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Halliburton -- a connection between the oil business and terrorism?

NO END IS IN SIGHT FOR THE CULTURE STRUGGLE

NEWS ARTICLE from the Washington Post, 6-26-04, By Dan Eggen, Washington Post Staff Writer

``9/11 Panel Links Al Qaeda, Iran

While it found no operational ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, the [September 11] commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network had long-running contacts with Iraq's neighbor and historic foe, Iran.

Al Qaeda, the commission determined, may even have played a "yet unknown role" in aiding Hezbollah militants in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, an attack the United States has long blamed solely on Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors.

The notion that bin Laden may have had a hand in the Khobar bombing would mark a rare operational alliance between Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups that have historically been at odds ...

In relation to Iran, commission investigators said intelligence "showed far greater potential for collaboration between Hezbollah and al Qaeda than many had previously thought." Iran is a primary sponsor of Hezbollah, or Party of God, the Lebanon-based anti-Israel group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

The commission's Republican chairman, former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean, also said in a television appearance last week that "there were a lot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq." ...

Bin Laden himself, the [September 11 commission] report added, "showed particular interest in Hezbollah's truck bombing tactics in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 U.S. Marines." ...''

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The Princeton Spectator - Spectator Views, 4-21-04. By Pete White '06

``... Iran is a relatively powerful, industrialized and populous nation and it's strategic importance is evident to anyone who can read a map: it commands much of the Caspian sea and the Persian Gulf and it is situated between both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Notably, there is no support in Iran for the former regime of Saddam Hussein (given the catastrophic Iran-Iraq war that ended in 1988) and much animosity towards the Taliban and their supporters in Afghanistan, given the Taliban's brutal repression of Afghan Shi'is and its outright murder of Iranian diplomats ...

Iran already has a close relationship with the Shi'is of Iraq, as millions of Iranian pilgrims visit Shi'i holy sites in Southern Iraq annually ...''

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Stratfor Weekly, 5-28-04, By George Friedman

``On Feb. 19, [2004] in a piece entitled "Ahmed Chalabi and His Iranian Connection," Stratfor laid out the close relationship Chalabi had with the Iranians, and the role that relationship played in the flow of intelligence to Washington prior to the war. This week, the story of Chalabi, accused of being an Iranian agent by U.S. intelligence, was all over the front pages of the newspapers ...

Chalabi was certainly, in our opinion, working actively on behalf or Iranian interests -- as well as for himself -- but he was merely a go-between in some complex geopolitical maneuvering ...

Iran wanted the United States to invade Iraq. The Iranians hated Saddam Hussein more than anyone did, and they feared him. Iran and Iraq had fought a war in the 1980s that devastated a generation of Iranians. More than Hussein, Iraq represented a historical threat to Iran going back millennia. The destruction of the Iraqi regime and army was at the heart of Iranian national interest.

The collapse of the Soviet Union had for the first time in a century secured Iran's northern frontiers. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan secured the Shiite regions of Afghanistan as a buffer. If the western frontier could be secured, Iran would achieve a level of national security it had not known in centuries.

Iran knew it could not invade Iraq and win by itself. Another power had to do it. The failure of the United States to invade and occupy Iraq in 1991 was a tremendous disappointment to Iran. Indeed, the primary reason the United States did not invade Iraq was because it knew the destruction of the Iraqi army would leave Iran the dominant power native to the Persian Gulf ...

Without the Iraqi army blocking Iran, there was no military force in the region that could stop the Iranians. They could have become the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, and only the permanent stationing of U.S. troops in the region would have counterbalanced Iran. The United States did not want that, so the conquest of Kuwait was followed by the invasion -- but not the conquest -- of Iraq. The United States kept Iraq in place to block Iran ...

[Now, in 2004] should the United States run into trouble in Iraq, it would become extremely dependent on the Iranians and their Shiite clients. If the Shiite south rose, the U.S. position would become untenable. Therefore if there was trouble -- and Iranian intelligence was pretty sure there would be -- Shiite influence would rise well before the Americans left ...

Chalabi's job ... was to shield two critical pieces of information from the Americans: First, he was to shield the extent to which the Iranians had organized the Shiite south of Iraq. Second, he was to shield any information about Hussein's plans for a guerrilla campaign after the fall of Baghdad. These were the critical things -- taken together, they would create the dependency the Iranians badly wanted ...

It was what he did not say that is significant. Chalabi had to know that the Iranians controlled the Iraqi Shia. It is possible that he even told the Pentagon that, since it wouldn't change fundamental strategy much. But there is one thing that Chalabi should have known that he certainly didn't tell the Americans: that Hussein was going to wage a guerrilla war. On that point, there is no question but that the Pentagon was surprised, and it mattered a lot.

Chalabi did not share intelligence that the Iranians almost certainly had because the Iranians wanted the Americans to get bogged down in a guerrilla war. That would increase U.S. dependence on the Shia and Iran, and would hasten the American departure ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from the BBC, 7-19-04

[Halliburton -- a connection between the oil business and terrorism?]

``Halliburton, in trouble over alleged over-charging for Iraq contracts, is being probed for its deals in Iran.

A US grand jury has demanded documents relating to contracts in Iran - subject to US sanctions - by a Halliburton subsidiary based in the Cayman Islands.

The firm, which used to be run by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, said it was certain the deals were legal ...

The Iran investigation is now with the Justice Department, having started in the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control - responsible for enforcing sanctions - in 2001 ...

The probe comes as the use of offshore "tax havens" by large US corporations risks becoming an election issue ...

Halliburton came under fire earlier this month for the Iran deals, with critics charging that they abused the spirit - if not the letter - of sanctions banning US firms from working in Iran.''

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FEATURE from 60 Minutes, 1-25-04

"If the intent was to try and prevent United States-based companies from doing business in these rogue nations, then it appears as if they've gotten around what the law had intended."

William Thompson, New York City Comptroller

``(CBS) Did it ever occur to you that when President Bush says, "Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations," he's talking about your money -- and every other American's money?

Just about everyone with a 401(k) pension plan or mutual fund has money invested in companies that are doing business in so-called rogue states.

In other words, there are U.S. companies that are helping drive the economies of countries like Iran, Syria and Libya that have sponsored terrorists. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports.

"The revenue that is generated from the work that these companies are doing, we believe, helps to underwrite and support terrorism, says William Thompson, the New York City comptroller who oversees the $80 billion in pension funds for all city workers.

He says he wants everyone with a retirement or investment portfolio to know what these companies are up to: We're going to increase the public visibility on this issue until these companies change their practices.

He's actually identified specific companies that have invested in these rogue countries, including Halliburton ...

U.S. law does ban virtually all commerce with the rogue nations, but there's a loophole ... The law does not apply to any foreign or offshore subsidiary so long as it is run by non-Americans ...

In the case of Halliburton, as an example, they have an offshore subsidiary in the Cayman Islands. That subsidiary is doing business with Iran.

That subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services, Ltd., is wholly owned by the U.S.-based Halliburton and is registered in a building in the capital of the Cayman Islands -- a building owned by the local Calidonian Bank. Halliburton and other companies set up in this Caribbean Island, because of tax and secrecy laws that are corporate friendly.

Halliburton is the company that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run. He was CEO in 1995 to 2000, during which time Halliburton Products and Services set up shop in Iran. Today, it sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government.

In the case of Iran, Thompson says they earn most of their revenues through their oil industry. So what is the connection between that oil business and terrorism and weapons of mass destruction?

The Iranian Government is receiving dollars from it. And then turning around and exporting terrorism around the world. It benefits terrorism. At least that's our belief, says Thompson.

60 Minutes decided to ask Halliburton's subsidiary about its work in Iran. But we weren't allowed to enter the building with a camera. So we went in with a hidden camera, and were introduced to David Walker, manager of the local Calidonian Bank, where the subsidiary is registered.

60 Minutes was expecting to find a bustling business, but, to our surprise, Walker told us that while Halliburton Products and Services was registered at this address, it was in name only. There is no actual office here or anywhere else in the Caymans. And there are no employees on site.

We were told that if mail for the Halliburton subsidiary comes to this address, they re-route it to Halliburton headquarters in Houston.

"If you understood what most of these companies do, you would, they're not doing any business in Cayman per se. They're doing business, international business," says "Walker. Would it make sense to have somebody in Cayman pushing paper around? I don't know. And some people do it. And some people don't. And it's mostly driven by whatever the issues are with the head office."

Does that mean the head office is calling the shots? If it is, that would be against the law, which says the subsidiary must be completely independent of the U.S. company. But 60 Minutes attempts to ask headquarters in Houston about this were rebuffed.

In a letter to New York City Comptroller Thompson, Halliburton says its Cayman Island subsidiary is actually run out of Dubai. 60 Minutes went there and learned that it shares office space, phone and fax lines with a division of its U.S.-based parent company -- which raises more legal questions about its independence from Houston. But once again, our inquiries went unanswered.

In its letter to Thompson, Halliburton insists it is complying with all U.S. laws. But he and legal experts we consulted believe they are dancing right along the edge of legality ...

Thompson says he decided to open the investigation in the first place at the request of New York City's police and firemen, who were outraged when they learned where their retirement money was going ...

Halliburton declined 60 Minutes' request for an interview, but in an e-mail, the company indicated it has no intention of leaving Iran -- or addressing the questions we raised about the independence of its subsidiary ...''

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NO END IS IN SIGHT FOR THE CULTURE STRUGGLE

WEST wins: 333 BC, Battle of Issus, Alexander defeats the Persians (Iranians) to gain control of the Middle East.

EAST wins: 142 BC, Simon Maccabeus makes Palestine independent of Alexander's Greek successors.

WEST wins: 63 BC, the Romans occupy Palestine. Control is later assumed by the Byzantine Empire.

EAST wins: 614 AD (or CE), the Persians (Iranians) take Jerusalem and capture the True Cross. Jerusalem is in the hands of the Moslem Arabs by 638. The Moslem advance across North Africa into Western Europe was finally stopped by the Franks (Charles Martel) at the battle of Tours in 732.

WEST wins: 1099 AD, the First Crusade takes Jerusalem. Godfrey of Bouillon is elected king.

EAST wins: 1187 AD, Saladin takes Jerusalem.

WEST wins: 1229 AD, the Sixth Crusade, Frederick II gains control of Jerusalem by negotiation with the Moslems.

EAST wins: 1244 AD, the Moslems conquer Jerusalem and hold it until 1917 (General Allenby and Lawrence of Arabia). The Moslem Turks took Constantinople in 1453, and then Bosnia in 1458. The Turkish advance was stopped by the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and by a treaty with the Austrians in 1606.

WEST wins: 1917 AD, the British take Baghdad from the Turks; and in 1921, proclaim Faisal king of Iraq. The Iranians, in 1933, grant a large concession to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. In 1948, the State of Israel is organized in Palestine; and, in 1967, Israel defeats the armies of the Arab countries surrounding it. In 2003, the United States occupies Iraq.

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