Sunday, July 20, 2008

John McCain's Oil Connections

Update July 25: She's still on the case.

While researching the Scheunemann/ Payne/ Latvia connection, this news item caught my eye. Payne and Scheunemann met jointly in 2003 with a senior Latvian official to discuss how Latvia could help rebuild Iraq.

Huh? Latvia rebuild Iraq? How about Iraqi's building Iraq?
Seems to me Iraqis could benefit directly as well as indirectly because the expense (remember, we're talking about US tax dollars, not Iraqi petro-scrip... this was in 2003 before we had them firmly by the nuts nailed down the oil contracts) if we did business with them. It would have been a better investment than buying off Sunni clan chiefs as we now do. (Who says money can't buy love?)

Away from the spotlight it is easier to craft sweetheart deals. Transparency is not a problem because it doesn't exist.

Lindsay's on the right track. You go, girl.


Lindsay Beyerstein's journalism is more than good photos.

John McCain's senior foreign policy adviser is a close business associate of Stephen Payne, the lobbyist caught on tape offering access to top administration officials in exchange for donations to the Bush Library.

This is explosive news because Payne's company's entire business model is international influence peddling in exchange for oil and gas leases from politically unstable and dictatorial regimes.

McCain's senior foreign policy and national security adviser, Randy Scheunemann, is listed as a member of Worldwide Strategic Energy's executive team in a pre-prospectus obtained by Majikthise.
The document explains WSE's business model. The company is seeking oil and gas leases in "politically complicated" and "often misunderstood" countries.

Geopolitical risks have often caused the hydrocarbon development opportunities in these regions to be overlooked or underdeveloped. Through our strong business and political ties, WSE has the unique ability to navigate the geopolitical spectrum and inherent risks associated with these politically complicated and
sometimes misunderstood countries of the world outside of the traditional means of most firms, as well as with the “turbulent suppliers” of oil to the western world including the Persian Gulf and various Latin American nations.

In other words WSE proposes to make these "complicated" countries offers they can't refuse:

By utilizing our strong business and political connections, WSE will be able to capitalize financially by continuing to offer geopolitical and business development assistance to a host government while acquiring leases and lease options. The lease-holding governments will issue the leases and lease options to WSE based on our significant knowledge of both the energy and political worlds. By doing so, the lease-holding government will receive the additional benefit of our strong business and political knowledge in the U.S. and around the world, while at the same time still receive the usual royalties associated with passing on a hydrocarbon field to a developer. This arrangement will be a win/win for the oil lease-holding country, the field developer, and WSE.
More at the link.

And while you're there, check out her pictures. She's at Netroots Nation this weekend snapping pictures, and she's a great photographer. You can see what some of these bloggers look like.

Wonder what Naomi Klein would say. In this case there is no single "disaster" but the dynamic is similar: If we don't get it someone else will... maybe even the people who live there... and we can't let that get out of hand.
If that's not a colonial mindset I don't know what is.

Followup: Naomi Klein is in a flap with Fox News about how the oil crisis is being used by the administration to drill in ANWR, in effect holding the country hostage to do something that has little or nothing to do with resolving the problem.

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