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Libyan Smoke And Mirrors

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It’s all done with smoke and mirrors folks, smoke and mirrors. While we slept with dreams of Guardsmen on the Border dancing in our heads, while the GOP made an otherwise boring nay statement to Bush’s plan. While the blogosphere followed the lead of the almighty main stream media and thumped upon their copies of the President’s all too rare use of prime time airwaves. We were once again duped by the best. A little stunning at times, if you stop and think about it, a little stunning how very, very good these guys are.

I watch the wires, check my NewsGator feeds, pay a little attention to the drones (CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX), and otherwise follow along daily. I noticed the AP report on Libya and restoring ties, the MSM version that is, the one floated in American Press circles. I didn’t think a whole lot about it, other than a little suspicious twinge just below my left collar bone, the kind that makes you notice, but doesn’t stop your heartbeat. So I continued on, but with a watchful eye for correlating stories. It was well after dinner when I was checking the fringe stories, from out of the country sources, that I ran across this piece here.

U.S. oil firms stand to gain from renewed ties with Libya
By Barry Schweid The Associated Press

And the smoke began to drift away. As if the sun had risen and a fogbank melted into oblivion. What a score on the part of FOX News and G.W. and Friends! In the first article, widely distributed and put forth here by FOX, the move towards relations being restored is referred to as a response to Libya’s stellar new stance on terrorism. The MSM version relied on quotes like this:

“We are taking these actions in recognition of Libya’s continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement. She said Tripoli’s cooperation in combating international terrorism has been “excellent.”

In a piece consisting of 693 words, a mere 34 words, 2 simple lines were devoted to the presence of an Oil Angle. The author or editor probably, saw fit to include only this micro-snippet in regards to any Oil implications:

The administration’s decision also comes at a time when it is attempting to shore up relations with major oil producers because of high prices and a shortage of supplies. Libya has substantial oil reserves.

The mirrors are now glaring a little too obviously in the noon-day sun. Enter the second article, not widely read in the MSM, originating in a rag out of France, God bless the frogs, but that’s another story. This post, as I highlighted earlier cuts straight to the chase! Halliburton here we come! This truth has the Big Dick smeared all over it, with blatant Bush hairs to boot! This has been a story in the making since 1986. The U.S. broke ties with Libya in 1980, and according to records, four U.S. Oil Companies have had unused oil leases secured since 1986. The non-U.S. version shed this light:

Four big American companies, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and Amerada Hess, for about 20 years have held leases on Libyan oil and gas reserves.

Now by my calculations, that was some six years after the US broke ties and banned trade with the terrorist state of Libya. I bet those unfulfilled and very risky oil leases came at a much discounted bargain price, since the fruit they had to bear was almost pointless it seemed, for decades? And suddenly Bush and friends saw wisdom in relaxing restraints in 2004, allowing the foray into production to crawl forward? After all,

Since the initial U.S. investment ban was implemented, European, Canadian, Indian, Chinese and Australian companies have invested consistently in Libya, and they have ramped up the pace of engagement especially in the past five years.

Which brings up an interesting side note, how do four Major Oil Companies acquire oil leases in a “terrorist State” post 9/11, while the US has an investment ban in place? Halliburton has even secured rights to bring in sensitive equipment to play, even while Congress has 45 days to deny this action by the administration. Right, wrong, or indifferent:

Peter Lichtenbaum, who oversaw trade controls until February as assistant secretary of commerce, said that the renormalization of ties would remove the need for licenses for some equipment.

Assuming that Congress does not disapprove of Libya’s removal from the State Department’s terror list in the 45 days that are allowed for review, “the oil companies will send whatever they want to send for their operations,” Lichtenbaum, an international lawyer with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, said.

Another control being lifted, he said, was one imposed by energy legislation enacted last summer. It barred the shipment abroad of devices that could be part of a nuclear program that companies like Halliburton normally use to explore for oil.

“That potentially was going to shut down U.S. companies’ ability to explore for oil,” he said.

In essence, the damage is done, and if Congress does react against this measure, then the Big Oil companies can simply sell their wares and knowledge, or worse, sublet their skills to any other foreign nation bidding. That is “foreign nation” as you and I would define, to these guys, it is all just one big economic conglomerate. This is very serious and disturbing folks, and it was all done with smoke and mirrors.

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About Paul Jordan Sr

  • Joey

    Dave, what I was alluding to was the Paul Jordan assumption that oil stocks are owned by conservatives exclusively. Which, as most people know is a unqualified statement.

    Some folks buy oil stock to offset their energy costs and to hedge portfolio’s, most people buy energy stocks as purely investment vehicles. But to entertain and propagrate the thought that conservatives exclusively purchase oil stocks is ludicris, and reeks to the rafters.

  • Dave Nalle

    Thanks troll. I visited a couple of those, but figured the author needed to go do some web research on Libya as a matter of principle.

    Joey, you want a list of the stockholders in a number of different oil companies? That’s probably hundreds of thousands of people.

    Doesn’t include me, though. I own not one share of oil stock since I dumped my Royal Dutch last year.


  • Joey

    Paul Jordan, Sr.

    May 17, 2006
    09:31 PMI “guess this is just too airtight for Dave and the rest of the conservatives to address, figures.”

    I would like to see a list of stock holders… just to see how across the board this really is.


  • troll

    here’s some backup for Dave’s comments for those who like links:


    AI news re: Libya

    Libya’s economic boom


  • Dave Nalle

    I’ve been out for the day. Not sure what you want me to address here, really, though you do seem to substantially misunderstand the situation.

    Libya was indeed a nasty terrorist state 20 years ago. But the fact is that Libya has been reinventing itself. It has been modernizing, doing away with political repression and growing its capitalist economy. Like some other dictators before him, Qaddafi seems to have begun to think about his legacy and is trying to make the country a better place than it has been.

    Qaddafi has given power over determining a lot of domestic policy back to the parliament, and Prime Minister Mahmudi seems to actually be running the country day to day. Qaddafi is still there behind the scenes, but he’s encouraging changes for the better.

    They’ve released hundreds of political prisoners – amnesty international even gave them a good writeup recently. They’ve made a free press legal for the first time in 30 years. Libya is industrializing, they are privatizing previously nationalized businesses and they’re going into an economic boom.

    There is very little poverty and a lot of money being made in Libya these days, and the country is rapidly becoming one of the most free and successful secular nations in the region.

    A lot of credit for this is being given to our long-term sanctions, the example set by the invasion of Iraq and Qaddafi’s realization that the nation could do a lot better working with the west than against it. Personally I think a great deal of it has to do with the fact that Qaddafi – who is basically a secular socialist – realized that fundamentalist Islam was more of a threat to him than America was. A lot of the politicial prisoners in Libya were from radical muslim groups and even when they were released he made them either leave the country or swear not to stir up trouble.

    Most importantly, Libya has voluntarily destroyed their stockpiled WMDs and allowed verification by UN inspectors. This is why the UN lifted sanctions back in 2003 and most of the other nations of the world have recognized Libya and begun to do business there. You can fly Continental into Tripoli now.

    Libya isn’t perfect. It’s still a semi-socialist one-party state with Qaddafi there behind the scenes. But compared to some of its near neighbors it’s turning into a real, modern country and even a potential ally in the War on Terror.

    Your article displays a dismaying ignorance of the current status of Libya. This isn’t about their relatively small oil production so much as it is about nurturing a promising potential ally in the region and encouraging them along the path of reform. Libya is a great example of where the middle east could be going if it can escape the curse of radical islam. and our doing business with them validates and encourages the progress they’ve made.


  • I guess this is just too airtight for Dave and the rest of the conservatives to address, figures.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    So, we see more footprints in the sand of the oil and banking establishment in the States. Crude costs over $60/bbl and costs $3/bbl to pull from the ground. That’s a 2000% gross profit margin. Not bad…