Waxman: White House Knew Of Iraqi Oil Deal

In September 2007, the Kurdish Regional Government, which runs the semi-autonomous region of Northern Iraq, announced that it had entered into an oil contract with U.S.-based Hunt Oil. The deal complicated negotiations over a revenue-sharing agreement and the Bush administration declared itself shocked at the news. “I know nothing about the deal,” said President Bush.

Documents uncovered by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform indicate that the White House probably shouldn’t have been so surprised. Among the many pieces of evidence that the administration knew and approved of the deal:

-- A Commerce Department official wished Hunt Oil officials “a fruitful visit to Kurdistan.”

-- A Hunt Oil general manager said he met with nine State Department officials and none expressed opposition.

-- Five days after the announcement of the deal, a State Department official told Hunt officials about another “good opportunity in Iraq.”
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