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Nigeria to Charge Dick Cheney in Pipeline Bribery Case

December 01, 2010, 5:05 PM EST

Bloomberg Businessweek

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo

(Updates with Eni comment in seventh paragraph.)

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — Nigeria will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies including Halliburton Co. over a $180 million bribery scandal, a prosecutor at the anti-graft agency said.

Indictments will be lodged in a Nigerian court “in the next three days,” Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in an interview today at his office in Abuja, the capital. An arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” the world’s biggest international police organization, he said.

Peter Long, Cheney’s spokesman, said he couldn’t immediately comment when contacted today and said he would respond later to an e-mailed request for comment.

Obla said charges will be filed against current and former chief executive officers of Halliburton, including Cheney, who was CEO from 1995 to 2000, and its former unit KBR Inc., based in Houston, Texas; Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield- services provider; Eni SpA, Italy’s biggest oil company; and Saipem Construction Co., a unit of Eni. Obla didn’t identify the former officials whom he said held office when the alleged bribes were paid.

Last week, Nigeria arrested at least 23 officials from companies including Halliburton, Saipem, Technip and a former subsidiary of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG in connection with alleged illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Those detained were all freed on bail on Nov. 29.

MORE HERE

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Halliburton and Nigeria:
A Chronology of Key Events in the Unfolding Bribery Scandal

1988: Dresser Industries acquires M.W. Kellogg, ten years before Dresser merges with Halliburton.

September 1994: M.W. Kellogg and three other companies form a partnership known as TSKJ, incorporated in Medeira, Portugal. Each partner owns a 25 percent equal share. Kellogg’s three other partners are Technip of France, Italy’s Snamprogetti, and Japan Gasoline Corp. The partnership submits a bid to Nigeria LNG to build a natural gas plant in Nigeria. Nigeria LNG is owned by the Nigerian government and Royal Dutch/Shell Group. TSKJ’s $2 billion bid is not immediately accepted even though it was 5 percent lower than a bid submitted by competitor, Bechtel Group, Inc.

November 1994: As TSKJ awaits Nigeria’s decision on the bid, Wojciech Chodan, an executive at Kellogg and later a consultant for Kellogg Brown & Root, meets with London lawyer Jefferey Tesler, who is known for his contacts and friendly relations with the Nigerian government, including its dictator Gen. Sani Abacha. During the meeting, they discussed channeling $40 million to Gen. Abacha through Mr. Tesler’s firm Tri-Star, based in Gibralter, Spain.

March 1995: TSKJ formally hires Mr. Tesler as agent; TSKJ’s bid has still not been accepted by Nigeria LNG. Mr. Tesler’s employment contract is signed by an M.W. Kellogg executive on behalf of the TSKJ partnership. Mr. Tesler had been working on behalf of TSKJ prior to March 1995 and the employment contract was given to Mr. Tesler as a reward for his prodding of Nigerian officials. The employment contract provided that Mr. Tesler would be paid $60 million if Nigeria awarded the construction contract to TSKJ. Mr. Tesler’s Tri-Star was contracted to receive at least $160 million in five agreements signed between 1995 and 2002, and the funds were directed to bank accounts in Switzerland and Monaco.

March 20, 1995: Dan Etete replaces Nigeria’s former oil minister, who has a falling out with the dicatator, Gen. Abacha. “In an interrogation of Mr. Tesler, a French magistrate described the London lawyer’s transfer of $2.5 million into Swiss bank accounts held by Mr. Etete under a false name between 1996 and 1998. Mr. Tesler confirmed making the payments but told the magistrate that the money was for an investment in offshore oil exploration leases in Nigeria and that he wasn’t aware the accounts belonged to Mr. Etete, according to people familiar with the interrogation.” (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29, 2004.)

June 1995: Albert Jack Stanley is promoted to president and chief operating officer of M.W. Kellogg after serving as executive vice president since 1991 and various positions since 1975.

August 1995: Dick Cheney is hired as CEO of Halliburton, three years before he directs the merger of Halliburton with Dresser Industries and M.W. Kellogg. He serves as CEO until August of 2000.

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(H/T to Driftglass.)

Halliburton Pours Money Into Campaigns Of Congress Members Who Will Investigate Oil Spill. Gee, I Wonder Why.

Crooks and Liars- By Susie Madrak Thursday Jun 03, 2010 1:30pm

Just when you think Halliburton couldn’t be any more blatant, and Congress members couldn’t be any more corruptible, it gets worse. No, we don’t need publicly funded campaigns! Nope:

As Congress investigated its role in the doomed Deep Horizon oil rig, Halliburton donated $17,000 to candidates running for federal office, giving money to several lawmakers on committees that have launched inquiries into the massive spill.

Gee, I wonder why. Do you suppose they simply want them to let them know there’ll be no hard feelings if they should find Halliburton at fault in some way? I’m sure it’s something like that.

The Texas-based oil giant’s political action committee made 14 contributions during the month of May, according to a federal campaign report filed Wednesday — 13 to Republicans and one to a Democrat. It was the busiest donation month for Halliburton’s PAC since September 2008.

Of the 10 current members of Congress who got money from Halliburton in May, seven are on committees with oversight of the oil spill and its aftermath.

They just want them to know they’re behind them 100% as they do their jobs!

Halliburton’s political contributions in May are the highest they’ve been since September 2009, when the PAC also gave $17,000 in donations. In fact, the last time the company gave more than $17,000 in one month was when it donated $25,000 during the heat of the presidential campaign in September 2008.

I’ve often told people that instead of the netroots funding candidates, I’d rather see all that money go to hiring our own lobbying firm. Because then we could pay them off, too: to be honest.

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Oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig

Oil Execs To Face Senate For First Spill Hearings Tuesday

TPM MUCKRAKER

Justin Elliott | May 10, 2010, 6:23PM

On Tuesday officials from some of the major companies involved in the Gulf oil spill will face senators for the first in a long series of congressional hearings.

First up, at 10 a.m. ET, the presidents of BP and Transocean, the rig owner, as well as a top official with cementing services provider Halliburton, will appear before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Look for the executives to try to dodge blame for the accident — BP’s CEO has already said the spill “wasn’t our accident.” And in talking points for the hearing leaked to the press, Halliburton “says it safely finished a cementing operation 20 hours before” the April 20 explosion, the AP reports. (More on Halliburton’s role here.)

Also testifying before the committee, which is chaired by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), is the former chief of the Offshore Regulatory Program of the Minerals Management Service.

Then, at 2:30 p.m., Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on the economic and environmental impacts of the spill with the same three corporate witnesses: BP America President Lamar McKay, Transocean President Steven Newman and Halliburton chief health, safety and environment officer Tim Probert.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the same three executives will again be on the Hill, this time joined by Jack Moore, chief of blowout preventer manufacturer Cameron International, for a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on investigations. Chaired by formidable investigator Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Energy and Commerce Committee has already demanded documents related to the spill from several of the companies.

The committee has put together a useful timeline (.pdf) of the spill and response efforts.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and the Senate Homeland Security Committee have also announced hearings in the coming weeks.

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By Paul Craig Roberts | Counterpunch, Aug 19, 2009

“In a little time [there will be] no middling sort. We shall have a few, and but a very few Lords, and all the rest beggars.” R.L. Bushman

“Rapidly you are dividing into two classes–extreme rich and extreme poor.” “Brutus”

Americans think that they have “freedom and democracy” and that politicians are held accountable by elections. The fact of the matter is that the US is ruled by powerful interest groups who control politicians with campaign contributions. Our real rulers are an oligarchy of financial and military/security interests and AIPAC, which influences US foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.

Have a look at economic policy. It is being run for the benefit of large financial concerns, such as Goldman Sachs.

Continued >>


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Cheney’s Last Hurrah: No Light at the End of the Dark Side

Where is Dick Cheney? It’s been over a month since the inauguration and the White House HR office has been waiting….and waiting…and waiting for the former VP to appear for his exit interview and to hand over the keys to his office.

Finally, there is a knock at the door of the White House HR Office, and the man reputed to be the power behind the throne in the Bush administration is ushered into the room. He is flanked by secret service men on each side.

“Good to finally see you, sir!” the HR officer says. “I must ask you where have you been all this time? You’ve given interviews to the media but your office has been locked and all of your secret locations empty.

With a sardonic smile of self-satisfaction, Cheney responds, “I didn’t make it easy for you to find me, did I?”

(more…)

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