaning that it can not possibly have. So you reread. This was such an occasion. But it is so.



The order covers everything from extraction through to transportation, advertising, manufacture, customer service, corporate records and payment of taxes.



As Devine's report for his pressure group, the Government Account-ability Project, puts it, "the executive order cancels the concept of corporate accountability and abandons the rule of law. Translated from the legalese, this is a licence for corporations to loot Iraq and its citizens."



It means that the oil industry is magically exempt from liability for a vast range of things, including health and safety violations, child labour, minimum wage and other employment rights such as equal opportunity, consumer fraud, clean environment duties, and shareholder accountability, to name but a few.



For US companies such as Bechtel and Halliburton, there is a double beauty to this beast. They have become merrily endowed with US government contracts, post-invasion, and are now immune from the entire system of administrative law that ordinarily applies to protect the public interest of the taxpayer.



The Development Fund for Iraq, which is the financing arm for post-war economic activity, is the other beneficiary of this outrageous liability waiver. As Devine notes, this means that World Bank and other capital from international financial institutions will be exempt from enforcement of any congressional or other checks and balances imposed by US law.



Against this backdrop, US rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law is as laughable as it is nauseating. Last week Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador/Bush administration spy turned whistle-blower who has emerged to haunt the Bush administration over its "evidence" of an Iraqi threat, was honoured at a ceremony in the National Press Club in Washington DC with the first Ridenhour Award for Truth-Telling.



The awards were established in honour of Ron Ridenhour, the Vietnam veteran who in 1969 wrote a letter to the Congress and the Pentagon describing the horrific events at My Lai ÷ the infamous massacre of the Vietnam War. His action brought the outrage to the attention of the American public and the world.



My friend Lala Camerer, who now works in DC for the Centre for Public Integrity, describes the occasion to me thus: "It was humbling to watch Wilson, once very much part of the establishment, and now effectively shunned by former colleagues, be honoured by a crowd made up of largely investigative journalists and public information advocates.



Especially moving, says Camerer, was the moment when Wilson, overcome by emotion, apologised to his wife saying tearfully: "If I could give you back your anonymity, I would. I am truly sorry. It seems that the political agenda is more important than American national security or your life."



Under Executive Order 13303 someone like Wilson would have no protection for blowing the whistle on any unlawful act committed by an American company involved in the Iraqi oil business.



When, a month ago, I wrote of the grand and dangerous delusions of modern US imperialism, and of its real purpose and intent, I was greeted with the predictable howls of zealous outrage from a range of American apologists and Zionist surrogates. A gruesome axis, with intertwined motives and interests, they simply can't face the truth. But Executive Order 13303 cannot be denied. It is the truth.



Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, now argues that the rest of the world must unite in its opposition to the US government. The headline of a recent profile in the British media described Stiglitz as a whistle-blower because of his damaging insider critique of his former employer, the World Bank, and especially the International Monetary Fund.



It has suddenly become terribly acceptable, trendy even, to be a whistle-blower; Devine's life's work has not been in vain.



That is as it may be, but Stiglitz is no Ch Guevara. When moderates like him start arguing for a global opposition to the US then I think it is safe to conclude that Executive Order 13303 is just the tip of the iceberg.



Our opposition is not to the American people any more than it is with Zimbabweans in the case of President Robert Mugabe, though the American people are undoubtedly far more culpable for the rise to power of its rogue leadership.



The question is how exactly do you take on Goliath? Seeing and telling the truth represents a start. Protesting is a further vital step. Conveniently, Israel will provide a key stimulant for mobilisation. The so-called "security wall" it is constructing must become the new Berlin Wall ÷ a symbol of contemporary oppression and injustice. Then we will all have at least one focal point for our opposition.

Report this post as:

Local News

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique du microcosme macrocosme O15 6:44AM

September 2018 Honduras coup update O15 3:31AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:34AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:23AM

Paraphysique de l'ubérisation O13 7:56AM

22 Ways Trump Has Increased US Deficit By 4 to 5 Trillion Dollars O12 10:34PM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Plus d'hôpitaux, à bas les aéros O12 6:38AM

When Banana Ruled (documentary) O11 3:00AM

Outstanding Report By RAMOLA D &Dr.Tomo Shibata O10 9:17PM

Dark Clouds Gather on Horizon for Financial System, Warns International Monetary Fund O10 1:51PM

Fbi pure evil & immorality O10 5:39AM

Reality Check: Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence is a Big Lie O09 7:40PM

Voiceless Animals: 2018 Candidates They Oppose O09 7:01PM

IMF Lowers Global Growth Projections and Raises Concerns of Financial Crisis O09 3:27PM

Canitie, l'inhumanité vieillit O09 7:13AM

L'anarchie en quelques exemples O07 6:50AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy